Gay Ottawa teen who killed himself was bullied
Jamie Hubley was a figure skater and the only openly gay boy in his school
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The father of a gay Ottawa teen who committed suicide Saturday told CBC News his son was constantly bullied throughout elementary school and into high school.
Allan Hubley, an Ottawa city councillor who represents Kanata South Ward, also spoke Tuesday about his 15-year-old son Jamie's depression over the bullying and his desperate desire for acceptance.
Hubley said the bullying began when Jamie was in Grade 7 and teens tried to stuff batteries down his throat on the school bus because he was a figure skater.
"[Jamie] was the kind of boy that loved everybody," said Hubley, "He couldn't understand why everyone would be so cruel to him about something as simple as skating."
"He just wanted someone to love him. That's all. And what's wrong with that? Why do people have to be cruel to our children when all they want to do is be loved?" said Hubley, speaking on the phone with the CBC's Ashley Burke.
In high school, the relentless teasing focused on the fact that Jamie was openly gay.
Suicide note posted on teen's blog
Jamie Hubley died Saturday. A suicide note was posted on his online blog where he spoke of his love for singing and pop music including Lady Gaga, Adele, Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera.
The note also spoke of the pain from both bullying and depression.
"I'm tired of life, really. It's so hard, I'm sorry, I can't take it anymore," his note read.
"I don't want my parents to think this is their fault, either. I love my mom and dad. It's just too hard. I dont want to wait three more years, this hurts too much."
The Kanata teenager also described how he hated being the only openly gay boy in his school. His family had tried to help by moving him from a Kanata Catholic high school to A.Y. Jackson Secondary School, which is a public school.
Hubley had even spoken out for gay students at A.Y. Jackson through the Rainbow Club, a gay-straight alliance. But the bullying did not stop and there were no other openly gay teenagers at that school, either.
The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board released a statement Tuesday sending its condolences to the Hubley family. It also spoke about bullying in schools and how it could lead to depression.
"I couldn’t agree more about the importance of dealing with these issues. These are complex issues that we have to deal with as a community", said Jennifer Adams, the board's director of education.
Local community opening up about teen suicide
Awareness of teen depression and mental health has grown in Ottawa recently, particularly after the death of Daron Richardson, the 14-year-old daughter of former NHLer Luke Richardson.
That death and a series of teen suicides in the Ottawa Valley in 2010 have forced communities to design better strategies to address the issue, including identifying signs of depression earlier and removing the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
Jamie Hubley struggled with depression for a long time, his father said, but no matter how much his parents tried to help, the teen could not escape his sadness.
"I lost a beautiful, beautiful child that was going to make the world a better place. I've been involved in a lot of things in my community ... but I couldn't fix my own boy and that's tearing me apart," Allan Hubley said.
With files from the CBC's Ashley Burke