Sexuality a matter of life or death

Gwendolyn Ducre

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He stepped out in to on-going

traffic.  He no longer could hear the hate-filled words. The bullying was over. But it only cost him his life for it to all end.

Ash Haffner, a 16-year-old transgendered boy from North Carolina, committed suicide Feb. 26 due to years of bullying.

Haffner is only one of many transgendered, or any persons in the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) community, who commit suicide due to bullying.

According to an article on Reuters.com, a recent study by authors Jeffrey Duong and Catherine Bradshaw discovered that out of the 951 students who took their survey, 44 percent of those students reported being bullied online and in school.

Those same 44 percent of students also reported having suicidal attempts.

Jesse Flunder, a senior secondary elementary major and a member of the LGBT community, says those who faced suicide, or facing suicide, just needs hope.

“Just give them something to grasp on. The future will get better. Just give them some glimpse of hope that will carry them through,” Flunder said.

Suicide became an option for Flunder a few times in his childhood.

“Growing up, sometimes I did feel alone. Although you have family and friends, I still was not as strong back then,” said Flunder. “I was putting too much weight on what people had to say verse what I thought about myself.”

Some schools have placed a no bullying tolerance to prevent suicides or any other criminal acts against a victim.

The university is one of many schools that do not tolerate bullying. The university defines bullying as, “repeated aggressive behavior to intimidate or hurt or control another person.”

Title IX rules are to report, use campus and community resources, look out for friends and fellow students and educate yourself.

Percy Ri’ chard, a public relations junior, says people need to respect everyone’s individuality. He says no one should be bullied because of it.

“As a member of this community of people of different backgrounds, it’s important for us all to love one another and accept each other,” Ri’chard said.

Ri’chard is close friends with a transgendered woman who gets attacked by men, solely by being a transgendered woman.

Ri’chard says she’s lucky to be able to escape her attacks.

Ri’chard and Flunder both said it’s important to stay true to one’s self. No one has ever argued that self-hatred was a good thing for any human being.

“Strong people don’t have to have the biggest muscles or heart. They just have to have the courage to push forward,” said Ri’chard. “That’s where true strength lies in the courage to live on.”