"Many parents of gay kids have been so homophobic until they discover that their kid is gay. And then they’re stuck between what they learned and what their beliefs are on the one hand, and what their love is on the other."
It is certainly not the case that every family in Iran disowns or abuses their gay, lesbian or transgender loved ones. I am also aware of stories of love and acceptance, but these are rather uncommon. We are trying to encourage wider acceptance and greater openness to discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity as part of basic human rights. This is why we worked together with the writer Amir Soltani and the political cartoonist Khalil Bendib to create the graphic novel "Yousef and Farhad," about two men struggling for acceptance in Iran
Years of international campaigning have finally turned the world's attention to Iran's failure to uphold the human rights of LGBTI people, and perhaps Iran realized that their shameful persecution of individuals based on their sexual orientation, or private intimate acts, is nothing to be proud of.