The World Cup in Qatar has put the country’s record on human rights and laws on homosexuality into the international spotlight.
Same sex-relations are banned in Qatar, with a prison sentence of one to three years for “inducing or seducing a male or a female in any way to commit illegal or immoral actions”.
Speaking to the Sky News Daily podcast, Dr Nasser Mohamed, who is gay and from Qatar but now lives in the US, says that LGBT+ Qataris feel “removed” from the conversation about the country’s hosting of the World Cup.
“I draw an analogy of children that are being domestically abused in a house, in a wealthy household, and this household is now hosting a fancy dinner party and everybody is invited,” he said.
“The topic has become less about us and more about visitors that are attending. It’s really just become a philosophical, abstract debate that is really a few layers removed from the people,” he continued.
Despite having lived in the US for more than a decade, Dr Mohamed has only recently come out as LGBT+ in Qatar – and it has put his safety at risk.
“I came out to some friends after I left in 2011,” he said.
“I lost some of them and I was attacked. I’ve been living as an out gay person in the United States since.
“Then in 2016, when I decided to file for political asylum and stay here permanently, I decided to call my mum to tell her. And that was the beginning of the end of our relationship, unfortunately.”
He told Sally Lockwood on the Sky News Daily podcast that after coming out he received death threats, and he now feels he can “never go back” to the country he grew up in.
Producer: Soila Apparicio
Interviews Producer: Alys Bowen
Promotions Producer: David Chipakupaku
Editors: Paul Stanworth and Philly Beaumont