Previously suicidal UK Muslim in same-sex marriage says 'God's in my heart,' praises 'guardian angel' husband
A man who is believed to be one of the first UK Muslims to take part in a same-sex marriage has said his husband had been his 'guardian angel' after years of bullying and a suicide attempt.
Jahed Choudhury, 24, said he met Sean Rogan in 2015 while crying on a bench in Darlaston, West Midlands, shortly after being treated in hospital for an overdose.
'It was outside Asda of all places. He came up to me and asked if I was OK. I thought he was my guardian angel,' Choudhury said. 'I had been crying privately to myself, although I was screaming inside.'
The encounter followed years of bullying and mistreatment by Muslims and others for being gay, including at school from his 'first day' there.
He said: 'I knew I was gay at about six or seven, but I was taught it was wrong so I just kept it hidden.'
He said that at senior school the bullying had included having rubbish bins emptied on him and name-calling.
'I did anything to try and change how I felt. I prayed, I read the Koran and went to pilgrimage,' he said.
Believing that his sexuality was 'wrong' and that 'Satan had got to me,' Choudhury went abroad for several years, changed his circle of friends, took medication and had Muslim teachers pray for him.
Nonetheless, he said that he could not escape his feelings and suffered mental health problems as a result.
Choudhury, who has been supported by family members, especially his mother, 'came out' in 2012, leading to what he said was the most difficult period of his life.
'But when I came out of hospital [after the overdose] I had started to think "enough is enough",' he said. Meeting Rogan, who was positive and confident, helped Choudhury accept his sexuality.
'Every time I feel down he says to me "don't feel bad" and says a lot of people feel the same as me.'
After their first chat, Rogan 'took me to the cinema to cheer me up,' Choudhury said.
Last month, the couple were married at Walsall Register Office last month, followed by a party and honeymoon.
Choudhury said he believed that people could be both gay and Muslim. 'My religion will never change,' he said. 'God's in my heart'.
'My mother tells me "God made you like this - you have love for God".'
Choudhury said that he wanted to help others who may be in similar situations to the one he faced in the past.
'I just want to help them and would be happy if I could stop one person going through what I went through,' he said.