Stars reach out to bullied teen who shares fears in video
Published Monday, December 5, 2011 5:35PM EST
An eighth-grade boy's compelling flash-card video message about being bullied, self-mutilating and contemplating suicide has gone viral and prompted messages of support from celebrities including Lady Gaga and Ricky Martin.
Jonah Mowry posted the video in August, one month before the return to school, and the start of Grade 8, which he said he was dreading.
"I look happy, right?" says one of the hand-written cards Mowry holds up in the video titled simply "Whats goin on..."
"Well, I'M NOT. What all you see is the fake me."
With Sia's "Breathe Me" as the soundtrack for the video, Mowry goes on to hold up cards that say he has been bullied since the first grade, and has cut himself and contemplated suicide "many times."
Weeping, swallowing hard and wiping away tears, the blond boy wearing a brown t-shirt and headphones goes on to hold up cards explaining that all but one of his close friends have moved on to high school and he's terrified to start Grade 8.
"Im scared to go back. A lot of people hate me. I don't know why... But I gues I do. Cuz I kinda hate me too," states a series of cards.
At one point Mowry pauses, takes a breath, then holds up a card with some of the names he has apparently been called by bullies.
"Gay. Fag. Dick. Douche. Homo. Asshole."
However the message ends on a hopeful note.
"But Im not going anywere," states one of the final cards. "Because Im STRONGER than that and...I have a million reasons to be here."
Though he doesn't specify his sexuality in the video, Mowry said in a follow up message on Twitter that he is gay.
The video had over 2.2 million views as of Monday and had prompted a massive outpouring of support.
Ricky Martin posted the following message on Twitter: "Sending @JonahMowryReal one big rib breaking hug :0) ! Stay strong buddy! You are 1 courageous young man!!! Remember #LoveConquersHate
Lady Gaga also chimed in: "Thank you Jonah for being brave enough to share your story + showing us strength. You matter to millions. #TellYourStory #EndBullying"
Nick Jonas, Paula Abdul, Amanda Bynes and Rosie O'Donnell all sent similar messages of support for the young man.
The video was uploaded with the message "IM NOT GOING TO KILL MYSELF. I JUST NEED TO GET THIS OUT HERE."
In an apparent follow-up video that was later removed, Mowry, chewing gum, explains that the video was made four months ago.
He shows scars on his arms left from cutting and says "to the people who think obody likes me, almost my entire school loves me. I don't want to sound stupid or conceited or anything but yeah."
Following is the original YouTube posting: