Bil Browning

Thrown off a roof because he's gay

Filed By Bil Browning | March 19, 2009 7:00 AM | comments

Filed in: You Gotta See This
Tags: Iran, Iranian gay man, no justice

These type of videos literally make my heart hurt. Watch these Iranian men toss a gay man off a roof over and over again until he stops moving. Then stop for a moment and ask yourself if you can't find one more minute to help your community somehow.

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OMFG. What could possibly be going through those men's heads, if anything? And they will then go to mosque and pray and consider themselves to be good Muslims? This is disgusting.

This reminded me of a youtube clip I watched just the other day. The clip is here, but for those who can't/don't want to watch or listen to it (it's kinda long), a brief summary:

The clip is from a Community Forum on Human Rights, Iran, and LGBT Advocacy. There's a panel of speakers assembled, and an audience. An audience member, identified on the youtube page as Paul Schindler, editor of Gay City news, angrily defends two articles written by one of his writers (Doug Ireland) about alleged "gay executions" in Iran. His defensiveness arises after being criticized for the articles by a member of Human Rights Watch, who explains they have only 3rd party suggestions that the executions were motivated by sexuality. This back and forth goes on for a while, until Iranian-American film-maker Kouross Esmaeli, also on the panel, speaks up, and says the following:

"I'm getting to the point where I'm thinking that what's happening with... gay activists in the west picking up this issue is more about what's going on in this country and less about what's happening to gays in Iran. That's my biggest concern. Doug Ireland writes a letter demanding that the US occupying forces protect Iraqi gays from the training they're getting from Iranians [...unintelligible]... This is not about.. This is ridiculous, for one thing, to think that the US military would protect Iraqi gays, and if they did it would be the worst thing for Iraqi gays because this country is not protecting anybody, it will become like 'why are you favored by the Americans?' It's a ridiculous kind of demand, and I don't think he [Ireland] even meant for it to happen, he meant it to expose the Bush government as homophobic. You can do that - expose the Bush government's homophobia - PLEASE do not use us to do that. Please do not use Iraqis, Iranians, anyone else to do that."

I'm not saying that the video isn't heartbreaking, or awful. And I'm not saying that that kind of emotional reaction isn't reasonable or understandable - but I would caution all of us against using others' oppression as justification for local or particular or personal activism. Because, I mean, using other peoples' oppression to serve our own purposes - as laudable as those purposes or goals might be - strikes me as, well, a replication of oppressive dynamics & exploitation.

Does anyone know of a human rights and/or LGBT organization in Iran? I did some poking around google, and mostly found refugee support programs/organizations (which are important, but weren't what I was looking for). Perhaps it would be more appropriate to support the community/ies being impacted directly, in response to this kind of horrific event, than to use it to motivate us to support our own communities.

Also, I'm going to be away from my computer for the evening, so if there are comments back, and I don't respond - that's why.

Bil, this video's fake:

And Bill P., Gay Without Borders? "Most important"? Really?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | March 20, 2009 4:19 PM

It's not a fake; it's just not what it was originally thought to be. If anything the Iranians, who toss people off buildings and hang them from cranes are far harsher. When I first saw the video I said it was not known who was involved and what it depicted because we had no proof.

GWB no longer features it although there is new discussion about what is depicted.

Gays Without Borders is the key site for news about GLBT groups around the globe. Most of it comes in the form of announcements and press releases. It played a key role in the defense of Medhi Kazemi and Pegah Emambakhsh. Its blogroll is the who' who of international GLBT sites. They're currently featuring the defense of Mehdi N., a 29 year old facing deportation from Germany to certain death in Iran.

If not GWB with all its sources for informational and links, then who do you suggest Alex? It's good to share information.