Charles confronted by genocide skulls says ‘this must never happen again’
Finding the silver linings in my experiences and sharing them to make the world a more open place has given me a new lease. Mind has been a massive help in showing me that some good can come from all that I have experienced.
My only hope for the future is that I can one day feel safe – it’s all I ever think about and I can’t wait till it happens.
I know I’m well on my way for this to become a reality.
Immigration Nation is a series that aims to destigmatise the word ‘immigrant’ and explore the powerful first-person stories of people who’ve arrived in the UK – and called it home. If you have a story you’d like to share, email
I first fell in love with makeup while watching RuPaul’s Drag Race last year.
As I listened to season 8’s Kim Chi talking about how it increased their self-esteem, I was intrigued because confidence is something I have struggled with greatly.
When I finally built up the courage to tell my friends that I wanted to experiment with makeup, I honestly didn’t expect them to react as they did. They showered me with pallets and starter kits.
That support alone made a world of difference.
It’s through finding this outlet of expression that I’ve been able to find happiness as a gender non-conforming person, who came to the UK on a boat 20 years ago.
I grew up in Sudan, which was difficult because the civil war made violence commonplace.
My most vivid memory of this violence was when I was around four years old and I watched a mob of three people grab a young man, bring him to his knees and proceed to mercilessly beat him with anything they had at hand – rocks, sticks and fists. I could see his eyes through the blood.
That violence often seeped in from the streets and into my home. My father in particular inflicted extreme violence on me, for seemingly no reason at all. Whether it was me accidentally making too much noise and waking him up, acting too ‘girly’, his football team losing or he was just simply having a bad day.
His most favoured method of violence was whips fashioned from old belts and AV cables. The worst beating I received gave me lacerations that got infected causing my eczema to go septic, I spent a month in the hospital.
My gender identity struggles started from a very young age (Picture: Supplied)
In 2002 at the age of 14, I lost both my parents in the Sudanese conflict.
This was a complicated experience because of the violence they inflicted on me, but I harbour no ill feelings. I wish I could have asked them if they knew what they were doing to me and how much it would affect me in life. When they died, my uncle took over looking after me.
My gender identity struggles started from a very young age. I always had a very high pitched voice growing up and suffered from severe eczema too. This made me a target for severe bullying.
Other children would often recoil in horror when they saw my skin, which forced me into isolating myself and experimenting in hair and beauty – anything that would make me less repulsive to the world I lived in.
Seeing children run away from me and hearing parents telling them not to touch me broke my heart as a child. This had the opposite effect and intensified the bullying.
I was often labelled ‘girly’ and was beaten up because of it. I struggled to find what would make me acceptable to the world.
The same year my parents died, my …read more
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The Suicide Squad | Official IMAX® Red Band Trailer
From the horribly beautiful mind of James Gunn and filmed in IMAX. Experience