Thursday, September 30, 2010

This Story Just Keeps Getting More Sad


Over the past two days it seems like I have spent a great deal of time reading about Rutgers student Tyler Clementi who apparently killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge last week. The common theory is that he killed himself because his college roommate watched him making out with another guy via a remotely operated webcam. In fact, his roommate and a female college student were both charged with two counts of invasion of privacy.

Although Clementi's body has not been found, his wallet was found on the bridge, someone spotted a young man on the bridge at the time Clementi was thought to have jumped and he posted the following on his Facebook page shortly before the event.

“Jumping off the gw bridge sorry”

Gawker today found messages they think are from Clementi which are from a gay message board. I read all of them and Clementi does not seem all the upset about what his roommate did. Yes, he was ticked off, but he does not seem suicidal at all. The first thought I had when I read through them was Clementi talks about getting back at his roommate through a prank. I thought OMG maybe this is revenge that went horribly wrong.

I think what Clementi's roommate did was awful, but I am not 100% convinced that the actions of the roommate led to the suicide. Read the messages for yourself and see what you think. You can read them here.

44 comments:

RocketQueen said...

I don't really know what led to his suicide, and I hate when people try to speculate. All that really matters is that the two FUCKS who recorded his private stuff and then had the AUDACITY to stream it for public consumption should do serious jail time.

looserdude said...

Sad and unnecessary. If he had had just one person he could have talked to he would have been OK.

Ellen said...

I hope the roommate and his girlfriend live in guilt for the rest of their miserable lives! They need to be charged with a lot more than invasion of privacy. I hope they were kicked out of school. I feel strongly about this because I think it is so wrong to invade someone's privacy like that.

One of my roommates in college read my journal and told everyone about some guy I got together with that they didn't know about. The "secret" wasn't a big deal, but the invasion of privacy was HUGE...and she lied and told me our other roommate did it! I 100% stopped keeping a journal after that and I will never, ever have one again. I always encourage others to burn anything they write. Journals are a great way to think things out and that %$#@ stole that tool from me and I will never forgive her for that. I guess I'm still bitter after all these years...

bits of moxy said...

The prank is pretty shitty. However they did not walk him to the bridge and make him jump. They should be held accountable for the chrges they are faced with. And yes, I was bullied heavily through HS and somehow made it through -
I think there was more disturbing this fellow than the pranks. I wish he had someone to talk with.

__-__=__ said...

Agree with RocketQueen. Doesn't matter if Clementi is dead or alive. Those two room mates should never have another moment of peace or privacy. And Ellen, yes, I don't keep a journal either for a similar reason. Trust no one!

captivagrl said...

I'm not 100 percent convinced that he jumped.

blondegossip said...

They may have found his body:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-09-29/rutgers-suicide-shock-tyler-clementis-video-sex-torment/?cid=hp:mainpromo8

Very sad. I do not think we can know anyone's inner darkness, regardless of the tone of these messages he left behind.

Sakhi said...

If only he could have seen these videos.

http://www.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject

It helps provide the hope that all gay kids need.

Maja. With a J. said...

Sakhi, I wasd going to post the same link. The It Gets Better Project is amazing and needs all the attention it can get.

Weezie said...

I think Tyler Clementi was depressed and in a precarious mental state. Would he be alive if his roommate wasn't a depraved idiot? I think so. Clementi would still be in need of counseling, but alive. The idiot and his dumb girl Friday should be expelled from Rutgers and convicted of a crime. The girl can be let off with serious community service by having to tell the world repeatedly about the stupid, cruel act she perpetrated (no money, no press interviews--just straight up public shame). But, the depraved idiot should do some time behind bars...especially if this wasn't the first time he's done something like this.

jax said...

how do we know he posted those and not the room mate?

both of them are despicable.

JW said...

Just because the postings don't rant and rave doesn't mean that the actions of his roommate didn't drive him to suicide. By all accounts, the fellow was mature and quiet. He does however discuss that the others are feeling sorry for the roommate for having to live with a gay man and he expresses his fear that the school will do nothing. People suffer in silence and to say, well, he didn't seem suicidal cheapens his pain and flies in the face of the expert opinions that suicides often seem unexpected because the person doesn't SEEM suicidal. Enty, your comments today are way off the mark and horribly cold.

KLM said...

This story is extremely disturbing. The invasion of privacy is horrible, and the bigoted comments that people made regarding if the perpetrator was "okay" after having spied his room-mate kissing another male are revolting. People can be so cruel.

By the tone of Tyler's comments, it sounded like he was in the midst of dealing with it the best way he could. Now if someone at Rutgers gave more information that the university is not releasing as yet (like, for example, what his room-mates did wasn't unethical, or he was denied a new room-mate), this could have had a major impact on his state of mind.

