“My child was supremely talented. They did nothing wrong. I am proud of them,” said Preeti Yadav, the mother of 16-year-old queer makeup artist Pranshu who was found dead, reportedly from hanging, on Tuesday. She was speaking to The Quint.
During Diwali, the artist and social media influencer from Madhya Pradesh had posted a reel of them wearing a saree on Instagram, following which people made hateful and homophobic remarks in the comments section. Actor-activist Trineta Haldar Gummaraju claimed that the comments section of the reel was flooded with over 4,000 homophobic remarks, forcing Pranshu to die by suicide.
Forty-four-year-old Preeti, who works as a Medical Representative (MR), told The Quint that it was last year, when Pranshu was in class 9, that they had “opened up and shared their feelings” with her.
Since the pandemic, Pranshu had been using their grandfather’s mobile phone for online classes and also making videos on it during their free time. "They performed well academically, their teachers at school were very fond of them, and they were always respectful towards girls and women", Pranshu's mother told The Quint.
Pranshu drew their inspiration from American YouTuber and makeup artist James Charles – and “wanted to be just like him,", their mother told the outlet.
“Every child is unique, and I accepted my child the way they were. I would have always stood by them. I wish they would have given me that chance,” Preeti mourned, adding that she feels “alone” now.
She added that she was proud of them for having an ambition and honing their talent.
Pranshu was a self-taught makeup artist who had a sizeable following on their Instagram handle 'glamitupwithpranshu'.
Quoting Kamal Singh Gehlot, the police station in charge, India Today reported that the 16-year-old's mobile has been seized and details will be obtained from Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook.
Police have also added that they haven't yet identified the solid basis behind the suicide.
(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 (available 24x7).