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- http://jersvision.org/ - 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.