Growing up in Algeria, Shaira had almost everything a young man could wish for. But he also had a big secret.

In a land where homosexuality is still a crime and a sin, he was forced to live a secret life, hiding that he was gay from everyone — even his closest family.

The 26-year-old Shaira, who asked that his last name not be used to protect himself from attacks, went to study in France four years ago and has never gone back to Algeria. His family still has no idea of his sexuality.

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