Naman Parvaiz says Love Island contestant Anna Vakili took him in after he told his family he was gay (Twitter/YouTube)
Love Island contestant Anna Vakili has proved herself a fiercely loyal friend to her pals on the show, so it’s hardly surprising that she’s as much about standing by your mates outside the villa as she has been inside it.
In an interview with The Mirror, Vakili’s best friend Naman Parvaiz revealed that she offered him a place to stay when his strict Muslim family “almost disowned him” when he came out as gay in his teens.
“I remember seeing these two exotic girls,” bartender Parvaiz recalled, noting how the pair first met in a gay nightclub in Kingston back in 2010. “I was like ‘Oh my God I want to be friends with you. You two are glamorous.’”
— Naman’Nomie’Parvaiz (@Naman_Nomie) July 3, 2019
“We added each other on Facebook and that was it. I didn’t even know what friendship was until I met Anna. The Vakili family totally changed my opinion of how people could be.”
He went on to reveal that he lived with the Vakili’s family for a “fantastic” few months after she learned of his struggles at home and how his parents had once sent him to Pakistan in the hopes that he would marry a girl over there. During that time, he became even closer to Vakili and her sister Mandi.
You are gay and you’re Muslim, that’s a beautiful thing.
“They told me I needed to sort my life out but that I could stay as long as I needed,” 29-year-old Parvaiz added. “They said, ‘Look, you should be proud of who you are. You are gay and you’re Muslim, that’s a beautiful thing. You should be able to tell your story to people and stand up for your rights.
“I thought, ‘You know what, if they are themselves, I can follow their lead.’”
Unsurprisingly, Parvaiz is backing Vakili to win this year’s Love Island. But he reckons she’ll leave basketball player Ovie Soko – whom she’s currently coupled-up with – and go back to former flame Jordan Hames before she comes anywhere close to the final though.
Love Island continues tonight at 9pm on ITV2.