Trans man and champion bodybuilder dies by suicide after social media ‘bullying’

A transgender bodybuilder has reportedly died by suicide after being harassed on social media.

Praveen Nath was found dead in his home in Kerala, India on 4 May.

A day later, his partner Rishana Aishu was hospitalised after she attempted suicide and was taken to Thrissur Medical College for treatment.

Nath and Aishu married on Valentine’s Day this year. The couple reportedly became the victims of trolling following reports that they were separating.

This came after Nate wrote on social media that they “could not move forward” in their relationship and had “mutually” agreed to break up.

He deleted the post shortly after and clarified that they weren’t breaking up.

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On 2 May, Nath told Manorama Online that media speculation and social media commentary on their relationship was “too much”.

“The comments below the news stories were too much,” he said. “It affected our mental health… Everyone is happy to highlight problems within the trans community,” he said.

The Kerala transgender community has filed a complaint with the chief minister and the director general of police seeking legal action against online media, according to Asia Net News. It’s unclear what the charges are.

Praveen Nath was well-known in Kerala as a bodybuilder. He won the title of Mr Kerala in 2021 and was a finalist at the 2022 National Bodybuilding competition in Mumbai.

His journey to achieving his first title as Mr Kerala involved a few hurdles. The Body Building Association of Kerala had to create a new category for transgender bodybuilders in the competition.

But when he won, it was a moment of joy for the trans community in Kerala.

Nath was the advocacy coordinator of Sahayatrika, a group which helps lesbian and bisexual women and transgender people from Kerala.

After his passing, a friend spoke out about anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment online.

“It has become a land of curiosity about queer people’s marriages, feuds, separations and reunions. The people who ripped your privacy apart must be relieved now,” they wrote.

“You have lost your peace of mind by being bullied by queer and non-queer people alike.

“This society is a toxic anti-queer one. We are sentenced here without reason.”

Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). ​Readers in the US are encouraged to contact theNational Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.