On September 22, Rutgers University first-year, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide by jumping off The George Washington Bridge after finding out a web video of him was released on the internet by his roommate and roommate’s girlfriend.
Clementi’s roommate, Dharun Ravi and Ravi’s girlfriend, Molly Wei, have been charged with two counts of invasion of privacy after turning on a webcam in Clementi’s room where he was having a “sexual encounter” with another man and live streaming the video online. Ravi appeared to have tweeted on September 19 while watching the web cam of Clementi: “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”
Two days later, on September 21, Ravi tried to transmit yet another sexual encounter caught on his web cam, landing him two additional counts of invasion of privacy.
Meanwhile, a body was discovered in the Hudson River, north of the George Washington Bridge, and was later identified by New York City Police as 18 year old Tyler Clementi.
ABC News reports on a statement given from the Clementi family’s attorney, Paul Mainardi: “Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician. The family is heartbroken beyond words. They respectfully request that they be given time to grieve their great loss and that their privacy at this painful time be respected by all.”
As a result, many organizations have been developed in order to end suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. The Trevor Project is determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources. The services include a nationwide 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy/educational programs that create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone.
Another organization that helps with LGBTQ suicide is the “It Gets Better” project on YouTube. Short personal videos are up to be viewed in order to tell LGBTQ youth that life gets better, and that suicide is not the solution in difficult times.
The Trevor Project hotline: 1-866-488-7386