Iran pop star’s gay video sparks uproar

Googoosh has become one of the most prominent Irianians to speak out against homophobia in the conservative country

Iran pop star’s gay video sparks uproar
19 February 2014

One of the most famous women in Iran has released a video in support of the country’s LGBT community, sparking uproar and backlash.

As GSN previously reported, Googoosh has released Behesht (Paradise) with a music video showing how lesbian couples can be shunned by Iranian society.

A number of homophobic news outlets denounced the singer as ‘anti-Iranian’. Enghelab News described herself as a sell-out aiming to spread ‘decadence in Iranian society’, and Khabar Online branded it an ‘obscene’ video promoting ‘hideous acts’.

The couple in the video are played by two Iranian actors, Pegah Ferydoni and Yasmine Azadi.

Told from the perspective of one of the women, the couple are only revealed to be gay until the last minute.

‘The end of this road is not clear, I know this, just like you do,’ sings Googoosh. ‘Don’t tell me to stop loving, You can’t do that and I can’t either.’

Gay rights activists, on the other hand, have celebrated the video as ‘unprecedented’ and ‘unique’.

‘While Googoosh is not queer herself, we have to applaud and appreciate what she has done for gay rights in Iran,’ a spokesman for the Iranian Queer Organization said.

‘Celebrities supporting the LGBT community can support dialogue and end discrimination in this country.

‘We welcome and encourage other artists to do the same.’

Navid Akhavan, who wrote and directed the video, told The Guardian overall the reactions had been ‘tremendous’.

‘We knew from the start that because of its topic the video is going to be very controversial among Iranians, that’s why we expected negative feedback too, but that hasn’t bothered me, nor Googoosh,’ he said.

‘I am so proud of her being so brave and taking a pioneering step in support of Iranian homosexuals.’

In Iran, homosexuality is illegal and can be punishable by death or lifetime imprisonment.

Check out the video below:

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