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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 259 > THE MAN WHO WISHES TO BUILD BRIDGES

THE MAN WHO WISHES TO BUILD BRIDGES

MATTHEW NAZ MAHMOOD-OGSTON WAS DEEPLY IN LOVE WITH HIS FIANCÉ NAZIM MAHMOOD WHEN TRAGEDY STRUCK AS A RESULT OF RELIGIOUS PRESSURE FROM NAZIM’S FAMILY. NOW, MATT HAS SET UP THE NAZ AND MATT FOUNDATION TO PREVENT THIS HAPPENING AGAIN.

MATTHEW NAZ MAHMOOD-OGSTON

The man battling homophobia within religious communities

In 2001, Matt was 23 and had just come out in Birmingham. He was sitting in Subway City, an underground nightclub, with an empty stool next to him. A cute, young Asian guy rocked up and asked:

“Excuse me, may I sit here?”

The guy was named Naz, a 21-year-old medical student. Matt and Naz began chatting, and they’d continue chatting for thirteen years.

I meet Matt, now 37, where he lives in West Hampstead, North London. We’re looking for somewhere to grab a coffee, but it’s 8pm on a Sunday evening and most places are closed. So instead we walk, which helps Matt clear his head, as I record on my phone. We end up at Hampstead Cemetery, still lit by the dying June light. It’s closed at dusk, but the public footpath cuts through the cemetery’s middle. Standing at the locked gates, the cacophony of the capital has faded away to quiet.

“It feels like another country,” says Matt, gazing through the bars. “This was our place of complete relaxation. We used to come here for walks all the time. Down there, there’s a massive tree where I go and lay flowers every week. It’s the tree where we held Naz’s memorial service.” Matt begins walking again.

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About Attitude

This very special edition of Attitude is our biggest ever. It marks our first annual Pride Awards, which were created to champion the unsung heroes of the LGBT community; all of our 11 recipients grace the cover, and their extraordinary stories are told inside. They will all be honoured at an event in London, hosted by Alan Cumming, on 26 June. This issue also marks Attitude’s 21st birthday, and inside we feature 21 ordinary 21 year olds from the LGBT community who speak about what matters to them as they come of age in Britain in 2015. The issue also includes interviews with Roisin Murphy, Little Mix, Mary Lambert, Aston Merrygold, Kavana, Collabro, actor Layton Williams, and director Bill Condon; as well as features on the rebranding of Switchboard, and a look back at Queen’s iconic Live Aid performance 30 years on. All this, plus our regular fashion spreads, columnists, real life features, travel and fitness.
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