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Lesbian Iranian seeks outlet in film

Iran doesn't officially have gay citizens, but then nobody asked Kiana Firouz.

Kiana said that although she lived in a free, democratic country, she had not yet found peace. “I’m still faced with social stigma from fellow Iranians," she said. “I get hate messages all the time.”

Even life for the director of the movie hasn’t been easy. He has been receiving messages telling him he should stop tackling this topic. Goudarzi Nejad has previously made a movie about Iranian lesbians called “Have I ever Happened,” and says that after his movie came out, an Iranian woman got in touch, pleading with him to help increase awareness inside the country.

Kiana, meanwhile, is no longer shy about revealing sexuality. “I’m happy to be the first Iranian lesbian who dared kiss her girlfriend on screen,” she said proudly.

The scene has raised eyebrows in the Iranian community. Even less traditional and more secular Iranians living in Los Angeles are surprised by Kiana’s outspokenness.

“We’ve never seen such things before from Iranian women,” said Ali Reza Nourizadeh, the Iranian presenter of Channel One, a satellite channel, based in the U.S. and a fervent supporter of the Shah. “With this movie, Kiana has signed her own death warrant,” he added, indicating the level of danger she faces.

Kiana said she was not worried about her own life any more. “I feel like I’ve been told I have only a few days to live,” she said. “I’m completing all my unfinished projects. I just don’t know what will happen in the future.”

For her, the greatest achievement has been her movie, and the chance to get her message across.

“I just wanted to say to everyone, we are not sick or mentally ill. For one moment, let’s leave all religious, cultural and traditional beliefs behind us. Let’s all once again review love, the true love between two human beings.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/middle-east/100407/iran-lesbian-gay-rights-ahmadinejad