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Memorial for JJ by misteriddles Memorial for JJ by misteriddles

Memorial for JJ

I didn't know JJ despite our many mutual friends, but I'm told he was bright, entertainingly funny and that he loved music. He was 'out' about his sexuality and his family accepted him.

I'm told he had issues over religious homophobia. One mutual friend said he "fell in with the wrong crowd" and became a little too enthusiastic about Ecstasy. Still, no-one really knows why JJ threw himself off the Story Bridge seven weeks ago, shortly after his 27th birthday.

His mother and sister (top right) joined with about 15 of JJ's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender friends for a memorial service under the bridge on May 24. Rev Tim Collier (left) of the Metropolitan Community Church led the service with an incense burning ceremony from Greek Orthodox tradition. Friends and family then told stories about JJ's life before all present vowed to fight homophobia and gay youth suicide. The ceremony ended with the release of yellow balloons into the sky above the bridge.
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whitelotus Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2003
... touching...

you seem a nice person to me, you're not indifferent...
fangedfem Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2003
I wont go into how I believe it takes more than just a drug to make someone want to kill themself-- accidents maybe but I have been in that space and I speak from the heart when I say this is a beautiful sentiment for your departed friend~ this hits close to home for me. Wonderful creation hon Hug
idiotsavant Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2003
thats the sht X will do to you. My friend has tried to end himself a couple times because of it.

Very sad to hear. My condolences to his family and friends.
belinus Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2003
It took me a while to digest this one. A million thoughts fly through my head as I think about this, but like eilidh I am at a loss for words.

One particular memory coming back is from one of my high school english classes where we watched "The Big Chill" which begins at a funeral where friends have met to say goodb ye to one of their own who has ended their life. The priest presiding over it makes a comment that has always kind of stuck with me. I cannot remember it word for word but it goes something like this: There must be something terribly wrong in this world when a young man chooses to end his life.

Thank you for sharing this with us.
thestoneheart Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2003
silence, respect...

and i believe a reminder for us all, that we have responsibilities for others.

and not just ourselves.

reflecting back on doug's words, and one finds a strength, maybe even a hope in sadness, once again.

i'm glad you shared this. in word and in image.
vaoi Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2003   Traditional Artist
What a tragic waste. A very touching tribute, and I hope you and your friends are successful in the good fight. :) (Smile)
bookdiva Featured By Owner May 31, 2003
A very poignant tribute to him, Iain. Lovely images, all of them, and I'm sure he is filled with warmth at the caring you've displayed here...lovely work.
gvcarroll Featured By Owner May 31, 2003
:( (Sad) Nice job with the tribute. I especially like the top center photograph. Sounds like it was a nice ceremony...
lightningbolt Featured By Owner May 30, 2003   Photographer
So young, so sad, what a waste of precious life :-( (Sad) I turn 27 myself in a few short weeks. He had his whole life ahead of him.
dark-euridice Featured By Owner May 29, 2003
itīs a sad story......wish the world were better.
melladh Featured By Owner May 29, 2003
beautiful in an almost bittersweet sort of way... Great composition (wordcheck?) of the photos. The clear daylight makes it look like kind of a peaceful display of gratitude towards life - the kind you can only feel when closely reminded about death...
fullyclothed Featured By Owner May 29, 2003  Professional Photographer
This is very sad, but it serves as a reminder to those of us who have survived our demons that we have a responsibility to those still struggling with theirs.
eilidh Featured By Owner May 29, 2003  Professional Digital Artist
I cannot find words appropriate enough, I'm afraid.

knottyboy Featured By Owner May 29, 2003
What ever his reasons were... he's on to the next part of his journey.

The pain just tears your heart out. Thanks for doing this for him and his family.

dougbtn Featured By Owner May 29, 2003  Professional Photographer
I hate to read of such a waste of life. More heart rending is the imagery you have composed here showing the grief that is left behind.

As an only-just-failed suicider over half a lifetime away I can empathise with the internal conflicts that can cause such distress but having to be there and actually see the grief I caused was another experience entirely and one that changed me more profoundly than any other part of the experience. When we get to hate ourselves to that extent, the possibility of anyone actually missing us is utterly unthinkable and is not thought of at all. How wrong that perception is.

I was told a story the other day by a friend who had recently returned from the funeral of an Australian boy who has just died of AIDS. Though he didnt take his own life, the story of how he came to become HIV+ made me cry, and though I am a total softie I dont cry in public often. At 19, having hidden his sexuality for some years he decided he wanted to come out but had never actually had sex with another man so decided to hire a rent boy to "break him in". With no experience or support he did just that, with no thought of safe sex. He contracted HIV on his first sexual encounter of his life. Refusing all treatment, he died eight years later.

In a world where we do not have the opportunity to be open about how we feel from birth, how can our young go into the world, equipped with the skills they need to survive and be 'whole'? Yet more scars of tragedy we all have to bear to the grave. I made it a rule after my debacle nearly 19 years ago to always keep an eye out for those around me, not just friends but anyone we meet. Sometimes the help of a stranger is easier to accept than that of a friend with whom the self guilt may be in full flow. This is the only thought that gives me any strength to make a change in the world that sees stories like these unfold every day.

I know that I am a hippy at heart but I will make it my duty to realease a yellow balloon for Jason on the other side of the world this weekend. Maybe some poor bastard will ask me why and get the full story... right now I hope so. Only by people knowing these things does the world ever change.
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Submitted on
May 29, 2003
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