Some thoughts about the tragic death of Jamie Hubley

I didn't know young Jamie Hubley from Ottawa, but his recent death by suicide is so very tragic and troubling that I've been thinking about it ever since I read the news.

It must be very hard for his family and I offer, like many, my deepest condolences and sympathy for their loss.

In this day and age we tell ourselves that homophobia, bullying, and violence against the LGBT community are mostly things of the past. But the horrible face of homophobia is still here and queer youth are too often, confronted with this reality. I feel terrible that this lovely young person, a figure skater, who loved music, could not escape the bullying.

It’s hard not to feel angry. Is it ignorance, the need to control and abuse; hatred; insecurity about anything different; or maybe all those things? Bullying is one of the most sickening and destructive behaviours and anything we can do to eliminate it is so important.

I know many amazing organizations, like Jer’s Vision- - are working hard to make people aware of bullying and homophobia and to celebrate diversity and support for queer youth.

There's so much good stuff going on, so it makes it all the harder to know that Jamie and other young people are feeling alone and without choices.

Surely, our schools must be places for learning and acceptance, not bullying and pain.

We all must speak out against bullying and homophobia. Young Canadians, no matter what their sexual orientation, background, religion, or colour, have a right to safety, dignity, and the realization of their human and unique potential.

Please, let's re-double our efforts, whether it is legal, political, educational, activism, by working together to make our schools, communities, and homes safe.


This Blog Entry was posted on October 19, 2011
Libby Davies's picture


dealing with the bully in our midst

thank you Libby for writing about this - the tragic death of Jamie cannot be allowed to slip by as an individual tragedy easily forgotten and dismissed. This young lad was harassed to death, in a criminal way, but because this form of bullying is so common it is considered normal. Because the "victim" is identified with a minority that is too often targeted for abuse by a majority that finds it easier to condemn than to understand, it goes on and on and on. Heather Mallick has written a marvelous reflection in the Toronto Star on Jamie's death. Both your reflection and her article should be read in every classroom in Ottawa on the day of Jamie's funeral.

A more rounded view, hopefully......

Yes, it is undoubtedly true that bullying played a part in Jamey's decision to end his life.

But, one cannot conclude that it was the sole cause. Suicide is the result of someone being finally catapulted into a cesspool of writhing,sinuous,and venomous snakes and seeing no way out.

Jamey was severely crippled by profound depression. Jamey was a "cutter"and a "self mutilator". The causes of depression can be many: physiological, psychological, emotional. He was cared for by loving parents and a loving family and supported by a myriad of professionals. But depression is insideous and slippery and hard to capture and nail down and be rid of.

Listen to his friends in the video clip who speak of the need to open the closet doors around mental illness AND bullying.

If anything, Jamey has pried open the door a bit more on the taboo subject of depression and its horrid demons.

Having been captured by depression at one point in my life, I give my support to those wrestling the disease and my heartfelt empathy to Jamie's family and friends.

Jamie did not go in vain.

Richard Frizell, Vancouver

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