Being Gay in Azerbaijan

AzerbaijanIn July 2016 Global Voices reported: LGBT people routinely face violence and abuse by officials and their own families.
Sergey Bagirov is a 35-year-old gay man from Baku.  For the past 20 years, he has had no contact with his parents.
“My problems with the family started when I realized that I was gay,” Bagirov said.  “At the time, I was somehow ashamed of it and confessed everything to my parents, especially because it was necessary to explain why I was beaten at school every day…  My father threw me out of the house that same day. I was 14 years old.  They did not even give me my documents. I am now over 30 years old and still do not have a passport.”

Bagirov works as a plasterer and painter renovating flats.  He said that discrimination was also rife in the workplace.

“Sometimes those you work with find out that you are gay and reject you.  Then I had to work alone, and here again there were problems.  Sometimes clients have refused to pay me and threatened that they would complain to the police.  And the police never help gays and do not take their side,” he said.

Homophobia in Azerbaijan is so widespread that the country ranked as the worst place in Europe for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people in a recent review of 49 European countries by ILGA-Europe.

Read more at: Being Gay in Azerbaijan | IWPR

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