“They crucified him like Jesus: now I want justice.” Mother of Andrea
By Melanie Nathan, November 23, 2012.
Outrage is building as a community of grief stricken LGBT Romans in Italy are trying to come to grips with the suicide of a young Italian. His name was Andrea and he was only was 15 when he hanged himself a few days ago. He lived in Rome, Italy. He liked the pink color, and so he liked to wear pink clothes and nail polish. And that is why his classmates and schoolmates constantly teased him, calling him “faggot” or “the boy with pink clothes.”.
His classmates created a page on Facebook where they would tease him even more and according to my unnamed source and it is that which pushed him to kill himself. The homophobic remarks on the page were just too much for him to handle and it is believed this coupled with inaction on the part of his school, Liceo Cavour, that caused Andrea’s suicide.
There was a picture of him in which he was wearing a feminine wig and a pink scarf, which was something he had worn for a carnival, yet the tormentors from his school put the picture on a dedicated Facebook page to use a tool to tease him further. The page became a weapon of torment. They used that picture as a profile picture on the Facebook page, and added offensive language to it., pretending that he dressed like that all the time.
His teachers at school, who apparently knew about it, did nothing. “They weren’t interested and never defended him,” said one source. “So after years of pain and suffering, Andrea hanged himself with a scarf a few days ago, November, 20, 2012.”
Teachers and schoolmates wrote a letter in an apparent cover up, where they pretended that nobody ever teased him and that he was strong and independent; but now, according to a source a lot of people consider this action as an attempt to defend themselves. The Facebook page has disappeared,
“They wrote that he was not gay too, as if it was enough to exculpate them,” my source told me.
His mother at his funeral today said:
“They crucified him like Jesus: now I want justice.” This is what the mother said at the end of the funeral. ”
Now my strength are his true friends, I want those who defamed him out of here”, said his grandmother tearfully. ”
“Those who are rotten today are what’s rotten in our future” said the mother near his son’s coffin, overwhelmed with grief. “The only pink color is the color of his sensibility, if he was gay he would’ve told me, without shame or prejudices,”-she said, “he knew that, I was always there for him. The picture on Facebook in which he was masked was taken at Carnival but they wanted to mock him and make him look like a monster. I will not have peace until I’ll have justice”, said his mother while crying.
“We don’t know what will happen to his schoolmates or to his teachers,” said a school friend, “because except for those letters, they didn’t say a word about what’s happening.”
Outraged advocates in Italy are starting to ask for investigations and action to be taken against those responsible for the Facebook page and the school and teachers. The LGBT community in Rome is looking for accountability.
In the meantime communities are showing pink in their Facebook profiles, and even heterosexuals are uploading pink profile pictures, as a sign of solidarity against the bullying of Andrea with a call for investigations and an end to homophobic bullying of worldwide and Italian youth.
“On Twitter, the hashtag # ioportoipantalonirosa has started and has quickly become one of the top trending topic. Hundreds of chirps, reflect anger and pain. The most active adolescents, the community of “Gleek”, fans of the program Glee – whose authors have always paid particular attention to the issue of homosexuality and diversity. Adolescents who do not understand how it is that someone their own age has decided to take his own life. The most common question is “how can you still be homophobic?”. (http://www.huffingtonpost.it/2012/11/23/suicidio-15enne-il-dolore-virale_n_2176930.html?utm_hp_ref=italy#slide=1795339)
Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know needs support, please don’t hesitate to call the Trevor Project‘s Lifeline at 866-488-7386.
Melanie Nathan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org