Shifting Dynamics of the Kurdistan Question in a Changing Middle East

Middlesex University | London, UK 25th – 26 th June 2019 (P 53)

The Narrative of Lesbian Gays and Bisexual in Iran and the Chronic Closet

Kameel Ahmady

Researcher / Social Anthropologist


By using the snowballing and Grounded Theory approach, research was conducted during the course of one year to narrate the continuous struggle of Lesbian, Gays, and Bisexuals in Iran to come out of the closet. This is the first study conducted inside Iran exploring the presence of LGB in Iran along with their agonies and pain. The present research study Forbidden Tale; A Comprehensive Study on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) in Iran (2018) contributes a unique dimension to the literature on LGB by focusing specifically on Iran. This article presents one aspect of a comprehensive study that demonstrates the prevalence of LGB in Iran. The research study presents an overview and exploration of the dynamics of LGBT individuals in Iran that employs fieldwork as a base.

This intense research centred on in- depth interviews with over 300 individuals (60% male and 40% female) in 3 major Iranian cities: Tehran, Mashhad, and Isfahan. This research study reveals to the readers that Iran is not an exception when it comes to the prevalence of LGB and whilst homosexuality has gained greater social acceptance in many Western societies, it remains highly stigmatized, in most cases forbidden and potentially lethal in Islamic countries.

This article negates the famous statement of the Iranian Ex-President Mahmood Ahmadinejad in which he claims that “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals”. The article also shed light on the fact that Iranian LGB is still in the closet due to the lack of family support and the cultural/religious barriers. This research is printed with Mehri publishing with title of: The Forbidden Tale “ A Comprehensive Research Study On LGB in Iran”

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