There’s some news coming out of Iran— and for a change it doesn’t involve chants of “Death to America.” Today, the first day of Mordad (the fifth month on the Persian calendar), marks the third annual National Day of Sexual Minorities in Iran, when members of the country’s LGBT community and their allies declare a measure of personal freedom in the repressive country.
For some, that means holding up a sign (like the one at right, which reads “Happy National Day of Iranian Sexual Minorities.'” For others it could be just stealing a quick kiss on a rooftop.
“Iranian LGBT people want to celebrate our sexualities. We exist and we’re not sick or sinners,” Gorji Marzban, chair of the Oriental Queer Organization of Austria (ORQOA), told Gay Star News. “Someday it will become a day of celebration and the LGBT community in Iran will be proud of their struggle against ignorance and rigidity they experience from the regime.”
Sadly, a damning report from the Human Rights Watch, We Are a Buried Generation, paints a sobering picture of life for our brothers and sisters in Iran. One that includes harassment, blackmail, torture and murder—even for minors: The report reveals that, to date, there’s been no ban on the execution of juvenile offenders by the Iranian government.
So while President Ahmadinejad might bizarrely boast there are no homosexuals in his country, we salute these brave individuals and hope one day soon they can fight against homophobic fast-food chains instead of fighting for their lives.
Photo: We Are Everywhere