We’ve compiled below a collection of testimonials and feedback from LGBTQ+ individuals, from religious and culturally conservative families, who have used our support services. We’ve also included a number anonymous messages from members of the public who have benefitted from the impact our work.
The whirlwind of pain, emotions and loss seemed unbearable after coming out to my Pakistani mother.Sabah received 1-2-1 support after coming out to her mother.
I frantically searched the internet for support and someone that could understand and help. It was this foundation that got back to me and saved my mind and sanity from spiralling with regular support very quickly, when there was little response from elsewhere. Thank you for everything.
I was recommended to talk to Naz and Matt Foundation through one of my best friends, I was vaguely aware of them beforehand in the years past of me repressing my sexuality, and was very much in the closet at the time, and not at all confident or keen on discussing my sexuality or any personal matters to an outsider organisation.Uthman, a gay Muslim male receiving one-to-one support from us.
Little did I know, I would have been a different person, with a different life, and a different outlook on life as a whole if I had done it sooner. Much, much sooner. Alas, I regret the time that I had wasted in prolonging my own mental anguish, for Matt would have alleviated it entirely. Speaking to him has changed me, and I shall be eternally grateful.
If I could thank Matt with all the gold in the world, I would, if I had it. For now he will have to settle with the fullness of my mind and heart in which he has helped rebuild, and restore. We are still on our way, but without him, I’d never would have found the support to do it alone.
He saved my life, he’s prolonged it, and hopefully together, I’ll finally find some reason to love it again, as I used to.
Two weeks prior to getting into contact with the Naz & Matt foundation, I was hospitalised and was not able to see past anything apart from not wanting to live anymore. By simply listening to, validating and understanding my situation I now have all that I was longing for, a clear plan to eventually live safely and without fear.Samira (name has been changed to protect her identity)
I feel like a brand new person every time we speak, eager to put newfound insight and knowledge to practice. I feel super confident in preparing for the rest of my life going forward! I will forever be eternally grateful.
I had no idea 5 years ago when using the Naz & Matt foundation as research for my A Level media coursework that it would one day change my life for the better.
I jumped, hoping someone would help… and you caught me. Thank you.A recent comment from an LGBTQ+ person we are supporting
The charity is a god send and is still supporting me. I was in a very bad way a year ago and living in so much fear. Finally I was supported to move, very far, to feel safe and secure. Naz and Matt helped us to get into a refuge for me and my kids. I had nothing and they gave us so much by doing this for me and my kids.Noah Ali, receiving ongoing support, care package and emergency rehousing. He has asked us to use his full name.
My life has changed so much cause of them. I have things I never dreamt of and am so happy cause of the charity.
The work you do [at Naz and Matt Foundation] is really important. Other organisations will give us tea and biscuits. But you really take the time to listen to and understand our stories. The work you do is quite literally saving the lives for some of us.“J”, gay Muslim male who we supported, who later obtained ‘indefinite leave to remain’ asylum status. “J” had received evidenced backed death threats, and faced violence and abuse if forced to return to his country of birth, Pakistan.
Sharing voices from our community
Thank you for helping my dad with sharing his story, and for everything you do. Without people like you and organisations like yours, banning conversion therapy within the Methodist Church may still be a dream xHannah Victoria
I have sat through many a talk from visiting speakers; none have had the impact that Matthew had when he visited Hathershaw.Hathershaw College, Oldham
The assembly also led to a sea change in attitude at a follow up PSHE lesson where many showed maturity and tolerance towards issues raised as part of LGBTQI week that they had not shown before. Thank you Matt for sharing your story.Ms Tigue, Head of School, University of Birmingham School
98% of the students said they had learnt something from the session. Many students felt able to discuss a topic they may have not previously felt comfortable with.Chandni Patel, Tutor at Walsall College
It touched a lot of our students emotionally, and allowed them to debate their viewpoints with other students. Not only was it informative, it was a topic they were eager to discuss even days later
…you have no idea how much your story has touched my heart and because of this website, I have seen evidence of homosexuality not being a sin.. It is people like you who are going to change the world.Female secondary school student, West Yorkshire
Feedback from the wider community
The following comments we submitted in 2018 by members of the public as part the nomination process for the National Diversity Awards. They were collected independently by the organisers of NDA and shared with us anonymously afterwards.
I have used the service of Naz and Matt Foundation they have help me in coping the fear i have faced due to coming out. I also personally know Matt and have met him quit fee times they work he is doing deserve more then appreciation. My vote is always with them.Anon, May 7th 2018
I am a gay muslim living in London from past seven years. I live as openly gay I do support all lgbt community and charities and so volunteer work for them.
Naz and Matt Foundation Was there for my partner when she faced homophobia from her parents and extended family.Anon, May 6th 2018
They helped her emotionally and through advocating on her behalf with some members of her family who are slowly back on talking terms with her thanks to the help of the foundation.
Without that support my partner felt devastated at the rejection from her family and i felt helpless to support. Extremely grateful to Naz and Matt for the work they are doing.
It helped me to come out to my muslim family and changed my life foreverAnon, May 6th 2018
This foundation is doing invaluable work. Groundbreaking and brave. I work in mental health and I have experienced, first hand, the pain suffered by people, young and old, who do not feel free to be who they are. Minds have to be opened as early as possible, to the possibility of making a different choice.Anon, March 1st 2018
The work done in schools is an exemplary example of how to engage directly with communities to begin the conversations that lead to positive change.
I work with teenagers at a school in Tower Hamlets and when my (mainly Muslim) students saw Matt on a YouTube clip explain why he was doing his walk for acceptance they were so moved they asked me to take some cards with comments about how their faith accepted him and Naz.Ms M, Secondary school teacher, Tower Hamlets. February 2018.
Matt then came into my school to meet my students and spoke so powerfully about the love between him and Naz and the work of the foundation it had such an impact on those students.
The work the foundation is doing is vital at this time in the UK- our young people are very aware of the divisions in politics, and hatred and fear between different groups but the Naz and Matt foundation is working to bring acceptance and unity to our diverse nation.
This foundation provides moral support for those who are still in the closet and helping them deal with their hardships in life.Anon, May 2018.
LGBT Muslim are rarely represented in LGBT community, this is one of the few foundations that do so