What Is The Meaning Of Clay's Semicolon Tattoo In '13 Reasons Why'?

18 May 2018, 13:19 | Updated: 18 May 2018, 13:21

Clay's Semi Colon Tattoo - 13 Reasons Why
Clay's Semi Colon Tattoo - 13 Reasons Why. Picture: Netflix
Woodrow Whyte

By Woodrow Whyte

Helmet is all grown up and getting his first tattoo but what does it mean?

Within 5 minutes of the first episode of 13 Reasons Why season two, Clay has already caused us two minor heart attacks.

The first trauma was his new relationship with Skye. Who does he think he is getting a new girlfriend so soon? It's only been five months. I mean, if we're not ready to move on from Hannah Baker then we don't understand how he could be. *weeps into pillow*

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But then Clay does the most un-Clay like thing we've ever heard and gets a tattoo. It's not just any tattoo, though. His choice has a special meaning which is relevant to first season of 13 Reasons Why.

Clay asks for a semicolon tattoo. And if you thought Clay was just a really big fan of punctuation then, henny, we've got a surprise for you.

Today was a magical day. Another day to be grateful to be alive. Alisha, Selena, and I went together to get ; tattoos. The ; symbol stands for an end of one thought and a beginning of another. Instead of a period, authors use the semicolon to continue a sentence. For us, it means a beginning of another chapter in life, in lieu of ending your life. I struggled with addiction and depression issues through high school and early college. I reached out and asked for help. At the time, I thought my life was over, I thought I'd never live past the age of 21. Today I'm grateful to be alive, in this new chapter of life in recovery, standing with my colleagues and friends, making art that helps other people. If you're struggling, if you feel suicidal, I urge you to click the link in my bio. Ask for help. Start a new chapter with the support of others. 🌧⛅️🌤☀️and RIP Amy Bleul, who started the semicolon movement.

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The semicolon tattoo is actually part of a wider movement called the Semicolon Project, founded by Amy Bleuel (who sadly passed away last year). It was started in 2013 to raise awareness about mental health and its mission is to prevent suicide "through raising public awareness, educating communities, and equipping every person with the right tools."

The semicolon is most commonly used to divide sentence clauses but, for those who get the tattoo, it represents the continuation of life. “[A] semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life,” the project explains on their website.

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Thousands of people have inked themselves with the symbol since the project started, including the cast themselves. Selena Gomez (the show's executive producer) got matching semicolon tattoos with Alisha Boe (Jessica Davis) and Tommy Dorfman (Ryan Shaver) last year after the release of the first season.

So that's why Clay got the semicolon tattoo. Or, at least, he tried to before fainting.

If you're affected by any of the issues discussed in 13 Reasons Why, head to 13reasonswhy.info.

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