Lesbianism and sexual repression in Iran

For Maryam Keshavarz, director of this film, transit between the United States and Iran represents a voyage to another world, with its own rules, codes and language. An Iranian woman can be arrested for showing a little hair under her veil, questioned for being in the company of a male cousin in public and even detained for an inspection of the books and CDs in her bag. Similarly, any public exhibition of affection, heterosexual or homosexual, is considered immoral. In Iran, sexuality between people of the same sex is a great taboo. It is repressed and severely punished.

Given the violation of personal freedoms particularly suffered by women, some of them are brave enough to dodge the restrictions. The unknown Iranian underground universe represents a welcome interstice for young women, a place to explore love through different relations that may become close and intimate, yet which are always vulnerable to repression.

The organisation Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees, which fights from its Toronto base for respect of homosexual rights in Iran, condemns the difficulty of proving that the punishments inflicted are due to sexual orientation, since in these cases the true causes are usually hidden.

Film: Circumstance

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