Photo: Serhat Beyazkaya / Unsplash
A gay dancer has spoken out about being forced to isolate with his homophobic Christian parents due to the ongoing coronavirus lockdown in the United Kingdom.
The lockdown, which came into effect on March 23, requires Britons with non-essential jobs to remain at home and only leave for essential reasons including food shopping, doctor’s visits, and one form of outdoors exercise per day. It is intended to reduce the number of transmissions of the COVID-19 coronavirus and relieve pressure on strained health services.
However, for one gay man in Birmingham, England, the lockdown left him with “no choice” but to isolate with his homophobic parents.
Speaking to BBC News, Sam, 23, said he was performing on a national tour when the COVID-19 outbreak occurred. The tour was subsequently canceled, forcing him to return to his “strict” family home.
“I saw the career I love disappear overnight, and now I’m stuck in isolation with homophobes,” he said.
His mother believes that homosexuality “is an evil disease and that the devil is making me gay,” he said, and she “loudly prays every day that I’ll be delivered from sin and find a wife.”
He told BBC News that he came out to his parents while at university, and that they “didn’t take it well at all,” but said he didn’t expect that he would have to live with them again.
“I genuinely have nowhere else to go during this mad time, so I’m just putting up with the abuse,” he said.
Lucy Bowyer, director of services at LGBTQ youth homelessness charity akt, told BBC News that the organization has witnessed a spike in young people contacting the charity since social distancing and then the subsequent lockdown came into effect.
“Over the last few weeks we have been receiving an especially high volume of referrals from young people,” Bowyer said. “Our services team is adapting to the current climate by providing e-mentoring services, live chats and online hubs to ensure we are there when young people need us.”
Sam said that, in his current situation, he feels forgotten by the rest of the LGBTQ community.
“I see on social media that people are so busy filming home workouts, and holding online parties, that they don’t realize there are people like me struggling to stay alive right now,” he said. “Not because of the coronavirus, but because of their sexuality.”
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