A 14-year-old girl in Manchester, England has taken her own life because she couldn’t bear to come out to her devout Christian parents as gay — though they say they would have welcomed her with open arms.
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Lowe (below) was recently found hanged at a local park, according to the U.K. news site The Telegraph. Her friends say that she was questioning whether she might be a lesbian and was having trouble reconciling her sexuality with her strong Christian upbringing and her own faith.
Her parents, however, have said that her coming out would not have been a surprise, and that she would have been met with “a wealth of love and acceptance.”
During the inquest Lizzie’s tearful father Kevin, an engineer, said he and her mother Hilary had no idea about the issues their 14-year-old daughter was grappling with.
He said: “She was just normal and seemed happy. There was nothing to suggest she was distressed or had any issues. She was very mature, she knew what she wanted and she knew her own mind.”
Asked how the family would have reacted if she had spoken to them about her sexuality, Mr Lowe said: “It wouldn’t have come as much surprise. She was very much a tomboy. In fact she was more of a boy than some of the boys were, so it would have been no surprise at all. We would have been very supportive.”
While Lizzie didn’t have any “diagnosable mental health problems,” according to the report, she had a history of self-harm and had discussed suicidal thoughts with her friends before.
Speaking about Lizzie’s concerns over telling her parents about her sexuality, one of her friends told an inquest: “She said she wasn’t sure if they would be OK with it. I told her that I didn’t think it would be like that but she did not want to tell them.”
Some of other friends also told the hearing that they had discussed suicidal thoughts with Lizzie and she had also self-harmed in the past.
One told the hearing that Lizzie had told her that cutting herself was a “coping mechanism”.
Another said she was “finding it hard to connect with God as she thought she was lying to him”.
Breaks my heart. If you need help, please contact the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.