A 24-year-old gay man made history this week when he became what’s believed to be the first Muslim in the UK to have a same-sex wedding.
Jahed Choudhury married his partner Sean Rogan, 19, at the registry office in Walsall in the West Midlands. Both men donned traditional sherwani and turbans for the ceremony.
Choudhury was raised by strict Bangladeshi parents and says incorporating traditional elements in his wedding is a way of claiming ownership of his culture.
“This is about showing people I don’t care,” he told
The Express & Star. “My family doesn’t want to come on the day. They just don’t want to see it—it’s too embarrassing for them. They think it’s a disease and can be cured. Some of my family still call it a phase.”
Growing up, Choudhury was routinely bullied—”People would spit on me, empty the rubbish bins on me, call me pig.” He fell into depression, and it was actually in the midst of a suicide attempt that he met his now-husband.
“I’d not long overdosed and I was crying on a bench and Sean came over and asked if I was okay,” Chodhury recalls. “He gave me hope at one of my lowest points and he’s stood by me all the way.”
The couple became engaged last June, shortly after moving in together.
After celebrating in nearby Darlaston, they’re off to honeymoon in Spain. But the most exciting part of their nuptials is being able to impart a message of hope to other LGBT Muslims.
“I want to say to all people going through the same thing that’s it’s okay,” Chodhury says. “We’re going to show the whole world that you can be gay and Muslim.”