Monday, October 4, 2010

Vigil for Tyler Clementi and gay teen suicides

Last month Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi was secretly observed, via webcam, in a sexual encounter with another man. The encounter was streamed over the internet and tweeted by his college roommate. On September 22 Tyler killed himself. (Wikipedia)

Readers of my book know that a powerful force in my cancer story was my sister Suede (website), a jazz and blues singer based in the Provincetown, Massachusetts area with a profound respect for human. Last Friday she participated in an impromptu vigil for Tyler and the four other gay teens in the U.S. who reportedly killed themselves in September.

Here's an informal video of the vigil. Suede is briefly seen in the beginning, as she sings John Calvi's "The Ones Who Aren't Here," from her first album. The song was written about and recorded during the worst of the AIDS epidemic. The quality's not great - Suede was standing on a park bench, playing through a battery powered amp - but the message is authentic. The speaker is Suede's friend Bradley, who organized the gathering.

(Email subscribers, if you can't see the video, click here.)

I ask that we honor humanity in all its diversity and variation, and that we teach our youngsters, even rambunctious teens, to do the same. This is no joke.


  1. Dave, there was a really good article about this in yesterday's the Independent, in the UK. Very, very sad story indeed, and one more example of the deterioration of the concept of privacy in our society.


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