Ian Parker’s piece for The New Yorker on Tyler Clementi’s suicide — and the legal aftermath — is a must-read for anyone who is ever going to discuss recent gay teen suicides. It’s so hard not to use buzz words like “bully” and “epidemic” that have previously been attached to these stories, but Parker’s story focuses almost exclusively on Clementi and makes no attempt to incorporate it into a wider social “trend.” As it shouldn’t. There are many, many things that teenagers do because they see other teens doing it. But suicide is not one of them.
Each suicide is an isolate, individual event; suicide is done alone.