But that is the tragedy of suicide. We will probably never now. My step brother shot himself in the head 9 years ago for no known reason with no warning. It shattered all of us around him. We don't know more today then we did a week after he did it. He was 21. Suicide sucks. I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Anonymous said...

I'm repulsed by the despicable actions of the roommate, videotaping Tyler having sex. Don't care which gender it was with, just the fact that the roommate set up a camera to watch and record Tyler having sex - so wrong on so many counts. Imagine at 18 having your sex acts broadcast on the internet - that will follow you for life - personal and professional. The person who does so, without your consent or knowledge, should be publicly castrated. Not that it would ever make it better.

I'm so sorry for Tyler and his family. This just makes me cry.

Audrey said...

Ellen, Same thing happened to me. My college roommate stole my journal and read aloud to the dorm floor entries I wrote about embarrassing physical issues I was having. I'm 43 and still bitter.

As for Clementi, I think this is horrible and feel for all gay people (and straight people) who have to deal with such abuse. Honestly, I hope Clementi is playing a prank, but alas, I have a feeling he jumped.

not on my dollar said...

"Police recovered a man's body Wednesday afternoon in the Hudson River just north of the bridge, and authorities were trying to determine if it was Clementi's."


How Cruel! The maximum sentence for Clementi's invasion of privacy is only five years which will never be enough if they don't understand that their mental cruelty resulted in someone's death.

I hope these two asswipes are haunted by this prank for the rest of their lives.

not on my dollar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
not on my dollar said...

Oh and if he's dead I hope they up the charge to a hate crime.

Karmen said...

KML - I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.

Sometimes when people have been wronged like that, they shrug it off as a joke to avoid admitting the pain and embarrassment they're feeling. In the end we can speculate all we want, but we'll never know what was going through Clementi's head. His friends and family are in my thoughts. I hope those sadistic and bigoted assholes go to jail.

And Rutgers - shit, EVERY campus - needs to have an orientation that encourages their students to seek help or advice if they feel discriminated against. This should never happen again.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I'd of loved having a gay roommate. At least they'd buy toiletpaper and not just use notebook paper, like someone I lived with back in the day. That guy didn't know how good he could have had it (the roommate).

Anonymous said...

Why is it if you are a quiet person, not bothering anyone just minding your own business people still go and do despicable things to you just because you are different????

selenakyle said...

The roomie and his GF need to go the way of that neighborhood mother who fake-Facebooked that poor girl to suicide.

Banish and ostracize them, if a manslaughter charge will not stick.

My word to them: Rot in the hell of your own making, ASSHOLES!

Nutty_Flavor said...

I don't think Enty went over the line. In the end, Clementi was responsible for his own life.

When I first read the story, I thought Clementi must have been deeply closeted and ashamed by this sudden outing, but the postings seem to have been written by a young man who knew he was gay and relatively comfortable with it.

Who knows why he killed himself? Whatever it was, it can't be the full responsibly of two other teenagers.

Which returns me to another (unpopular) position: this is why I think we need to stop covering up for celebrities who are gay, particularly when they're relatively open about it, like John Travolta.

If the roommate and his girlfriend knew that some of the people they respect most - athletes! pop stars! political figures! - are gay, then they might not have been so terribly disgusted that Clementi was.

Things that are shameful should be hidden - things like theft, infidelity, hatred. Things that are normal and natural should be open and shared - like sex and love.

Nutty_Flavor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

@selenakyle

I love your comments. They almost always make me laugh. Please tell me you shake your fist sometimes, for punctuation.

Ellen said...

I just noticed in the story that those two tried to do the same thing again the day before he died!!! I hope they get charged with a hate crime. Their names and pictures should be posted everywhere. I hate bullies! There is no way to rationalize their behavior. 5 years in prison is an insult! I wonder if they could be considered sex offenders?

kimmypie1 said...

KLM so sorry for your loss.

I have $20 that says the a-hole roommate is a bona-fide closet case as so many homophobes are.

sunnyside1213 said...

There are lots of gay groups and activities in NYC. Didn't he have any friends?

jax said...

people who succeed at suicide are rarely noticed as "suicidal" before.

Karmen said...

jax - I checked the messages from Gawkwer and it says cit2mo has been a member since July 2007.

Jamie's Girl said...

I think it was more harrassment from the school dorm population, rather than what the roommate did. He rallied them to look at it as perverted so the guy may have been harassed by quite a few people before his death.

selenakyle said...

Damn skippy, Sue Ellen M.!!!

Hell to the YEAH! *fist shaking*

selenakyle said...

But it would be super cool if this guy punked the living hell outta those jerks and is still alive and well somewhere in hiding giving them a gooddose of medicine.

But, sadly, probably not. So sad for him.

