One reason to tell Tim Ginocchetti’s story is to help others avoid the problems that the Ginocchetti and Rufo families suffered. I promised last August to provide links to resources devoted to such services. I made that promise in reaction to a New York Times story on a lesser-known angle in the Tyler Clementi story. As everyone knows, Clementi tragically killed himself after his college roommate mocked and humiliated him in social media over his homosexuality. What I didn’t know until I read the Times story was that Clementi’s mom took some of the blame, citing her religiously inspired disapproval of Tyler’s coming-out as gay. Since his death, she has led the effort to start the Tyler Clementi Foundation, which promotes anti-bullying messages and services to LGBT youth and their families as they learn and grow.
Similar groups include:
- PFLAG: Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, which provides and links to a wide range of support services.
- The It Gets Better Project, which revolves around its well-known inspirational videos.
- Family Acceptance Project, growing out of research into the link between family rejection of LGBT youth and mental illness or suicide.
- The Trevor Project, with suicide-prevention counseling and other help for teens in crisis.
- Gay Christian Network, providing a community to support youth who, like Tim, struggle to reconcile their faith with their sexual orientation.
Emily Bazelon’s forthcoming book Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power and Character of Empathy provides this excellent resource for teens.
Then there are many other groups advocating for better policies and services, or providing news and information geared to gay teens and others in the LGBT world. A few examples:
- Human Rights Campaign
- The Advocate
- Huffington Post Gay Voices (sample post: tips on coming out to your parents)
- Buzzfeed LGBT
Finally, there are the groups for families that lose loved ones in crimes of violence. Perhaps this would not have helped in this situation, but for other families that find themselves in the shocking role of murder victim survivors, there are groups devoted to helping:
- National Center for Victims of Crimes
- Centre for Justice and Reconciliation — crime victim resources
- Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation
- Parents of Murdered Children
This list is by no means exhaustive. My point is, there are many places to turn for accurate information, help, and a friendly listener. Please add you suggestions of other resources in the comments here or on God’s Nobodies’ Facebook page.