“He kept telling me he had a rock on his chest” – The grandmother of 14 year old gay teen suicide Philip Parker from Tennessee who killed himself in January.
All that I can gather from various sources is that Philip was a bit of a gadgets freak who used to delight in having multiple phones, each for a different reason. He was also, of course, “a lovely little lad.” None of which helps mask the pain of knowing that his last words (“please help me,mom”) were found on a screwed up piece of paper in a bin in the room he hung himself in.
I found the quote above astounding as it hadn’t ever occurred to me that other people had the kind of lumps in their chest that I described previously in my last posting on this topic.
I’m not particularly keen on this blog becoming a kind of self reflecting entity, an endless diary entry about every visit to the supermarket to buy teabags for the cat etc. but one thing that has helped me out of this pit has been what I term catharsis dreams. That is, vivid dreams that normally act , not only as bedtime narratives, but leave you waking up feeling purged of negative feelings like grief and sadness.
For me, they usually take the form of dreams about violent thunderstorms, each flash and boom being some aspect of my inner life being cleansed and dealt with. As somebody of a placid external nature they form a useful outlet and I know that if I get worked up too much I will have one of these which will exorcise the tensions that my inability to get outwardly angry in person leaves me with.
The other night, however, I had one which involved a former chemistry teacher of mine being arrested and dragged around on a rope by the police as a massive crowd cheered and laughed at him. My god, did I feel better after that one.
It has enabled me to move on a little even to the point of putting a critical chiding series of comments on Rodemeyer’s “It Gets Better” video asking him whether he really felt it was really worth causing so much grief to his friends and family, whether he could see now what a f–cking stupid mistake he had made in depriving the world of somebody as intelligent, warm and witty as himself, of depriving the gay world of an articulate spokesperson, of depriving himself of the chance to fulfill his obvious potential and his dream of walking down the aisle with a lover on his arms, of depriving himself of the chance of standing tall and proud giving the chimps the finger etc. I asked whether he felt any regrets now and told him that although he had inspired things like the Pawsupforever project neither he nor we deserved to be put into a position which cannot be changed or repaired and that despite the candles being lit in his name, it would be far preferable to have him making more videos and campaigning again. A really good paternal dressing down I guess you could call it (though without the comforting hug and cuddle that would usually follow such things, of course).
I’ve also had a chat to a couple of people who knew him via Youtube and it seems he had many friends (mainly female and a few males thought “weird and odd” by the majority) at his last school, that he was only there for two weeks before he died and the shock was immense with people crying in the corridors. This was all news to me as I thought it was at that school that he had had all the trouble but, I’m told, that although he was called a “fag”, most of the serious stuff had happened at his previous school. Not that it makes things easier to accept of course. It still doesn’t explain how in the course of a week he could post to his blog a video showing himself confident and proud of who he was was and telling other people just starting school to keep their chins up and then the utterly heartbreaking one of him a week later showing how he had been cutting his arms and looking utterly broken and in despair. Something pretty bad must have happened between them as five days after posting that last video, he killed himself. Perhaps it was an online campaign? I hope the friends of his I have been talking to will fill out the gaps a little.
I noticed too that the video he made of “Born This Way” now features the cover made by Jamie “catchmeblondie” Hubley in the right hand video listings. I have drawn attention to that as well and gave some background into that equally devastating story and told the friends of Jamey to offer him and his friends their love and support too.
It is really pretty much all I CAN do, though I note with pride that the forces of religious bigotry making themselves felt on his videos are now being seen off by others like me. I have pretty much reclaimed a video of Bishop Gene Robinson from the hate brigade and will continue to do so for others of that ilk. My friend, Joanne, reckons I am hurling myself at a brick wall as such people will never change. That may be true but that is no reason for them (and their evil bigotry that brings about my having to write stuff like this about children who deserved better) to occupy and dominate the mainstream as they do. Once they have been sidelined things will “Get Better” all around.