ALWAYS A LESBIAN
Yes, I’m a Lesbian. I’ve always been a Lesbian from my earliest memories. When I told my mother what I felt about another girl, at three, she said “You’re in love with that girl!” And I was. I also knew it was a choice, as Lesbian Feminists also said in the early Seventies. We didn’t plead with the patriarchal power structure, as so many do now – “Please give us equal rights because we can’t help it that we were born queer. We would change to be like you if only we could. Pity us.” Our choice to be Lesbians was and is a choice of pride. Why would we want to be anything else when we are the best and love the best? Of course we aren’t going extinct. Lesbians can never go extinct. We exist even in countries where we are killed just for being who we are. If patriarchy didn’t prevent us before, they sure can’t stop us now!
As I wrote in our book, Dykes-Loving-Dykes: Dyke Separatist Politics for Lesbians Only,
“The story of Lesbianism is the story of magic and survival. In almost every part of the world, we’re said not to exist, or we’re hated and lied about. Yet we persist in surviving. Lesbians come from every culture and country. We appear where there are no others of us, coming from people who try their hardest to make us committed man-lovers. We create ourselves out of nothing, appearing like weeds that cannot be destroyed. We crack open the foundations of the enormous structures of male supremacy.”
I found my first lover when I was 17 and I began searching for others like us. I went to DOB (Daughters of Bilitis) and the bars in 1969, but I was underage. In 1970, when I was 19, I found a vibrant and exciting Lesbian Feminist community in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was like falling in love again. So many Lesbians and so many events. I joined A Woman’s Place bookstore collective, worked on one of the first Lesbian Feminist Conferences ever in 1972 in Berkeley, worked on the first issue of Amazon Quarterly, became a Dyke Separatist in 1972, and 1973 co-wrote and published one of the first Separatist newspapers, Dykes and Gorgons. I also worked on the Lesbian Coffeehouse collective, went to an all female dojo, taught self defense to women and girls, wrote articles about radical Lesbianism, worked on Dyke Separatist Gatherings, made connections with Separatists in other countries, lived for a while in some of those countries, and co-wrote our book.
Of course Lesbian Separatists are still visionaries. Everything we said and wrote almost 40 years ago is still true. What we wrote in our book over 20 years ago is even more obvious now about how males are destroying the earth by marking territory with over-population and pollution. Our description of the harm lesbophobia and Lesbian-hating among Lesbians does to us individually and as communities is even more evident now. That betrayal, along with classism, racism, anti-Semitism, ableism, and ageism continues to damage Lesbians.
Yes, it’s upsetting to have been part of such a powerful movement and to now witness what has appeared to be its ending, with even our recent history wiped out. But no matter how we are undermined, it will never go back to how it was before Lesbian Feminism.
It can never be as bad as it was when I was a girl and there was not one book that could be found in a library or one film that was not Lesbian-hating (usually with the “perverted” Lesbian dying at the end and her lover going het). We will not return to the time when Lesbians were categorized as mentally ill by psychologists. No longer can anyone say they don’t know we exist or that we are only a hateful male-defined stereotype. Now, even in the most rural parts of our country, famous, beloved Lesbians can be seen on television.
It does feel like a tragedy when we’ve lost so much. “Women Studies” at universities and colleges have almost all been destroyed and replaced by “Gender Studies” or “Queer Studies” that are hostile to even basic Feminism. The term LGBT includes us with our oppressors and obscures the fact that most Lesbians I’ve known were never in a community with gay men, and that Lesbian communities have often operated with basic Separatist principles. However, we still do have an international radical Lesbian culture and community. And I am meeting young Lesbian Separatists whose politics are as strong or stronger than any I’ve met in the last 40 years and who are absolutely clear-thinking.
