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He tried to open Pakistan’s first gay nightclub. He got sent to a mental hospital.

He tried to open Pakistan’s first gay nightclub. He got sent to a mental hospital. His proposal for a gay club caused a media uproar. Now his friends say they haven't heard from him.


A Pakistani man who tried to open the country’s first gay club has been sent to a mental hospital. His friends say that they are very worried about his safety but have been restricted from visiting him or learning more information.

“I do not know about his well-being for many days,” they said to The Telegraph. They also said that they had “tried to find out about him a couple of times but without success.”

The man declined to give his identity to The Telegraph. He had applied to open up the club in Abbottabad, which is a very conservative region of Pakistan.

Gay sex is illegal in Pakistan and punishable by up to two years in prison, though it rarely is. Homosexuality is looked down upon, which makes being openly gay difficult. According to his friend, the man’s sexuality was known in his community, but there had never been any issues.

The friend said that the applicant is now “vulnerable” and “anything could happen to him at any time.”

In his application, the detained man said that the club would provide “great convenience and resource for many homosexual, bisexual and even some heterosexual people residing in Abbottabad in particular, and in other parts of the country in general.”

The application stated that in “the envisaged gay club, tentatively to be called Lorenzo gay club, there would be no gay (or non-gay) sex (other than kissing).”

The application also said that “A clearly visible notice on the wall would warn: no sex on premises. This would mean that no legal constraints (even obsolete ones like [anti-sodomy] PPC section 377) would be flouted on the premises.”

The application was leaked to social media, sparking outrage from politicians and locals alike. Rightwing Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PATY) leader Naseer Khan Nazir warned that there would be “very severe consequences” if the club were granted permission to open and that another member of Parliament threatened to “douse the building with petrol and set it on fire.”

The Telegraph tried to visit the detained man at his home but learned he was sent to the Sarhad hospital for psychiatric disease on May 9.

Before being sent to the hospital, the detained man said, “I talk about human rights, and I want everyone’s human rights to be defended.”

He said he planned to ask officials why they had rejected his application if it were to be rejected. In some Indian states, live-in relations are allowed between gay couples. Last year the Supreme Court did not legalize gay marriage, instead leaving it up to parliament.

“I have started the struggle for the rights of the most neglected community in Pakistan and I will raise my voice in every forum. If the authorities refuse, then I will approach the court and I hope that like the Indian court, the Pakistani court will rule in favor of gay people,” the applicant told The Telegraph in an interview before he was detained. le” the applicant told The Telegraph in an interview before he was arrested.



This Pride month, we see continual reminders that progress is not guaranteed. We can't just assume that LGBT+ people will be given safety, equality, dignity, and freedom. We have to fight for those things.

A global far-right movement, funded by rich donors in the U.S. and UK, has pushed extremist legislation

across Africa, while Russia continues to roll back rights and demonise and criminalise LGBT+ people.

Far-right parties won victories in the recent European parliamentary elections, while the United States faces the frightening possibility of a second Donald Trump term. Even if Trump is defeated, LGBT+ people in the U.S. will still have to contend with a conservative movement that is increasingly extreme in its homophobia and transphobia, and that is trying to seize power at every level from school boards and libraries to state governments and the courts.

With your support, All Out can combat these threats directly by doing the following:

  • Exposing groups like the Fellowship Foundation, a far-right group from the U.S. that we believe has helped coordinate the passage of anti-LGBT+ laws around the globe. Donate to fund this work!

  • Producing translations of educational materials around "conversion therapy" in languages such as Swahili, to combat the propaganda being produced by anti-LGBT+ groups in Africa. Donate to fund this work!

  • Funding and organising Pride parades and speak-out protests in partnership with grassroots LGBT+ activists across Africa and Eastern Europe. Donate to fund this work!

This work can only continue if you get involved. Will our movement for love, equality, and justice win the day, or will the bigots triumph? Your support can make all the difference – please make a donation today!

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