Homosexuell in Kurdistan

28 Nov

Die Website KurdishMedia hat kürzlich über die Situation homo- und transsexueller Kurden in deren Heimat und anderen Ländern berichtet. Anhand von vier Fallbeispielen zeigt der Autor Kameel Ahmady dabei Probleme im Leben homo- und transsexueller Kurden auf und beleuchtet anschließend den historischen Hintergrund sowie die Perspektiven für schwul-lebisches Leben in Kurdistan.

In der Einleitung zum ersten Teil des Berichts erklärt Ahmady, dass Homo- und Transexualität innerhalb kurdischer Gesellschaften als ein „offenes Geheimnis“ betrachtet wird. Zumindest von männlicher Homosexualität wisse zwar jeder, dass es diese gibt, gesprochen werde darüber aber nicht. Die Gründe hierfür seien zu einem nicht unerheblichen Teil im traditionellen Geschlechtsrollenverständnis zu suchen:

While [Homo- and transsexuality] has always existed within Kurdish, as any other society, cultural norms mean that it has at the same time been kept as an ‘open secret’; everyone knows it happens, but nobody talks about the controversial subject. […]

This also has a great deal to do with conventional gender roles; although male homosexuality has been informally known about, if not discussed, lesbianism and transsexuality is much less tolerated, even informally.

Ahmady ist allerdings optimistisch, dass sich das traditionelle Verständnis von Geschlechterrollen und der Status der Frauen und der Homosexuellen mit dem Einzug des Feminismus und der Moderne in kurdischen Gesellschaften ändern werden:

But with the rise of feminism for Kurdish women, they are now experiencing their sexuality too through this paradigm. […]

As Kurdish society in all parts of Kurdistan and throughout diaspora struggles – sometimes violently – with modernity and the changing gender roles which follow, there remains a big challenge to the acceptance of open practice of sexual freedom.

Im ersten Fallbeispiel geht es um das Schicksal der Mann-zu-Frau-Transsexuellen „H“ aus dem iranischen Teil Kurdistans. Ihr Vater war nahe dran sie zu töten, nachdem er erfuhr, dass sie „schwul/transsexuell“. Deshalb musste sie über Teheran – obwohl der Iran Homosexuelle hinrichten lässt, sind Geschlechtsumwandlungen erlaubt, wohl deshalb, um die heterosexuelle Norm aufrechtzuerhalten – und Weißrussland nach London fliehen:

She said, well I was disowned by my family. My father almost killed me when he found out that I was gay/transsexual, I had to flee Kurdistan and go to live in Tehran. […]

H had only two dreams – to have a successful sex change operation, and to be reunited with her boyfriend, who promised to marry her as soon as she became a woman. H said I had a really tough time in Kurdistan, I wasn’t allowed to say that I was gay; I was so scared that my father would one day find out. Although most people knew about my sexuality, or at least they were suspecting from the way I was behaving, I mean behaving like a women and I had a soft voice. Nobody openly talked about it; it was like an open secret. While the older men stared at me, or just angrily turned their heads and left with anger when I came past, younger men sometimes tried to pick me up, or to make comments about my appearance. […]

As the time of the sex change operation approaches H becomes visibly happier but also anxious, until one day. She tells her horrifying story of being attacked on the street by two men in North London, who repeatedly kicked her in the stomach and called her a ‘poof’ and left her with bloody face, she was so afraid that she didn’t go out for few days and when she did it was with an social worker.

After the operation, she says she is a proper ‘she’. I am the happiest Kurdish woman in the world. While she works part time at a Soho bar as barwoman serving drinks, she waits for her future husband to join her.

In Fallbeispiel zwei folgen wir Ahmady in die türkische Metropole Istanbul, der Heimat von über einer Million Kurden – von denen die meisten im Zuge des Konfliktes zwischen der Türkei und der PKK in den 90er Jahren nach Istanbul geflohen sind – und besuchen eine Bar für schwul-lesbische Kurden:

As soon as you walk in, almost everyone seems to be checking you out, perhaps to see if you are gay/lesbian. A group of four men and women in the next table invite me and my female companion to drink at their table. A few drinks later they start talking about how and why they left Kurdistan. One of the girls […] says: simply because I was a lesbian, I remember as a teenager I was in love with my cousin and when she got married with her high school sweetheart I tried to commit suicide, but I wasn’t successful, I survived. The other woman says: I was married for 5 years, I hated my husband, he was cheating on me and since then I can’t think of myself being with a man anymore, I am much happier with my Russian girlfriend, who sat a few feet away from her. The stories of the men were similar […]

I come from a small village when rumours spread across the village (when they saw me with another man in the sex act). The village Mullah and elders summoned my father and my uncle to the Mosque to tell them about the news. My school friend overheard the story from some other boys and ran to the field where I was looking after our live stock and told me the story. I had only enough money to make it to Ankara and since then I haven’t returned but I speak with my mother from time to time.

