The parents of a teenager who committed suicide because she was too frightened to tell them she was a lesbian told an inquest they would have been “very supportive” of their daughter had they known.
The body of 14-year-old Lizzie Lowe was found in a park near her home in Didsbury, Manchester, in September.
Unbeknown to her family, Lizzie self-harmed and only confided in close friends about her sexuality. But at an inquest into her death in Manchester, her parents, Hilary and Kevin, said her fears were “misplaced” and they would have been “very supportive”.
“We are utterly devastated at losing her,” they said. “Lizzie did not make known her struggle with depression and the challenges she tried to face alone as a young adult. The loss of our precious daughter has left us broken-hearted.”
Her father said: “There was nothing to suggest she was distressed or had any issues. She was very mature, she knew what she wanted and she knew her own mind.”
Asked how the family would have reacted had she spoken to them about her sexuality, he replied: “It wouldn’t have come as much of a surprise. She was very much a tomboy. In fact, she was more of a boy than some of the boys were. We would have been very supportive.” They described her as a wonderful, exuberant and loved member of her church, school and community.
Police were called on 10 September when a friend of Lizzie received a text message from her that ended: “Stay strong. I am sorry.” Following a search of the area, they found her body three hours later.
One of her friends told the hearing Lizzie had self-harmed and cut herself as “a coping mechanism”. Another friend said she had found it hard to connect with God “as she thought she was lying to him”.
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