Manitoba

'Everything here is beautiful': Frostbitten refugee in awe at first Pride

​Staring at the sea of rainbow colours that blanketed Winnipeg Sunday morning, Seidu Mohammed was in awe.

Seidu Mohammed lost all his fingers after coming to Canada while running for his life

Seidu Mohammed at his very first Pride. He lost all his fingers to frostbite after fleeing to Canada in the dead of winter on Christmas Eve last year. He's bisexual and feared being deported back home to Ghana where he would be persecuted. (Austin Grabish/CBC)

​Staring at the sea of rainbow colours that blanketed Winnipeg Sunday morning, Seidu Mohammed was in awe.

"It's so so beautiful," a smiling Mohammed said, looking at floats in the Winnipeg Pride Parade.

Sunday is the first time the 24-year-old refugee from Ghana has ever been to a Pride event.

"I'm home now, I'm home with my family," Mohammed said.

"It's a good thing that they're doing this for everybody."

It's a big day for Mohammed, a bisexual man, who lost all his fingers after getting frostbite while fleeing the United States in the dead of winter.

He risked his life to come to Canada from the United States on Christmas Eve last year, along with another Ghanaian man, so he could be free.

Outed as bisexual and scared for his life if he was deported back to Ghana, Mohammed said he had no choice but to flee to Canada to apply for refugee protection.

He found out last month he had won his case and since has started mingling with other members of Winnipeg's LGBT community.

"I appreciate everything," Mohammed said adding he knows "it's OK," to be himself here now.

"It's a beautiful thing that they're doing."

About the Author

​Austin Grabish started reporting when he was young, landing his first byline when he was just 18. He joined CBC in 2016 after freelancing for several outlets. ​​In 2018, he was part of a team of CBC journalists who won the Ron Laidlaw Award for the corporation's extensive digital coverage on asylum seekers crossing into Canada. Email: austin.grabish@cbc.ca