• Somewhere over the rainbow

    by Carolyn Wyler

    “ I just want you to know that it does get better.”

    Powerful words spoken by a young 14-year-old boy, just a few months prior to his death.

    “JAMEY IS STUPID, GAY, FAT AND UGLY. HE MUST DIE” read one of the many messages and taunts Jayme Rodemeyer received on a daily basis. A few months after Jamey Rodemeyer’s tape on youtube reiterated Dan Savage’s message to the world that life can get better Jamey ended his own life, unable to take the ridicule and bullying any longer.

    What a tragic, pointless death that could have been avoided if others had just permitted Jamey to live his life the way he was born to. He wasn’t hurting anyone. In fact, his parents and friends described him as a kindhearted and caring young man.

    I once believed that all people are basically good. I still want to believe that they are, but through the years I have been frequently disappointed. I have seen many people hurt by words thrown viscously at one another. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words ….“ uhm, no. Sorry, words can hurt worse than a slap to the face. It is often the sting of those words that echo in our heads years after they have been flung. The pain of the bruise from the physical slap to the face can no longer be fully recalled.

    Martin Luther King had a dream of living in a world of equality; Buddha teaches peace and tranquility; John Lennon imagined the world living as one; and Jesus Christ taught us to love unconditionally. Four individuals, all from different cultures and time, so different in so many ways, yet sharing a common message. They taught of creating a world of unconditional love, acceptance, and peace.

    And then, as with every great idea or vision, there was someone sitting up in their corporate office thinking, “Now then, how can we make money on this?” Boom! The original idea gets twisted, tweaked, tweeted, translated, and several way-too-early morning weekly meeting are held to discuss money-making schemes on these visions. Suddenly, like playing the telephone game when you were a child, what originally started out as “turn the other cheek” transforms to, “burn the other creep,” and everyone is trying to find a way on how they can cash in on the transformation. The original vision becomes lost and the dream or the dreamer is killed.

    Some days, “I wish upon a star and wake up where these clouds are far behind me.” I want to believe that just a hop and a skip between rain drops, past the clouds and over the rainbow, there is a pot of “gold-en rules,” where you live in a land where you “do unto others as they would do unto you.” A place where others “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” A land of unconditional love, peace and tranquility.

    I end with Lennon: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one”.

    • Well said.

      • David

      • October 30, 2011 at 9:45 am
      • Reply

      My favorite column of yours.

      • Karen L

      • October 30, 2011 at 4:19 pm
      • Reply

      Excellent, so true and very well written.

      • Carolyn Wyler

      • October 30, 2011 at 5:59 pm
      • Reply


    • Carolyn,
      I used to make jokes about queers and fagots. I didn’t know that my brother was gay. (we were raised in an orphanage and had very little contact until I was released from the Army in the 70’s) At a certain point my brother just left without a word. Only then did I find out he was gay. I have not seen him since that day over 25 years ago. I tried to find him but he didn’t want to be found. I miss him terribly and I wish he would come home and tell me he forgives me and I could tell him how very sorry I am for my stupid thoughtless jokes.
      My point is that as you say, words can be very hard sometimes and now I have to say even harder words, “I want my brother back!”

        • Carolyn Wyler

        • October 31, 2011 at 7:17 pm
        • Reply

        So sorry to hear that Don. I hope you find him someday.

    Leave a Comment