Jamey Rodemeyer was laid to rest on Saturday.
More than 500 mourners, many of who were strangers to his family, turned out in Williamsville, N.Y. to say goodbye to Jamey, a 14-year-old gay teen who committed suicide earlier this week after enduring years of bullying at school and online.
Jamey’s parents and friends said that the bullying had begun during middle school — he had told his parents, sister and closest friends that the hateful comments were mostly all directed at his sexual orientation.
Jamey often blogged about the bullying he was suffering at school, but tormentors also followed him online and left messages on his Formspring page calling him “gay and ugly,” and encouraging him to kill himself.
“Jamey’s suicide is a heartbreaking reminder of the vulnerability of gay teens … while some may say that Jamey took his life, unrelenting homophobia murdered him,” said Malcolm Lazin, founder and Executive Director of Equality Forum, in a statement.
In May, inspired by singer Lady Gaga and her message of tolerance, Jamey posted this “It Gets Better” video on YouTube, in which he said, “Hold your head up and you’ll go far. Because that’s all you have to do, just love yourself and you’re set.”
On Saturday night, Sept. 17, Jamey posted a lyric from Gaga’s song “The Queen” on his Facebook page: “Don’t forget me when I come crying to heaven’s door.”
Around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, Jamey posted two final messages on his Tumblr blog. One said he wanted to see his great-grandmother, who had recently died, and one that offered thanks to Lady Gaga. His body was discovered hours later.
Earlier this week, his mother Tracy Rodemeyer told CBS News she would bury Jamey in a Lady Gaga t-shirt that reads “Born This Way.”
Outside the church during Saturday’s funeral, a caravan of trucks and buses loaded with students passed by, displaying signs that conveyed messages advocating for tolerance, and support for Jamey’s family.