Iran’s LGBTs: We Are Everywhere
LGBTs from Iran have created the Facebook group “We Are Everywhere” in which members, without revealing their identities, post audio and video messages about their stories and offer support to one another — and with news about the group spreading fast over the Internet, the page also has countless messages of support from LGBTs from across the world.
We Are Everywhere — If you consider yourself as homosexual, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersexual, queer, or a member of the rainbow community, take a 2-3 minute video of yourself, your lived experiences, your problems and your wishes, and, if it does not put you in danger, put the video on this page so that this year on May17th, the international day against homophobia, our rainbow will be longer
As of writing this, the group is now well on its way to 2,000 members. Many of those posting on the group’s wall are well-wishers from outside of Iran, with comments from people in the UK, Amsterdam and Israel to name but a few.
The project aims to give a voice to Iran’s LGBTs who are criminalized by Iran’s oppressive regime. Indeed, homosexuality is illegal in Iran under anti-sodomy laws and recently it was reported that three men were executed under that provision.
“As a gay person, my biggest problem in Iran is that I cannot be my real self,” said an Iranian gay man, only identified as Mehdi, who has posted a video online from inside Iran. “I always have to play a role. I always have to suppress my own existence and part of my identity and hide myself in fear from the society and potential problems that I might face.”
In the video, Mehdi has shown his face from his mouth down. “Like this video, I always have to hide a part of myself from others in my life,” he said.
The group hosts videos on its YouTube channel which you can find here.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad infamously claimed in 2007 that homosexuality doesn’t exist in Iran, only later acknowledging gay citizens exist by claiming homosexuality had come in from abroad.