Speaking at Columbia University on September 24, 2007, Iranian president at the time Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed: “In Iran, we do not have homosexuals like in your country.”
While most Western nations now officially accept homosexuality and some even same-sex marriage, homosexuality is still punishable by death in Iran. Homosexuals are not allowed to live out their sexuality there. Their only options are either to choose transsexuality, which is tolerated by law but considered pathological, or to flee.
In Denizli, a small town in Turkey, hundreds of gay Iranians are stuck in a transit zone, their lives on hold, hoping against hope to be welcomed into a host country someday where they can start afresh and come out of the closet. Set in this state of limbo, where anonymity is the best protection, this series of photographs explores the sensitive concepts of identity and gender and seeks to restore to each of these men and women the face their country stole from them.