NameJonathan Squire

As a gay man of 58 yrs and having been on the 'scene' for almost 30 of them I have met Muslim gay men who are closeted and some 'out and proud' but there is one that made me realise how powerless I am to help someone consumed by family and duty to Islam.

AJ, a promising MD struck down before his prime in his 20's had to give up medical practition and a boyfriend (not really a loving or supportive one as I learned) due to cancer.

I met AJ when he was 18 in a gay sauna and then many years elapsed until I met him again at the same sauna and a sort of friendship evolved and the truth came out when I had to help him escape from his family. Turned out his brother had suspected something and put a tracker on his car and ransacked his room. His family effectively imprisoned him locking him in and taking away his keys but not the internet - thankfully.

Another of AJ's associates from the gay community encouraged him to apply for another medical position and was storing his possessions being passed over the wall. Time to break out once confirmation of position at hospital confirmed and he did come to me full of tears and regrets and woes and fears that I tried to allay.

Long story short. AJ moved to hospital accommodation involved himself with other Muslims, his family came to visit, and now he has gone 'home'. I have a load of his stuff in my loft, and he won't reply to me. I can't worry too much because there is only so much one can do but shouldn't be this way to uphold family honour instead of freedom. Furthermore, I hope he has a plan to endure and finish his medical studies but I have no idea.

Pleased to support you and have been an 'evangelical' atheist since being enlightened by Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris and Dennett almost 20 years ago. I'm a 'devout' Humanist and 'follower' of critical thinking and evidence based rationale - especially the scientific method. Trouble is I'm ageing, 58, and I don't have the fight left that I once did but there is a huge mountain still to assail. I will do what I can to get to the top but that is just the beginning - education has to replace dogma.

Take care and thanks for all you do. Jonathan x