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Gay Syrian refugee explains why he's fighting for the rights of others like him

2016-03-18
A gay refugee from Syria, who addressed the United Nations about the crimes ISIS are committing against LGBT people, has found a new life in San Francisco, and is helping other refugees adapt to their new lives. Subhi Nahas was outed as a gay man in his native Syria, and came under threat from Islamic fundamentalists. He was forced to leave his family and friends behind in 2012. He moved to Lebanon, then to Turkey, and finally found asylum in the U.S. He now lives in San Francisco. In August 2015 he addressed the United Nations and talked of the brutal attacks gay people were facing in Syria and Iraq, in areas controlled by ISIS. He said he was "terrified" as the group began throwing gay men off buildings, adding, "This was to be my fate too." In his new role as an LGBT activist, he works with the Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration, and draws on his own experience to help other refugees acclimate to their new surroundings. In a new video for Great Big Story, he explains the "peace of mind and safety" he felt once he escaped Syria, and how he wants this for other LGBT people also. "Syrian LGBTs face double discrimination," he explains. "You escape to save your life, you escape your family rejection, and then to find your true self." He also talks about living in San Francisco, describing it as "a place where you can be whatever you want to be." More stories Gay men recount the horrors of life under ISIS Gay friendly refugee centre to open in Berlin