Tonight’s Four Corners dealt with the suicide of a beautiful young man.
On April 20, last year, at 5pm a 17-year-old boy checked into a hotel in central Sydney. He was carrying his older brother’s passport as ID. At 11pm, he walked to a nearby grocery store to buy food. It would be his last recorded outing. The next morning, shortly after 6am, the alarm was raised. The young man had jumped off the roof and was lying dead in the car park.
In Australia, on average, suicide happens five times a day – a statistic to most, but not to loved ones of those who die. Up in the hotel room, a handwritten note was found.
Watching, I was taken back to 1989 when I was close to such an event. At the time part of my grieving was to write a story about it, a story you may now read. It’s over there on the right under “fiction”. But it isn’t really fiction.
Make sure you read that Four Corners transcript as well, and visit my GLBT Support Page, because it was that experience with Rob that drove me as much as anything else to make sure that page went up, and fortunately my colleagues at The Mine agreed.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Do you think his sexuality was a major factor in what occurred?
PROFESSOR GRAHAM MARTIN, SUICIDE PREVENTION EXPERT: I do. There’s tremendous anxiety in that, tremendous pressure, tremendous ambivalence – “Should I tell? Should I not tell? What will be the implications? What will people say or think? Will they treat me differently? Will they love me any more?” – those kinds of things.
VOICEOVER: “I hurt from love too. Almost every day I see a boy, some fantastic-looking guy that makes my pulse quicken but also make me want to cry, and it makes me feel sad because they will never feel the same way about me, even if they were actually gay, and I cannot even tell them, not even hint about any of this to them. He will not so much as glance at me. There is nothing in the whole world that has caused me more hurt than this. Nothing.”
— from Four Corners.
Well done, ABC.