A young gay couple jumped to their deaths from a bridge in Armenia after their families declined to accept their relationship.
The two men, identified as Arsen and Tigran, jumped from the 301-foot Davitashen Bridge in the capital of Yerevan on Oct. 20, according to Pink Armenia, a local LGBTQ group.
Before taking the deadly leap, they posted pictures of their final moments on Instagram in one of which they are seen kissing each other a final goodbye. “Happy End. Decisions about sharing photos and our next steps were taken by both of us together,” they wrote in the caption, according to the organization.
Their Instagram handle also featured a photo of them enjoying facials and showing off what seems like their wedding rings. One of the youths was a teenager, about 16 to 17 years old, while another was a few years older.
The couple decided to end their lives apparently because their families were opposed to their relationship and they had received threats before their deaths, News.com.au reported.
“The young men still had many years of life ahead of them, but because of intolerance towards them, they took such a tragic step,” Pink Armenia wrote in the report, adding that same-sex relationships are still deemed a taboo in Armenia despite its government decriminalizing homosexuality in 2003. “LGBT people are very familiar with the feeling of isolation and misunderstanding of family and society.”
The outlet reported that the couple’s tearjerking now-viral Instagram post wasn’t also spared of homophobic comments.
Armenia’s widespread intolerance toward LGBTQ forces same-sex couples to keep their relationships secret in fear of being socially outcast by their friends and families. Armenia, a former soviet nation, holds a position closer to the bottom spot, ranking 47 out of 49 in the Rainbow Europe Map and Index released annually.
“This tragic incident proves once again that LGBT people in Armenia are not safe and not protected by society or the state,” Pink Armenia wrote in the report.
The incident sparked a wave of backlash on social media where several LGBTQ rights organizations called out the Armenian society for its homophobic views.
Tbilisi Pride, a far-right religious group also shared their condolences.
If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours a day, all seven days a week.