Gay Teen from Iran: “I Admire Israel”

The Israeli Gay Youth Organization has published on its website an interview with Amir Hussain, a gay teen from Iran: “I admire Israel and to me it’s a country where religions and LGBT can live together without persecution and with the freedom for everyone to live in their ways.”

Amir HussainHussain, 19, fled to Turkey, after the father of a gay man he was in relationship with heard the rumor and began chasing him in order to kill him. “He arrived at my parents’ house and broke windows,” Hussain told IGY’s website. “Everyone blamed me for the situation and when they understood that it was becoming very dangerous for me and for the whole family,they suggested that I leave the country. Three days later I was at the airport on my way to Turkey.”

In Turkey, Amir managed to get refugee status. “The UN Refugee Agency recognized that I fled Iran due to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. I’ve been living in Turkey for the last year and a half, and have filed a request to move to Canada. I hope that soon I will be able to live in a country that will respect me the way I am- with no discrimination.”

According to the interview, Amir came out to his family at the age of 15. The reactions were extreme. “They sent me to conversion therapy, and the therapist recommended electric shock treatments,” he says. It was eventually stopped only because my father suffered a heart attack and the family concentrated on him instead of me.”

In the interview, Amir also said that he follows the LGBT community in Israel. “Every time I see the pride parades in Tel Aviv I’m proud of you for your achievements,” he tells the reporter. “I hope that one day Iran will be a little more like you.”

Hussain remains optimistic regarding Iran’s acceptance of LGBT people. He would like to believe that there’s still a chance for changing people’s minds. “I went through a few cities, some of which were very religious, and spoke about LGBT rights. Some of the discussions were surprising. I spoke with religious people who surprised me for even agreeing to speak about it. Some of them were surprisingly open about the subject, but it was only theoretical because most Iranians don’t really know LGBT people personally. I filmed some of these interview and hopefully one day I will be able to turn them into a documentary on LGBT people in Iran.”