I have been reading the articles about homosexuality in Iranian.com over the last few weeks. I have heard arguments about gay marriages and peoples' personal perceptions about the subject matter. I have tried not to pay much attention about the subject matter but I feel obliged to speak my mind. I am hoping that by sharing my view points might be the stepping stone in starting a dialogue within our community which can hopefully lead to some changes.
What I have noticed is that sexual identity is not openly discuessed within the Iranian-American community. Everyone is automatically assumed to be heterosexual. Even amongst the older generation, homosexuality's roots is jokely traced to Faznyeh Ghom and the mullahs.
Most Iranian parents cannot accept/imagine that their sons/daughters can have a different sexual orientation other than heterosexual. In their views their daughters and sons can be lawyers, doctores, and engineers but not homosexuals. That would be the biggest family shame. Some even argue that “Iranian” and “homosexuaity” do not mix, therefore all Iranians are heterosexuals.
I personally can not imgine that homosexuality is absent within the Iranian-American community. Could it be that our community and cultural beliefs have silenced and ostracized Iranian homosexuals? And how has appearance of a heterosexual culture and non-existence of homosexuality hurt us?
For example, my friend Behrooz, a successful doctor and a very handsome young man, would only date girls to make his parents happy. All the girls Behrooz dated were not a good match for him and his mother would complain that he is just too picky. However, Behrooz had an American boyfriend he lived with. This kind of dishonesty out of pressure for acceptance and love not only hurted the girls that Behrooz dated. But Behrooz had to live a life of deceit.
If we only put aside our ignorance about homosexuality and not assume that everyone has to be heterosexual maybe we can start respecting each other. Maybe, people like Behrooz will not be pressured to date/get married to the opposite sex and that will save all of us from divorce, hurt, dishonesty, domestic violence and other unhealthy behaviors. Maybe, it is time for us to start gay & lesbian liberation within the Iranian community.