Matthew Ogston and Nazim [Naz] Mahmood were a couple, and, in fact were engaged to be married. But Naz needed to do one thing before the wedding: come out to his Muslim mother.
So he met with her, and told her he was happy, that he was in love, that he’d met someone and was to be married; then he told he was gay. Naz’ mother told him he needed to seek a cure, and a few days later he swallowed a handful of pulls and leapt to his death from the balcony of his home.
Now, his fiancé, Matthew, could have blamed the mother for her words; he could have sent his time wallowing in self-pity, grieving constantly about the man he loved who is no longer there, but he had a different plan.
He has created the Naz and Matt Foundation, a group that will support LGBT people struggling with religion and their sexuality.
“With the Naz and Matt Foundation, I’d like to continue that, to provide a support network and place to go for individuals struggling with their sexuality, and trying to come out. It’s one of the hardest things for people from religious backgrounds to overcome if they aren’t going to find acceptance in their community. The Naz and Matt Foundation is not particularly aimed at any religion. It’s aimed at communities that are very closed in their perception. There’s a lack of understanding.” — Matthew Ogston
Ogston has plans to engage with LGBT people, their family and friends in religious communities – and is even planning to release an illustrated children’s book that advocates a tolerant, accepting message.
Ogston recalls one of the last conversations he had with Naz, after Naz had come out to his mother:
“[Naz] asked ‘why do I need to find a cure, there’s nothing wrong with me, I’m just a good person trying to live a good life.’”
Too bad his mother, and her faith, couldn’t see that in her own son, but good that, out of Matthew’s grief, he has created a way for others struggling with their sexual orientation, their family, and their faith, have a place to go for answers, for help, for tolerance, for acceptance.
via Pink News