Thursday, September 30, 2010

Anti-gay bullying, particularly against college students, surfaces in some serious incidents

Last night (Sept. 29), Anderson Cooper covered a couple more examples of the effect of bullying on gay teens, including one 13 year old, and then the case of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers freshman who jumped off the George Washington Bridge (saying he would do so online) after roommates secretly videotaped him in a gay liaison in a Rutgers dormitory, and streamed the trysts real time on the Internet. A male roommate and female friend have been charged with felony invasion of privacy in the case.

No question, the incident illustrates the dangers of abuse of the Internet for purposes of teasing or bullying, and the incredible lack of judgment of some people in their abuse.

I’ve related before how roommate issues and peer pressure had led to my own college expulsion in November 1961 (see my BillBoushka blog Nov. 28, 2006).

A typical story on the Clementi incident appears on the Mahalo site (website url) here.

One could interpret Clementi's action as a way of showing contempt for the world he suddenly wanted to leave. There is a legitimate question as to whether the university condoned or "permitted" sex (heterosexual or homosexual) in dorms, and whether the roommate thought, in that context, that what he was doing was nothing more than something like an "initiation" prank.

Anderson Cooper on AC360 (link) has also covered the cyberbullying of gay college student Chris Armstrong at the University of Michigan by Assistant Michigan Attorney General Andrew Shirvell, “on his own time and resources”, motivated by “existential” thinking. My main blog covered that yesterday, Sept. 29.

AOL has a detailed story about Tyler Clementi today here.

A recent clip showed Tyler playing the first movement of the Bruch Violin Concerto #1 in G Minor.

Gather has an essay, "The Death of Tyler Clementi and the Shame of Society",  link here.

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