Arsham Parsi, Founder of IRQO, on Gay Life in Iran

Check out Arsham Parsi, founder of the Iranian Queer Organization, talking about gay life in Iran with Lindsay Campbell on MobLogic.TV and how Google helped him realize that being gay is normal and okay. He also addresses the sex change business in Iran. The video basically makes me want to give him a hug. He is awesome. Way to go, Arsham!

Gays and Transsexuals in Iran

After Iran’s president last week uttered his ludicrous statement about Iran not having any gays, here’s a Washington Post essay penned by a 25-year-old gay Iranian man, Amir, that strikes back. And here’s a NY Times article by Nazila Fathi, which essentially says the same thing as Amir’s essay – that gay culture, like many things, exists in Iran – it’s just truly on the downlow. Above you’ll see the CBC’s February report about Iranian gays. What’s interesting to me is this quote in the NYT article:

“There is a thick wall between homosexuals and transsexuals,” Mr. Kariminia [a cleric who wrote his thesis on Islam and transsexuality] said. “Transsexuals are sick because they are not happy with their sexuality, and so they should be treated. But homosexuality is considered a deviant act.”

That same cleric is featured in this fascinating Current TV report on Iranian transsexuals by Yasmin Vossoughian and Kouross Esmaeli (via Iranian Truth). Watch the whole thing.

Update: Also see this NYT op-ed, which is comprised of translated reactions to the Ahmadinejad speech from Iranian bloggers. Very cool.