Iran is no place to develop any tendencies the regime might deem abnormal, like being gay: "I was born and raised in Iran, a country that kills people for falling in love," a young gay Iranian wrote on the IRQO (Iranian Queer Organization) website.
"My government kills homosexuals by asserting we are an enemy of GOD. My president denies us even our existence as human beings when he claimed there are no homosexuals in Iran during his speech at Colombia University.
"If he can say there are no homosexuals in Iran, it is because we cannot show ourselves. We stay hidden because if we are visible they will lash us; they will hang us; they will kill us.
"They tell us that we are fighting with God by falling in love with the same sex," the letter continued. "I want to understand that if this is the case, then why has God created us like this?"
'What's wrong with me?'
The man, who chose the alias Sepehr, continued to unveil his story in a heartfelt letter: "When I began high school, the abuse started. This left emotional scars. Then I met someone from school who changed my life, but this came at a cost… My period of dejection began from there. I was afraid of everyone and everything and tried to straighten my life.
"I eventually went to see a doctor and realized that this is my nature and not a virus of some sort," he wrote; "but the effects of my sexual identity had me trapped again… Am I sick? Do I have a disease? Has My family abandoned me, and just because I love people of the same sex as me?"
Homosexual beaten in Iran (Photo: IRQQ website)
Sepehr eventually left Iran and many like him are forced to do so as well, often seeking political asylum in the West. Those denied have no choice by to return to Iran, where more often than none, they face the death penalty.
"I left Iran by bus to Pakistan because I was being threatened. If arrested, I risk being killed in a public execution with no trial… I finally ended up in Malaysia in May 2007 where I applied for asylum," he wrote.
Ironically, Sepehr is looking for his salvation from the very God in whose name he was being persecuted: "Now I am praying. I am crying. I am begging my God to help me.
"I had plans. I wanted to write books. I wanted to share my experiences. I wanted to help gay men to better understand who they are. I wanted to speak with people to help them to understand that I deserve to live too.
"But this is my life now. I can't understand is what I have done so wrong that I deserve to be beaten with a gun… I cannot continue this life. I am still young. I want to be alive but I don't know how."