Ahmadinejad’s in denial: I’m a gay who’s out in Iran
In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. … In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who’s told you that we have it.”
TEHRAN, Iran — I’m one of those people Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says don’t exist. I’m a 25-year-old Iranian, and I’m gay.
I live in Tehran with my parents and younger brother and am studying to be a computer software engineer. I’ve known that I was different from my brother and other boys for as long as I can remember.
I was born in 1982, two years after the start of the Iran-Iraq War, and when I was growing up, most boys loved to play with toy guns, pretending to be soldiers in the war. I liked painting, and playing with dolls. My brother preferred to play with the other boys, so most of the time I was lonely.
I was 16 when I first realized that I was sexually attracted to some of the boys in my high school classes. I had no idea what I could do with that feeling. All I knew about homosexuals were the jokes and negative stories that people told about them. I thought a homosexual was someone who sexually abused children — until I saw the word “homosexual” for the first time in an English encyclopedia, and found a definition of myself.