Im dritten Fall geht es um das lesbische Paar „F“ und „K“, beide Studentinnen an einer iranischen Universität. Niemand wisse, so „F“, dass sie lesbisch sei. Wenn es herauskomme, würde sie aber womöglich von ihrer Familie getötet oder vom Staat Iran verhaftet werden, wenn nicht gar schlimmeres:

F says no one knows that she is a lesbian; if anyone finds out I am in big, big trouble, not only my Kurdish family might kill me, maybe the government will put me in prison. At this point she lowers her voice and says, or maybe hangs me to death just like last year when they hanged two Fars (Persian) gays.

Fallbeispiel vier erzählt die Geschichte von „AF“, der in Irakisch-Kurdistan geboren wurde und in Deutschland lebt. Auch er weiß nicht was passieren wird, wenn seine Familie je von seiner Homosexualität erfahren sollte. Er und sein Freund führen vor seiner Familie und seinen Bekannten ein Doppelleben:

[…] God knows what will happen to me if my relatives find out, especially my father’s cousin who is the head of our families […]

I don’t know many people from where I am from but when people come to visit us we just say we are university students and live in separate rooms. I think everyone believes us. AF’s dream is that one day he will be able to say who he is.

Ahmady konstatiert anschließend anhand dieser Fallbeispiele, dass trotz des Tabus von Homo- und Transsexualität sich allmählich eine öffentliche Diskussion zu entwickeln beginnt, die insbesondere von den Kurden außerhalb Kurdistans geführt wird. Um dies zu verdeutlichen, zitiert Ahmady einen kurdischen Autor der anlässlich der Auspeitschung eines schwulen Paares im Iran folgendes schrieb:

Gays in Kurdistan, like most Middle Eastern societies, are really looked down upon because of religion and even our culture. Homosexuality was always looked at as a bad thing throughout times, while in early Europe pederasty was quite common. So, naturally, we always have been against homosexuality but at the same time I don’t believe in Shari’a law and the whipping of homosexuals to death at most times.

Let them live their own life style. If you’re a religious person, you know what’s coming to them in the end, and if you aren’t, then you shouldn’t have a problem with it. Mullahs will whip you for anything – whether it be speaking out against them, drinking, or having male-male or female-female sex.

Im zweiten Teil seines Berichts beschäftigt sich Ahmady mit der Historie der Homosexualität in kurdischen, arabischen und persischen Gesellschaften:

Even though male homosexuality has long been known in Kurdish society, and used as a derogatory social category even when not talked about, the public emergence of lesbianism is still in very early stages. This has begun in northern Kurdistan (Turkey), where in other parts of Kurdistan gay or lesbian public life is virtually non-existent. Kurds in diaspora, because of their focus on other more pressing campaigns, have also failed to put the issue on the public agenda. While Turkey’s secular laws do provide some opportunity for gays, lesbians and transsexuals to organize public lobbying and other activities for their acceptance in society, they are mostly absorbed into Istanbul-based NGO’s. Therefore the needs of this hidden community of Kurdish gay, lesbian and transsexuals are still largely ignored.

Während zwar Päderastie in kurdischen Gesellschaften gegen Bezahlung oftmals stillschweigend geduldet wurde, waren einvernehmliche homosexuelle Beziehungen unter Erwachsenen weitaus weniger toleriert:

Looking at the history of Kurdish attitudes in regards to homosexuality, one could observe a large numbers of ‘local’ references made to individuals (usually rich and middle aged, always men), who were believed to pay for sex with young boys. While the individual (who might in the west called a pedophile) carried on with their life as a family man, there were nonetheless always giggles whenever of young boys was talked about. It’s often the case that those young boys expose to such sexual abuse need to put up with very strong sense of humiliations within the society they live in for the rest of their life, in the result many will choose to live their homeland running always from such “shameful“ background. This just goes to show how the only acknowledged form of homosexuality was one in which it was placed in a deviant and even criminal status. Although pedophilia was and is recognized and maybe even alluded to in social interactions as an ‘open secret’, normal adult homosexuality or transgender is less accepted than this exploitive form.

