There are few things more despicable than individuals who, for personal gain or sport or merely their own edification, would make public the private lives of others. They take advantage of others for a laugh, or maybe a bet or for their own sense of self-righteousness, to show how much “better” than they are than others.
They don’t think about the human being whose private life they invade and exploit.
Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi “leaped to his death after his roommate allegedly secretly filmed him during a ‘sexual encounter’ with a man and posted it live on the Internet.” Why would this one young man want to make public the private life of his roommate? Did he think people would like him more if he streamed live footage of a young gay man’s private sexual activities on the web?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gets it
As the father of a 17-year-old…I can’t imagine what those parents are feeling today, I can’t. You send your son to school to get an education with great hopes and aspirations, and I can’t imagine what those parents are feeling today. . . . There might be some people who can take that type of treatment and deal with it, and there might be others, as this young man obviously was, who was much more greatly affected by it. . . . I have to tell you, I don’t know how those two folks are going to sleep at night, knowing that they contributed to driving that young man to that alternative.
These two probably just thought they were pulling a prank, but they didn’t consider consider the feelings of Clementi. He was so young and while ready to act out his feeling for men, not yet ready to have his sexuality made public. It takes time to deal with the public ramifications of our difference. Not just that, even when we are comfortable with our sexuality, our private life is just that, private life. Many of us, not just a 18-year-old just coming to terms with his difference, would be embarrassed if strangers, friends even, witnessed our sexual activity. It is the most private, the most personal of things.
Commenting on this story about the incident, Sonicfrog recalls his own struggles as he reads about this young man’s death:
This brings back some of the pains of my own struggles against myself. It wasn’t until I was out of college that I could say the words “I’m gay” out loud. Some of the comments posted below the story makes me want to puke. And you wonder why many young gay people still find it so gut-wrenchingly difficult to accept who they are and what they feel.
The students who posted the video did not mean to push this young man to take his own life. They probably didn’t even consider the consequences. They were entirely indifferent to his feelings. They have now been charged with invasion of privacy.
May their punishment be so severe so as to deter anyone else from pulling such a cruel prank.