Jamey Rodemeyer's suicide should serve
as a reminder to end anti-gay bullying, UK rugby star Ben Cohen said.
Rodemeyer is the 14-year-old junior
high school student who committed suicide after being bullied for
coming out gay. The teen, who had just started his freshman year at
Williamsville North High School outside Buffalo, New York, was found
dead outside his home on September 18. More than 500 people showed
up to pay their respects to Rodemeyer at his funeral held on
In a YouTube video posted in May,
Rodemeyer said Lady Gaga had inspired him. “Lady Gaga, she makes
me so happy, and she lets me know that I was born this way. And
that's my advice to you from her. People are born this way. All you
have to do is hold your head up and you'll go far,” he said in the
clip. “Just love yourself and you're set … It gets better.”
Cohen retired from rugby earlier this
year and has started speaking out against homophobia in sports.
“Having read the news this week about
the death of 14-year-old Jamey, I felt saddened and shocked that
someone so young could feel so alone and isolated that they took
their own life,” Cohen said on his blog.
“One of the main reasons that I felt
compelled to start StandUp
has been to be a voice against the senseless bullying of people who
are perceived to be different.”
“Jamey is another example of why it
is time for us all to stand up against bullying and the consequences
that it can bring.”
“Bullying must not be tolerated at
any level,” he added.
Singers Ricky Martin and Lady Gaga have
also drawn attention to Rodemeyer's death.
tweeted to his nearly 4 million followers, “This needs to stop
now,” while Lady
Gaga paid tribute to the teen during a Saturday performance in Las
“Bullying is for losers,” she told