October 4, 2010

Plea From Mother of Bullied Suicide Victim

Posted: 03:39 PM ET

Dear America:

My name is Tammy Aaberg. I am the mother to Justin Aaberg, a 15-year-old student who took his own life this past July. I found out after he died that he was bullied due to his sexual orientation. I’m also hearing from youth all over the district and throughout the country of many others that are undergoing the same types of harassment. Also, as many of you know, too many have taken their own lives due to feelings of self hate brought on by this intolerable abuse, just as Justin must have suffered before making that final decision.

I want to let you all know that there is hope. There are people out there who understand and accept you and are willing to listen. If you are bullied for any reason, whether it be for race, religion, sexual orientation, or anything else, please, please tell someone. In Justin’s case, he kept most everything to himself. You cannot do this. You need to talk to someone and get your feelings out, let them be heard by someone who supports you. Do not suffer in silence.

If you are an LGBTQ youth in crisis, there is help. Please contact the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. Anyone in crisis who has feelings of suicide the Suicide Awareness Voices of Education is available at 1-800-273-8255.

With hope and love,

Tammy Aaberg

Filed under: Bullying

Share this on:
Jon   October 4th, 2010 3:56 pm ET

people can't force anyone to commit suicide...its their lack of control over their own emotions that cause them to commit suicide...stop blaming everyone else for the CHOICES they make by taking their own life...

Dayna   October 4th, 2010 9:56 pm ET

Jon, I disagree with you. Things get so bad sometimes that you would rather die then live through another day. You don't know what these people have been through or what the real reason was. Tammy Aaberg, I am very sorry for your loss. I feel deeply for you and your family. I am 19 and I am a lesbian. I started a Gay/Straight Alliance during my Junior year of High School, It was hard to get it started and eventually it withered away because of students in the school and their parents as well, and even some of the teachers. I wanted to open the eyes of students in the school, maybe show them that its not right to bully someone just because they are different. Truth be told it didn't work out the way I wanted it to. We had kids standing outside of the door yelling things inside the room everytime it was open. Teachers always say that if your being bullied or feel your in danger, to tell them, but sometimes teachers just don't listen or they don't care enough to do anything about it. Its sad really. Its sad when you can't walk down the street or go to school without having to watch your back. Its tough being gay, its even harder when your out of the closet. I've been through quite a bit myself, so I understand some of what your son might have gone through. A message to every gay/lesbian/transgender/bi teen out there, things will get better. Yes, you will always have those ignorant, close minded people but the majority will accept you for who you are. It may now be now or tomorrow but one day you will find those people that you can surround yourself with that no matter what happens...You know you'll be okay and you'll make it through. Stay strong and always hold your head up high. And remember, always be yourself. Shoot for the stars my fellow GLBT, we are not alone.

Donna   October 4th, 2010 11:16 pm ET

Jon, your comment angers me. Tammy is not blaming.She is stating facts that children get bullied for a number of reasons and it is not always because of a CHOICE that they made. It may not even be a CHOICE for them to take their own life they may feel like it is the only way out. It is not always a lack of emotions or how to handle their emotions.
I lost my son when he took his life last year. It was not a choice when he ended up with a brain injury and was inpulsive (as lots of teens are before they take their own life) I am not putting blame on anyone but the bullying needs to stop.
Tammy nice job....We need to take a STAND in all types of teasing and bullying whether it be for race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.

Henry   October 5th, 2010 12:12 am ET

Umm hello Jon, it's not a CHOICE it's a part of who we are!

Surprise Arizona   October 5th, 2010 12:52 am ET

Seriously? Jon do you really believe this? A person commits suicide when life is so painful nothing else can make it better. 1 week ago a child in my son's high school committed suicide because he was bullied by his parents and school. What could be worse for a teenager?

Peter E Guerrero   October 5th, 2010 1:35 am ET

Jon just show us how far the hate runs... I tried attempted suicide at age 14 so I can relate to these teens. My heart goes out to you Donna and Tammy. Hopefully with more media attention we can put a stop to this unfortunate situation. I will be volunteer with Trevorproject soon.

David Otten   October 5th, 2010 4:00 am ET

Reason why people bully.
1. Tring to fit in.
2. Not knowing how to dealing with what offends them.
3. Trying to achieve justice when they think society or God is not doing thier job. As in the case of Cain and Abel.
4. Taking the place of God. This the number one reason. They are using their own vaules to judge and to enforce thier judgement. They feel that they are authorized to do this because they are now greater than God and avoid understanding that God has his own way to enforce His laws and what is right.

I am a Christian and a Lutheran Pastor. I do not believe the Bible supports gay activities, but to bully is just as sinful and is anti-Christ. A Chrstian turns the other check and defends the weak.
A Christian also stands up for the truth of God's word but never not in a manner that follows the world.

