Queer Student Suicide at Rutgers, The Perils of Thinking Things are ‘Fine’

From the New York Times comes an appalling story about the mangle that is being young and queer, privacy, and technology.  The focus on invasion of privacy and the technophobic response to ‘social networking’ obscures the homophobia, both institutional and cultural, at work:

Private Moment Made Public, Then a Fatal Jump

It started with a Twitter message on Sept. 19: “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.”

That night, the authorities say, the Rutgers University student who sent the message used a camera in his dormitory room to stream the roommate’s intimate encounter live on the Internet.

And three days later, the roommate who had been surreptitiously broadcast — Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman and an accomplished violinist — jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River in an apparent suicide.

Full text: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/nyregion/30suicide.html?_r=1

Follow-up article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/01/nyregion/01suicide.html?hpw

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