“I told them I’m choosing Canada because I’m going to go to university [and] Canada is cheaper than U.
S.; Australia is too far; and in some states in America gay marriage is not allowed and never will be allowed — so I don’t want to go to a country where they don’t give me my rights.”Ali (not his real name) picked Toronto because he heard it was big and easier to find work.
In 2012, Canada estimated it was bringing in 100 LGBT Iranians a year (a small sliver of the 5,403 government-sponsored refugees brought in that year).
"Canada has indicated to the United Nations that we are ready to accept anyone, if they're a gay Iranian refugee," former Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said.
progressive ways, she would eventually break free of any guilt from her family.
When Ali escaped Iran and arrived in Turkey in 2012, he had already decided where he wanted the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to place him.
Hosting both the second-largest Iranian population outside Iran and a reputation as LGBT-friendly, Iranians fleeing persecution in their native country have built a budding community in a city some call “Tehranto.”Iran, on the other hand, is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be gay.
Just last week, Iran carried out public executions of two “miscreants” for the crime of sodomy.
An official local report dubbed them “immoral villains,” and wrote that justice had been carried out in order for people to “feel peace and promotion of security in society.” It’s unclear if sexual orientation was justification for the execution, but Iranian activists say they believe the government is trying to send a warning message.
Filmmaker Rick Flynn remembers hearing a similar story in the news when he was struggling to come out as a gay teenager in the U. “It made me think while I’m here worrying about social pressures, gay teenagers in Iran worry about being killed.” Compelled to shed light on their struggles, Flynn has spent the past two years working on a documentary called Golf Alpha Yankee, which follows gay refugees leaving Iran and seeking asylum abroad.
He spent months in Turkey following two subjects as they battled a state of limbo in a country that is, while safer than Iran, not welcoming to gays.