In Germany, they have a special word for gay men like Karsten P. (52): Homonationalists. They arose from a dynamic that’s also seen in, for example, The Netherlands. Gay people have a series of negative or even violent experiences with youths from a migration background, and subsequently, seek their refuge with parties who explicitly view immigration and Muslim culture as a problem.

CNN reports that:

“Two surgeries later and fearful of being attacked again, the openly gay 52-year-old taxi driver — who doesn’t want to be identified because of concerns of another attack — avoids public spaces and always takes pepper spray with him. He and his partner have also been forced to move [to] neighbourhoods in the northwest German city of Bremen following mounting costs as a result of being injured.

“I went outside and saw someone kicking my partner’s head. I was trying to stop him and right at that moment, I got hit from the side,” Karsten recalls about the attack. “I kind of lost consciousness and when I got up again, I thought my partner was dead. He was all covered in blood and he didn’t move at all.”

The attackers were later identified as two locally known “Muslim extremists” who fled to Syria before ever being arrested. Disgruntled and disenchanted, Karsten reached out to the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD),  the German right-wing party expected to come in third place during Sunday’s German national elections.

Within a few hours, Karsten met with an AfD-member who wanted to bring attention to Karsten’s plight.

Some view the AfD as a party that’s unsympathetic towards the gay community, because it’s against same-sex marriage, but do note that one of the AfD’s top candidates is Alice Weidel, an economist and openly gay woman who raises children with her partner.