By Aram Bolandpaz
To be an openly proud member of the LGBT+ community working as a journalist and presenter is a unique opportunity.
It has enabled me to report on the issues I care about the most. My work primarily focuses on human rights and edgy stories. That includes reporting on LGBT+ life inside Iran and the experiences of the LGBT+ community more broadly in the Middle East.
You see, LGBT+ rights in Iran have come into conflict with the Iranian penal code since the 1930s.
Post-revolutionary Iran forbids any type of sexual activity outside of a heterosexual marriage. Moreover same-sex sexual activities are punishable by imprisonment, corporal punishment, or execution.
In the Middle East, Iran is one of five countries to punish same-sex relations by the death penalty. The others are Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, and Sudan.
When it comes to the lesbian and bisexual community inside Iran, the punishment for same-sex conduct starts with lashes. But on the fourth ‘offence’ the court can give the death penalty.
Continue reading at: https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/how-this-lesbian-tv-reporter-uses-journalism-to-fight-for-the-lgbt-community-in-iran/ (Source)
Posted in Listening 2 Lesbians
Tagged Aram Bolandpaz, compulsory heterosexuality, Conversion Therapy, Corporal Punishment, Death Penalty, Discrimination, harassment, homophobia, Lesbians in Iran, Lesbophobia, persecution
Sherry Bayegan and Rezi Haghiri sold their popular Persian restaurant in Tehran and all their belongings and left their Iran six years ago. The couple had been under suspicion by the Iranian government for what officials called their “Western” ways, including that they were lesbians, punishable by death in Iran. They said leaving their families was especially difficult. Today, Bayegan and Haghiri live together in the Short North and are working to get a restaurant similar to the one they had in Iran off the ground in the United States.
Continue reading: https://www.dispatch.com/news
by Julie Bindel
Lesbians in the U.K. have fought for and achieved legislative equality with heterosexuals. We can marry, adopt and foster children, and have next-of-kin rights with a same-sex partner. It is now illegal to fire us from our jobs or refuse goods and services on the grounds of our sexuality.
These changes also are prevalent across the majority of states in the U.S. and in numerous other countries around the world. But there are still plenty of places that have either rolled back the rights of lesbians, such as Russia under President Vladimir Putin, or, under the influence of religious fundamentalists, have introduced archaic and extremely punitive legislation affecting LGBTQ people.
Continue reading: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/lesbians-are-a-target-of-male-violence-the-world-over/ (source)
Posted in Listening 2 Lesbians
Tagged Discrimination, Julie Bindel, Lesbian Murder Victims, Lesbians in Brazil, Lesbians in Iran, Lesbians in the U.K., Lesbians in the U.S., Lesbians in Uganda, persecution, violence against lesbians, violence against women
In Iran, being gay can carry a death sentence for men. Though lesbians are discussed less frequently, they too face severe government-sanctioned punishment, including lashes and flogging.
The three days Azadeh* spent in interrogation felt to her like months.
In a remote villa on the outskirts of Iran, she sat listening to clergymen preaching quotes from the Quran as the burns on her arms stung with infection.
Growing up, the 25-year-old says she was often bullied for her “boyish” looks. But several years ago, the harassment took on a more sinister form when she was arrested and tortured by Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The guards had found a short story by Azadeh about two male soldiers who were lovers during the war, after a tip-off from a girl Azadeh says held a personal grudge against her.
“I never directly used the word ‘homosexuality’ in my writings,” Azadeh says, “but they wanted to use those writings to get a confession from me that I’m a lesbian. I denied everything.”
Regardless, she was forced to undergo a three-day long “reorientation course”, which she quickly learnt was a euphemism for interrogation. It consisted, she says, of religious instruction and repeated attempts to force her to admit she was gay.
“They tortured me by pouring boiling water on my skin and beating me, especially on the head. [But] more than physical torture, I was subjected to verbal abuse,” she says. “They kept telling me that I was a ‘pussy licker’.”
Azadeh doesn’t see any contradiction between her religious beliefs and her sexual orientation. Her own (legally unofficial) marriage to a woman followed Muslim marriage rituals, and she considers her partner to be her wife in accordance with religious rules. “I used to struggle a lot to interpret the Quran in a way that was more compatible with my situation as a lesbian,” she says. “I think we need new fatwa for this issue.”
Continue reading: https://broadly.vice.com/