The Real Story Behind Tyler Clementi's Tragic Death

Friday, February 03, 2012

In September 2010, Tyler Clementi's name became synonymous with bullying, suicide, and the "It Gets Better" project. But while many sensational headlines made it seem as though Clementi was unwillingly outed via a sex tape made available on the internet, the real story is significantly different and far more complicated. New accounts of the case published this week in the New Yorker and OUT magazine — the latter of which was written by Clementi's older brother — reveal the role race, class, and personality had to do with this devastating story.

James Clementi is Tyler Clenenti’s older brother. James shares memories of his brother, and clarifies the real story behind the headlines. 


James Clementi

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [4]

dylan terreri, i from nashville

so, a gay "man" at rutgers was recorded by a hidden camera as he was kissing another masculivoid while alone in a dorm room. it gets onto the internet and he kills himself because - because why? because he was ashamed of being a masculivoid? because he was ashamed that his own masculine presence left him feeling a need for another man in his life? the activists who sentenced his roommate to prison for hiding the camera are making the dead masculine insufficiency out to be a victim to feel pity for - this is not right because the same activists made it a crime for any masculivoid to go to a therapist for help to overcome an emotional desire for masculinity.

in other words, maybe it is the fault of gay activists that this rutgers masculivoid is dead. apparently, the dead homosexual didn't think it was "okay to be gay," maybe he wanted a therapist to help him internalize masculine gender-identity while his inability to find one kept him looking at men like a kid looks through the windows of a candy store. if someone doesn't think it's "okay to be gay" and he eventually kills himself because no therapist will help him to grow up and grow out of his outside-looking-in type of gender-disorientation...his death is the fault of the activists who predominately banished the therapy that helps one become well-oriented and in-touch with one's own gender. i'm actually surprised that gay activists didn't think it was anti-gay for nate, mike, shawn and wan to call themselves "boyz ii men," simply because of the self-realization (penis-realization) implied in a boy reaching manhood.

the rutgers masculivoid obviously had a problem with his own curiosity of the masculine gender. maybe feeling incomplete without another man in his life made him feel that he wasn't man enough, maybe he wanted people to think that he loved and respected himself as a man - maybe he jumped from the bridge because gay activists were forcing him to live a life that he didn't want and that he didn't agree with.

gay activists may be to blame for the dead homosexual. all people are not like chastity bono, some people actually take themselves and their genders seriously enough to overcome gender-issues by changing their minds through therapy rather than by changing their genders through surgery. the person who killed the gay "man" at rutgers is also dead and nobody can send him to prison. sending the roommate to prison for playing a college prank on a self-piteous, insecure and unstable drama-queen is just wrong...but what a curtain-call that drama-queen gave.

wasn't it mrs. clinton who said "I can't be responsible for every undercapitalized entrepreneur in America," as a response to charges that her plan would bankrupt businesses and cut employment?

every person can't be responsible for the actions of every unstable drama-queen.

dylan terreri, i
"When I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm thirsty, I drink. When I feel like saying something, I say it." - Madonna

Jul. 16 2012 11:40 PM
Di from Chatham NJ

I urge everyone interested in this case to read the February 6 NEW YORKER piece which appears to be a careful and even-handed account of the facts.

Feb. 22 2012 06:21 PM
Richard P. Grella from Pompano Beach, Fl

I am a seventy three year old gay man who has been with the same partner for fifty years. We met and came out in the U.S. Army in the early sixties. I feel very fortunate that we never experienced rejection or the mean spirited treatment that Tyler suffered. When once asked what was the secret to our successful relationship and our ability to live our lives as productive members of a potentially hostile society? I had no answer. Perhaps dumb luck or just living your life openly and projecting self respect and love of all your brothers and sister regardless of sexual orientation. I don't believe that the majority of society is out to judge us or reject us. My heart breaks for Tyler.

Feb. 03 2012 11:01 AM
Aaron from Jersey City

I am a 42 year-old gay man who grew up in the midwest but has been in New York City for 17 years, out since the age of 18.

I thought of Tyler Clementi just the night before last, when I was approached on a popular gay dating website online by a 25 year-old gay man. My profile is clearly focused on looking for a long-term relationship--NOT a hook-up--but after a few Instant Messages back and forth with this guy, when I asked if he might be up for meeting for coffee, he replied that I was too old for him to seriously consider dating. Sadly, this is just the tip of the ice berg in the level of rudeness and immaturity i've encountered on gay dating sites, from men of every age, be they 25 or 55.

In the heat of the moment, I relayed to close friends that "the wrong queers are throwing themselves off of bridges, and I keep meeting the ones that actually deserve a helpful push." Dan Savage may have the right intention of trying to convince young (and often isolated) gay teenagers that "it gets better" once they come out, and I feel the acceptance of the mainstream society HAS improved over the years.

But the attitudes and disregard you discover once you're out in the so-called gay "community" can be far worse than any discrimination you might encounter from your heterosexual peers. Gay men need to show more unconditional positive regard for each other, and to nurture the diversity amongst ourselves. Instead, gay men can be the most ageist, racist and materialist snobs on the planet, and are as prone as anyone else to exploit the anonymity of the internet to be cruel and obnoxious. I'm not a wounded, helpless teenager who is going to take my life at this insult--instead I advised him, in the words of Blossom Dearie "If you don't like my peaches, why do you shake my tree? Get out of my orchard baby, and let my peaches be," saying that being 25 doesn't give him an excuse to be a prick tease and a douche bag.

But for the self-righteous gay activists who always point the finger at mainstream society--let's take a look in the mirror first and see what we, as gay men, can do within our community to foster better behavior online amongst ourselves, and realize we can be our own worst tormentors.


Feb. 03 2012 08:32 AM

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