It may seem astonishing that something our generation openly accepts is still taboo in parts of the world. What’s more astonishing is that although many believe in gay right’s and same-sex marriage, ostracism, hate crimes and cultural backlash still exist within our communities outside of India and the Middle East. We like to think that society is more progressive, but we are reminded each day that inclusion is a constant uphill fight.
Jahed Choudhury, an originally Bangladeshi British Muslim, has experienced it all. He was banned from his mosque, he was abandoned from and attacked by his Muslim community, and he was the subject of hate crimes. He even was once forced to take a religious pilgrimage to change his sexual orientation.
A lifetime filled with bullying and isolation led Choudhury to even try committing suicide. It was then that he met his now husband, Sean Rogan, who helped guide him to a better life.
The two recently married at the Walsall registry office in Darlaston, Great Britain, in what is thought to be the first gay Muslim wedding in the UK. Its hard to believe since England and Wales legalized same-sex marriage in 2014 but wonderful nonetheless.
Choudhury, who at one point was forced to take medication and have a girlfriend to forcibly change his identity, says, “This is about showing people I don’t care. My family…think it’s a disease and can be cured, some of my family still call it a phase. I want to say to all people going through the same thing that it’s okay – we are going to show the whole world that you can be gay and Muslim.”