National LGBT community reeling from 4th teen suicide in a month

Published: October 1, 2010

The U.S. LGBT community is reeling from a series of gay teen suicides that has inspired many community leaders to speak out on what is being called an epidemic of deaths inspired by harassment and bullying.

According to reports from several news outlets, Tyler Clementi, 18, leapt to his death Sept. 22 from the George Washington Bridge near his New Jersey college campus after classmates allegedly broadcast him in a same-sex encounter behind closed doors in his dorm room, and apparently invited others, via Twitter, to view it online. Regardless of his roommate’s alleged tweet, Clementi had apparently made no statement about his own sexual orientation.

Bruce Kaplan, prosecutor for Middlesex County, N.J., has filed charges against Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei for causing Clementi’s death. They’ve been charged under the state’s invasion-of-privacy laws and under the transmission and distribution of nudity and sexual contact laws, lesser charges. Ravi and Wei secretly set up a webcam in his dorm room and recorded him having sex with another male. Clementi did not know he was being filmed.

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