A gay man from the West Midlands has become the first Muslim to wed in a same-sex marriage.
Jahed Choudhury, 24, grew up feeling ostracised by the Muslim community because he was gay and was even sent on a religious pilgrimage to change his sexual orientation.
Two years ago, following a lifetime of bullying, Mr Choudhury considered taking his own life until he was spotted crying on a town bench in Darlaston by Sean Rogan, 19.
The happy couple, pictured, met two years ago when Mr Choudhury, right, was considering ending his life when he was approached by Mr Rogan, left, who spoke to him on a bench
Mr Rogan comforted Mr Choudhury and they soon became a couple. Now the couple have wed in a ceremony in Walsall, both wearing traditional Bangladeshi wedding clothes.
However, despite their happiness, the couple have been subjected to several death threats.
He said: ‘I want to say to all people going through the same thing that it’s okay – we’re going to show the whole world that you can be gay and Muslim.’
At a low-key ceremony at Walsall registry office, Mr Choudhury from Darlaston, tied the knot in traditional Muslim attire with his partner of two years.
In what is seen as a cultural taboo for many traditional Muslims, Mr Choudhury is one of only a few openly-gay Muslim men and the first in the UK to marry another man.
Growing up with Bangladeshi parents and three siblings in a traditional Muslim household, Mr Choudhury recalls being the ‘black sheep’ of the family.
He is now looking forward to a happy life with Mr Rogan, who he first met while crying on a bench in Darlaston.
Mr Choudhury said: ‘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.’
‘I stood out like a sore thumb – I never liked football, I preferred watching fashion shows on TV. I remember feeling trapped.’
He said: ‘It went all over school, people would spit on me, empty the rubbish bins on me, call me pig and the Muslim people would shout “harum” – which is a very nasty insult in my language.’
A period of trying to change his sexual orientation consisted of him having a girlfriend, changing his social circle, taking medication and even going on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh.