Tina K. Russell

June 10, 2008

Human rights, for everyone

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 1:42 pm

Alive In Baghdad
Maybe one of the of most difficult situations that an Iraqi could be in is to be gay, the Iraqi society in general discriminate against the gay and transsexual people, normally they consider them as people who left their gender and changed for sexual want.

Even though most gay people of Iraq have managed to live their lives, being born gay is almost the same as being born with an assurance of death. Most Iraqis don’t accept that homosexuality is something you’re born with, or which is assigned by your genes. Due to the Iraqi cultural and religious beliefs, homosexuality is forbidden and considered a mortal sin, and in many cases the penalty of death is assigned as the solution for it.

Some of the Iraqi homosexuals used to live in the Karrada neighborhood, practicing there life normally but still in secret. Although before the war as well they could not show that they are gay, due to the risk of being attacked verbally by the neighbors or the people they live with.

The article includes a video. I highly recommend watching it.

Of course, you can be gay and in the closet, but it’s very difficult to be transsexual in secret. The very visible period of transition, mandated for at least one year in the West, is when a transsexual’s life is usually at its most dangerous. So, some of the people discussed and interviewed here fall somewhere on the gender spectrum–a question of gender identity rather than sexual orientation, a separate quandary for a young person to be going through–rather than being simply gay, but it’s tough to be an out-and-about transsexual (or experiment and find out what you truly are) when your life is constantly in danger.

This makes me the whole war–both our war, and the Iraqi civil war–much more personal to me, gives me a connection to it… my sisters out there are in danger, and they’re dying. By the way, that website has a tip jar. I gave $10 to support independent media in Iraq since I was so grateful that these people I could relate to were getting attention in war-torn Iraq. What will you give?

Gay, transsexual, and gender-variant individuals deserve the same rights we all do, the same right to human dignity. It’s a global and a human-rights issue, plain as that. One reason you should watch the video is that the young people interviewed give suggestions to people in the international community. Let’s tear down the old modes of hate and fear and build something new on love and understanding.

That may sound soppy, but a very vague mistrust and discomfort with people who are different is what underlies all the widescale violence. Help people overcome their fears of what they don’t understand and to respect human diversity and expression, and you help end hate and the violence.


  1. that’s gay

    Comment by Yeah — June 10, 2008 @ 7:56 pm

  2. How mature of you.

    Comment by Tina Russell — June 10, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

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