Iran: After holding Pride in secret for years, Iran LGBTIs will march proudly for the first time

In Iran, being gay is punishable by death. This means the possibility of a large Pride march through the capital remains a long time away.

But a burgeoning group of LGBTI people are not waiting for the perfect day, they are taking a stand now.

Marching for the first time

In Amsterdam, Iranians will have its first boat in the Canal Pride parade.

While many will still wear masks at the heavily photographed event on 5 August, it will be a message to advocate for the fundamental rights of LGBTI people in one of the hardest places to be gay, bi or trans in the world.

JoopeA, a not-for-profit foundation, will be there in the Netherlands capital.

‘We, as an Iranian queer community out of Iran are going to come out of closet and prove that we are not ashamed of ourselves and we are proud of who we are,’ they said.

‘We will be marching behalf of the Iranian LGBTIQ community and behalf of everyone who has now voice and no face. We will be showing visibility of the hope and the dream. That’s why we are here to make our dream come true.’

Holding Pride in Iran in secret

For the past seven years, many have taken ‘secret Pride’ pictures in Iran.

These involve a LGBTI person holding up a rainbow flag or a message to call for acceptance and tolerance in Iran. No faces are shown, as the threat of persecution is very real.

Ranginkamaniha (or Rainbows), in its eighth year, will hold ‘Rainbow Friday’ this week (28 July). 

See pictures of previous Iranian celebrations via Gay Star News