Another gay teenager committed suicide last week. Apparently, we don’t know details yet. Towleroad has the bare facts.
Jack Reese, seventeen years old, killed himself near Ogden, Utah, last week just as his eighteen-year-old boyfriend was about to take part in a panel discussion of the movie, Bully. Jack’s boyfriend didn’t know Jack had died until after the panel discussion was completed.
I don’t know what to say. Jack’s suicide drives me back to memories of my own high school life and to what it must have been like for Jack in Utah. I survived high school in South Carolina in the fifties, but I don’t think I was stronger than Jack or that my high school was less filled with hate. I think when you are there, tottering on the edge between life and death, it is only luck, mere luck, that makes you come down on one side or the other. Jack was unlucky in a whole string of ways. He was unfortunate.
One of the things I hate about our political climate right now is that one of our political parties seems to take it as a matter of high political purpose to deny the existence of misfortune in people’s lives. They deny that it even exists. And yet whole political populations in this country are born unfortunate, and without recognizing that, the rest of us can’t help them. We can’t even feel that they need us.
I hate Dan Savage’s “It gets better” campaign. It is a weak, inadquate response. We should be out in the street crying, “Until these suicides stop, until every child feels loved, every person respected, no other business will be conducted in this country.”