“We want to show that homosexuals and transsexuals from Iran are existing and fighting for our rights,” said Iranian lesbian activist and researcher Shadi Amin. “They (the government) try to keep us silent but we want to be the voices of the voiceless in Iran.”
Under Iranian law, same-sex intercourse between two males is punishable by death. Thousands of homosexuals are believed to have been executed since the Islamic revolution in 1979, according to Human Right Watch.
Kemal Aysu, a steering committee member of Transgender Europe, said LGBT people in Iran face serious human rights violations by both state and non-state actors in their everyday lives.
“Trans persons are required to go through sex reassignment surgeries by the state, which results in further stigmatization and discrimination of trans people who do not want to go through this surgery as well as LGBs in the country,” said Aysu, who is transgender and has been a trans and sex workers’ rights defender for more than seven years in Turkey.