Lesbian teenager in Italy locked up by her parents after coming out

This photo taken on May 12, 2016 in Rome shows an Italian police van stationed outside of the Colosseum

Authorities in Italy freed a teenager who was locked up by her parents after she came out as lesbian.

LGBT+ umbrella organisation Gay Center, based in Rome, said that the 17-year-old was liberated last week after she called the group’s helpline, in a coordinated operation with the anti-discrimination police observatory OSCAD.

“The authorities went to her house after we reported the case and they found her locked up,” Gay Center spokesperson Fabrizio Marrazzo told PinkNews.

He said the girl’s parents forced her to stay at home for about a year, only allowing her to leave the house in rare cases.

The girl’s identity has not been released to the media, but Marrazzo said in a video posted on Facebook that she was 16 years old when she came out to her family.

“From that moment on, her life became a nightmare,” he said, describing how her family restricted her from going to school and subjected her to violence and abuse.

People take part in the annual Gay Pride Parade (LGBT), in downtown Rome on June 11, 2016.
(Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty)

The teenager tried to flee once before and contacted the police, but the officers ended up taking her back to her parents’ home.

Marrazzo said that the girl is now safe and being looked after, with the organisation supporting her in rebuilding her life.

He added: “What is normal to many teenagers, it isn’t so for gay and lesbian teens. We think it’s important to approve a law against homophobia as soon as possible.”

Gay Center says it receives around 20,000 reports of homophobia and transphobia to its hotline every year, an average of 54 a day. Minors needing to report instances of homophobia and transphobia can contact their local LGBT+ organisations, and Gay Center also offers an app and the helpline (800713713).

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