When I reached the voting age in 1997 I was deeply in the closet and had no idea how I would reconcile my sexuality with the society of my birth or that of my adopted land. I reached a dead end not knowing whether I should choose a life of lies and loneliness or be true to myself and risk the rude awakening of isolation. Back then, I never imagined, the day would come when the majority of Americans would accept gay rights, that same-sex marriage would become the law of the land or that the White House would light up in rainbow colors to commemorate the victory of gays & lesbians. But, by the time I made my pioneering coming out to the world in 2013, I had a glimmer of hope that stepping into unchartered territory may better my life and that of millions from my native heritage who belong to a culture that still penalizes homosexuals with the death penalty.
Today, my belief in the promise of liberal democracy has been renewed. I’m more hopeful that the American Dream of charting out your own destiny can flourish in my homeland, Afghanistan, and throughout the Muslim World so that LGBTI children everywhere can grow up without fear, be honest with who they are and marry the one they love. Now more than ever, I’m determined to expand universal human rights around the world even if the gay liberation movement of the eastern world takes longer than a half-century to accomplish. That will be the happiest day of my life. #LoveWins