A friend of Jamie Hubley’s says bullying at high school played a part in the teen’s decision to commit suicide, something he had talked about, and blogged about, doing before.
“There were a few times before when he was talking about committing suicide, I had talked him out of it, but I wasn’t there this time,” said Steph Wheeler, a close friend and classmate at A.Y. Jackson Secondary School.
A lot of people loved Hubley, but he was bullied because he was gay, said Wheeler.
On his blog, he wrote about being depressed, cutting himself, suicide and hating school. He also shared a photo collage that shows teens being bullied in one frame and killing themselves in the next.
Another side of him shone through in music. He published videos of his singing on YouTube and recently sang the national anthem at a city council meeting with his high school glee club.
“He was shy but outgoing at the same time. He had a really awkward way of speaking, but he made us laugh, and that’s exactly what he wanted. He seemed like the happiest person on the outside,” Wheeler said.
Hubley enthusiastically supported a charity called Jer’s Vision that works to stop bullying, homophobia, transphobia and discrimination, said Wheeler. Now she is raising money for Jer’s Vision in Hubley’s memory by selling rainbow bracelets with his name and the word “acceptance” on them.
“I hated high school,” said founder Jeremy Dias. “I would walk around the hallways and people would call me fag or push me around.”
Dias said most people don’t realize that what they think is a one small joke adds up to a “string of torture” for gay kids.
More information about Jer’s Vision is available at jersvision.org.
Wheeler said information about the rainbow bracelets will be posted on the Facebook page Rest In Peace Jamie Hubley.