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Remembering Tyler Clementi: A Quiet, Private Boy With A Musical Gift

By ToniFitz76 |

tyler clementi

Tyler Clementi was a gifted musician

Tyler Clementi was never the sort of boy who called attention to himself. His teachers remember him as quiet and private, a teen who would have been rightly horrified by the invasion of privacy perpetrated by his roommate, Dharun Ravi, and friend, Molly Wei, which eventually led to suicide after Ravi streamed a live sexual encounter between Clementi and another male to students online.

There’s an important lesson about cyber bullying here, and how a prank can escalate quickly into tragedy. But as a mom who can’t even imagine the horror the Clementis are going through, I think it’s important that we remember the boy himself: the potential lost in his death and the reminder that life is precious.

Clementi was a violin player, a gifted one. He was slated to perform with the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra this weekend, and they’ve said they will keep his name on the program. Though withdrawn in most social situations, he blossomed on stage, even playing in the pit for a local production of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.”

“He was a quiet person, but when he picked up his violin, it was a different story,” says Khullip Jeung, who taught Clementi violin for five years, in an interview with CBS News.

Clementi played violin at his family’s church on Sundays. He was passionate about music and received Ridgewood High School’s National School Orchestra Award this year.

Here’s hoping that he will be remembered for those passions as well, and not the ugly ignorance that led to his suicide.

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About ToniFitz76

tonifitz76

ToniFitz76

Toni Fitzgerald has two children, a husband and a cat. She was a contributor for the Babble Famecrawler blog, and currently works for MediaLife Magazine.

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0 thoughts on “Remembering Tyler Clementi: A Quiet, Private Boy With A Musical Gift

  1. Matzpen says:

    Homophobia kills! This is the lesson of Tyler Clementi’s tragic death/murder
    http://sherrytalksback.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/who-killed-tyler-clementi/

  2. megan says:

    this poor kid…someone who was shy is now a national story. god bless him and his family. hopefully this story will have an impact and prevent another child from dying.

  3. Rob R says:

    I just wish Tyler Clementi had someone to turn to when he felt so alone and violated. He was shy to begin with, so it’s probable he hadn’t come out to friends or even to his family. Nothing is more horrifying than to be outed. The stigma of being gay even makes gay people hate themselves sometimes. It’s no surprise that so many gay teens commit suicide. They may hate all that being gay entails on the one hand, and curiosity about what it would be like to feel the freedom of making love on the other. The need to feel safe and private are very important. When his safey was violated and his secret was told before he was ready to let that happen, Tyler Clementi (and so many other gay teens) react with a feeling of complete lonliness and isolation. The shame is intense and the feeling that everyone who can hate me for this knows what I am now. That can be the worst nightmare of a shy gentle person like Tyler. I wish I could have heard him play his violin. Many who have heard his playing say he was gifted. The loss to the world of such talent makes this story even more tragic and sad. Losing a son/brother is a terrible loss for a family. I don’t know if Tyler had brothers and sisters, but I can say without a doubt that his parents must be devastated right now. My heart and prayers go out to the Clementi family and all Tyler’s friends. This is an ineffable tragedy.

  4. maegan says:

    i really hope this will open people’s eyes, i want to know how ravi and wei feel about themselves now. this young talented boy took his own life because of what someone else said about him, this whole situation makes me sick. me also being gay i want to be here for anyone who feels like its the end of the road for them. this is a chrisis now he is not the only one that did this to themselves and it HAS to stop

  5. Chapparel says:

    Tyler and his family are nothing but close to my heart. I dont know them and i live on the other side of the nation. I think everyone who has ever been bullied because of something they believed in, being sexually attracted to the same
    sex, because they had a different color skin, because of their weight etc… Can relate to this and the pain and suffering it causes. It hurts so much that you actually feel like the only way to to deal with it is by taking your life. RIP tyler, we will always remember

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