In recent years, despite extensive changes in social attitudes in many countries towards the Queer community, we are still witnessing significant levels of discrimination and abuse towards its members. So, it’s no surprise when you hear other communities such as Persian-speaking members of this community have close to no civil rights, if they announce they lifestyle choices in their homeland. Not only the society won’t accept them, the discriminatory laws and policies against homosexuals and other sexual minorities in these places will put them at risk of harassment, violence, and even death.
Therefore, for most of us Iranians, Afghans, Tajiks and other Persian-speaker LGBTIQ+, being our true self is an inaccessible dream.
Navid – a 42-year-old gay man who owned a café outside Tehran is one of the hundreds of victims. He said he have been kidnapped in handcuffs, have been beaten, and sexually assaulted by security forces.
Alireza Fazeli Monfared a 20 years old, was the most recent victim of honour killing in the month of June 2021. Identified as non-binary gay man, was killed and beheaded by his own family in Iran.
Due to these drastic life circumstance and social pressures, those, most Queer members are compelled to escape persecution in their motherland and refuge to other countries that provide them with protection and better lifestyle.
In other front, we still experience domestic abuse as member of Queer community. The experience of being a LGBTIQ+ is tremendously difficult. Our community suicide rate is staggering. In recent years we’ve seen a tragic number of Queer individuals ending their own lives after enduring homophobic experiences. And that is how we lost our dear friend ‘Azad’ to suicide. He was one of the brightest, the most beautiful (inside and out) and a loving person you could’ve ever met.
We now see the need to help each other more than ever. Therefore, we decided to take a step towards battling many of the wrongdoings that Queers are dealing with and help the most vulnerable in our community with the hope to never lose a member again.
This is the why we are establishing a network for Persian-speaking Queers in the Netherlands.
As one our famous poet “SAADIE” says:
بنی آدم اعضای یك پيكرند
که در آفرينش ز یک گوهرند
Human beings are members of a whole
In creation of one essence and soul
چو عضوى به درد آورد روزگار،
دگر عضوها را نماند قرار
If one member is afflicted with pain
Other members uneasiness will remain
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