It is possible to be gay and live under a repressive regime that is always threatening to out you, or worse. But it's a lot like walking a tightrope: scary and fraught with risks
Saeed was 20 years old when he sat his father down and told him he was gay. Trembling, he recounted how, as a child, he hid cutouts of male underwear models from foreign magazines under his pillow, and would gaze at them for hours when he was alone. His mother, sitting speechless in a chair next to her husband, went pale.
A retired colonel in the Iranian Air Force, Saeed’s father looked at him with a straight face, not moving a muscle. “Affirmative,” he said. He had spent three decades in the military, and had been shaped equally by its rigorous discipline and his religious upbringing. “I always knew you were different from my other children. I always used to say that to your mom. Right?” he said, turning to his wife, then added: “Saeed, this is your nature. This isn’t your choice. You should have told us earlier.”
Saeed burst into tears, relieved. His mother took his hands and nodded, “What can we do to help?” Read More