Life in Qatar was not easy for 35-year-old Nas Mohamed who had to constantly hide who he really is. He did not have the luxury to openly declare if he loved someone.

However, Nas Mohamed has now come out in the open and may have just become the "first" Qatari man to declare publicly that he is gay. The journey from a scared man to a man who is no longer afraid to tell the world who he really is, has been arduous and a really long one.

It was during his time in the United States that he got more comfortable with his sexuality. "I walked into a gay club and I knew I was 100 percent gay. I went home and cried – I thought my life is in crisis. I thought I was going to go to hell, my life is damned," he told The Independent.

"That was the main thing. And then I thought about the risk of anyone finding out. I genuinely feared I would be killed if anyone knew," he added.

He had first travelled to the US for his training as a doctor in 2011 and has been working there since. He came to visit his family and friends in Qatar for a weekend in 2014 and is currently living in San Francisco.

Nas Mohamed is now seeking asylum fearing persecution in Qatar. The country is one of almost 70 countries which criminalises consensual same-sex activity. Same-sex relationships carry a punishment of several years in jail in Qatar.

Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell says: "As far as I know, Nas is the first gay Qatari to identify himself publicly and give a media interview." The ostracisation that the LGBT+ community faces in the Gulf state has come into the spotlight as the country prepares to host the FIFA World Cup in six months.

Even though Qatari authorities have said that everyone will be welcomed for the event, the situation on the ground says otherwise. Recently, journalists from Sweden and Norway had tried to book hotels posing as a same-sex couple in one of the hotels listed by FIFA, but several hotels were not keen to have them as guests.

Thirty-three of the 69 FIFA recommended hotels refused to accept the reservation with some of them saying that it was against their policies, according to a report by Queerty.

FIFA had come under attack from various human rights activists when they had first announced that the World Cup would be held in Qatar in 2022. The country has been accused of not only ostracising the LGBT+ community, but has also been accused of exploiting migrant workers.

Rainbow wristband
A man raises a fist while marching along the parade route during the San Francisco Pride parade in San Francisco, California on Sunday, June, 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Josh Edelson JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images