Rainbow flags of bravery

What was once a symbol of taboo and self-hatred is now a symbol of bravery. Young LGBTQ people and allies have taken to the streets in Iran, holding rainbow flags with pride. We’re seeing pro-LGBTQ phrases being spray painted on university walls. This is unprecedented. This is significant.

In a country where same-sex relations are punishable by death, to openly support LGBTQ rights is an act of bravery. If not death, LGBTQ+ individuals who are found to have engaged in ‘unorthodox’ relations or gender expressions can expect to be punished by lashes, beating, other forms of torture, and imprisonment. Honour killing, forced marriage and rape are also common experiences of the LGBTQ+ community in Iran.

The queer voice of Iran has been in the forefront of the current protests. From a lesbian couple kissing in public, to queer people holding rainbow flags, the LGBTQ+ community has been trying to make itself visible.

They are very much a part of this revolution are making it known: without basic rights for the most oppressed in society, this revolution will have failed.

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