Tyler Clementi takes his own life after fellow students broadcast his private sexual encounters on the net.

Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University freshman jumped from the George Washington Bridge in New York City last week, ending his own life after his fellow students videotaped a sexual encounter between the 18 year old student and another man.

The tragedy has gay activists and students up in arms.  Although we live in more enlightened times many young gay people still struggle with coming to terms with their sexuality.

Dr. Jennifer Hartstein, an Early Show contributor and child and adolescent psychologist commented:

“He’s already more worried about how he will fit in and where he fits in and struggling with that, we can assume, as that happens in a lot of gay teenagers. We then have to figure out – here it is, he’s struggling with that already, and then his roommate takes advantage of that and preys on the weakness that is this uncertainty and this fear,” she said.  “And now, everybody knows, and he now has to answer to all of that, and doesn’t necessarily know how. And, sadly, the only option becomes suicide, because they don’t think they can do kind of enough damage control or deal with it enough.”

The Clementi family said they are “heartbroken beyond words” in a statement.

Police believe his roommate Dharun Ravi, and another classmate, Molly Wei, used Skype to stream Clementi’s sexual affairs to the web and then boast about it.

“Roommate asked for the room till midnight,” Ravi, 18, tweeted on Sept. 19. “I went into Molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”

It is unclear how many people actually saw the video, but it’s clear that it was too much for the shy teen to handle and it would not have been difficult for any person with an ounce of common sense to understand that this was a private thing between two people and no-one else was ever or should ever have been privy to it.

Although some of Ravi and Wei’s friends believe that the pair did not act maliciously – that instead, it was more of a practical joke gone wrong, according to The New York Post it should be obvious that a private sexual encounter is not practical joke material.

Dr. Herschopf says. “These kids knew he would be humiliated by this – they may not have known to what extent.   But to disseminate publicly something you know will humiliate someone is nothing short of sadistic.”

There is a Facebook page dedicated to Clementi’s memory.

Ravi and Wei were charged with two counts each of invasion of privacy. If convicted, they could each face up to five years in jail.

Now we have to look at this and see what can be done to stop it from happening again.  Bullying needs to be stomped on in any guise.

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