Press Statement: October 10, 2018
Contact: Meredith MacKenzie, West End Strategy Team, 202-412-4270, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK – In recognition of Thursday, Oct. 11 as National Coming Out Day, Jane Clementi, co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, who lost her son Tyler to suicide after he became the victim of homophobic cyber bullying, released the following statement:
“Coming Out Day should be a day of celebration; a day when LGBTQ people are able to publicly and confidently share who they are and who they love. But for many young people, the decision to come out as LGBTQ would be a choice that could leave them rejected by their families, condemned by their faith communities, expelled from school and quite possibly even without a home.
“The Tyler Clementi Foundation salutes the schools, teams and youth groups that celebrate Coming Out Day and who lift up and embrace their peers who come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming or queer. We call on young people to be Upstanders who can make their friends, classmates and teammates feel safe to be themselves. We call on parents to remember that their decision to embrace their child who is LGBTQ could be the difference between life and death.”
The Tyler Clementi Foundation’s mission is to end online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces and faith communities. Founded in 2011 by the Clementi family in memory of Tyler – a son, brother and friend – the foundation’s flagship bullying-prevention and education program is #Day1. Other programs include the Upstander Pledge, Upstander Speaker Series, Tyler’s Suite, Workplace Training and True Faith Doesn’t Bully, a public education campaign that fights religious bullying. The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, re-introduced in Congress in 2016, would require colleges and universities receiving federal funding to prohibit harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion.