On October 14th 2011, fifteen-year-old Jamie Hubley could no longer endure the continued bullying he experiencing on a daily basis at his high school and decided to end his pain. He committed suicide, leaving many to wonder how this could happen.
Jamie was one of those always happy, full of energy youth. No matter how he was feeling inside he always carried a smile on his face, loved everyone and tried to help them through their day. On the inside, however, he was being torn apart. He just couldn’t understand why people were so cruel.
It all started in elementary school when students took exception to his liking to sing, especially music from Lady Gaga, Adele, Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera, and to figure skate. He was actually exceptionally talented at both. His classmates were relentless, however, and in grade seven even tried to stuff batteries down his throat one day while on a school bus. Jamie always felt that being positive was the best defense and said nothing. When his parents Allan and Wendy found out, however, they acted quickly but the bullying didn’t stop.
Things continued at high school and in Grade Ten when Jamie came out as being openly gay, they just started to get worse. His parents transferred him from a Catholic school to a public one, hoping that he would be more accepted but very little changed. Being the only openly gay student there didn’t help. Jamie was still smiling on the outside but crying on the inside. He persevered, even trying to start a Rainbow Youth Forum at the school in an attempt to help others, but his posters were ripped off of the walls and he was continually being harassed.
By this time Jamie was receiving psychological help, but he had withdrawn into his shell and was getting to the point of self-harm. All he really wanted was to be accepted and loved. He desperately wanted to meet someone who would care about him a love him. At one point a friend agreed to go to the Pride parade with him. Jamie went out and bought a new outfit and dressed up special, hoping to impress and to meet a soul mate. Just before it was time to go, however, his friend backed out and his world once again fell apart. Finally it became too much and Jamie ended it. He never fought back or put others down, he just wanted to help them and have them help him. He wanted acceptance and to accept others.
Through all of this, Jamie kept a blog. No one knew it existed until after he was gone. It was painful to read but showed just how much society needs to change its acceptance of diversity.
Jamie’s death was the impetus for the Accepting Schools Act, 2012, an act of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, which mandated school boards across the province to develop tougher anti-bullying programs with tougher penalties for infractions, and offered legal protections for gay-straight alliances in the provinces schools.
After watching "Queer" Jamie's parents agreed to let us dedicate it to him. They felt that if he was still here, he would have wanted to help us share its message: that everyone deserves a place in society that is free from bullying and accepts them for who they are, no matter what their sexual preference.