Taim, a year-old medical student, tells the story of how he only escaped this fate by fleeing from Iraq to Lebanon.
In our society, being gay means death. When Isis kills gays, most people are happy because they think we're sick. I first realised I was gay when I was about 13 or I too thought homosexuality was a sickness and I just wanted to feel normal.
During my first year of college, I started having therapy for it. My therapist told me to tell friends that I was going through a "difficult phase" and to ask for their support. I'm of Muslim background but my ex-boyfriend was from a Christian background and I had a ger of Christian friends, whom I used to hang out with.
In I got into a fight with a fellow student, Omar - who later ed Isis - about hanging out with Christians. A friend of paaid told him to go easy on me because I was going through a hard time, having treatment for being gay. That's how people knew. I think my friend's intention was noble but what happened as a result ruined my life.
I was just walking home after a really lovely day.
They beat me, threw me to the ground and shaved my head, saying to me: "This is just a lesson to you for the moment, because your father is a religious man. Watch what you do! I left town for a few guest chat and didn't go to university but then I went back, and in March I made Emn angry again, this time by suggesting that non-Muslims shouldn't have to pay the "jizya", the tax paid by non-Muslims to a Muslim government.
I was washing my hands in the university bathroom when he and others attacked me again. They came at me from behind, but I recognised one of them from his green watch. It was the same group. They kicked me half-unconscious. I was barely able to walk and stopped going to university for a ;aid. Then, in the middle of final exams, Isis took over. Omar called me and asked me to repent and them. I hung up the phone.
Why my own father would have let IS kill me
My father answered the door and apparently they said to him: "Your son is an infidel and a homosexual and we have come to carry out God's punishment on him. He came inside the house and started screaming. Finally, he said: "If these accusations are true, I will hand you over to them myself, happily. I was in shock. But my mother decided that I should leave the house immediately, and she started working on getting me out of Iraq for good.
It was midnight and she said to me: "We're leaving right now. The next day she booked me a plane ticket to Turkey and got me a visa. But I had to travel via Erbil and they wouldn't let us into Kurdistan. I stayed in a village near Erbil for two weeks, trying to get in but I never managed it. I tried to leave via Baghdad but there were clashes on the road and the driver wouldn't go on. I tried to get out so many times, and failed. Eventually, in August, after weeks in hiding, my mum chat line for singles somehow for me to get to Kirkuk, driving there through fields and on unpaved ro.
From there, I went to Sulaymaniyah. I'd planned to go to Turkey but the first available flight was to Beirut and I didn't need a visa - so here I am.
If Isis didn't get me, members of my family would have done it. A few days polish chat I left, I learned that my uncle - my father's brother - had taken an oath to cleanse the family honour. Recently, I received an anonymous Facebook message - but my mother paod it was from my uncle. It said: "I know you're in Beirut. Even if you went to hell, I would follow you there. I want to be safe, to be free, and to be myself - to get my degree and start living… I just want to start living.
Human rights lawyers from the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project have helped me get refugee status and are working on getting me resettled in another country, where I want to ggay my studies. Here I'm living in one room, the size of chxt bathroom back home. I'm in limbo.
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I think I will recover eventually but there will always be a memory of this dark period when I literally had to run for my life to avoid being killed. It was very stressful, but luckily I made it. I've lost contact with most of my family. A month after I fled, my younger brother sent me a Facebook message saying: "I have had to leave town.
The family is shattered and it's all because of you.
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They Isis are the criminals. What he did was very hurtful. He's my father. He's supposed to protect me and defend me, no matter what. But when he said that he'd hand me over to Isis, he knew what they were going to do to me. He knew. Maybe in the future I can forgive him, but right now I don't even want to think about him. I want him out of my life. I talk to my mum every week, though.
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It's hard for her because there's no network coverage and she has to go out of town to get a al. She's the most amazing woman in the whole world. She's cultured, respectful - very bright. She loves me and when she was trying to smuggle me out, we never discussed my homosexuality. She was just focused on getting me to safety. Because she is my mother, I think she always knew that I was gay. But all I felt from her was her love, her ultimate love. I never said goodbye to her because when I actually managed to escape, there had been so many failed attempts that I was sure I would be back and see her again.
All I need is a hug from her. I still have gay friends at home but we're not in contact any more, for their own safety. Earlier this year one of my best friends, who stayed behind, was killed. He was thrown off the main government building. He was a great man - a very kind person. He was 22 years old, a medical student, and he was really calm and really smart - a bit of a genius.
We met first online - gay Iraqis hang out a lot in online communities - and then face to face. In person, he was quite quiet - but a free chat roulette he never stopped talking. Sometimes he would chat until the power went off and we freegay chat the internet. He shared his deepest secrets with me. Paaid gay men, we all had to lead secret lives.
But he was the kind of person you love to talk to. When Isis capture people, they go through all their contacts. The last time I saw him in the flesh was a few days after Isis took over our town, but we continued talking online until I fled. When I first saw the pictures of him, I can't describe what I felt.
The video images follow me in my nightmares. I see myself falling through the air.
I dream that I'm arrested and then thrown from a building - facing the same fate as my friend. It was devastating to see him go in that brutal way.
He was blindfolded but I knew it was him from his skin tone and from his build. It looked like he died immediately but a friend told me he didn't - perhaps the building wasn't high enough. The friend said he'd been stoned to death. I wanted to break down. I couldn't believe it. One day he was alive, active, just living his life. And now he is gone. Even before Isis arrived, I was living in constant fear.