LGBT rights in Iran - Wikipedia
Although free from the Kafkaesque struggles of their native land, the Iranians must remain anonymous in order to protect themselves. As a first-generation Swiss woman, she began using photography to examine the cultural codes of both the East and the West. Between and , Rasti made ten trips to the city to photograph men and women driven to hide in plain sight.
The title was inspired by the words of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a speech given at Columbia University on September 24, Rasti shares her experiences making this work, offering insights on how to photograph invisible people with compassion, dignity, and respect. Most of the time the pressure of the family which is more difficult than anything else.
Because Iran does not recognise homosexuality, the government considers gays and lesbians to be transgender, creating a prejudice in both sides. While trans people in Iran are not acting illegally, they are considered to have a mental illness gender identity disorder and the cure is the sex reassignment surgery.
Intimate photos explore Iran’s hidden gay community
In a paradoxical way, this helped the LGBTQI community to take advantage of the situation and make their voice heard with the help of the Internet. They are not all in Iran as they flee the country. The idea of the book came quite naturally. I always do interviews before taking photographs, and I was accumulating a lot of pictures and accounts.
Intimate spaces: coming out in Iran
The book includes 40 portraits, a selection of landscapes and home interiors, and four interviews in both Farsi and English. I thought it would make sense to a book that can be read by Iranians, and by people in the west.
In the beginning, I was trying to find people who would agree to show their face. I had to respect this because anonymity was still the best protection. Even if they are no longer living in Iran, their families do not know their sexual identity. I realised that I had to deal with this photographically and find a way to capture each individual's identity without showing their face. I never knew myself what we would exactly do during the shoot. I was always looking for new ways to hide their face but I also wanted to make sure that we could represent their individual identities.
We would meet several times before we would shoot, doing an interview that would help me know more about their lives and personalities.
This process allowed me to discover other ways of making a portrait, especially through the process of staging them in their homes or in a location. You don't have to feel too bad about this though. Public displays of affection by couples are generally discouraged, even for straight couples. The second part was a little harder. Did I feel like I was betraying my relationship a bit in this respect?
If you're travelling as a couple, it's obviously a little more difficult to follow any of the three rules. Holding hands while walking down the street, the selfie while one gives the other a peck on the cheek. You may even wish to leave your wedding rings at home, if you wear them. Be aware of what's on your social media before you go to Iran. Have you been critical of the Iranian government on Facebook?
Do you post a lot of gay-themed photos or stories on Instagram? If you do, then you need to be very careful. You don't want this to come up while applying for an Iranian tourist visa. During the visa process, I was never asked about social media. Recently though, I was contacted by a gay couple who told me that they were asked for their Facebook and Twitter profiles during the visa application process.
Rohit from this gay couple asked:.
That had me worried, as we have photos on there that show us being married. First, wait to see if anyone asks to see your social media profiles. They may never ask. If they do though, you may wish to play with your Facebook privacy settings to make albums or photos private if you think they may raise any concerns. Personally, I would go farther than that.
Deactivate your Facebook profile before you apply for the visa and reactivate it when you get home. Also, delete any tweets and Instagram posts that are critical of Iran or are super gay-themed. No one is going to question you about it!
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Having said that, they will likely put you in a room with two separate beds, so you have to be willing to either sleep apart, or push your beds together. If you are going to engage in any hotel room fun, keep that in mind! I was in Iran for nearly 10 days. That was a pretty short trip, and it was a guided tour. Yet there was never once where I felt the least bit unsafe.
I walked around the cities at night. I even spoke to fellow western guests on my tour about my husband, though I was very selective in what I talked about and to whom I spoke with.
Why Iran's youth don't fly the nest
It's going to feel a bit like the days before you came out — telling little lies to cover for other little lies. You may feel like you're betraying who you are. But in this case, you're going to visit a country, which is so rich with history and beauty that not many people get to see. Michael Demmons is from Canada who is married to Halef from Indonesia. Michael and Halef have travelled to over 50 countries and plan to quit their jobs in to travel the world full time.
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Also it's not all bad in the Middle East — check out the gay scene of Beirut in Lebanon for example.
I kiss guys in public. I had a teacher who was a lawyer. I date guys in Iran and I have sex too. I am Iranian and if I wanted to advise my gay friends I would not change a word of what you said- awesome job in screening your travel destination culture. There are a lot of underground parties and gay groups in Iran but I would encourage to stay away from it. I hope you enjoyed the food, hospitality and my hometown Esfahan. Miss my gay friends Ahmad and Goli still living high life in there.
Love love love the last pic of Michael and Halef wearning their rings in Iran! Love never fails. This is a very interesting post about a very unknown part of the world. Iran is one of the most misunderstood countries in the world. I found there a lot of information about Iran out there, however most of it is either false or out of date. As a visitor to Iran, there are several things that must to know before an arrival. Crossing the road in Iran is terrifying. Be Prepared for Some Crazy Drivers. I agree! You take your life into your hands when you cross the road.
Perhaps I should have included this in the post. It truly is the most dangerous part of visiting Iran!!! Michael that boycott point is dead on dude! I love your take because it focuses on love, harmony and open-ness. Force negates.
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