Friday, November 22, 2013

Gay Afghan couple get married?

News Alert: One week ago today, the most revered Afghan singer Almas Farahi declared himself on Facebook as a gay Afghan man who is engaged to his male lover he will soon marry. Mr. Farahi’s coming out shook the Afghan world and some disbelievers ignored the truth and spread false rumors. Why do you deny the confession of a homosexual who reveals his sexuality but blindly accept the existence of a God none of us have seen and impose your bigoted version of Allah’s will on the rest of us? That is baseless, cruel, and irrational. Unless you are Hamidullah Hamid, Nemat Sadat, Almas Farahi and the millions like us, then you have no idea about the endless war we suffer from due to individual prejudice and institutional discrimination. We are humans like you. We want to be treated with dignity and equality and be allowed to freely love and marry our soulmate.

Now, let me set the record straight regarding Almas Farahi. In the past week, I have reached out to numerous sources close to Mr. Farahi in the media and music scene and members of Afghanistan's gay network who inform me that, in fact, it is an open secret that Mr. Farahi is indeed gay. Mr. Farahi had an office in Kabul's Shar-e-Nau district but now the oil-painted sign on the glass doors of his shop has been erased. I am proud Mr. Farahi showed his moral courage by taking this bold step to come out but I am worried about his safety and wellbeing. Luckily, Mr. Farahi has a “honey gak” lover and future “khaawand” to comfort him and I am sure they are both nurturing and taking care of each other during this difficult and transitionary time in both of their lives.

Almas jaan, when you read this post, please know that I love you very much from the bottom of my heart. While we have never met in person, I feel a strong connection with you as you are my twin soul brother and kindred spirit. I hope that when you are comfortable and resurface back into the public sphere, that you will share with all of us photos from your wedding day. I wish I could even attend your special day of matrimony. Certainly, I would be honored to make a poetic wedding toast and then make a special Indian “Bollywood” dance for the two grooms in the greatest wedding of the century. I believe that sharing photos of you and your love from your day of happiness will have, over the long-term, a positive and powerful impact on Afghan culture and society. How can anyone reject two gay men from our society showing genuine displays of affection, intimacy, and romantic love. 

Just several months ago, a few skeptics told me that gay Afghan men or lesbian women would never marry each other, not even 100 years from now. But you Almas jaan have proven them wrong. As the adage in storytelling goes, “love conquers all” and you have proven that prohibitive social constructions can be easily undone.

You, Almas jaan, are in a position to do so much for the millions of Afghan queers who live with no hope and suffer daily without any respite. You have demonstrated yourself as a groundbreaking person: As a performing artist, you proved through your music that you are the Ahmad Zahir or Elvis Presley of our generation. You are indispensable! Now we are relying on you to be the pioneer who will show our conflicted nation the meaning and power of love. I leave you with this 2011 clip of Almas Farahi trying out in the auditions in Herat for TOLO’s “Afghan Star” show and we know the rest of the story when he arrived in Kabul where he launched his career, became a household Afghan name, and healed our wounded hearts. 

See clip:

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