Was Tommy Raskin a closeted Queer boy?

Was that the reason, or part of the reason for him committing suicide on 31 December 2020? His father is Representative Jamie Raskin (from the US state of Maryland) in the House of Representatives of the US Congress in the District of Columbia.

Representative Raskin of Montgomery County — and a former constitutional law professor — has a rather progressive record in the House of Representatives. He fought for gay marriage as a member of the House. Did he do that because he believed Queers should have the same rights as breeders, or did he have a Queer member of his family, or both?

Tommy, his son, was described by his parents as a guy whose “irrepressible love of freedom and strong libertarian impulses made him a skeptic of all institutional bureaucracy and a daring outspoken defender of all outcasts and kids in trouble.” He was also an avid vegan, animal lover and writer. He left a suicide/farewell note which said, “Please forgive me. My illness won today. Please look after each other, the animals, and the global poor for me. All my love, Tommy.”

Terribly sad to read that, and I’m sure his death has destroyed their family, and it will never be the same. That is something you never get over. Or at least most people don’t.

I’ve worked in suicide prevention and we were trained that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. In Tommy’s case his depression seems to have been permanent and not temporary since he suffered with depression much of his life.

I knew a woman — an acquaintance of mine — a few years back who committed suicide after her husband died of cancer. She didn’t want to live anymore without him. No one that I’m aware of expected her to commit suicide. I didn’t, but I had not talked with her at all about it. Mi amigo/my friend did, but all she told him was that her husband had died and she was dealing with the estate. As I remember, she committed suicide about 6 weeks after his death.

Some people have said that in one (or more) of the obituaries for Tommy Raskin that the family seemed to go out of their way to portray Tommy as straight and how he “loved the ladies.” (roll eyes) I saw a Queer boy when I saw Tommy’s picture, and my gaydar is extremely reliable. So did mi amigo/my friend just now when I showed it to him before posting this article. And many of the things Tommy cared about are not what the typical straight guy cares about: Animals, animal rights, being vegetarian or vegan and global poverty.

The reason I’m writing this is — from the comments I read online — no one seems to make the connection and or know that Tommy’s father fought for gay marriage, so — knowing that — why would Tommy have had trouble coming out of the closet if he were Queer? I’m well aware that some people say they fully support Queer rights, then out of the other side of their mouth they say, “But I’d prefer to have straight children and not Queer children,” which strongly implies that there is something wrong with one being Queer, and their alleged support for Queer rights is suspect.

On the sites where these comments appeared, I didn’t feel like going through the hassle of registering and then posting this bit of information, so I’ve decided to do so here.

From the comments I read, many people seemed to think that Tommy killed himself because he was painfully in the closet and was struggling with that. Perhaps. I don’t know what was going on in his head. After reading one of his obituaries, one person said Tommy wasn’t depressed — Tommy had suffered from depression for years — but rather exhausted considering all that he had done. He was in his second year at Harvard University.

Queer Youth Health, Depression and Suicide

From my research: As of July 2020, two in 5 Queer youth in the non-United States have “seriously considered” suicide in the past year. 40 percent of Queer youth have “seriously considered” suicide in the past year. They polled 40,000 Queer people between the ages 13 and 24. And Queer youth are more likely to commit suicide than straight youth.

There have been multiple obituaries written about Tommy. I read one that could have easily been written by a greeting card company considering all the lofty and flowery language used. It sounded like it was written by someone in a lot of pain from grieving his death. Some commenters said the obit they read was “over the top” or words to that effect rather than the standard obituary that one reads about a person’s death.