In many ways, it feels like a new beginning. As one of my new friends has said, all the anti-Feminism, gender-queer crap, trans-posturing, porn, and sado-masochism is becoming boring, mainstream, and old-fashioned. Now is time for a change. And I’m seeing that on a grassroots level, with Lesbians who don’t seem to have ever been directly aware of Feminism, just being fed up with anti-Lesbian attitudes in our communities. The best of the early Lesbian Feminist writing were grassroots also, before it became a career for Lesbians in academia. A few academics wrote brilliant books that could reach all Lesbians, but mostly it was an elitist and classist system by its exclusionary nature. So many tedious books were written in the academic style, which obscured how empty they were, and made it appear that Lesbian Feminism was only for the most privileged. It broke my heart to hear even middle class Lesbians say they were stupid because they could not understand or finish reading some of these lauded books. I pushed through and usually found nothing there that hadn’t been said before in more direct and better-written ways. Too many academic Lesbian Feminist books were like The Emperor’s New Clothes. Unfortunately, the least radical or interesting books are the most likely to have survived in libraries, while the truly revolutionary writing is hard to find.
We need to take back full awareness of who we are, and with pride. Being a Lesbian is far more that a “sexuality” or “sexual preference” or “sexual orientation.” Notice how those are always the terms used to describe us? It trivializes and demeans us. Sexuality is males’ primary focus. When I was a girl, the only definition of Lesbian that I found was about “sexual” feelings, which made me wonder if perhaps I wasn’t a Lesbian since my feelings were about love. I don’t feel sexual attraction to Lesbians without a strong love or in love connection. “Lesbian” striptease and burlesque has become popular, but I find it male, repulsive, and incredibly boring. It simply doesn’t feel Lesbian to me. I didn’t go through the hell of oppression I suffered as a young Lesbian to have this crap represent me or my community.
Males’ obsession is to mark territory, whether by rape, by ownership of females or of other cultures, by war, and by genocide. Being a Lesbian is about love, loving another female deeply enough to risk the hatred and danger that comes from such a revolutionary act. Lesbians threaten patriarchy at its tedious, evil core. When Lesbians agree with male rules that we’re only about sex, it reveals how linked they are to male ways of thinking. And in spite of anti-Lesbian lies from the male-identified in the old Lesbian “sex wars,” true Lesbian love is far more exciting and passionate than the boring, disconnected sex which imitates hets and male objectification. The irony is that Lesbian “sex radicals” are in reality pathetically mainstream and submissive to male rules and restrictions. But the damage done to individual Lesbians and our communities is real.
And no, I don’t believe any female is naturally heterosexual. We are relentlessly pressured to be heterosexual and to believe that that is natural, but it isn’t. We are bombarded with heterosexuality shoved down our throats in patriarchy and its media. The truth is hard to find. How many of us were told the real story about “the birds and the bees?” We’re not told that you never see a heterosexual honeybee because almost all bees are female, and the very few who are het (the “queens”), are het only for a moment in their lives. Children are indoctrinated with animated movies about bees and ants (ants also almost all female and never heterosexual), with the main characters male, including one voiced by a famous child molester). Finding the truth in the maze of lies makes it much harder to internalize the Lesbian-hating they teach us to have about ourselves. Many species of animals live in female communities and they keep the males out because they know that males are rapists and the murderers of their babies.
So if being het isn’t natural, why do so many women choose it? Notice how many people will betray their own beliefs when the alternative is to be unpopular, not fit in, be criticized and ridiculed. Being het means being accepted by society, family, and strangers in a way that Lesbians are never fully, deeply accepted. Things are easier for some of us now, but are we truly represented in society? With few exceptions, we are excluded from almost any media (magazines to films) representation of love or relationships. Harassment and ridicule in schools is constant. I’ve known women who hated the idea of having children decide to do it in a desperate attempt to finally be accepted and loved by their Lesbian-hating families. Never underestimate the desire to be “normal.” And never underestimate the deep shame many feel for being Lesbians. That alone, explains so much.
I saw my friends in high school working very hard to make themselves feel attracted to boys. It didn’t come naturally, like their attractions to other girls did. Of course, most females today say they love being het, but notice how focused the media is on training them what to feel so they can fit in. Just a few decades ago, it was common knowledge that most women made a reluctant deal to be fucked by their husbands in exchange for having security and heterosexual privilege. Today, males have had to learn some tricks to keep females entertained, but they still can’t love the way another female can.
