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Campus Pride: Openly gay Johnson & Wales student Raymond Chase commits suicide

News release from Campus Pride:

Campus Pride Demands National Action to address LGBT Youth Bullying, Harassment & Suicide

In the wake of two college suicides Tyler Clementi of Rutgers University & Raymond Chase of Johnson & Wales, Campus Pride reissues findings and recommendations from the "2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People" released last week at a U.S. congressional briefing on Capitol Hill

campus pride(Providence, RI) Campus Pride, the nation’s leading non-profit organization working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and ally college and university students, offers its condolences and support to the family of Raymond Chase who reportedly hung himself in his residence hall room this past Wednesday, September 29, 2010 on the campus of Johnson & Wales in Providence, RI.  

“The loss of Raymond this week is the second college LGBT-related suicide in a week and the fifth teenage LGBT suicide in three weeks. The suicide of this openly gay young man is for reasons currently unknown; however, the recent pattern of LGBT youth suicides is cause for grave concern,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director and founder of Campus Pride. “Campus Pride demands national action be taken to address youth bullying, harassment and the need for safety and inclusion for LGBT youth at colleges and universities across the country. We must not let these tragic deaths go unnoticed.  Together we must act decisively to curb anti-LGBT bias incidents, harassment and acts of violence.”

Through its Q Research Institute for Higher Education, Campus Pride released last week its "2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People." The in-depth research study is the most comprehensive national LGBT higher education study of its kind. Campus Pride surveyed more than 5,000 LGBT students, faculty and staff for the report. Findings demonstrate that these recent suicides and incidents of harassment are neither rare nor fleeting-- they are REAL.

Among the findings in the report:

-One quarter (23%) of LGBQ staff, faculty, and students reported experiencing harassment (defined as any conduct that has interfered with your ability to work or learn). Almost all identified sexual identity as the basis of the harassment (83%). An even greater percentage of transgender students, faculty, & staff reported experiencing harassment (39%) with 87% identifying their gender identity/expression as the basis for the harassment. The form of the harassment experiences by transgender people was more overt and blatant.

-One-third of LGBQ (33%) and transgender (38%) students, faculty, and staff have seriously considered leaving their institution due to the challenging climate.

-More than half of all faculty, students, & staff hide their sexual identity (43%) or gender identity (63%) to avoid intimidation.

-More than a third of all transgender students, faculty, & staff(43%) and13% of LGBQ respondents feared for their physical safety.This finding was more salient for LGBQ students and for LGBQ and/or Transgender People of Color.

For more information about Campus Pride's "2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People" report, visit www.campuspride.org/research.

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"The suicide of this openly gay young man is for reasons currently unknown; however, the recent pattern of LGBT youth suicides is cause for grave concern,”

I think the response here is pretty selfish and self-serving. The reasons right now are unknown and may not be associated with the young man's sexual orientation.

The point I'm making here is that teen suicide rate is very high in general and isn't limited to just the gay community. When you begin to focus on specific groups - YOU become part of the problem because YOU are essentially saying that nobody else matters.

Some stats here: http://www.suicide.org/suicide-statistics.html

If you can't care enough to write about suicide rates in general among all groups (including the elderly), about an often callous society (behavior that is reinforced from a very young age) - then the hypocrisy of your words are lost on no one. I mean, you either care about people or you don't.

"Some stats here"

Those state break down suicides in a lot of way which apparently do matter: age, race, sex.

Notice what's missing?

"I mean, you either care about people or you don't"

sounds like you don't care about the gay ones to me, buddy.

@BobN - That was just the first link I pulled up. I didn't have a hidden agenda. I'm certain that there are other stats that *include* suicides within the LGBT community which you are free to make available in the comments. My understanding is that the percentage ratios are pretty high even if the total numbers are low in comparison to the general breakdowns most stats provide.

The only point I'm making is that my heart goes out to all those who reach this point in their lives. It must be a terribly lonely place to be.

