A lesbian couple fled their home in Saudi Arabia as they feared the death penalty and have been granted asylum in the UK.
They have appeared on the Arabic-language TV show ‘Jaafar Talk’ during a Valentine’s Day special.
The couple, using aliases ‘Fad’ and ‘Nanz’, revealed how they fell in love after meeting on Snapchat.
They kept their relationship a secret until Nanz said her family were getting suspicious as she kept rejecting potential matches.
In August 2018, travel restrictions which previously prevented women from travelling alone were lifted and the couple fled to the UK.
Once they reached the UK, they came out on social media, revealing their relationship to friends and family.
This resulted in Nanz relatives cutting all ties with her.
The couple said they are adapting well to life in the UK and are enjoying the freedom of being able to love each other openly without fearing death.
The women’s fears of prosecution are not unfounded.
In October last year, 23 year-old Suhail al-Jameel was arrested in Saudi Arabia after posting a shirtless selfie wearing leopard-print shorts on his social media.
The popular gay influencer, who has over 170,000 followers on Twitter alone, took to his public Snapchat and Twitter accounts on Sunday, October 13 to speak about the situation to his large following.
In the statement, Suhail explained that after he was detained he has now been charged with sharing nude photos online.
Although the official charge is still unclear at this time, Suhail retweeted a follower’s comment that said he could face up to three years of jail time for posting what is considered to be nudity under Saudi Arabian public decency laws.
Suhail expressed his sadness and disappointment in these laws saying that even in 2019 LGBT+ people “are not welcome in Saudi Arabia, you must live in secret and can’t live in peace.”
He went on to criticise the country’s push for tourism despite the seeming lack of care for it’s own LGBT+ citizens, before urging others to not visit the country saying; “If you are gay and [have] money, stay away from Saudi Arabia there is no place for you here it is illegal to be who you are and it is sad.”
© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.
GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.