NYU students held a "You are Loved" Glowlight Vigil in Washington Square Park on Sunday night, October 3, at 9PM. In the wake of six recent suicides nationwide* provoked by anti-gay acts, the vigil was organized by the NYU chapter of a national fraternity created by gay men, Delta Lambda Phi and NYU's LGBTQA Office to honor 'all of those we have lost due to hatred and bigotry.'
The latest suicide was that of Tyler Clementi, an 18-year old Rutgers University freshman who jumped from the George Washington Bridge on September 22 after an intimate encounter with another man was streamed via hidden webcam to the Internet. Tyler's Facebook page on the day of his death said: “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry.” Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi and another classmate, Molly Wei, have been charged with invasion of privacy.
The glowlight vigil segued into the 2nd annual 'You-Are-Loved Chalk Messaging Project'
The You-Are-Loved Chalk Message Project is an annual, nationwide suicide-prevention awareness project that combats hateful rhetoric toward the LGBTQ community through the use of positive, uplifting chalk messages.
Words are powerful. Speak with love.
The legal issues, culpability and appropriate punishment in regards to this incident of anti-gay cyberbullying of Tyler Clementi are very troublesome - I recommend this article by John Schwartz of the New York Times. I will not recount the details of this event as there are better sources than this website for those interested. My condolences to all those affected by the tragedy and thanks to NYU students for the vigil.
* The six who have died from suicide as a result of anti-gay bullying are: Asher Brown(age 13), Seth Walsh(age 13), Justin Aaberg(age 15), Billy Lucas (age 15), Tyler Clementi (age 18) and Raymond Chase (age 19).