I remember watching the evening news with my husband, Tom, on the day that Tyler Clementi’s suicide was reported. I remember that, for whatever reason, we were in the downstairs playroom sitting on the red sofa. I remember having a bad feeling about where the story would go before they even got to the tragic part.
Tyler Clementi was the eighteen year old Rutgers student who jumped off the George Washington Bridge last September after his roommate video tapped him having a sexual liaison with another male student and then streamed it live via the internet. As I sat and listened to the story unfold, I felt the tears well up in my eyes, my throat closed, my stomach knotted. I tried to imagine the humiliation he must have felt — but even more so, I tried to understand why he felt that he couldn’t go on living. Was he in the closet and fearful of coming out? Was he afraid of a lifetime of rejection and ridicule? Why? Why? Why?
At the end of the program, I turned to Tom and choked out, “This is what my book is about. What the pain of feeling unlovable, unacceptable can do.”
Even fiction can have a moral and if there is one message I would want people to take away from reading Truth Runs Deep, it would be this: “Love through the differences.”
We all have different beliefs and biases based primarily on our life experiences. If we can learn to love, support and nurture each other through our differences — not in spite of — just imagine how totally empowered we could be as families, friends, communities and a global village. Loving through the differences implies acceptance and respect. Isn’t that really what each and every one of us desires?