In historischen muslimischen Kulturen – und insbesondere innerhalb der Strömung des eher mystischen Sufismus – war Homoerotik nichts ungewöhnliches:

For example in old Persia homosexuality and homoerotic expressions were tolerated in numerous public places, from monasteries and seminaries to taverns, military camps, bathhouses, and coffee houses. In the early Safavid era (1501-1723), male houses of prostitution (amrad khane) were legally recognized and paid taxes. A rich tradition of art and literature sprang up, constructing Middle Eastern homosexuality in ways analogous to the ancient tradition of male love in which Ganymede, cup-bearer to the gods, symbolised the ideal boyfriend. Muslim — often Sufi — poets in medieval Arab lands and in Persia wrote odes to the beautiful Christian wine boys who, they claimed, served them in the taverns and shared their beds at night.

Im dritten Teil von Ahmadys Bericht wagt er einen Ausblick auf Perspektiven homosexueller Menschen innerhalb kurdischer Gesellschaften. Als ermutigend sieht er dabei die Fortschritte bei der Anerkennung schwul-lesbischer Lebensweisen an, insbesondere in Europa und auch durch diverse Religionsgemeinschaften, wie etwa das Reformjudentum oder westliche anglikanischen Kirchen:

The overall trend of greater acceptance of gay men and women in the latter part of the 20th century was not limited to secular institutions; it was also seen in many religious institutions. Reform Judaism, the largest branch of Judaism outside Israel had begun to facilitate religious weddings for gay adherents in their synagogues. The Anglican Communion encountered discord that caused a rift between the African and Asian Anglican churches on the one hand and North American churches on the other when American and Canadian churches ordained gay clergy and began blessing same-sex unions.

Auch im Hinblick auf das Verhältnis von Islam und Homosexualität gibt sich Ahmady relativ optimistisch:

Islam in this case is only part of the problem, since certain sects and approaches, as we have seen, have tolerated various kinds of homosexuality.

Der kurdischen Politik stellt er dagegen ein schlechtes Zeugnis im Bemühen um die Anerkennung der Rechte homosexueller Menschen aus, gibt aber zu bedenken, dies sei unter Umständen auch deshalb so, weil kurdische Politik mit weitaus grundlegenderen Problemen zu kämpfen habe:

With respect to Kurdistan, Kurdish leftist political parties have traditionally show limited public support for gay and transgender rights, but this has rarely translated into any public action. Certainly, more pressing issues on the political agenda of the Kurds, concerning basic human rights for all, have partly prevented this.

Die größere Herausforderung für die kurdische Gesellschaft sei nicht eine Veränderung der Einstellungen der dortigen politischen Elite, sondern die Veränderung der Kultur und der gesamten Bevölkerung:

The bigger challenge for Kurdish society is not to change attitudes within the political elite, which may be more enlightened on this topic than religiously conservative American politicians, as we have also seen with Iran. The challenge is to change attitudes in the culture, and population as a whole, who still view homosexuality and transsexuality in criminal terms, and this is the only ‘acceptable’ scenario in which to address it.

Abschließend drückt Ahmady seine Hoffnung aus, dass Kurdistan einen Weg hin zu einer modernen, pluralistischen Gesellschaft einschlagen wird, welche sich den Rechten aller Individuen verpflichtet fühlt:

This also has implications for women’s rights in Kurdistan more generally, for a society in which the only ‘acceptable’ sexual expression is through the institution of marriage, and where patriarchy has been the norm as in Kurdistan, is bound to severely limit women’s freedoms in not only sexual but social terms. Of course this as implications also for addressing attitudes towards the highly controversial incidence of ‘honour killings’ recently debated in Kurdish society both in Kurdistan and the diaspora. In sexual and social terms, we should begin to see things in more pluralistic terms, which would afford more rights to all members of society. As far as sex and gender, no single label or description will fit all individuals, and people should be able to see this as a positive, rather than stigmatising people who are brave enough to stand up and be true to who they are for themselves. It is an issue that has long existed in Kurdish society, and if Kurds want to form modern nations, Kurds should now be willing to address this issue publicly, without shame, and with support for human rights.

Und dem ist dann auch nichts mehr hinzuzufügen.

(gefunden auf WADIblog)


4 Antworten to “Homosexuell in Kurdistan”

  1. Firar Özgür 16. April 2009 um 11:57 #

    Mich würde es interessieren, wie unsere kurdische homosexuelle damit umgehen.

  2. Joh BNillton 16. September 2010 um 21:10 #

    I am British retired living in Manhattan New York City I want to meet young KURDISH MEN for companionship & friendship. Sorry I do NOT speak GermanJOHN Billton

  3. Gabriel Duchamp 6. Januar 2012 um 23:13 #



  1. glbt.israel-live.de » Blog Archiv » Homosexuell in Kurdistan « Gay West - 19. Dezember 2008

    […] Homosexuell in Kurdistan « Gay West […]

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