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“Tyler and Me: A Day I Will Never Forget” – By Nelson Morales Jr.

Nelson Morales Jr., Rutger’s University Student and 2011 Summer intern youth blogger for the GET DOWN PSA and Campaign, shares a personal reflection on the Tyler Clementi tragedy one year later in his article entitled “Tyler and Me: A Day I Will Never Forget”. On September 22, 2010, Nelson was gearing up to celebrate life on his birthday, while a fellow Rutger’s student Tyler chose to end his. Nelson and Tyler will forever share September 22, a day that Nelson will always remember.

GET DOWN is the edgy HIV/AIDS public service announcement campaign that frankly portrays sexually active teens/youth of various sexual identities, who are experimenting with multiple sexual partners, and the consequences they deal with as a result. The GET DOWN PSA BLOG is where people of all ages and backgrounds can share stories, opinions, facts and “newsy bits” about HIV/AIDS related topics in an effort to encourage healthy, productive and positive dialogue and maintain heightened awareness. The GET DOWN PSA BLOG cover not just HIV/AIDS and safe sex, but sexual behavior, identity and the issues here and abroad that affect these areas. Our supporters include Dawn Richard (Dirty Money) and DeMarco Majors (LOGO’s Shirts and Skins) who both starred in the PSA’s.

Here is an Excerpt from Nelson Morales Jr’s Blog Article. For the full Article please Visit the GET DOWN PSA BLOG.

On September 22nd, 2010, I celebrated my 20th birthday while a student at Rutgers University. I sat in my dorm room sorting through the birthday comments I had received on Facebook and doing my Spanish homework. However, what I didn’t realize was that on that same day, first-year Rutgers University student, Tyler Clementi, would take his own life by jumping off of the George Washington Bridge.

During the following week, I saw several Facebook posts from other Rutgers students that there were news reports about a sex tape that was recorded in a Rutgers dorm. I didn’t think much of it; “probably some dumb freshman” was my thought. But in the next couple of days the local and national media started to converge into Rutgers creating a media frenzy and the story started to come to light. The name Tyler Clementi started to appear in the papers and newscasts along with Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei.

The reported story was that Ravi set up a video camera in his room (Tyler Clementi and Dharun Ravi were roommates) and captured Tyler having sex with another guy. The video was apparently streamed online via Molly Wei’s room and promoted on Ravi’s twitter account. It was reported that Tyler felt that he was being bullied because of his sexuality and spoke about the situation with his resident assistant, through the university (Rutgers Housing and possibly through RUPD), and online via a message board from the website Just Us Boys.

My guess is that Tyler was seeking help on his situation but decided to take his own life for the fear that everyone would know he’s gay. One week after my birthday, on September 29th, the police found Tyler’s body north of the George Washington Bridge where he apparently jumped to his death. His death shook the campus and received worldwide attention. I myself was interviewed on WCBS 880 AM, PIX 11, and Telemundo about his death.

What made this case hit so close to home was the fact that the dorm that Ravi and Molly videotaped Tyler in was right across from where I was living. When I was in my afternoon class, I stumbled upon an article from MyCentralJersey.com that stated that the filming incident was recorded in Davidson Hall. I lived in Winkler hall my junior year, which is right across from Davidson residential hall. My friends and I just couldn’t believe it the incident happened on our campus, right next to us. I was surprised that a story that received worldwide attention developed across the street from where I lived……. Click Here for Full Article

Morales, Jr. N. (2011, September 20). “Tyler and Me: A Day I Will Never Forget”. Retrieved from GET DOWN PSA BLOG.

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