A gay teen in Switzerland said he woke up to find his homophobic father holding a knife to his neck.
The 17-year-old victim, who has been identified only as “Seran M” to protect his identity, told the Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten that his father held the blade in his hand as he stared wide-eyed at him.
“He yelled, ‘You’re gay, you’re gay?’ And pulled the blade over my neck,” the teen told the news outlet.
Seran said he managed to fight off his dad before jumping over the balcony to safety, after which neighbors called emergency services.
The injuries he sustained to his chest, throat, arms and back were so severe he had to be flown to the University Hospital of Bern.
“Fortunately, he narrowly missed the carotid artery, but my trachea was badly injured,” Seran said. “I had to be put in an artificial coma.”
Seran, whose family is from Iraq, said he does not know his father found out that he is gay.
“I’ve always hidden my homosexuality from my family,” he said.
“I am now a freer person than before the incident,” he said.
He said he is reminded of his injuries every day thanks to the heavy scarring all over his body.
“I see the injuries in the mirror, or when I take selfies and appear in snaps,” he said. “They will be with me for the rest of my life.”
He said the unprovoked attack convinced him to share his story online to help and encourage other LGBTQ people from Muslim backgrounds to come out.
“Get help if you want to come out as gay,” he said “We are living in 2019 and my dad wanted me dead because I’m attracted to men. I just cannot accept that. I hid for long enough, this is the end of that now.”
Anita Streule of Amnesty International said that this was an “isolated incident” that would be considered shocking in Iraq, just as it is in Switzerland.
“In Iraq, as in Switzerland, there are progressive residents who have no problems with homosexuality at all,” Streule explained. “And then there are others in both countries who reject family members because of their homosexuality. However, Iraqi society as a whole is clearly conservative.”
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