The suicide of 15-year old Jamie Hubley earlier this month has left many in a state of shock and profound sadness. The best way to understand how this event has affected people across Canada and the rest of the world is to read some of the messages left in the Facebook Group created to honor his memory.
It is in this group that I met Joel Hendricks, a 23-year old man living in Brooklyn, New York. The beautiful letter he sent me opens the new Silence, No More Series, which raises awareness of bullying and abuse and its deleterious impact on children and adults alike.
I have decided to write this letter in dedication to Jamie Hubley. He was an amazing kid and he had a great soul.
After I read his article last Monday, my life changed, my eyes opened. I felt the pain he had endured through his Tumblr page [Warning: contains some strong language]. It hurt me deeply to see what he was going through and I just cried so much. He triggered something in my mind that allowed me to start being myself and loving myself for being gay just like he was.
I may not have been openly gay in high school like Jamie but I know how it felt. I was not bullied but I lost many friends that I thought would be there for me. Once they knew that I was gay, they all strayed away.
I had first come out as bisexual as a stepping stone to one day being comfortable saying that I was gay. Even though I had never said that I was openly gay, everyone still hated me. They all spread rumors about me and every straight guy thought I wanted them.
I hate how many believe that every gay guy likes them. That is not the case, we all want love but we will not just jump on any guy we see, and it hurt so much in high school. I would cry when I went home. But I got through it because it was my last year and I was trying to come out slowly.
Unfortunately, Jamie, came out in ninth grade. I commend him because I could have never done that. Who knows what would have happened if I had? Would I still be here if I had come out at the beginning of high school?
I really felt his pain deeply and even now in college, I still feel alone. Jamie said that he wanted to be loved and a boyfriend. I have always wanted that too and I do not know when I will have it. But, for now, I will have to love myself and accept me for being myself.
I hate the world we live in just like Jamie did, but I swear that we all will make a change. Jamie Hubley has inspired me to have a purpose and that is to help many that are suffering and struggling from depression. Whether, It’s from being bullied, neglected from family, or just not feeling comfortable about yourself. I will strive to help many that are suffering like I am now. I may never be the same since I’ve read Jamie’s blog but I now know I have a mission that Jamie entrusted in me. We all will make a stand.
So, to all those being bullied, stand up and do not care what anyone says about you. You are who you are, love yourself and accept yourself and you will be alright because “It Gets Better.” I know it will.
Jamie is smiling down on us all. We all will make a change and equality will be in our grasp.
— Joel “Unicorn” Hendricks.
About the Silence, No More Series
The Silence, No More Series has been created to heighten public awareness of the deleterious impact of abuse and bullying on children and adults alike. Survivors, their friends, families and supporters are invited to submit testimonies at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a short bio and picture. The picture does not have to be a person’s. It can be a logo, banner, book, etc.
Stories should not be longer than 700 words and must contain clean language.
Fake names can be used to protect identities if necessary.
Cendrine Marrouat may be contacted for potential interviews, reviews and general enquiries at email@example.com. Website: www.cendrinemarrouat.com.