I grew up in a small village in Pakistan. In a Muslim community like mine, being gay or effeminate was not acceptable. I was persecuted and mentally tortured by everyone around me, including my family, from the age of seven until I left Pakistan. I have no happy memories of my family life and I have had no contact with my family for many years.

I came to the UK in 2011. I am currently awaiting a decision on my asylum claim.

I stayed in a refugee hostel (Initial Accommodation) for three months from the beginning of 2020. I had to share a room there with three other men. When the men found out I was gay, they taunted me and were verbally abusive. I didn’t feel safe sharing a room with these men.

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