Imran’s Story

For this year’s #refugeeweek, we’re celebrating the theme of #ourhome, inviting three of our members to share their stories of what home means to them and how Say It Loud Club helped them to find it.

For LGBTQ+ refugees arriving in the UK, Say It Loud Club offers a community where our members can thrive – providing emotional and practical support and advocacy as they settle into their new lives in the UK, some living proudly and openly for the very first time.

Imran’s story

Growing up, there was always music playing in Imran’s home. In his first memories, his mother would wake him and his brothers and sisters up for school, and send them to the mosque for prayers. There would always be breakfast waiting for him when he got home, he told us; big family meals – “we sat together, and ate together – we’d always take breakfast, lunch and dinner together”.

When Imran came to Cardiff in October 2016 for university, “[he] felt so much homesickness… When you’ve spent 36 years in just one place, it’s not easy to leave your home and family members”. 

He’d brought his favourite clothes, books and family photographs with him – in his free time he’d read and look at the photos. Eventually, moving to London to live with his nephew, he found Say It Loud Club through friends in 2021. After his family disowned him for being who he was, and more recently, after the death of his partner, the Club was able to offer community and support – providing him with a safe place that he says, “feels like being at home”.

The community at the Club “changed [his] whole life”, he told us. “[The Club] takes care of us, they’re there and they listen to us. They’ve given me the confidence to speak like this in interviews and tell my story – I was so quiet, I was so shy – now I have so much confidence.”

“Home to me, means family, a safe place and peace”, he told us. “I want people to understand that no one wants to leave their home – they have to leave. One message I want to spread – please support refugees and asylum seekers. Please support them and give them spaces like this, like home.”

“To anyone in my position – never give up. Always keep your head high, one day you’ll cope with all of the troubles and you will overcome your difficulties.”


This Refugee Week and Pride Month, you can support our vital work with a donation here. With your help, we can continue to make a significant impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ refugees arriving in the UK – every contribution helps keep our community thriving.