A gay teen in Switzerland has shared his shocking story of an attempt by his own father to kill him.
The 17-year-old, identified as “Seran M” in the press for his own protection, told the Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten that he woke one night to find his father holding a knife to his throat.
According to a Google Translation of the news report, the father shouted at the teen, “You’re gay, you’re gay?” And at that point, he slid the blade across the teen’s neck.
Seran says he fought off his father while sustaining further injuries to his neck and upper body.
Eventually, the teen escaped the attack across a balcony and sought safety at a neighbor’s home.
Due to the severity of his injuries to his throat, chest, arms and back, he was flown to the University Hospital of Bern.
“Fortunately, he narrowly missed the carotid artery, but my trachea was badly injured,” shared Seran. “I had to be put in an artificial coma.”
Seran, whose family is from Iraq, told 20 Minuten he doesn’t know how his father discovered he is gay adding, “I’ve always hidden my homosexuality from my family.”
Since leaving the hospital six months ago he lives on his own in Bern and feels he is “a freer person than before the incident.”
That said, the scars from the hate crime remind him of the incident every day.
“I see them in the mirror or when I take selfies and snaps,” he explains. “They will be with me or the rest of my life.”
Seran added that he’s begun counseling to help him process the emotional scars.
He says he’s sharing his story to encourage other LGBTQ people from Muslim backgrounds to “get help if you want to come out as gay.”
“We are living in 2019 and my dad wanted me dead because I’m attracted to men. I just cannot accept that. I hid long enough, this is the end of that now.”
According to the UK’s Daily Star, the father was arrested for the attack but it’s unclear when he will stand trial.
Switzerland has wrestled with the issue of homophobia for years.
A 2016 study found that gay men in Geneva are four times more likely to suffer attacks than men in the general population.
ILGA, a human rights organization, ranks Switzerland 27th out of 49 countries in Europe on LGBTQ+ equality.