Please note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Liberal America.
Recently the heartbreaking story of the suicide of Tyrone Unsworth has emotionally affected many. Tyrone was a 13-year-old boy of Brisbane, Australia, and had been constantly bullied for being gay from the age of 10.
His mother, Amanda Unsworth, told News Corp.:
“He was a really feminine male, he loved fashion, he loved make-up and the boys always picked on him, calling him gay-boy, faggot, fairy; it was a constant thing from Year 5,”
To add to the tragedy, Tyrone’s mother also wrote the following on social media:
“I know you’re pain-free now son and they can’t pick on you anymore, but this shouldn’t have had to happen,”
Sadly, only a month before, Tyrone had been attacked with a fence paling, and as a result, required surgery. The sad loss of life has left so many wondering how the suicide could have been prevented.
My Two Cents
This should not have happened. Blame will not bring Tyrone back to life. All we can do is reflect and decide as a society; is this the kind of tragedy we want to keep seeing?
Children are precious. They need love and support.
What creates a bully? What makes a child think they can hurt another child because they are different?
I really don’t want to point fingers here.
Some are blaming the school, the perpetrators of the violent bullying, those who stood silently by and watched, the family of the bully, society in general.
Assigning blame will not bring Tyrone back, but perhaps through reflecting on this horrible event, we can change hearts and minds, we can hopefully stop it happening to other children like Tyrone.
In many cases, people who are extremely anti-gay tend to be repressed homosexuals themselves. If homosexuality was not demonized, and not treated as some sort of defect, maybe these people would not feel the need to repress it, creating such anger.
How Far Have Things Come In A Lifetime?
President Barack Obama has made sure that gay people are given equal standing in the eyes of the law by passing gay marriage laws. This was actually a huge step considering that it is only within the past 20 years that certain sexual acts have been decriminalized in the U.S.
In Australia, gay marriage is yet to be made legal, despite the overwhelming majority of people there, supporting the idea.
The law is one thing, and cultural acceptance is another. Despite the huge popularity of shows like Modern Family and Ellen, homophobia and bullying is still prevalent in the playground.
Children must be taught to protect the vulnerable. This needs to be reinforced by EVERYONE; parents, politicians, teachers, all adults in their lives! We have to make standing up for the bullied, the right and ‘cool’ thing to do.
Look Back At Your Own Childhood.
Were you bullied? Did you bully? Did you laugh at bullying? The cycle must be stopped. I know there is a line here, all children tease one another and perhaps some of it is harmless, but ultimately, bullying cost Tyrone Unsworth his life.
For those of us who remember when homosexuality was illegal, we might think we have come a long way with this issue.
However, when a 13-year-old boy in modern Australia chooses commit suicide – to die, rather than go on – have we really come as far as we thought we did?
Tyrone could not take the torture of being violently and verbally bullied anymore. He was bullied for being who he was, and it shows us how far we still have to go culturally.
The school claims that no one was told of the alleged abuse this boy suffered, and the investigation is ongoing.
Watch this video for more information about Tyrone, and the bullying that lead to his death:
Watch Obama’s groundbreaking speech on marriage equality
Featured Image: Screenshot Via YouTube Video.