A teenage boy named Jonah Mowry posted the above video to YouTube in August, in which he uses note cards to share the heartbreaking story of what a lifetime of being bullied has done to him. It's one of the saddest things I've ever seen, by one of the bravest boys I've never met.
"I get bullied every day," Jonah explains, adding that the abuse he's suffered from classmates—including being called "gay," "fag," "dick," "douche," and "homo"—began when he was first grade. "I've cut... a lot," he writes on another note card, before displaying several self-mutilation scars for the camera. "Suicide has been an option... many times."
Jonah then reveals he's about to start eighth grade. But since he has only one close friend remaining, he's not ready to return to school. "I'm scared to go back," he writes, before explaining why in the following set of note cards (which I've edited for spelling, punctuation and clarity):
A lot of people hate me. I don't know why.
But I guess I do, because I kind of hate me, too.
I can't do this anymore. I'm tired of being torn down and then building myself up, only to be torn down again.
Now sobbing, Jonah pauses. He stares into the camera. A deep breath follows. And then (again, edited for spelling, punctuation and clarity):
But I'm not going anywhere. Because I'm stronger than that.
And I have a million reasons to be here.
One update on a Twitter account bearing Jonah's name led me to RandomTV201's YouTube channel, which features several videos of a boy strongly resembling Jonah (often with the same female friend). The account's most recent video, a lip-sync of Rihanna's "S&M," was posted just yesterday. Based on that, I think it's fair to assume Jonah is alive (and hopefully well).
Jonah Mowry has endured a lifetime of pain and suffering at the hands of bullies, yet he's still with us. He's still with us because he's been brave enough, and strong enough, to persevere—to remember that life is always worth living. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about thousands of other bullied teens for whom suicide was the answer. So as we celebrate Jonah's life, let's commemorate those cut short by continuing to work to end bullying.
Update: As commenter nightelfmohawk points out, Jonah just posted this new video to YouTube, in which he thanks everyone for the love and support they've shown to him in the past few hours. Jonah also dismisses any suggestion his original video was fake. "Yes, three months ago I decided to make a fake video about how I was being bullied for being gay just for attention," he says sarcastically. "Really? No."