“We’re going to show the whole world that you can be gay and Muslim.”
A gay Muslim man says he hopes his wedding to his partner of two years can inspire other Muslims struggling to reconcile their sexuality with their faith.
Jahed Choudhury, 24, married his boyfriend Sean Rogan, 19, in a beautiful ceremony in Walsall registry office wearing traditional Muslim attire.
The pair first met when Jahed was crying on a bench in Darlaston after being ostracised from his community and some members of his family for being gay.
Jahed told the Express and Star: “I’d not long overdosed and I was crying on a bench and Sean came over and asked if I was okay. He gave me hope at one of my lowest points and he’s stood by me all the way.”
Born to Bangladeshi parents, Jahed says he often felt like the ‘black sheep’ of the family, and after suffering a sustained campaign of bullying at secondary school tried to change his sexual orientation by getting a girlfriend, taking medication and even going on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh.
“I’d been viciously attacked by Muslim boys, my mosque told me non-Muslims were not allowed in,” he explained.
“I tried killing myself and I then met Sean. The housing association got us a house in a week and we’ve been living together ever since. I proposed on Sean’s birthday last June.”
While his family weren’t present at the his wedding, Jahed says he hopes that the ceremony will help other Muslims struggling with their sexuality to be true to themselves.
“This is about showing people I don’t care, my family doesn’t want to come on the day, they just don’t want to see it, it’s too embarrassing for them,” he said.
“They think it’s a disease and can be cured, some of my family still call it a phase.”
The newly-wed added: “I want to say to all people going through the same thing that’s it’s okay – we’re going to show the whole world that you can be gay and Muslim.”