James Holmes

58 Iraqi Gay Men Killed In Last Six Weeks

Filed By James Holmes | March 12, 2012 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: hate crimes against LGBT people, Iraq, murder

It is stories like this that remind me how lucky I am to live in this country. While the fight for equality still has a long way to go, and hate crimes our still sadly a constant worry in the US, there is nothing as terrorizing as this.

The AP reports that over the last six weeks an estimated 58 gay men and men perceived to be gay have been murder - many by having their heads smashed in with concrete blocks.Concreteblocks.jpg

Many of the men are part of the emo subculture, with dark clothing and crazy hair that make them easy targets.

A recent list distributed by militants in Baghdad's Shiite Sadr City neighborhood gives the names or nicknames of 33 people and their home addresses. At the top of the paper are a drawing of two handguns flanking a Quranic greeting that extolls God as merciful and compassionate.

Then follows a chilling warning.

"We warn in the strongest terms to every male and female debauchee," the Shiite militia hit list says. "If you do not stop this dirty act within four days, then the punishment of God will fall on you at the hands of Mujahideen."

As a result many emos are cutting off their hair to avoid detection.

To be LGBT in Iraq takes true bravery. If anyone needs proof that sexuality is not a choice, I would site this. Who would choose to be hunted down and murdered?

I went through my emo phase, and all I got was complaints from my mother. I was lucky enough to explore self expression without real fear. These men and women are doing nothing but dying their hair.

While we continue our fight for equality in this country, we should never forget that our brothers and sisters abroad are fighting just to live. It really puts things into perspective.

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