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The death of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, who took his own life on September 18, 2011 after years of being bullied rocked the world, being the fifth publicly recognized suicide of an LGBTQ-identifying teen in the US in less than a year—and now, the ‘Paws Up Forever Project’ wants you to take a stand. Inspired by Lady Gaga’s “paws up” hand signal exchanged between the popstar and her fans, the project aims to raise awareness on the dangers of bullying, and the consequences of suicide and its effect on those around you.
Created by Vancouver university student Sara Nazeman with friends Jason Bring and Ines Mitchell, the ‘Paws Up Forever Project’ video has already garnered the attention of Perez Hilton, who then asked that Gaga herself watch the video. Lady Gaga, who has been extremely vocal in her support of gay rights, announced after hearing about Jamey’s death that she would be speaking with US President Obama in regards to creating an anti-bullying law.
Regardless of whether such a law passes or not, it’s extremely encouraging to see that young people are taking matters into their own hands. The ‘Paws Up Forever Project’ has already started spreading to schools and communities throughout North America, sharing a message of love and support to anyone who has ever experienced bullying.