There are no homosexuals in Iran
Speaking at Columbia University on September 24, 2007, Iranian president at the time Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed: “In Iran, we do not have homosexuals like in your country.” Homosexuality is today still punishable by death in Iran. Homosexuals are not allowed to live out their sexuality there. Their only options are either to choose transsexuality, which is tolerated by law but considered pathological, or to flee. In Denizli, a town in Turkey, hundreds of gay Iranians are stuck in a transit zone, their lives on hold, hoping against hope to be welcomed into a host country someday where they can start afresh. Set in this state of limbo, where anonymity is the best protection, Laurence Rasti’s photographs explore the sensitive concepts of identity and gender and seek to restore to each of these men the face their country stole from them.