A British teen hanged himself on vacation after another youth made a disparaging comment about gay people, an inquest has found.
Nineteen-year-old Harry Corbett, who identified as bisexual, died in May while traveling with friends on a trip around the world during his gap year. According to reports, Corbett was having difficulties with one of the other boys. Mark Catley-Day says their dispute began in Australia, when the two got into a fight that turned physical.
“I made a gay-related comment to him and I think he got upset,” said Catley-Day
Tensions remained high and after another argument on a cruise in Vietnam Corbett reportedly said, “Tell my mum I love her,” before leaving the room. Ten minutes later, his body was discovered on the ship’s upper deck.
Corbett, who had plans to enroll at Swansea University, was living with depression and bipolar disorder. He reportedly told Catley-Day he had attempted suicide before. “I was really shocked but I thought it was an attention thing. He said he was bisexual and that had caused the depression and bipolar [disorder].”
Studies indicate bisexuals are more likely than their straight, lesbian, or gay peers to struggle with mental illness. (A 2012 survey found that only 5% of bi teens reported being “very happy,” compared to 8% of gay youth and 21% of non-LGBT youth.)
One reason is that bisexuals can often experience “double discrimination” from both other LGBT people and the larger heterosexual community.
David and Barbara Corbett have received hundreds of messages from around the world expressing condolences over the loss of their son. “It’s been absolutely overwhelming,” Mrs. Corbett told the Sun.
“Harry was our youngest son and loved by all who knew him,” David wrote in a tribute. “We are devastated at his loss. We are extremely proud of everything he achieved in his short life.”