Bullied Teen’s Suicide Highlights Report That 1 in 3 LGBT Kids In Italy Consider Suicide

Dan Littauer
Authored by
Dan Littauer

August 18, 2013
7:03 a.m.

ROME, Italy — A 14-year-old teen in Rome, Italy, committed suicide earlier this week as a result of antigay bullying, highlighting a recent study that one in three LGBT teens in Italy have contemplated suicide.

The teen, identified only by his first name, Roberto, as per Italian privacy laws, jumped from a terrace at his home in a Rome suburb, after having left a suicide letter to his parents stating, “Nobody accepts me.”

Roberto left a list of 12 other boys who have allegedly bullied him over a period of few months.

“He felt excluded and mocked,” confided an unidentified friend of Roberto, to the daily La Republica.

“He had just accepted his homosexuality, but the problem was it was not acceptable to others. At times, it’s not easy to tell and discuss issues even at home,” the friend said. “Among friends it is perhaps a bit easier to open up.”

Authorities in Rome have initiated an investigation in order to piece together the circumstances that led to the suicide and track the boys who allegedly bullied Roberto.

Hate-speech graffiti was sprayed over a Roman school’s wall the last year, following antigay statements from politicians of the Italian right wing Forza Nova party.

“This suicide, like so many other cases of discrimination that occur at school, in families or peers reveal that Italy is still largely homophobic,” stated Fabrizio Marrazzo, a spokesperson for Rome’s Gay Center.

Earlier this week, the center said its most recent study reveals the extent of antigay hate in Italy.

The study of 4,000 high school students, ages 14 to 18, found that about 5 percent identified as LGBT, of which one out of three contemplated suicide at least once.

More than 70 percent of the gay respondents stated that their school and families were not accepting their sexual orientation, resulting in their first encounters with discrimination or antigay attitudes.

Marazzo noted that lawmakers are partly to blame for the homophobic culture in Italy as they use antigay speech whenever equality legislation is discussed in the Italian parliament.

“The Minister of Education must carry out concrete policies and campaigns against homophobia in schools,” added Marrazzo.

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