A tortured gay couple leapt from a bridge to their deaths just seconds after sharing a photo of their last kiss on Instagram.
The two men – identified only as Tigran and Arsen in Armenian media – jumped from the 105-foot-high Davtashen Bridge in Yerevan on 20th October.
They reportedly posted their last photos – including one where they shared a kiss – on Instagram prior to the incident.
The images were captioned: “Happy End. Decisions about sharing photos and our next steps were taken by both of us together.”
The post spread immediately among social media users, who were devastated by what had happened.
Instagram user @iamkarinahhh commented on the post: “Our society is to blame for all this. Because of them, these two minor children committed suicide. And people say that we are modern? Enough!!! LOVE IS SEXLESS.”
Another social media user, @feel_it_all___, said: “Rest in pride, angels.”
A third netizen, @angelayeghiazaryan, said: “I feel so sorry for that. I hope one day I will wake up in a tolerant and educated society where everyone will keep their nose in their own business and life…”
But, aside from the many heart-warming comments, there were those who justified the couple’s decision, while some users even encouraged other gay people to do the same.
Pink Armenia – a human rights NGO founded in 2007 – reported on the case and criticised the public’s reaction towards the incident.
It said in a statement: “We consider it unacceptable to justify the death of people.
“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 isolation and misunderstanding of family and society.
“This tragic incident proves once again that LGBT people in Armenia are not safe and not protected by society or the state.”
The statement continued: “It is extremely important to show compassion, realizing the gravity of what happened.
“We offer our condolences to the families and friends of young people, and at the same time, sympathizing with their grief, we call on the public to refrain from insults, humiliating expressions, distorting the details of the incident in the form of hateful messages and comments, and spreading hatred.”
The association added that homophobia remains widespread in Armenia, and members of the LGBTQ+ community in the country regularly face discrimination, harassment, and violence.
Even seeking mental health services for depression remains taboo in Armenian society.