Fiancé of doctor driven to suicide calls on homophobic communities to ‘open their eyes’
PUBLISHED: 13:15 11 December 2014 | UPDATED: 18:08 11 December 2014
The fiancé of a Harley Street doctor who committed suicide after his Muslim mother told him to find a “cure” for being gay has set up a charity aimed at tackling homophobia among all religious communities.
Matt Ogston has started the Naz and Matt Foundation in memory of partner Dr Nazim Mahmood who died in July after jumping from the top floor apartment they shared in West Hampstead.
Last Thursday, a coroner ruled Dr Mahmood, who worked as a GP and co-founder of beauty treatment company Face Clinic London, had taken his own life during an inquest into the 34-year-old’s death at St Pancras Coroners’ Court.
The court heard Dr Mahmood had kept his sexuality and 13-year relationship with Mr Ogston a secret from his family in Birmingham until days before his death when he confided in his mother, who told him to see a psychiatrist to find a “cure”.
He subsequently leapt to his death from the balcony of his apartment in Fawley Road, off West End Lane, on July 30.
"If we all work together, we can inspire closed communities and families to open their eyes and start loving their children for who they are, and not allow religion to come in the way"
Mr Ogston told the Ham&High: “Losing my partner in life of 13 years has been the hardest thing anyone should ever have to go through.
“Naz’s death should not be in vain. He would want some good to come from these tragic circumstances.
“No one else should have to suffer the mental bullying and homophobic torment caused by a family not accepting their son for the way that he was born.
“Because of Naz’s energy, his kind heart and his desire to always help other people, we have set up the Naz and Matt Foundation to combat and reduce homophobic attitudes and behaviour within families and communities, particularly those where religion is considered more important than the innocent children they gave birth to.
“If we all work together, we can inspire closed communities and families to open their eyes and start loving their children for who they are, and not allow religion to come in the way.”
The charity will provide free support to gay, lesbian and transgender individuals, as well as their friends and family, in order to help resolve the challenges linked to sexuality or gender identity.
Maajid Nawaz, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, met with Mr Ogston following his fiancé’s death and was moved to tears by the couple’s story.
Mr Nawaz, a former radical Muslim who went onto renounce his extremist views, said: “When Matt and I met, we were both moved to tears.
“Suicide is the biggest killer of young men in the UK. Young gay Muslim men feel particularly isolated. For Naz, for young men everywhere, and for my own culture’s sake, I will continue pushing for a change in attitudes around such issues.”
For more information about the Naz and Matt Foundation, visit nazandmattfoundation.org