28-year-old Syrian refugee Subhi Nahas escaped an ISIS and al Qaeda-controlled Syria, fleeing homophobia, abuse, and threats from ISIS and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
After being resettled in the United States as an LGBT+ refugee, he now works for a refugee organisation in America and was honoured over the weekend as a grand marshal at this year's New York City Pride parade.
A 'grand marshal' is an honorary title bestowed upon an attendee of note at a parade.
Nahas grew up with six siblings in Syria and says he knew early on about his sexuality.
“I just knew that I liked looking at boys, but I kept it to myself… You grow up pretending to be someone, but behind closed doors you’re completely someone else,” he tells New York Post.
“The cold faces you see — the people helping to do this, cheering for killing gay people? I can’t imagine I was actually living among them.”
Nahas was outed by his therapist, abused by his father, and last year threatened by both ISIS and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for addressing the United Nations.
"I was escaping for my life," he told the New York Post.
“In the Islamic State, gays are being tracked and killed all the time,” he says in his address. “At the executions, hundreds of townspeople including children cheered jubilantly as at a wedding.”
This isn't first time we've heard about such abhorrent attacks against the LGBT+ community in Syria. Last year, two Syrian men were thrown off a building after being accused of having a homosexual affair.