STAND UP! FIGHT BACK!

My name is Md Nadim Uddin, 30 years old. I was born in Muslim family. Back home, I was a closeted GAY man, I was unable to speak to anyone about my sexuality, I cried many nights on my own because I had no one to speak to about my sexuality, the unbearable pain I went through.

When I reached adolescence, I realised I was emotionally and sexually attracted to men. I did not desire a single women, so I knew I was different, but I was scared, alone, depressed, no self-esteem, terrified of being find out about my sexuality by other people.

I was told being homosexual is dirty, sinful and I believed it. I was raised as a Muslim and in our religion, the Imams state that if you are practising homosexual or parents of homosexual, you will go to hell. With this mix of messages bubbling in my head, I started to become depressed without even realising it. I would be present with my friends and family but I would feel so fake. At the time, I would tell myself if I just smile everything would be fine.

It is scary how much a smile can hide.

I was bullied for being different, not only from complete strangers, but people I trusted most, including my family, friends, class mates and neighbours. Over the course of school year, I got called so many hateful and hurtful words. As a kid, some of these words went over my head. After this, I never had the courage to come out to anyone. I decided to stay in a closet and hide my sexuality.

I grew up in fear where I honestly didn’t feel very connected to anybody. Even in school I didn’t feel connected to anybody. I remember perfectly sitting in the school yard, I was bullied all the time, and at the same time, I was ignored all the time. The only time people that talked to me did so to bully me. I was sitting there one day looking at everyone hanging out together and I thought to myself, I am the loneliest boy the whole world, and I grew up with that mentality. I grew up feeling that I am disconnected from everyone in my country.

What a pathetic, sad, suffocating and lonely life I had growing up in my own home country where I was born. Many nights I had suicidal thoughts because I couldn’t take it anymore. I wish I was straight, if I were straight I would have lived in my country with people I love and be happy. I grew up thinking homosexuality is a mental disease. Because that’s what I heard in mosque by the Imams. During my teenage years, I really hated myself. Back home as a LGBT person, there is not much to do. You end up getting depressed, stressed, and having the fear of getting killed, which will destroy you mentally. Basically, you feel like a dead soul in living body. Some people say that homosexuality is a choice or a preference. No, it’s neither a choice nor preference. This is how I was born and this is how GOD has made me.

UK is my new home. For me, home is where I feel secure, where I feel loved where I can live the life I want to without any fear. When I arrived in the UK, I realised that being GAY is a gift, not a curse. It is here in the UK that I realised that for the first time it is okay to love a man, it was a rebirth. Back in my home country, I was seeing the world black and white and for the first time, I was experiencing all its colours. When I participated London LGBT pride walk, for the first time in my life I knew there was no going back. For someone born and broad up in cage I was experiencing freedom for the first time. I walked proudly in London LGBT pride walk, proud of my sexuality.

I have a new family, I have lost most of my biological family members. Right now I have my chosen family, my partner, my friends, my LGBTQI+ community. This is my family with whom I feel safe, loved and secure.

My messaged to all closeted LGBT people please find a way to come out, so that closeted Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex can experience freedom that I experienced. If you possess enough courage to speak out what you are, you will find you are not alone. Only by speaking out can we create lasting change. And that change begins with coming out.

As far my message to all homophobic people you can at least try take baby step

  1. Stop making jokes about us.
  2. Stop harassing us.
  3. Stop teasing us.
  4. Stop discriminating against us.
  5. Stop showing us as scary creature on film and serial,
  6. Stop killing us.
  7. Stop sexually abusing us.

Is that too much to ask for to be treated as human being with dignity and respect?

For centuries, we warriors have fought this battle first as sinner, then as deviant and now as criminal. I am proud of all my struggle for being gay first with my selves then with society. I am proud of every tear I have shared. I am proud of every wound I have received. I am proud of every scar I have received. There is nothing I should be ashamed off. There is nothing that I should hide.

This is how I stand; this is how I will stand. Live my life as open gay with my freedom out and proud, no more hiding my sexuality.

“WHO I LOVE IS

NOT

YOUR PROBLEM

OR

YOUR CHOICE”

Now I am older I have advice for the others who are currently going through all this. IGNORE them. Their opinion cannot change who you are it’s your life to live only you know what’s that truly means.

There is nothing wrong with you, you are beautiful, wanted, and perfect just the way you are. To this, I am still afraid of people not accepting me or my fellow LGBTQ+ friends that I would not even consider my family. But if you have family members and friends that don’t accept you, I hope you know that the LGBTQ+ community will accept you, the LGBTQ+ community is here to support you and love you. I am here for you, we are here to hold you, to keep your head held high and help you getting confident who you are.

I hope we can all work together to overcome this suicidal conflict and help change the world for better. I hope we can all get further involve to but more equal and equitable future for all LGBTQI+ members. I want to help other realise that religion can indeed coexist with different sexuality and gender identity. That LGBTQI+ people shouldn’t be view as unnatural. I would like to increase visibility for bisexual, transgender, pansexual family members so they feel more seen and included.

BY NOT CHANGING WHO YOU ARE,

YOU SHOULD CHANGE THE WORLD,

BE PROUD OF YOUR SEXUALITY.

STAND UP! FIGHT BACK!