In a video for the It Gets Better campaign posted on May 4, Jamey Rodemeyer names Lady Gaga as a source of support in looking past anti-gay bullying directed toward him. "She makes me so happy and she let's me know that I was born this way," he said about Gaga. In a tragic turn, he committed suicide on September 18 at the age of 14, just days before the one year anniversary of when Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi took his life.
At the this year's 2011 Video Music Awards, Lady Gaga's LGBT-friendly power anthem "Born This Way"--which Jamey refers to in his video--was awarded the inaugural Moonman for Best Video With A Message. Yesterday afternoon, she responded to Jamey's passing on Twitter tweeting, "Jamey Rodemeyer, 14 yrs old, took his life because of bullying... Bullying must become be illegal. It is a hate crime." In a separate tweet, she called for a meeting with Obama to discuss laws making bullying a hate crime.
Gaga, as well as fellow nominees Rise Against ("Make It Stop"), Katy Perry ("Firework") and P!nk ("F***** Perfect"), had previously created their own videos for the It Gets Better and Love is Louder campaigns in response to a string of September 2010 suicides involving young gay teens who were bullied over their sexuality.
There were many lessons learned from last September, and if there's something Jamey's passing has taught us is that we've got a ways to go. Lady Gaga can instill hope and Rise Against can encourage to make it stop, but it takes all of us to make a long-lasting difference--whether or not we are a bully or a victim of bullying. Initiatives and organizations like A Thin Line, The Trevor Project, and others aim to offer resources to stop the bullying and/or find help if you're a victim. Speak up, draw your line, or get help by taking action below:
Make it stop:
+ Find help now. If you're having thoughts of suicide or any type of self-harm, help is just a phone call away. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, visit Half Of Us for more information.
+ Draw your line. Draw Your Line is a place where MTV is spotlighting the ways in which you and your friends are taking action to stop digital abuse like cyberbullying. Visit A Thin Line to draw your line.
+ Lend an ear. Find out how you can help someone in crisis using three words, "Talk to me." Visit The Trevor Project to take the pledge.
+ Love is louder. Overcome the voices that are bringing us down and support others feeling mistreated, misunderstood or alone. Upload your pictures and share your messages at Love is Louder.
For more ways to help make it stop, take action below.