It breaks my heart to write this article.
Just remember – our country isn’t perfect; it certainly has its flaws. However, at least we’re lucky enough to love who we love without fear of consequences. In most places, that is.
A young couple in Armenia, Arsen and Tigran, shared a few relationship snaps on social media last Thursday, October 20. They displayed an average day together and what they hoped for the future, including matching wedding rings. Soon after, they committed suicide by jumping 301 feet to their death off the Davitashen Bridge.
The caption of the photos “Happy End” and “Our next steps were taken by both of us together.” It goes to show the hopelessness that I’m sure some of us have experienced at one point.
Homophobia, hate & violence have no place in any society! https://t.co/XtbNEoi3dD
— Tbilisi Pride (@TbilisiPride) October 21, 2022
The double suicide has sparked debate in Armenia, with some members of the public being saddened by the loss and the majority saying their death was justified because they were gay. Although Armenia decriminalized homosexuality in 2003, it’s noted as one of the least LGBT friendly countries in the world.
According to Global Voice, Pink Armenia, a large LGBT rights group, released a public statement:
We consider it unacceptable to justify the loss of human life. The young men still had many years of life ahead of them, but because of intolerance towards them, they took such a tragic step. LGBT people are very familiar with the feeling of being isolated, not understood by family and society. This tragic case proves once again that LGBT people in Armenia are not safe and protected neither by the society nor by the state.
It’s being reported that Arsen and Tigran decided to commit double suicide because their families did not approve of their relationship. The harassment and death threats they received outside of the household was also a contributing factor.
Suicide is never the answer, folks. Please, I beg you, if you’re ever thinking of hurting yourself or someone you know, find the proper mental health resources that can help you. It’s not worth it to dim your light for anyone else. The Trevor Project offers a variety of help at this link.