By Adam S. Levy
Radar Staff Writer
In a shocking and sad story, Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old boy from Buffalo, New York committed suicide Sunday, just months after posting a widely-viewed video on YouTube in which he reassured other young people that “it gets better” in wake of his own past of being bullied at school because of his sexuality.
“People would just keep sending me hate, telling me that gay people go to hell,” Jamey, who identified himself as bisexual, said in the video titled “It Gets Better” posted on May 4. “It was a constant taunting … the same people over and over.”
In the video, Rodemeyer recalled how he was the target of homophobic barbs from classmates and users of the online Q&A forum Formspring. (A look at that account revealed one user wrote, “JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY, FAT ANND UGLY. HE MUST DIE!;” another said, “I wouldn’t care if you died. No one would. So just do it It would make everyone WAY more happier!”)
Toward the end of the video, Rodemeyer praised Lady Gaga as a role model whose message made him “so happy.”
“She lets me know that I was born this way,” Rodemeyer said. (The megastar had yet to comment on the tragedy on her Twitter page early Wednesday.)
At the end of the clip, the young man implored viewers to “just love yourself and you’re set. And I promise you, it’ll get better.”
Unfortunately, however, Rodemeyer continued to receive the brunt of abuse from cruel classmates, as a September 8 posting on onto his Tumblr account foreshadowed his tragic fate.
“No one in my school cares about preventing suicide, while you’re the ones calling me [gay slur] and tearing me down,” Rodemeyer wrote, following up with a September 9 post that read, “I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. … What do I have to do so people will listen to me?”
Local investigators had not commented on the case or released a cause of death as of early Wednesday.
His father Tim told local TV station WIVB, “To the kids who are bullying they have to realize that words are very powerful and what you think is just fun and games isn’t to some people, and you are destroying a lot of lives.”