Saturday, August 17, 2013

Being a Gay Writer in Iran: Lying to Liars

... Payam is openly gay in a totally closed society, where despite loosening social mores in other areas, being homosexual remains one of the greatest taboos. Like many gay men and women in Iran, his story is one of existing at the margins, in retreat from a society that is hostile to homosexuality and under a government that denies its very existence. Such a climate encourages thousands of gay Iranians to seek asylum in the West, and that is precisely the future that Payam's parents would like for him. But he feels his identity lies in his homeland, and that moving away would crush him. “Why should I leave?” he says. “Homophobes should leave the country; those who cannot tolerate others with contrasting viewpoints or lifestyles"...

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