wkbw_49278_Super7_658x90.png

Actions

CDC: LGBTQ teens face more violence than peers

Posted at 11:33 PM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 23:33:34-04

Jamey Rodemeyer should be starting his sophomore year in college. Instead, his parents are about to mark the fifth anniversary of his death

It was September of 2011 when Jamey committed suicide. He had just started his freshman year at Williamsville North High School. The parents of the bisexual 14 year old say he had been contemplating suicide for a year.

“He would come home and talk about the gay kids at school, but then again, he would feel like, I'm the only one,” said Tracy Rodemeyer, Jamey’s mother.

Now, in his memory, his parents are continuing their fight for the LGBTQ community. They say a recent study released by the CDC on the dangers of being a teen and LGBTQ is important.

That nationwide survey stated 1 in 4 gay, lesbian or bisexual teens attempt suicide, that's nearly quadruple the rate of heterosexual teens.

The study also says LGBTQ teens are more likely to be bullied.

The numbers are no surprise to the executive director of Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York.
  
“Honestly, I had to laugh. They acted like it was some big revelation,” said Marvin Henchbarger when she saw the study. She felt the conclusion of the study was already well known.

Henchbarger says it's good there are now nationwide numbers about the dangers these teens face, but feels more needs to be done on an individual basis to make everyone feel safe. 
 
“They're still getting a lot of the messages that it's not ok to be gay. What did the killings in Orlando say to them? That everybody loves gay people? No,” said Henchbarger.

Jamey Rodemeyer's parents hope people see these numbers and remember the story of their son and choose to be a part of the solution.

“The next step is to act on it and try to get it better for these kids,” said Tim Rodemeyer, Jamey’s father.

Also in the CDC survey, LGBTQ high school students are four times more likely to be raped. One in five in the study said they had been raped at one point in their lives.