An Open Letter to Jamey Rodemeyer

Dear Jamey:

I heard about your story shortly after you ended your life but have only recently become acquainted with you, far too late. I’m so sorry for that. I wish I could have been there for you and supported you when you were still able yourself to make your message and mission heard, as opposed to hearing it carried on through those who loved you dearly.

I’m 25 years old. I’m a straight female. And let me be the first to say, I have, as of today, become INCREDIBLY and adamantly inspired by both your story, and by you. You were an incredibly, incredibly brave person. I don’t care that you were 14; you have touched me and have rekindled my own connections with bullying – both as a witness and as a victim of bullying myself, and I want to help make a difference because of and for you, as much as for the bullied 13 year old version of myself.

You described in your video blogs how you stood right up to those in your class that didn’t believe in gay marriage; and you, for someone so young, appeared so confident and knowledgeable about your beliefs, who you were, and how you felt and thought about everything. You don’t know how much of a tragedy it really is to lose someone like that. Kids like you are the people who go on to change the world. So thank God for you, Jamey. Thank God you had the amazing gusto to post your thoughts and experiences online and let them be known to others so even in your absence, your message can continue to spread, right from you.

Jamey, I can’t tell you how much I wish things were different for you. You said it yourself: it gets better. It does. You knew that, I know that, and anyone else who is an adult survivor of high school torment and is safe now in their grown up life can relate to that message. I’m not sure what it was for you that sparked your loss of faith in your own words and beliefs. If I was there, if I knew you, I would have done anything in my power to protect you and stop it. Seeing your videos on YouTube broke my heart. You were (are) a remarkable young person. If it took for your passing for people to realize that in full, that’s unimaginably horrible, but I want you to know it wasn’t in vain. I will forever think of you and intervene and listen to young people who speak to their own experiences. I didn’t know you at all, but if I did I would have told you this to your face: you are beautiful. You are smart. You are loveable and funny and passionate and really – AMAZING. I was bullied when I was your age and I never would have had the guts to speak out to my bullies. I suffered in silence because it was easy. And that’s not how you chose to live your life. I know for a fact that if given the opportunity, you could have changed everything.

I hope you saw Lady Gaga’s tribute to you; you would have loved it. I hope the publicity generated by your passing has the impact you didn’t quite have the chance to have before.

Love always,

Miya

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