Tommy was 25 at the time of his death. Considering all the ill-adjusted and closet case Millenneals we see in San Francisco and elsewhere these days — where a closet case guy is holding hands with a female and they’re pretending to be a straight couple; in reality he’s wishing so badly that it was a guy he were holding hands with — it seems that one’s 20s and 30s are the years where one’s Queer sexual orientation is very difficult to accept. Really odd when you think about it, since the Millenneals came along/grew up at the height of the now-dead Gay Rights Movement. What anti-Queer propaganda did their parents brainwash them with in response to our Movement? In my case and with my friends at the time, my 20s is when we all came out of the closet. But that was a different time than today where it seems that most Queers are back in the closet by all indications, and some/many gay guys — with their internalised homophobia and gay shame — are living with females in heteronormative “straight” relationships, especially since gay marriage became legal and Queers were ordered to “assimilate,” which many interpreted to mean: Go back in the closet and be like the straights. Ugh. Why? Model your lives after the breeders. Emulate the breeders. Our Movement worked decades to be like the breeders, did we?! Ha! And after gay marriage became legal, I read that “gay guys are marrying females in droves,” which is something gay guys could have done to begin with from Day One. They didn’t need gay marriage to marry a woman! So they accomplished gay marriage, went back in the closet, and then married the opposite gender, rather than the same gender. This is a reminder that we’re living in the Century of Insanity.

Unfortunately, Tommy felt he wanted to end it all. If he were Queer, why did he think his family would have a problem with his sexual orientation considering his dad — and possibly the rest of their family — supports gay marriage and presumably equal rights for Queers? Or did Tommy get (some) mixed messages from his family by them pushing the heterosexual “Tommy loved the ladies” as the dominant image? Chau.—el barrio rosa

Update: A reader came to this article recently by searching, ” tommy raskin depression caused by his dad.” Is there something to that? I don’t know. I did notice something I found a little hard to believe: It seems as if Tommy’s dad has not taken off any time to grieve his son’s death from his duties in the House of Representatives. He was in the US Capitol building on Capitol Hill in the District of Columbia on or around the same day as the insurrection by the tr*mp cultists when they stormed the Capitol building. Five people died as a result of the insurrection. This morning (9 February 2021) I saw Representative Raskin presenting information during the second impeachment proceedings against the former White House occupant. It’s as if Rep. Raskin has gone on with his life uninterrupted since Tommy died, which I couldn’t do if I had lost a son or close loved one. I don’t know if Tommy’s depression was caused by his dad, but it would appear that his dad is trying to bypass the grieving process. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Second Update: I was reminded that everyone grieves differently and Representative Raskin is grieving. He’s just doing it while he works. I’d find that very difficult to do, but that’s me. He’s doing an excellent job with the second impeachment proceedings in the House. “Superb today as well” says mi amigo (11 February). Mi amigo/My friend has been watching part of the second impeachment proceedings and said that Rep Raskin has talked about Tommy at times and he cries and has to stop talking for a moment. I just wanted to add that. Regarding grieving, two actors that I’m familiar with shared their experiences. One said that her agent kept her busy and her husband had just died six weeks before she was to start her role in a six season show. It was Barbara Billingsley. She said his death was a terrible blow but, “you can’t wallow in grief” was how she put it. Well, some people do and they find it difficult not to. Depends upon the person. Watching the show, you would never know that Barbara had any problems in her personal life. The same with another actor (Hugh Beaumont). He had just had a death in his family and one of the other cast members said about Hugh, “He was just walking through the lines/his part.” Well, he did a good job of it. With him too, you’d never know anyone close to him had died. Some people can do that; I’m not one of them.

