Glee Plans Episode Responding to Gay Teen’s Suicide
Glee will respond to the suicide of gay college student Tyler Clementi with an episode focused on the day-to-day fear and isolation many gay teens face, E! Online reports.
Clementi, an 18-year-old Rutgers University student, jumped off the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey three days after he was secretly filmed in a sexual encounter with another man, which was then broadcast online. His death followed three other recent suicides by teens who had reportedly suffered anti-gay bullying and abuse: California's Seth Walsh and Texas' Asher Brown, both 13, and Indiana's Billy Lucas, 15.
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Members of the Glee cast said they had just learned of show creator Ryan Murphy's plans for an episode focused on gay teens. Jessalyn Gilsig, who plays Terri Schuester, told E! that Glee is unique in that its audience includes both kids and adults. "It's important to send this message to the kids about bullying and the effect it can have, [and] we have to send it to the parents. We have to send it to the teachers. ... Parents and the administration need to take responsibility."
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Lucas' death sparked columnist and author Dan Savage to create a YouTube channel, It Gets Better, in which gay adults discourage teens from suicide. Among the videos posted on the channel Tuesday was a PSA for The Trevor Project featuring Glee's Chris Colfer.
"I know what it's like to be bullied and teased every single day, and I know that it may seem like there is no chance of happiness left," Colfer says in the video. "But I promise you there is a world full of acceptance and love just waiting for you to find it."
Watch the full video: