GSA holds candlelight vigil to raise awareness of bullying

GSA President Isabella Bullard hosted the candlelight vigil for Tyler Clementi for the GSA Club at the Club Rush Wednesday. (Sarah Black)

Sarah Black

The Gay-Straight Alliance held a candlelight vigil for the deceased Tyler Clementi of Rutger’s University during Saddleback’s Club Rush Wednesday.

Clementi’s was the sixth suicide in the past three weeks related to bullying issues. The youngest was a 12-year-old boy who killed himself with a shotgun after being bullied at school.

After Clementi’s roommate posted a video of Clementi and another man participating in an act of intimacy, Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge, said Isabella Bullard, GSA president.

“A lot of people may have heard about [his suicide], and maybe a lot haven’t,” said Bullard. “We need to let [people] know this is happening, something needs to be done.”

The candlelight vigil was done to show people the issue of the difficulty of being gay, even in modern times, Bullard said.

Jynx Comer, 18, psychology/Spanish, a member of the GSA, said the vigil should help open some people’s eyes to the conflicts Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual and Queers (LGBTQ) deal with daily and to have people understand that, “gay people are okay.”

Madeleine Moir, 18, mechanical engineering, said many straight people are joining GSA as well.

“It’s a safe environment for those who aren’t sure of their sexuality. In high school, lots of kids are unsure about their sexuality. [GSA] is a safe place,” Moir said. “You could come to GSA and there would be a supportive community there.”

Carmenmara Hernandez-Bravo, the GSA’s advisor for 19 years, said that the club originally began with only six members. Today, it has more than 100 members.

“Saddleback is responding well [to GSA],” said Hernandez-Bravo.

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