Earlier this week, I saw a heart breaking story shared on my Facebook news feed that reverberated across all social media platforms. It was about the tragic suicide of a 12 year old boy named Ronin Shimizu in California, that was bullied at school for being the only male cheerleader on an all-girl team.
All too often in the news we hear about people around the world losing their lives to things beyond their control. That was what made this story so incredibly sad, that someone so young felt that they needed to take their own life because it became so unbearable.
Twitter mourned his tragic passing, using the hashtags #RIPRoninShimizu and #RIPRonin.
— Jerome Trammel (@MrJeromeTrammel) diciembre 11, 2014
I say this each day, but can’t stress it enough, BE KIND. Bullying’s disgusting and there are so many who do it unknowingly #RIPRoninShimizu
— katelyn ◡̈ (@LucysLatte) diciembre 6, 2014
— gabe. (@gabeonidle) diciembre 6, 2014
While we are living in a world that is becoming increasingly tolerant, there are still issues surrounding gender stereotypes and conformities. Gone are the days when things like hobbies and fashion are defined by gender: it is now near impossible to dictate what it means to be a man or a woman.
This is not so much a question of gender and sexuality, rather the need to encourage respect and tolerance towards the individuality of people – something that should be highlighted at an early age.
Social media is always quick to remember those in the public eye that have passed away and it is comforting that lives like Ronin’s can reach and touch the hearts of millions thanks to these platforms.
The Vista Junior Eagles Cheer Team continues to mourn one of its brightest stars and Twitter, in particular, has reacted in a positive way to ensure that Ronin is remembered and can inspire those in similar and difficult situations.
Since his passing on 3rd December, a gofundme page was set up in his name and has so far raised over $17,000 in 7 days.