A bullied gay teen's 'heart-wrenching' video message
Young Jonah Mowry bravely explains how he has been persecuted since first grade, considered suicide, but is finding the strength to carry on
The video: In a raw, "heart-wrenching" YouTube clip, middle-schooler Jonah Mowry tells how he's suffered homophobic bullying for years. Mowry doesn't speak in the four-and-a-half minute video. Instead, he holds up a series of notecards that detail his disturbing story: He says he's been bullied every day since the first grade, started cutting himself in the second grade, and has often considered suicide. He's been called "gay," "fag," "dick," "douche," "homo" and "asshole"… "the list goes on and on." The video, originally posted in August, but only now gaining widespread attention, captures a "scared" Mowry on the verge of entering eighth grade. He grows increasingly emotional as the video progresses, wiping away tears, while Sia's "Breathe Me" plays in the background. (Watch the clip below.) "I'm not going anywhere, because I'm stronger than that," his final cards read. "I have a million reasons to be here."
The reaction: This "an incredible, heartbreaking, honest look into the heart of a young boy who has endured too much pain and torment at the hands of bullies in our intolerant society," says Lily Shavick at She Wired. It's "hard to watch" at times, but it ends with a "powerful message." Yes, his final card is "inspirational," says Bri Taylor at Gather. Indeed, this is "one of the bravest boys I've never met," says Matt Cherette at Gawker. He "has endured a lifetime of pain and suffering at the hands of bullies," but he's had the strength to remember that life is still worth living. "Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about thousands of other bullied teens for whom suicide was the answer." See for yourself: