Sunday, November 17, 2013

Afghan singer Almas Farahi comes out as gay then goes into hiding

Why does a compatriot have to go into exile to be who he really is and spend his life with the one he loves in hiding in a far away place? Last Thursday, the famous Afghan singer Almas Farahi who appeared on TOLO TV’s “Afghan Star” announced his “coming out” on his Facebook wall as a proud gay man who is engaged to a man who lives in Austria and plans to get married soon. Then since yesterday, Mr. Farahi has gone under the radar: He deleted the “coming out” post from his wall and shut down his Facebook profile due to the waves and waves and waves of homophobic and hostile persecution waged against him by his own people. When will Afghans learn to embrace love before they resort to hate? When will Afghans stop the “brain drain” against their most prized residents and stop demoralizing all people for who they are? I realize that I, Nemat Sadat, despite my genuine affection for Afghanistan, am a polarizing figure. But what harm did Mr. Farahi do? He is a celebrity who everyone cherished as his music and soothing voice deeply touches your heart and nourishes your soul. If Mr. Farahi and his fiancĂ© could have lived a normal life as romantic couples in Afghanistan they both would have been a great asset and spokespersons whose voice could serve as a force multiplier in the spread of universal human rights. Most gays inside Afghanistan want to exit the country since the unfriendly environment for gays does not allow them to reconcile their identity conflict, live in peace and to find and nurture a committed and loving relationship with the same sex. Gay Afghans who don’t want to live a lie in a sham heterosexual marriage flee their homeland just like the millions before them, gay and straight, who have left Afghanistan in the last three decades due to the evil forces who continue to oppress everyone. I am heartbroken and hurt. As I wipe my tears away, I'm hopeful to see the day my society of birth will end the war on their own people and let people live their private lives as they are and wish to be. 

Watch the YouTube link for Mr. Farahi performing one of his beautiful songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjGa5SNblvQ

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