On Jul 31, 2016 The Washington Blade reported: A gay Syrian who received refugee status in Canada in 2014 was the grand marshal of the annual Vancouver Pride Parade on Sunday.
Ahmed “Danny” Ramadan rode in the back of a BMW that had his name written on it. He also marched with his colleagues at Qmunity, a Vancouver-based organization that provides support and services to the area’s LGBT community.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of his family also marched in the Pride parade.
“It was a great celebration and I’m very proud I got to be part of it,” Ramadan told the Washington Blade on Sunday. “I felt a lot of love and support from folks I don’t know who were cheering me and showing me how welcomed I am here.”
Ramadan was born into a Sunni Muslim family that lived in a middle-class neighborhood of the Syrian capital of Damascus.
He told the Blade in a previous interview that his father, who backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, beat him and threatened him with a gun after he came out as gay when he was 17. Ramadan said he was locked inside his bedroom for three days before his sisters helped him escape.
Ramadan fled to Lebanon in 2012 after Syrian authorities detained him for several hours at Damascus International Airport. The Canadian government granted him and his boyfriend refugee status less than two years later.
Read more at: Gay Syrian refugee leads Vancouver Pride parade