By Humberto Capiro on March 2, 2015 for Living Out Loud – Los Angeles
Both the Clementi family and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) have experienced great loss due to homophobia. For the Clementi family, it was the suicide of their son Tyler due to cyber bullying by their son’s roommate at Rutgers University in 2010 and for the GMCLA the loss of over 150 original member and others (only 12 original members remain) during the height of the AIDS crisis in the 80’s and early 90’s, which continues today.
Tyler Clementi, born in December 19, 1991 was a student at the Piscataway campus of Rutgers University, New Jersey when his roommate Dharum Ravi and another hall mate Molly Wei decided to invade his privacy and make fun of him. By using a web cam on Ravi’s computer, they transmitted online to others some intimate moments between Clementi and a male friend which led him to commit suicide by jumping of a nearby bridge.
To honor his life, the Clementi family has set up a foundation whose main purpose is to create awareness of bullying and to educate society at large on how to prevent it. To help in this endeavor, several Gay Men’s Choruses around the country commissioned “Tyler’s Suite” with lyrics by Pamela Stewart who interviewed member of Tyler’s family so as to inspired several of the movements which she wrote with some of the composers.
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