A trans royal reportedly fled from Qatar to the UK in 2015, fearing persecution in his home country.
According to leaked documents obtained by The Sunday Times, the unnamed royal is a trans man who escaped from his security during a family trip to London in 2015 and went into hiding with his girlfriend. He was then granted asylum in Britain.
The leaked documents showed that the royal told the Home Office that “growing up in Qatar has been the most difficult thing I have had to do”, because “I never wanted to be put in this body”.
He added: “I am born a female but was male on the inside. Being gay in Qatar is considered punishable by law and death. Qatar is extremely strict in Sharia.”
The leaked asylum application, which was reportedly granted in December 2015, contained an application for a name change, The Sunday Times reported.
Letters included in the Home Office application reportedly claimed the royal had been “depressed ever since I can remember simply because my outside never matched my inside”.
He added that he wanted to start a new life away from Qatar, “where I would have the life that I always wanted, which was to be a boy”.
He claimed that restrictions were placed on his freedom of movement by his family due to his identity.
“I felt as though my life had been thrown in the garbage. I never wanted to marry my male cousins like the rest of my family. I am terrified for what my brothers are about to unleash. I am scared,” the unnamed royal wrote.
LGBTQ+ rights in Qatar
In Qatar homosexuality is illegal, and being found guilty of same-sex relations can result in a lengthy prison sentence, while under Sharia law it is possible for men to face the death penalty if they are found to have engaged in same-sex intimacy.
Ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, it was found that LGBTQ+ Qataris were being arrested and abused for being who they are, with one trans woman stating officials made her take her makeup off and shaved her hair after she was arrested.
“I pointed out that FIFA had made lots of comments about supporting LGBT rights in this tournament, and said to them that coming from a nation where we’re very passionate about equality for all people, I wasn’t going to take my hat off,” McAllister told the outlet.
“They were insistent that unless I took the hat off we weren’t actually allowed to come into the stadium.”
PinkNews contacted the Home Office for confirmation of the royal’s story, which said it would not comment on individual cases.