In a poignant interview with Guardian, seven months after his boyfriend jumped to his death over the balcony of the dream home they shared in London, Briton Matthew Ogston relates how Nazim Mahmood decided to reveal his sexuality to his parents and the rejection he faced from him family, which then led to his suicide.
Matthew, a web designer first met Nazim, a medical student then about 14 years ago in a bar in Birmingham and started to develop a relationship, a journey just like any other heterosexual couple would do. Nazim was 21 years old then in 2001 when they first met and after a short courtship, they decided to share a 2 bedroom apartment to give an impression to their families what any bachelor would do while being students. Both had not come out to their parents then.
“We used to have to keep the window blinds in our front room closed so no one would see us,” says Matthew. “When we walked down the street we made sure there was some distance between us just in case a family member of his spotted us together.”
Matthew further told Guardian that since both of them were tired of hiding and living double lives, they decided to move to London and buy their dream property so that they can share the home together like any other heterosexual family. The property had a balcony with a beautiful view over the London skyline.
A few years later, Matthew decided to come out to his family and his parents and siblings were supportive of his sexuality. But it was not the case for Nazim who came from a conservative Muslim family.
Sometimes last year July, Nazim decided to tell his mother of his sexuality and their reactions were devastating due to the fact they are Muslims and from a very conservative community. Nazim was distraught from this revelation to his family. He was already 34-years-old then and already a successful medical practitioner with 3 clinics in England under his ownership.
Nazim was in a state of shock and sadness as he drove back to London – all because he told him mother in December 2014 that he was gay and had been in a relationship with a man for 14 years, and planned to marry him. His mother’s response was also to have Nazim consult a psychiatrist with a view to being “cured”.
Days following this fateful revelation to his parents, Nazim jumped to his death from his balcony. Matthew told Guardian that this late partner’s conservative parents even changed the date of his burial out of shame and also to avoid him being at the funeral ceremony with them. He was angry that they chose honor and respect of the family over the happiness of their son.
“The respect and honour of the family is more important than the happiness of the children they gave birth to. How sick is that?”
Matthew is now setting up a foundation called ‘Naz and Matt foundation‘ to combat religious bigotry, homophobia and the rights of LGBT to love and partnership just as the rights of other people in this world. The foundation hopes to reaffirm the universally adopted stance that LGBT rights is a human right.
In fact, the United Nations Human Rights council passed a resolution in November, 2014 that the rights of LGBT people is a universal human rights and should be respected by all in the global community.
“He wanted the unconditional love of his mum – that was all he had ever wanted: love and acceptance.” Matthew said in the final part of the interview with Guardian.