The suicide of a 16-year-old Indian boy who hit a wall of online abuse after posting selfies in saris and makeup has galvanized calls for social media giants to better protect LGBTQ+ Indians.

Sexual minorities say it is hard enough being openly gay or transgender in India, and the pressure only mounts in the online world, where advocates blame weak content moderation for an explosion in derogatory feedback.

"In India, the online abuse faced by LGBTQ+ creators, predominantly on Instagram, is pervasive and includes death threats, hate speech, rape threats, bullying and other forms of harassment," said Jeet, founder of Yes, We Exist, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group on Instagram.