Honestly, I bet tons of STRAIGHT students would answer those surveys the same way. Feeling alienated and insecure is pretty common among young adults, regardless of orientation. I don't think the answer is pointing fingers at some imaginary persecutors when this is a more universal problem.

"imaginary persecutors"

They're not imaginary, Rowan. Try walking a day in their shoes before you next spout off about something that you have zero experience with ...

When I was in University as an organizer with the campus Queer club we received death threats on our phone mail after we put up posters for an event we were holding.

All sorts of kids are bullied and we need to reach out to and protect all of them but that doesn't erase the fact that LGBT kids are bullied, addicted, and suicidal at an alarmingly higher rate.

If you truly want to see the suicide rate drop then we need to openly address the realities of kids facing daily harassment, and sometimes outright violence, simply for being who they are.

It should be no surprise of the high suicide rate among LGBT kids with all the hate coming out of churches across the country. Just look at the hate coming out of New Birth church in Atlanta lead by Bishop Eddie Long sexually moslesting 16 year old boys.

I can hear a thousand voices calling out "If those kids had just had the Word of God shoved down their throats then they would have known the hell they were sending themselves to. Let them burn - it's what perverts deserve." We've been hearing that since the Bible was canonised as a book. This world is never going to care, it's all useless as long as the institutions rule the world which they always will if 2000 years of Christianised history is anything to go by. Sometimes suicide is an answer. Overall things are getting worse, not better.

If you are thinking of killing yourself. Please seek help from a caring professional. While there is suffering and pain in this world and in your life there is hope. We need you. There are other answers than suicide. Reach out to a safe person and ask for help. One suicide is a treasure lost to this world. Your life matters to us. Call 1-800-273-TALK if you are thinking of killing yourself. Take Care,

before i start let me say i am not homophobic but i do not think that the homosexual lifestyle is the right one. I would like to say how nobody was bringing this up as an issue until all these suicides began. Teachers were told by most of the kids parents that bullying was an issue. Shame on them. Now there are celebrity support for this issue. my problem however is the fact that these people find suicide as a way out. Suicide is for the weak i dont care what everyone is going to say to me but the only reasons these people are killing themselves is to GET ATTENTION! im gunna get ripped but i dont care. The reason you have all of these gay suicides is because two or three people did it and then they thought if they did it people would feel sorry for them and care about this issue. Fact is people did care, but they were to afraid to do anything about it. Gay people stop killing yourselves and people bullying them go to hell. It says in the bible that homosexuality is a sin but it also says to LOVE everybody. Throughout history all there has been is hate from War, Slavery, and now to Gays. Just learn to love.

@Xiggy: To say that these teenagers all killed themselves because they wanted attention... what the hell, what makes you think that? What makes that reason any more likely than "harassment and feeling unsafe"?

And understand that being told that their sexual orientation is "sinful" is a major aspect of the hostility directed at gay youths (polysexual and pansexual youths, too). And that sounds like a pretty homophobic attitude to me, and it certainly supports hetero privilege.

people who r part of the LGBT community are people 2. no1 deserves 2 b hated. every1 thinks that these "gay" jokes r just jokes. they aren't jokes when lives r taken. Every1 deserves 2 live. Love doesn't have 2 be a man and a woman. it can be a man and a man in love or a woman and a woman in love. its love not a stero-type. I stongly support LGBT students and people. I am part of the LGBT community and i dont care who knows im happy and safe and all the other people should feel safe and happy too...

kevin, I agree. All these churches are just horrible. I'd ban them if I could

I do understand why people have to be so mean to other people. Love is love. So called, Christians-God said to "Love one another, as thy self". He did not say to pick and choose who you love. Love is love. People are born with genetic anomolies and this world tries to change them into male or female. It is time to accept that there is more in this world besides male and female-There is a third sex which is neither male or female. It is transgender and surgeons should leave them alone until they are old enough to decide what change if any they want to make. It would save so many teenagers from sexual identity crisis.

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