Harassment pushes gay teens to suicide

October 1, 2010 8:11:45 PM PDT
Lillian Rivera is a graduate of Rutgers and a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual-transexual community.

She did not know suicide victim Tyler Clementi, but Lillian knows what she would have said to him, after the harassment that apparently led him to suicide.

Rivera, a counselor, says she would have told him she loved him and did not care what he did behind closed doors.

The story is tragic, but unfortunately, familiar.

Dr. Jeffrey Fishberg is an executive with The Trevor Project and often works with troubled, gay teens who are threatening to kill themselves.

Fishberg says gay kids feel they have nowhere to turn, and are four times more likely to commit suicide.

Gay Rights Advocates in New Jersey say the students who are accused of posting an intimate video of the victim on the internet did far more than invade his privacy.

Steven Goldstein, of Garden State Equality, says it was a hate crime.

Lillian Rivera says she and other Rutgers alum have written to administrators there. They wanted administrators to know how badly the tragedy reflects on the University.

Experts agree that anyone who knows a teen who has faced harassment and has threatened suicide should take it seriously and get help for them.