JB   October 5th, 2010 7:21 am ET

Wow, Jon. That's among the coarsest comments I've ever read anywhere. Show a little compassion, man.

World Citizen   October 5th, 2010 8:08 am ET

I watch LKL and hear the mother of the suicide victim and the so called entertainer's. And I have to ask, what has happen to this world? Clearly it has gone to hell in a handbasket. While i don't marvel at anyone's suicide, i'm not about to sit here and commit suicide because I'm black and blame the fact that other races hate me and suicide was my only way out. That's crazy! This suicide has turn from just that, to a so called cause for the gay community to get attention. I have never been a supporter of gays. Regardless of who they are, ellen, wanda sykes, cathy griffin. The bible is direct and to the point about homosexuals. It pisses me off that society has readily accepted homosexuality and tends to want to crucify those who don't support or share their new found sexuality, other than the sexuality they were born into. I pray that none of these people say they believe in god. It would be an outright lie.

Robert   October 6th, 2010 12:00 am ET

again i think that the schools that catch students bullining that the school should have a t-shirt that says i am a bully and make tham wear it for one week and if thay dont expell them for 3 days untill they do.

jennifer   October 6th, 2010 4:53 pm ET

world citizen,

your comment makes me sad. we do not want to crucify those who dont support or share in homosexuality. the anger is directed at those who feel the need to bully someone for their homosexuality. your narrow and dogmatic views and hurtful comments are the very reason that lesbian gay transgender and bisexual individuals feel as if they will never be accepted. why are you so pissed off that society (or at least the kind hearted people) have accepted these individuals? if we didnt have acceptance your entire race of african americans would still be working in the fields of the white man picking cotton and remaining illiterate. thats something i know neither you nor i want. show a little bit of compassion because at one time the things being done to african americans was just downright disgusting. you are sending a message that its okay to continue hatred. you cant help that you were born black. they cannot help that they were born the way they were. you think if they got to choose that they would CHOOSE to be gay and be tormented every day by people like you who make them feel so insignificant in this beautiful life? i urge you to go out and educate yourself, for willful ignorance is at the root of all of this. I presume you speak of Leviticus 18:6 "a man shall not lie with another man as one lies with a female, it is an abomination" or Leviticus 20:13 "a man who sleeps with another man is an abomination and should be executed" when you say that "the bible is direct and to the point". Well my friend the bible also prohibits working on the sabbath, getting round haircuts, eating pork or shellfish, and wearing garments of mixed fabrics. are you telling us that you yourself follow all these rules? god is love, and i pray that you find it. to keep preaching otherwise would be an outright lie.

Fred   October 7th, 2010 12:05 am ET

Your son sounded like he was a wonderful person. He did not deserve to be bullied! I know that this is incredibly difficult for you and your family, but I have to thank you for making your story public. I have seen a lot of gay children get bullied. I am a gay adult, and I am still bullied; however, over the years I have learned how to fight back. Part of the way of fighting back is to publicize bullying just as you are doing.
It takes a lot of courage and strength for a person to live as a gay person in America. It also takes a lot of courage for someone like you to stand up to the bullies. I commend you, and I thank you for standing up to the bullies who caused you to lose your son. You may not realize it right now, but you are helping a lot of other gay teenagers and adults stand up to the bullies in their lives.
There are a lot of other wonderful gay children like your son who will face an easier time in life because of the steps you are taking to let the world know what happened to your son. Thank you for using your tragic situation to make life easier for some of the other gay children and adults who face bullying on a daily basis. Most people would not have the courage and the strength to do what you are doing.
Thank you for helping people learn about the terrible bullying that gay people face. In honor of your son, whenever I hear derogatory comments or see any bullying incidents directed at gay people, I will at the very least say something to the bully to try and stop the situation. I think that because of your efforts, a lot of other people will try to intercede in bullying incidences.
Your son may not be here, but there are a lot of us who are not going to allow his death to be in vain. I did not know your son, but his life is going to make me be more vigilant in my efforts to stop the bullying of gay people.

Faith   October 7th, 2010 5:38 pm ET

This is so true. Justin was a really good friend of mine. I miss him terribly, i would hate to see someone else have to go through this.

Comments have been closed for this article

Keep up to date with Larry

Follow him on Twitter

Become a fan on Facebook

Contact us
Go Behind The Scenes


LARRY KING LIVE'S Emmy-winning Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker knows what it takes to make a great story.

With anecdotes, provocative emails, scandals, show transcripts and insights into Walker's long working relationship with Larry King, her new book PRODUCER issues readers an invitation to listen in on the most intriguing conversations on the planet.

Order from:
Barnes & Noble

King of Hearts

Larry King's King of Hearts

Saving a heart a day is the goal! Learn more about the Foundation and it's efforts to help the uninsured

Visit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation.

subscribe RSS Icon
Powered by VIP