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"Ninety-five percent of gays in Iran will never come out," Saeed says over pasta at one of northern Tehran's coffee shops, where the atmosphere is relatively permissive.
For all his friends who have dared, coming out has been a traumatic experience; parents lock their children inside the house, confiscate their phones and laptops, and force them to seek therapy.
(For security reasons, Saeed asked to be referred to by his first name only.) Until recently, consensual sexual intercourse between men was a capital offense in Iran.
After a change in the country's penal code, the "active" person in the act can now be punished with up to 100 lashes, but if he's married, the death penalty may apply.
Often, this kind of compromising information is used to push gay people to inform on their fellow citizens.
"Certain people can shield themselves — hide behind their money and their connections," says Alizadeh.
The host is an Iranian man in his mid-20s, whose parents let him use the villa when he wants, and he's throwing a birthday party for his European boyfriend.
This free gay dating site provides you with all those features which make searching and browsing as easy as you've always wished for. Gays from lower classes and rural areas, where stigmatization is often most severe, rarely have the ability to move out of the house before marriage, let alone leave the country. there is generally little acceptance of homosexuality, but some middle- and upper-class Iranians have the means to create parallel lives, out of sight of their relatives or friends.These people — men like Saeed — are the lucky ones.But Saeed, a pensive, handsome 25-year-old with a faux-hawk and meticulously groomed stubble, lives in Iran, where Islamic law criminalizes same-sex relations.Coming out is simply something very few do, even in capital city, Tehran, where Saeed grew up.