By Gareth Shoulder @GarethShoulder

DEATH THREATS and acid attacks should be the last things you have to worry about on your wedding day

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Videographer / director: Gareth Shoulder, Marcus Cooper, Paul Stringer
Producer: Gareth Shoulder, James Thorne
Editor: James Thorne

 

 

Unfortunately, this was the reality for Jared Choudhury, 26, when he married the love of his life Sean Rogan, 22, at a ceremony two-years ago in Walsall, UK.

Due to safety concerns, the service was boycotted by Jared’s entire family after sinister threats were made by members of the local conservative Muslim community.

Anxiety induced by fear of violence is a regular problem for Jared, who has spent the last 15 years conflicted about his sexuality and religion.

He told Barcroft TV: “If the community found out that Sean and I were getting married, there would have been a lot of hate going on that day.

“It was hard because I really did want them there. Because of the community, it was really difficult for them to attend.

“The disapproval did question why I should get married. A few days before the wedding, I actually did have thoughts, like am I doing that right thing?”

Jared admits he first felt an attraction towards the same sex when he was seven years old.

Although tension within the family began when he first confessed about an encounter after a swimming lesson.

He said: “My whole childhood was traumatised because of the reaction I got from my parents.

“For 15 years the only thing I could do to wipe it away from my head was try to distract myself with school.

“I just thought, I’m a bad person this is the devil in my mind. That’s how I used to describe it when I was young, this is the devil in my mind.”

Over the next decade Jared went to extreme measures in a bid to ‘cure’ himself of his sexuality.

Gay therapy, social isolation, a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and black magic voodoo spells did not work for the 26-year-old.

Feeling lost and with nowhere to turn Jared made two attempts to end his life.

It was after he was discharged from hospital he sat on a bench, a decision that would change his life forever, as a friendly stranger stopped to ask if he was alright.

Jared explained: “I can remember sitting on the bench alone, crying, praying in silence saying to God, ‘please give me a sign.’

“That is when Sean came, it was like my prayers have finally been answered.”

Sean said: “He didn’t speak to me for five minutes, but I was like it’s fine. I asked him if he was okay.

“He told me he tried to end his life which was really emotional.

“My heart sunk. I felt like crying myself because it’s sad to go through something like that by yourself with no support.

“I just kept speaking to him and felt he needed cheering up, so I said, ‘let’s go to the cinema.’”

Although the pair have been happily married for two years, the news when they first started dating did not go down well.

Jared said: “I was brought up in a really tight Muslim community.

“As soon as people found out that I’m gay and with a white man, that’s when the judgement started.

“People went to my parents’ house saying, ‘get him out from here, he does not belong here, get him out from our community.’

“People will never accept I’m gay and I’m Muslim. They can’t accept that I am both.”

Jared hints he and Sean will renew their vows in the near future.

After finally accepting their son’s sexuality, Jared’s optimistic this time his family will attend the wedding ceremony.

He said: “Back then it was really difficult, but I guess if me and Sean did another wedding, she will come this time.

“She finally understood why I got married. Why I did this, why I had to take this leap of faith.

“I am sure my family is going to be there this time. I want my family to be there. It will mean a lot to me for my family to come to the second one.”