In all seriousness, I feel the guy's pain. While most people who know me think I have it all together nicely: great life, not too fat, handsome gracious husband, good career...but in reality I myself am a tick-tock, living-on-the-edge, checker-outer-wannabe myself sometimes.

It is a sickness born into me that I can't shake off sometimes. I just breathe deeply and say "this too shall pass" and get drunk as hell, get over it and on with life!

feraltart said...

I am so glad we have such caring people in the CDAN family. I love reading everyone's comments. Unfortunately bullying doesn't ever stop. School, work, gym, out in the streets. We need a groundswell movement so that bystanders, who let a person make nasty comments, even if they don't agree with them, are empowered to speak up and say 'STOP'. I am certain if people were told to stop when they started bullying, it would nip most of it in the bud.

Pookie said...

how devastating. :(

i hope the 2 douches get charged w/ far more. scumbags.

anarchi said...

To those that think it was long-term depression or being gay:

You may be wrong. Think about the people who lost everything by Madoff. They committed suicide without ever thinking about "needing to". Everything changed in an instant.

Maybe this guy was "quiet", etc. WTF cares. He was DRIVEN to what he did. His family- What do they do?

When there is ultimate humiliation, you can snap. I've been there. People are capable of doing such destructive things on the web. Imagine being haunted by a sex tape the rest of your lives, one that YOU didn't know was happening (unlike a Kardassian tape). Your immediate life is ruined.

Enty is right, and so are the others who wants these 3 pranksters (monsters, really) to pay the rest of their lives. Burn in hell, all those who think nothing of other people; such arrogance with absolutely no respect for anything.

working socialite said...

@Nutty_Flavor: do you know for certain those comments were posted by Clementi? And even if they were, it might not be a true indication of what he really felt. And no one has the right to out anyone EVER!!

@sunnyside1213: it's rarely ever that simple, straightforward or easy.

@Karmen: if you are putting up cameras to record your roommate having sex, would you have any scruples about obtaining and using their password?

@anarchi: thanks for putting it so well

Basil said...

I first heard about this story today, and have to admit I cried. Tyler may or may not have been suicidal before these 2 secretly recorded then broadcast to the world incidents, but he sure as hell was after. Judging from the posts he made, and the fact that he had been communicating with other gay people years before, doesn't been he was "out" at school. So what the room mate did was not only rude and unfeeling, it was a CRIME! People should come out on their own terms, and not have their private intimate sexual encounters shown to the world for others amusement or (as in the case here) disgust.

If these two assholes don't go to jail, I sincerely hope Tylers family sues them for every penny they have.

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

It's definitely his body--they ID'd him this afternoon; cause of death drowning and blunt-impact trauma (the usual cause for any kind of long/high fall). Poor kid...

RocketQueen said...

@anarchi - but that's the point. We DON'T know, and I don't see the purpose in speculating. I attended suicide recovery family groups and counseling for years after my father killed himself and have taken an interest in it ever since, and the fact is that rarely EVER do people "just snap". Although the suicide of a loved one may be surprising to people, digging into their lives after the fact often uncovers a lot of pain.

Regardless, I just don't think it matters. These monsters committed a crime, and they should pay.

Basil said...

Damn! I was really hoping this kid was just playing a major prank and was in hiding, even though I doubted it. I would really like to know what happened in the couple of hours between his last post on the site, and the time he decided to kill himself. I am guessing taunts in the dorm hallway became too much. So sad. And I thought the younger generation was more tolerant about gays.

I also hope that asshole roomate also gets charged with obstruction of justice as well as the other charges, since he deleted his twitter account when things got serious.

witwritergirl said...

It's a horrible story. I'm not sure either about the cause of the suicide, but those two losers need to pay for what they've done. It's just shameful.

MadLyb said...

The actions of his thoughtless roommate could have pushed him over the edge, so to speak. It's hard enough being gay in this godforsaken right wing hellhole of a country. And if I offended any conservatives reading this, I am not sorry. Anyone admitting to being conservative these days is a heartless, soulless piece of sh#t as far as I'm concerned. Enough!!!

Gays commit suicide because of the close minded, hate-filled, judgemental people out there, and let's face it, Republicans have told us exactly where they stand on this issue. Intolerance likely killed this young man, and that breaks my heart.

Mari said...

I'm oldish. (Well, 37, that's old to college age kids!)
So, seriously, any kids reading this, listen to me. Please.
You know when people say that bullies are the sad pathetic people, not you?
TRUTH.
You know when people say that when people say awful hateful things it reveals their character, not the character of the person they are making fun of?
TRUTH.
You know when people say suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem?
TRUTH.
There are millions ans millions of people in this world who have faced the worst things imaginable, and they thought it would be better to end it at times. If you hang on, please just hang on, you will see that you have won. I did.
Please talk to someone, there is someone who will help you, you might even have that tiny terrified idea of who you might like to talk to. Please, talk. Please.

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