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Openly gay teen in Rome commits suicide because of anti-gay bullying

Thursday, November 22, 2012

ROME, Italy — A 15-year-old openly gay teen has committed suicide after allegedly suffering repeated anti-gay bullying at school and online, according to Rome’s chief deputy prosecutor, Pierfilippo Laviani.

The boy, identified only by his first name and initial — Andrea S. — hanged himself at his family home Wednesday evening. “AS” was reportedly sent home from school Tuesday after school officials reprimanded him for his frequent wardrobe consisting of pink trousers, a pink shirt, and painted fingernails.

AS attended Cavour High School, located in Rome’s central district.

According to Laviani, AS hanged himself with a scarf in front of his younger brother, who alerted his parents. Laviani also indicated that the teen had been open about his sexual orientation with friends, family, and school officials.

Laviani announced that his office had launched an investigation after the teen’s parents found a series of disturbing posts on his Facebook page. Laviani confirmed that the teen had suffered “torment and gone through hell” as a result of the daily abuse by classmates, one of whom had apparently created a fake profile on Facebook deriding the youth for his choice of colorful clothes.

Italy, where more than 85 percent of the population are Roman Catholic, has one of the worst records for LGBT rights in Europe, and has no protections for sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace or in public accommodations, or bullying laws which include anti-gay bias.

Same-sex relationships are not recognized in national law, and it is not legal for same-sex couples to jointly adopt.

A recent bill proposed by the Partito Democratico party last year to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination and bullying failed on the second reading in the Italian Parliament.

“Now we need a law against homophobia, it’s up to the parliament,” said Vincenzo Branà, a spokesperson for Arcigay Il Cassero, an LGBT advocacy organization. “But local governments have to do something as well. They have to launch helplines and associations against homophobia.”

“This is an emergency, now. We are going to have more children die,” said Branà.

On Thursday evening, a crowd of several hundred gathered near the famed Roman Colosseum for a candlelight vigil on Via di San Giovanni, and marched to the high school on Via Cavour of Carine with most of those in attendance wearing pink ribbons in the teen’s memory.

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27 more reader comments:

  1. Another life lost :(( The spread of hate because religion tells you to. UGH.

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:27pm
  2. :’(

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:31pm
  3. :;(

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:33pm
  4. RIP

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:33pm
  5. Smfh. Poor teen. No fking words man.. none

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:36pm
  6. Enough

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:40pm
  7. This is so disheartening.

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:40pm
  8. Wow living where he lived he had no support at all. What a shame. Sometimes I see social networking sites as such a disaster for teens. I think parents should be held responsible for some things that go on theses sites as well as schools should be held responsible for what goes on in the school. There may not be a law to protect gay and lesbians but I am sure there is one for harassment. What people forget is not just some gay freak, he was a person. While there are no laws to protect his sexuality, there are other laws to assist just because he is a human.

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:45pm
  9. My only message to all my gay and lesbian friends is that if nobody understands you in this lonely life, don’t give up because I do. I’m straight but I will always be there for my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Shymal is always there for you friends. <3 Ya all.

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:48pm
  10. I can’t beleive it- after we had FOUR gay popes, and an openly gay bishop in the middle ages, they sTILL have the nerve to condemn?!

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:50pm
  11. This is so sad. :’(

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:54pm
  12. :-(

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:54pm
  13. i am a firm believer that parents should not have acess to social media sites unless the kid has given permission. Our fb is our private(or not so private, depends on your settings) little diary for us to rant about our days. Sad that we lost another youth :(

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 9:56pm
  14. Thanks messed up this gets me upset wish people will wake up n love everyone the same

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 11:05pm
  15. Those school administrators have no idea of the world of shit they have walked into.

    Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 11:58pm
  16. This shit has just got to stop…there are resources for these kids out there. Suicide is not the answer.

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 12:08am
  17. =(

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 12:35am
  18. This is why I’m so vocal and persistent. I know what that teen went through. I remember it all too well.

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 1:41am
  19. Ffs! Not another life! This is so so sad you would think in this day and age that everyone would be in acceptance but no! Damn the narrow minded bigots!

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 2:24am
  20. :n(

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 9:56am
  21. Bloody SAD!

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 10:12am
  22. So sad :( Poor younger brother too, he will never be able to go past it now…

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 12:49pm
  23. terrible facebook needs the anti like button

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 12:54pm
  24. Bullies should be dying, not victims.

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 1:02pm
  25. … BY-thee-POPE?!?

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 1:07pm
  26. It isn’t right to bully those bullies should do prison time at least!

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 3:33pm
  27. I hope the kids who tormented that poor boy rot. No one should ever be made to feel so worthless and put through so much pain that they would rather be dead.

    Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 at 4:07pm