“You are loved”—this is the message that students will be chalking all over campus today as part of a national campaign to prevent suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
This is the first year that the campaign is taking place at Penn. The timing is uncanny, according to college freshman Noah Levine, an organizer of the campaign, as it follows a string of five suicides among LGBT youth that took place in the last three weeks.
“It’s very, very shocking,” he said, referring to the death of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University freshman who committed suicide on Sept. 22 after his roommate secretly filmed his sexual encounter and streamed it live on the internet.
“It happened right nearby to someone our age, going through much of the same things—going to a new school, coming to terms with being himself in a new environment,” Levine said.
Three of the five recent suicides involved individuals of high-school age and younger, according to the Consortium of Higher Education. One included a students at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I..
Suicide rates among LGBT individuals have always been high. According to The New York Times, teenagers that identify as LGBT are four times more likely to consider suicide than their straight counterparts.
Read the rest of this article at The Daily Pennsylvanian.