As for the former White House occupant and international bully, after watching the presentation of how he incited violence and bullying over the 4+ years — including during his campaign — and directly encouraged the insurrection of the Capitol building, that piece of trash should be dragged face down through the streets of the District of Columbia. He is scum. Mi amigo says: “That’s being polite to him.” He belongs in prison. And no, I’m not a Democrat. I’m non-partisan. But so far, I’ve agreed with most of what Biden-Harris have done. We’ll see after the first 100 days. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Third Update: Representative Jamie Raskin is a very impressive guy, and I’m not one who is easily impressed. He’s been one of three people leading this second impeachment proceeding. He speaks with — what I call — “choral diction” and is not an embarrassment to listen to like many of the illiterate-sound trash in the US Congress. Like the redneck hicks who can’t pronounce the word president correctly. It’s a 3 syllable word, you illiterate assholes. It’s not “present” or “praysden.” Where the fuck did you train? How did these scum end up in the US Congress? Most of them you feel like slapping upside the head, not that doing so would knock any sense into them (and I’m a nonviolent person). Representative Raskin has done an excellent job with his portion of the hearings. If only he would tell that Mitch McConnell to learn to speak US English correctly and the same for Patrick Leahy. He’s from New England and talks like that? Clear your throat and de-mucus before turning the damn mic on, you fucking idiots. It’s as bad as listening to someone eating while they’re on the phone. Who wants to listen to that? These stupid-sound people are our politicians? Of course the Republicans — who have no sense of ethical compass whatsoever and still seem to remain terrified of the orange loser — will vote to not convict that piece of willfully-ignorant nazi trash who belongs in prison for life. I was just informed that the US Senate voted to acquit the orange loser. Anyone surprised? You shouldn’t be. Most of the Republicans were not about to allow facts to get in their way of continuing to eat the orange loser’s upper colon where they have permanently resided for years now. As I had said, nothing will happen to this asshole, and he’s already saying that he’s coming back in 2024, if he’s still alive then. But you know, people like him don’t die. Dick Cheney is still alive. They just keeping bringing misery to others while pretending to be Christians. Ha! Chau.—el barrio rosa

10 comments on “Was Tommy Raskin a closeted Queer boy?

  1. Chipur

    Spent some time this afternoon trying to learn more about Tommy’s suicide. After reading several articles, I was left with the feeling that there was more to the story than what met the eye. I mean, everything was too perfect. So I searched for more info and found your piece. Well written and insightful. Being straight, you pointed out things and dynamics I didn’t know.

    Anyway, there’s definitely more to the story – and you may have nailed it.

  2. Robert P

    It could be that Tommy was more A-sexual. If he had affairs with either sex, you’d think they’d have come out and stated their past or secret relationship with him. A-sexuality is more common than people realize.

    On a different but similar note, even A-sexual’s have an orientation though. It could have been that Tommy realized if he came out as gay, that’s how he’d forever be labeled. I think Tommy wanted more to be thought of as a human being who saw the wrongs of the world and wanted to fix them.

  3. Tammy

    he was obviously a gay bottom. no straight man smiles like that and goes by “tommy”. get real. his daddy should get a better wig.

  4. Carlos

    A very thoughtful article about Tommy.

    Since coming here I’ve read many of your other queer-related articles and they’ve been therapeutic for me to read. You’ve written about things that nobody else does or they’re afraid to….afraid they’ll upset the apple cart. You’re not afraid to speak the unspeakable, the truth about the sad way things are today and what makes queers uncomfortable to talk about. I agree, we should call ourselves queer and not all that letter shit….that’s one of the first things I noticed about you. RIght on, bro.

    1. Queer boi

      Agreed. pink barrio tells it like it is. He’s pretty much alone in doing so. He recently asked – What has happened to my fellow Queers? Where does one start answering that question?

  5. JW Drew Whitaker

    Did Tommy have any close girlfriends or women friends that he was sexually attracted to? He an extremely attractive man!

    1. el barrio rosa Post author

      Hola JW Drew: I’d be more interested to know if he had any boyfriends, or a boyfriend since that’s how I read him. I’ve read nothing about any girlfriends and the only pics I’ve seen were him with his two sisters. Yes, I found him very attractive as well. And it was almost as if I’d seen him somewhere even though I probably haven’t. I found, from dating, that some of the most attractive guys on the outside were among the most fucked up inside after I got to know them a bit. (I’m not saying that was the case with Tommy). And that’s backed up by most everyone I’ve talked with and their experiences with people. My neighbour (a lesbian) was all hot over this model-type female awhile back and she was very fucked up inside as well (just like my neighbour). My neighbour kept saying, “But she’s sooooo attractive” and that seemed to be my neighbour’s only criteria for a relationship, which is likely the case for most people.


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