Thursday, October 20, 2011

This Beautiful, Beautiful Child

Think of your son. Think of the surprise and delight when you first saw his little face, when you dubbed him, "A BOY!", and the dreams you had for him before he was even an hour old. I imagined my little boy growing tall like his father, awkward in his early teens, having smelly feet and a messy room, and becoming a man I'd be proud of. Think of Robert Munsch's book "I'll Love You Forever". That's kind of what I pictured when I learned that my firstborn child was a boy.

Now imagine your grief if your beloved son was judged as "wrong" by his peers, the very people whose opinions matter most to him. He is judged because he chooses figure skating over hockey in a hockey-obsessed culture. He is tormented on the bus, and is eventually held down so that his peers can shove batteries down his throat. Imagine the terror he experiences, and his confusion that people could be so mean, when all he wants is to be loved and accepted. It doesn't seem like much to ask.

Your son tells you he thinks he is gay. You tell him that you love him, and that you want him to be healthy and happy.You know that this world seems more and more "okay" with homosexuality, that he will be able to get married someday to a person he loves, and that he will enjoy the same rights as all Canadians.

But then your son is fifteen, and he is depressed. He is different, and his peers see it, and they torture him with words and actions. Your talented, sweet son, the one you took care of when he was a baby and through all the years of childhood and early adolescence,  becomes sad and withdrawn. He gives up figure skating, even though he was ranked amongst the top ten for his age group in Ontario, and you know he loved it.

And then one day, you learn that he is gone.

Your son has taken his own life. The son that you taught to give to his community, that smiled in photographs, that delighted you with his personality and red hair, couldn't take the pain of not being accepted any longer.

James Hubley was an Ottawa teen who killed himself this past weekend after unimaginable torment at the hands of other kids. What I will never forget is the sound of his father's voice on the radio as he talked about his son, telling his story, and the helplessness and bewilderment he expressed that his darling, "this beautiful, beautiful child" was taken from him.

No matter what your religious beliefs are, please take a moment to whisper a prayer for the family and friends of this beautiful child whose death came too soon.


  1. How far we still have to go to spread love to all.

  2. Such a devastating story. I hope the hype about 'tolerance' and 'acceptance' (such silly words, really -- as if some children are less than?) doesn't just fizzle away without a real change in attitude.

  3. I wish...I don't know what I wish! There are so many Jamie's in the world. I wish I could be there for them all.

  4. Prayers sent. May he skate forever!

  5. This just breaks my heart in two. The dear dear boy - how truly horrible for him that taking his life seemed like the only thing left to do. As the mum of a teenager who is tentatively, yet joyfully exploring who she is, the story of James makes me so angry. How dare those people behave in such a vicious manner - how dare they make such crass and invalid judgements of a human's worth. Just makes me shake my head with amazement and such sadness. I wish his family love and strength.

  6. Have you heard of the "It Gets Better" clips on youtube... there were too many clips and so they created their own website It's thousands of people making video clips directed at gay teenagers giving them messages of love & support, telling them it may be difficult now but to hang in there because it will get better...

    It's terrible... "Gay-teenagers" is the demographic with the highest suicide rate. I'm so sad to hear about James. I wish he could have heard these messages people are trying to send... Clearly he was a beautiful child and much beloved.

  7. Don't know what to say.
    I wish I could hug his family.
    I guess the best thing we can do is to tach our own children tolerance, acceptance, kindness and love.
    May he be at peace.

  8. My heart aches for the family and the boy. It's frustrating to see that people don't see what or how their actions affect other people. This family lost their child because others chose someone to pick on for being different.

  9. Peace and pink light are my thoughts and wishes for him. May he re-incarnate into some beautiful thing or person, may he be washed in love and kindness x

  10. heartbreaking. schools can be vicious places. parents should never underestimate the power kids can have over other kids from a very early age.

  11. The musician that you are, look for the lyrics/music to "Everything Possible" by Rev. Fred Small.

    I sing this (albeit not very well) to my own 5 year old son. I want him to know his mother loves him, no matter what, and will embrace him, and his choices in the years to come, and what I ask most of him is to love and respect those around him, as well as himself.


This space is a creative outlet for a busy mama; I warmly embrace your comments and feedback, as well as questions/requests for details. I do check them daily and will respond where appropriate! Thank you for visiting the Knitty Gritty Homestead!