Matt, founder of the Naz and Matt Foundation, will present a short film on his experiences followed by a talk. There will then be a Q&A and panel discussion with Matt, representatives from the LGBTQI+ community, University of Birmingham Chaplaincy, a young adult psychiatrist and others.
Matt set up the Naz and Matt Foundation in memory of his soulmate and fiancé, Dr Nazim Mahmood, 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. The Naz and Matt Foundation exists to empower and support LGBTQI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex) individuals, their friends and family to work towards resolving challenges linked to sexuality or gender identity, particularly where religion is heavily influencing the situation. Their mission is “to never to let religion, any religion, come in the way of the unconditional love between parents and their children”. Matt regularly gives presentations to schools and colleges who are addressing and tackling bullying and homophobia triggered by religion and culture within their schools and wider community. The aim is to encourage conversation and dialogue within schools, leading to increased understanding that individuals are born gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans, queer or intersex (LGBTQI+) and should be accepted for who they are.