Features May 28, 2014 at 4:00 am

Coming Out in a Country Where That Can Get You Killed

After a TV documentary outed me to the world, I found myself in this town in Turkey, where I didn’t know a soul. I was one of the lucky ones. Ethan Folk


What a sad and touching story. Thank god it has a happy ending. But there are many, many LGBT people living in Iran and countries like it who fear for their lives every day. I feel powerless and frustrated when I think about their plight. We need the US and other Western countries to do more to help these people.
Thank you for this enlightening piece. I suppose it would be difficult for you to now pursue justice against the Canadian documentary producers for outing you against your will. The hypocrisy is infuriating.
A beautiful piece. I hope you have found a better life. <3
it brought tear to my eyes, i was refugee once and understand this , a guy even stole my money and i had nothing left, thanx god i had good friends that time,,

As a wise man once said, religion poisons everything, or at least, flawed man's interpretation of it.

I'm so sorry for what you've gone through, and what the documentary crew put the other people in that restaurant through. It's unthinkable and unforgiveable.

My thoughts are with you. Here's hoping things turn out well for you in Canada. It's a great country - my mother was from there, and my best friend of 20 years lives in Toronto. It's not perfect, but they do many things right.

there are people living in america that are subjected to isolation and deprived of their rights to freely see their loved ones of choice, and have visitors. i know this personally, because one is my boyfriend, whom has been allowed to be disappeared in tucson, and a homophobic situation. isolation is torture yes?
My god. Just when you go start feeling sorry for yourself. Really want to hug this guy and learn from his perseverance and self-reliance. Really, really hope he's able to connect with his family.
Farzad, I'm glad you survived. I hope you sue those filmmakers for outing you...those irresponsible, clueless idiots could have caused your death(getting cash from them shouldn't be as important as getting a public apology from them for endagering your life and possibly that of your family.

And to those filmmakers, if they happen to be reading this:




What did you guys think you could possibly achieve by revealing his identity and putting him in mortal danger?

Please, for the love of whoever you do or don't worship...don't DO this to people. You have no right to endanger the subjects of your film in the name of heightening the tension or "making a point".

Documentaries are about real life and real people, who can sometimes really be killed by careless or indifferent choices like this.

Please learn from what you almost caused here.
Farhad, not Farzad. Mods, could you please correct thst in my previous post?
hello guys
thanks for your lovely comments
i'm Farhad , writer of the piece
you can contact me by sending your emails to : f.dolatizadeh@gmail.com
and please please please do not share that video
you are bringing it up again by doing so and you will put lives of the ones who are still in Iran in danger again. and if you have shared it please remove your post. don't let the ones who wanted to do harm to me and the others be successful.
As someone who has grown up in a culture with the same stigma (even the same religion I assume your family is) I just want to apologize for any cruelty you must have endured. I just constantly hope that the children of tomorrow are taught that homophobia is stupid and living your life hating someone's sexual orientation only wastes your quality of life.
Your story is beautiful. I would be *so* mad if I was in a video like that and they didn't ask for permission. What a bunch of pieces of garbage. May you be blessed with freedom.
Your story is beautiful. I would be so upset with those film makers, I can't believe they didn't ask permission or at least blur the faces out. May you be blessed with freedom. I understand some of your pain.
Glad you made it out. Well written story. Powerful. Is there some way to help?
Thank you for sharing your story, Farhad. It is not only beautifully written, it is extremely powerful, and - at a time when 'asylum', 'migrant' and 'immigrant' are dirty words in the West - it goes to show that behind every right-wing, paranoid headline, there is a real person, like yourself.

I wish you every happiness, and hope you are somehow reunited with your fantastically supportive-sounding family one day. x
i lived in Iran from 1966 to 79, i had my first gay exeoerince in Tehran down an alley way in the street during daylight, Iranian men would rub themselves if the saw u to let u know they were horny, the would also walk hand in hand with each other, i was 11 when i had first exeprince , my brother is also gay and he shared similar exeprinces , i dont regret anythng that happend to me as i know love iranain men and long to go back
This is literally one of my favorite journalistic pieces I have read in a while. Beautifully written. I'm glad to hear you're safe, but also concerned by the filmmaker's choices as well as worried for others that are in the position you were in.

Please wait...

and remember to be decent to everyone
all of the time.

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