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As a gay man, my life will be over if I'm deported to Kenya. I beg the Home Office for mercy

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On Monday, I opened the letter I never wanted to receive. After 10 years living in the UK I was told that I am no longer welcome and should make arrangements to leave the country “without delay” or risk being deported in the middle of the night. As a gay man, whose country of birth, Kenya, persecutes homosexuals, I felt my whole world collapse around me as I read the matter-of-fact words on the Home Office headed paper.

Perhaps I was naive, but I wasn’t expecting this letter. I’ve been in a battle with the Home Office since 2016, and was locked in detention just last year, but somehow I still thought that they would see sense. This is the government department that this month is decorating its Twitter page with the rainbow flag, and whose own policies should, in theory, preclude them from sending gay people to countries where their safety is at risk. But it was a rejection that I read on Monday – and it’s left me reeling. After two years of legal arguments, in a chaotic and dysfunctional system that has left me in a constant state of uncertainty and anxiety, they simply stated that I do “not qualify for leave on any basis”. It was a crushing blow.

I don’t like to think about what it would mean to be removed to Kenya, but in the last few days I have been forced to contemplate it. For a start, it would mean........

© The Guardian