Ottawa teen takes his own life: depression and bullying to blame
“I’m not really anything special, just depressed, I wish I could be happy, I try, I try, I try…I just want to feel special to someone. Im gay?! …I Fall way to hard when It comes to love,” wrote Ottawa teen Jamie Hubley on his blog. The teen committed suicide on Friday, pointing to depression and bullying as causes.
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The son of Kanata South Councillor Allan Hubley, Jamie Hubley wrote openly about his struggles with depression and the challenges of being an openly gay teenager on his tumblr blog “Catch Me Blondy” in the months leading up to his suicide on Friday, in Ottawa.
“I hit rock fucking bottom, fell through a crack, now im stuck,” the teen wrote on his blog, eerily tagged “suicide note” and “bye.” Hubley had been known for his love of music, the TV show Glee, and for posting Youtube videos where he sang his favorite pop songs, like a cover of “Talking to the Moon” by Bruno Mars:
“I dont want to wait 3 more years, this hurts too much. How do you even know It will get better? Its not,” he posted late last week, in addition to an image with the text “Never underestimate how far someone will go to end the pain.” In his farewell post, he asked his family and friends to remember him “as a unicorn… I’ll fly away,” a reference to his favorite character in Glee.
According to his blog and other sources, Hubley was the only out gay student at Kanata’s A.Y. Jackson Secondary school. Hubley wrote and spoke to friends about being called a “fag” and about the pain of not finding a boyfriend or feeling accepted.
Steph Wheeler, his 16 year-old friend and former figure skating partner, told the Ottawa Citizen that Hubley’s troubled emotions were a combination of loneliness and depression: “From the outside, he looked like the happiest kid. He was always smiling and giving everybody hugs in the halls,” said Wheeler. “From the outside, he looked like the happiest kid. He was always smiling and giving everybody hugs in the halls,” she said. “I think he wanted someone to love him for who he was,” Wheeler told the Citizen.
Wheeler has ordered 1,000 silicone bracelets in Jamie’s honour, which she plans to sell as a fundraiser for Jer’s Vision, an Ottawa-based charity that works to combat bullying and discrimination for youth nationwide. According to one source, A.Y. Jackson Secondary School failed to bring in sensitivity workshops with students there, claiming that there wasn’t a homophobia or bullying problem at the school.
Just last month, New York state teen Jamey Rodemeyer took his own life due to homophobic bullying, in spite of having once made his own “It Gets Better” video for Youtube. The scourge of bullying in high schools, whether it is racist, homophobic, or aimed as youth due to body image or other kinds of difference, has been covered extensively in the media this year, from CNN’s Anderson 360, to DIY videos. The fact remains that LGBT youth in North America are 3 times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual (or presumed heterosexual) counterparts.
For more information on Jer’s Vision’s anti-bullying, anti-discrimination and suicide prevention programmes, check out www.jersvision.org