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My sister is gay
We are just like everybody else

By Abstre
September 5, 2002
The Iranian

We always knew something was different about my sister who is younger than I by 5 years. She wears her light brown hair, short and she does not own any skirts. When she was 5 or 6 she would dominate any games she was playing.

Later on, my mother wondered why she has so many male friends but does not date any of them. Why certain famous Iranian actress keeps calling our home and asks to talk to her when she is out with her "best friend".

My sister is gay. She is a girl who likes other girls.

I live with a male partner. I have gone to gay pride parades to support my gay friends when I was at university. My closest friend is a bisexual Belgian friend whom I treasure as she was with me in a few up and down times of dating world.

Yet my sister told me she's gay only a few days ago. I wondered why. It is true we have lived most of our lives apart. We have in appearance little in commen. I resemble a sort of Nigela Lawson/Brook Shields type of a woman when she resembles a more Demi Moore/Selma Blair type of girl.

My little sister is now a woman, who likes other women. I am thinking of my last conversation with my parents.

"Why is she not dating anyone? You know what sexual frustration does to a woman? No wonder she is losing weight."

Now I recall long time ago when I tried to explain to my mother about my gay friends. Her reply was "But dear, why would a woman be content with another woman? What else is down there that would amuse her?" She was refereeing to lack of a penis.

Then I remember my mother's comments about a male family member and how he was not the man he should be to some aunt who divorced him long ago. As children we were never told the details. I laughed. My mother laughed. I shared a sexual joke with my mother. I was told something about her sexuality, which I was not, allowed to know before.

I guess my parents are happy with each other. After all they have lasted all these years and they never travel without each other.

I was working on my postgraduate work. A few male friends considered the field of women's studies strange ("So you hate men? Are you a feminist?").

I would wonder if I could ever share something about my academic work with a heterosexual male who had some sort of understanding of the subject. Somehow I should have guessed things about my little sister a long time ago.

"I did not feel comfortable about sharing some things with you," she said.

"But you know you could. You know you can always tell me everything."

She paused. "So how would you feel if I told you my friend who visited me last year, was a 'friend'?"

"You mean the girl from London? The exchange student girl Maman said was too thin?"

Now she laughs.

I am sitting here and thinking, Iranian families are full of strange secrets. After all we are just like everybody else.

Comment for The Iranian letters section


Qezaavathaaye sathi
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By Saviz Shafaie

Being real
Gay Iranians struggle to be themselves
By Dr. Payam

Khaaneh takaaniye fekri
Gay rights & Iranian politics
By Nassin

Iranian homosexuals are excluded, even abroad
By Yek Irani

Iranian gays and lesbians

Iranian Gay and Lesbian Healthcare Providers Association


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