Jamie Hubley was a shooting star. An adored son and brother. Fierce friend. Saucy singing sensation. Forceful figure skater. And he was courageous beyond words.
But he also struggled with depression and loneliness -- and from the bullying that came with being the only openly gay teen in his Ottawa-area high school.
Our world has dimmed considerably without his light.
But Jamie’s parents, Wendy and Allan, have joined with the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa to help other youth by raising money to support mental health services.
In his memory, we ask those of us moved by Jamie’s death to keep “acceptance” in our hearts, and on our wrists.
Rainbow-coloured wrist bands emblazoned with the word Acceptance are being sold for $2.00 (plus shipping and handling).
The wristbands were created after a group of concerned young people, including many of his friends, who gathered on Facebook immediately after his death. "We all want acceptance in our lives," says Jamie's friend Stephanie Wheeler, who began selling the wristbands within two weeks of her friend's death. Two weeks later, more than 3,500 had been sold.
The wristbands will serve as a reminder that young people like Jamie need the understanding and support from their wider community in order to survive, and thrive.
At the request of the Hubley family, funds raised will support the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa Mental Health Walk-in Clinic to ensure timely and accessible mental health services for other young people.