Exiled Iranian LGBT activist inspires


New gay-straight alliance at the U of M launches with award-winning speaker October 9, 2014 — Arsham Parsi has two birthdays: one when he was born in Iran, and the other when he arrived in Canada on May 10, 2006. His first birthday in 1981 marked the beginning of a life of fear and hiding as a […]

Washington Blade: Iran a ‘paradox’ for LGBTs


By: Michael K. Lavers Arsham Parsi had just been accepted into an Iranian university to study to become a veterinarian when three of his friends who were either gay or transgender committed suicide. He had previously worked with a doctor in his hometown of Shiraz in southern Iran who had been conducting research for a […]

Either You Want To Leave, Or You Want To Die


Source The Huffington Post | by Lauren Betesh   If a man kisses another man in Iran, the punishment is flogging. Sodomy is punishable by death. These laws make it nearly impossible to be an openly gay Iranian, leaving members of the community with two options: live in secrecy or flee. Many choose the latter, […]

Huffpost: Gay Muslims

As the U.S. makes strides in equal rights for the LGBT community, we can’t forget the 1.6 billion who live within a deeply homophobic faith. GUESTS: Arsham Parsi (Toronto, Canada) Founder & Executive Director of the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees @IRQRtweet, El-Farouk Khaki (Toronto, Canada) Imam of the el-Tawhid Juma Circle and Founder & Chair of Salaam: Queer Muslim Community, Jaweed Kaleem (New York […]

‘We exist,’ Iranian Pride marchers say

Nicki Thomas Toronto Star Staff Reporter   They’ll be the ones wearing white T-shirts, their hands raised in peace signs or waving rainbow flags bearing the name of the homeland they fled in fear. And while other Pride-goers take it all off, some in this group will cover their faces, their open homosexuality too dangerous for […]

Iranian contingent readies for Toronto Pride parade

Xtra Katie Toth Arsham Parsi wants people to know that “Iranian queers do exist.” That’s why the executive director of the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR) has registered his advocacy group to march in the Toronto Pride parade. Parsi says it will be the first time an official Iranian contingent has marched in Toronto […]