Posted by: Catherine Lugg | September 29, 2010

A Rutgers First Year Student Commits Suicide

On September 19, 2010, Rutgers University first year student Tyler Clementi was live broadcasted by his roommate having a sex with a man. On September 21, his roommate again livebroadcasted Tyler having sex with a man.

Not only did his roommate, Dharun Ravi, broadcast Tyler’s encounters, since Tyler had asked for privacy beforehand, Ravi “Tweeted” the upcoming broadcast each time.

From NJ.com:

“Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay,” Ravi said on his Twitter page in a Sept. 19 entry posted at 6:17 p.m.

According to several news accounts, on September 23, 22 2010, around 8:50 PM, Tyler Clementi parked his car, deposited his wallet and computer on the ground, and then jumped off the George Washington Bridge. He was 18 years old. His body has yet to be found.

I am saddened beyond belief. While I’ll write more about this later, my first response is this crime is closer to sexual assault than invasion of privacy (what Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei have been charged with by the Rutgers police). Clearly, they saw his queer life as a topic for derision and mockery. Just because they didn’t use baseball bats, doesn’t mean that Ravi and Wei did NOT pummel Clementi. By their homophobic and adolescent behavior, they battered his soul. And now, Tyler Clementi, a gay young man and gifted musician, is dead.

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Responses

  1. It looks like the authorities found his body. See: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20100929/NEWS/100929033/UPDATE-Body-found-in-Hudson-may-be-RU-student-alleged-victim-of-online-sex-broadcast

  2. […] suicides of queer youth fail so utterly is because schools, colleges and universities (including Rutgers, alas) want to respond to “bullying” in general, in a rather abstract fashion instead the […]

  3. […] Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge after discovering Ravi had web-broadcasted Clementi’s sexual encounter with another man in his dorm room. According to the Newark Star Ledger: The defendant, Dharun Ravi, 19, of Plainsboro, faces two […]

  4. […] been watching these events ever since the news broke of Tyler Clementi’s suicide. It has been excruciating experience for me as an educator, queer scholar, and Rutgers faculty […]


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