Updated: May 16
My name is Nadim and my pronouns are he/him. I am 30 years' old and am originally from Bangladesh.
Back home, I was a closeted gay man. I cried many nights on my own because I had no one to speak to about my sexuality, and the unbearable pain I went through. When I reached adolescence I realised I was emotionally and sexually attracted only to men. I was scared, alone, depressed, had zero self-esteem, and was terrified of being found out.
I was bullied for being different, not only by complete strangers but also by the people I trusted most, including family, friends, classmates and neighbours. Over the course of school 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 because of the fear of persecution from my family and the community. I decided to stay in the closet and hide my sexuality. I grew up in fear and honestly didn’t feel very connected to anybody, even in school. 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 of ending my life because I couldn't take it anymore.
The 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 for the first time that it is okay for me to love men. Now I am an open gay men and I am proud of my sexuality.
I am a strong, proud, gay man. Every single time I say it, I feel so much better.
I have lost most of my biological family members. But I have a new family - my chosen family of my partner, my friends, my LGBTQI+ community. This is my family with whom I feel safe, loved and secure, despite all the trouble.
In the future I want to work with LGBTQI+ organisations to help young children to build their self-confidence to come out. I know how important it is to have help and support when it's needed the most.
Who I love is not your problem or your choice. Let us live as human beings, with dignity and respect.