Vigil Tonight in Ridgewood, NJ

Join Garden State Equality in Ridgewood, New Jersey to commemorate Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who committed suicide after his roommate posted a webcam video of him having sex with another man.

Corey Bernstein, 15, will be speaking at the event about his experiences with bullying as a gay youth. Corey, who will be profiled on We Are the Youth next month, spoke with us this morning.

All throughout elementary school I was different and didn’t fit in. I was teased and bullied. Once I started middle school it put me at the bottom of the food chain. The bullying got worse. I wasn’t out at this point in my life, even to myself. In 7th grade I was fed up with it. I tried to avoid the situation,” Corey said. “It was just a bad situation for me to be in. I became depressed and came very close to having the same fate as Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown and all those other boys we’re hearing about this month. I was admitted to a hospital for a couple of weeks.

Corey then came out, changed schools and is now using his past experiences to tell other young people not to give up.

For anyone else who is feeling alone and depressed, reach out and you’ll be surprised how many people will help you pull through. Find yourself that one person you can feel safe with. Whether that’s a friend, sibling, teacher. Even The Trevor Project or someone you don’t know. It seems like you’re the only person out there who is gay. But thousands and thousands of people are gay. There are resources.

Join Corey at the vigil tonight at 7 p.m. at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and check back next month to learn more about Corey.