A 15-year-old boy from the northern Indian city of Agra is currently in the hospital recovering from severe self-inflicted burns after he was teased and harassed for being gay.
He was reportedly discovered by a neighbor being intimate with a male friend in a local park. News spread quickly, and soon the accomplished student was being publicly bullied.
The teenager ran home and locked himself in his room for two days, worrying his family.
Then suddenly, he emerged from his home covered in diesel which he had taken from a car and set himself on fire.
Neighbors and family members rushed out when they heard him screaming, pouring water on him and covering him with a blanket.
They rushed him to the hospital, where his family now anxiously awaits his recovery. Doctors said he suffered 40% burns, most severely on his legs and chest.
“He is unable to speak properly. The doctors say he is out of danger but I will only believe it when my son will talk to me,” said the victim’s father.
Being gay remains largely a taboo in Indian culture, and homophobia is rampant. The Indian government classifies sex between to people of the same gender an act punishable by law.