February 28, 2024

My first encounter with Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) perhaps dates back to 2009 and the months following the events after the presidential election. The times when I used to search for news, other than the lies broadcasted on TV as news, using anti-filters and dial-up internet. When I was less than 18 years old, I learned that human rights do not discriminate among human beings. Only a few months after that, the turmoil of my personal life led to a recognition of my sexual orientation and that led my life in another direction. For many years, most of my activities were limited to sexual and gender minorities. However, I always had a hint of attention to human rights violations in the 1980s. Which, in the end, played an important role in my arrest! But I confess that I recognized the importance and influence of HRANA in prison. The only human rights organization that knew instantly who was being arrested and who was leaving. In addition, it gave all prisoners, regardless of their beliefs, a space to convey their voices to the world through letters, and I had just realized the importance of this during my short period in prison.Until that day, after years of working as an LGBT activist in the Persian-speaking world, I had faced a bitter reality and accepted that LGBT people are not considered a priority in human rights organizations or the Persian media. I knew that sometimes I had to negotiate to publish a brief report on the violation of the rights of sexual and gender minorities. An effort that was generally unsuccessful for less well-known people. I knew that reports and articles in this area were limited to a few specific days and weeks of the year, May 17 or a few other occasions on the calendar. Undoubtedly, the difficulty of communicating with members of the LGBTI community plays a role in the small number of these people in the Persian-language media, but not so much that we deny the existence of homophobia in the Iranian society.Unfortunately, we can take homophobia and xenophobia with ourselves, unlike our homeland, and take it wherever we want. To the heart of Europe or North America!