Internet Army Defends Bullied Boy
October 21 2011 10:15 AM EST
January 14 2019 7:28 AM EST
Tanner Mosquil lives in Gastineau, Canada. He's 14 years old, gay, and until a few days ago, he was being bullied relentlessly. His classmates started a derogatory Facebook group to tease him, and commenters on his Tumblr, Make Me Feel Broken, were telling him to "kill himself" and "eat shards of glass." The Tumblr features images of cutting and references to suicide and depression. Then, on October 19, there was this:
"i think i wanna kill you right about now," someone wrote.
"me too," was Tanner's answer.
That's where the story turns. A concerned local, deeply affected by the October 17 suicide of Jamie Hubley, another bullied gay teen in the Ottawa area, put up a call to arms on Reddit titled "Make this kid feel loved." It didn't take long for a huge number of people to mobilize in support of Tanner. The offensive Facebook page was reported and taken down. Concerned people left videos and notes on his Tumblr and Twitter, and a support group sprang up, We Love You Tanner, which is packed with personal stories and inspiring words. There's no telling if the bullying has stopped for Tanner in the real world, but now he's got a virtual army at his back.
Yesterday Tanner posted again, thanking the many people who rallied around him. "People who don't even know me... made me get hope back." And a bit later: "Feeling grateful today. Today has been the best Spirit Day I could think of."