In a packed hall in the middle of Leeds the silence was deafening. The ‘Day of Memory’ had arrived and its importance was being felt by the attendees in the room. Some were in tears. Some were sat in silence. Others were engaged in conversation exploring the connections that brought them all together that day.
It was 14th July 2017. A national event was taking place. A ‘Day of Memory’ created to remember our loved ones, and innocent members of our communities across the UK who were no longer with us because of the beliefs of their families.
What is the National Day of Memory?
This annual day of remembrance is held each year on July 14th to remember those lost to ‘honour killings’ and ‘honour abuse’.
But where some families feel dishonoured, shamed and choose to forget, Karma Nirvana (the charity who facilitates the event each year) remembers and celebrates victim’s lives and their surviving loved ones left behind.
This year my darling Naz was being remembered. I was asked by our friends at Karma Nirvana if I wanted to recite the monologue/honourlogue i’d produced earlier in the year about my deep unconditional love for Naz.
The honourlogue was originally written by me for the Women of the World (WOW) Festival at the Royal Festival Hall in London. It tells the story of the night Naz and I met in 2014 and how we had to run away to London to be ourselves. Ten years later is moves on to the night I proposed to Naz and ultimately, sadly, leading on to what happened on the 30th July 2014.
I was honoured to be asked to read our honourlogue at such at personal and moving event.
Naz will never be forgotten.
Photo courtesy of Karma Nirvana
Matt set up the Naz and Matt Foundation in memory of his soulmate and fiancé, Naz, who passed away two days after being confronted about his sexuality by his religious parents. It was the first time that they knew their son was gay, in a relationship with Matt for 13 years and that they were planning to get married.