19-year-old Gay Student at Oakland University Commits Suicide – Another Life Lost To Homophobia, Bullying and Hate

Sadly, yet another gay suicide has occurred.

Corey Jackson, a 19-year-old student at Oakland University, in Rochester, Michigan, was found dead after hanging himself in a wooded area of campus on Tuesday

Via the Michigan Messenger

Corey’s suicide happened Tuesday night, as activists across the nation were preparing for a Facebook driven day of activism to counter a wave of suicides of young gay people across the country that have been tied to bullying. Wednesday was dubbed Spirit Day by the Facebook plans, and was designed to draw attention to the suicides by encouraging people to wear purple.

Police say there is no indication bullying was a factor in Jackson’s suicide.  

While bullying may not be a factor, Melissa Pope, director of the university’s Gender and Sexuality Center said the issue points to larger, hidden epidemic of suicides among LGBT youth: “We must look beyond the term ‘bullying’ to the overall treatment of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community to begin to grasp the long-standing epidemic of suicide among our LGBT youth.While the national press has picked up this issue over the last two months, we have been losing high numbers of LGBT youth to suicide for decades.”.

The Police may be saying that they don;t believe bulling was a factor. But Corey Jackson’s family thinks otherwise.

Jackson’s family said he recently revealed to them that he was a homosexual, and that they believe he was bullied over his sexual orientation. They think the bullying led him to commit suicide.

“I believe (it happened) because he recently realized he was a homosexual and he was getting pressured at school by his peers because he told his family and nothing changed here,” said grandmother Carolyn Evans. “Corey was the most loving, giving, funny person. He had the most wonderful personality. He had cousins from ages 14 down to 2 and he never said a bad word about anybody. When he went to school and he realized his sexual preference had changed, he changed completely. He withdrew.”

Evans said her grandson had always been outgoing and loving before suddenly becoming self-conscious about himself.

Jackson’s Aunt, Kim Jones, said Corey revealed to her he was having a difficult time.”He said ‘I don’t know what’s wrong. Ever since I came out people are treating me different. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where I belong,”

This attention to the problem by the media over the last several weeks has revealed something quite obvious That it is this rancid rhetoric that comes from religious organizations, this faith-based conviction that there is something shameful wrong and immoral with homosexuality and the constant expression on TV, radio and print primarily by pious faith-heads that is causing young people to take their lives.

Maggie Gallagher, Tony Perkins and all the rest of them are guilty of murder and have blood on their hands and this is a point that we need to keep pushing and saying over and over again until people finally accept it for the truth that it is.


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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