When I’ve talked with a het woman friend about the idea of being a Lesbian, she said she tried it once when her ex-husband had brought home another woman for a three-way. An actor, asked if she’d ever tried Lesbianism, responded the she had once, but when the other woman put on a dildo, it repulsed her. These descriptions have nothing to do with Lesbianism, but show how male fantasies and male ideas define us.
Another proof that being het is a choice is when Lesbians choose to go back to being het.
(I haven’t yet heard of a never-het Lesbian going het, and I know thousands of Lesbians.) That is something I will never understand, but I have heard Lesbians say that it’s easier being het because they want to feel less and be less intense. I’ve also heard Lesbians say that because their father, husband or another male abused them, they’ve never given their hearts fully to another female. And then there’s the higher standard of living that males can provide. But choosing to be intimate with men seems like choosing death over life. And what better way to control women? What other group chooses to be so intimately involved with their oppressor? The result is that most women then become heavily invested in the continuation of patriarchy. When anti-Separatists say that women can be as cruel as men, they forget to notice that those are usually the women who’ve chosen to be dedicated to males – sometimes to the extent that they will protect their rapist husband, boyfriend, or son over their victim daughter.
For years, most Lesbian Feminists agreed with the mainstream media that males were not intrinsically evil, and that their misogyny was a result of socialization – “He raped and killed all those women because he was sexually abused in childhood.” If that was the case, wouldn’t most women be serial killers? Male animals aren’t socialized to rape and kill, but they do. The evidence is there. Men know it. They know they are biologically different than females. Ask them if you doubt it. Even progressive Michael Moore admitted (on Bill Maher’s HBO show) “We want to fuck anything in front of us.” It’s only females who argue on male’s behalf that we are all really the same. And no matter how nice a man seems, I always say, we never know what they’re doing when alone with animals or babies. And you can see it in most young boys’ violence.
Writing about what it means to be a Lesbian today could take a book, so I’m going to concentrate on two topics which I hear friends talking about with anguish and which are preventing us from having female-only space.
In 1979, I saw some disturbing trends that seemed to be a resurgence of Lesbian-hatred in our communities. Patriarchal influences had always been there, with male worshipping and admiration of male-created “femininity,” but now it began to be more open and bragged about. Instead of pride in looking like visible Dykes, more Lesbians reverted to passing as het. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that sado-masochism and porn began to be trendy. The first three books I know of that were about “Lesbian” sexuality were actually written by bisexuals, and were Lesbian-hating in their het-minded focus. Instead of being proud to be Lesbians, and looking and acting like a Lesbians, too many imitated and valued male and het women’s male ideas more. This supported the return to male-identified “femininity,” as well as directly leading to the trend of Lesbians wanting to become “men.
“Male to Female Transsexuals” (or as many radical Lesbians call them — “castrated men”) had been invading our communities from the early days. When I was 17, a man relentlessly pressured me to be with him and had no understanding of or respect for the fact that I was in love with my best friend, Marg. Elliott kept going after Lesbians and then decided HE was a Lesbian. He picked a name as close to mine as he could (“Beth”) and dyes his hair a similar red that I had when I was young. Almost immediately, he got into power positions, becoming vice president of DOB (causing a split and ultimately the end of the early Lesbian organization). Elliott played his “Lesbian” music at the LA Lesbian Feminist Conference in 1973, became the “Lesbian” columnist for a local Gay publication, and got an article called “Lesbian Sex” printed in off our backs by telling the collective that he was female-born when they questioned him. To add to the insult, Elliott is often racist in his public writings as a “Lesbian.” (I always say, “When you read something oppressive and cruel by a ‘Lesbian,’ don’t assume a Lesbian or even a woman wrote it.)
There is no getting away from this man. He continuesinging his Lesbian-hating songs. (The one I had the misfortune to have to hear in my community recently was about how he prefers long hair on Lesbians, ridiculing Lesbians who look like Dykes.) His arrogance is astounding and his mentality seems to still be that of a prurient adolescent boy.
I’ve watched as other castrated men have tried to destroy female-only space, here and in other countries. Very little is left, yet they continue. They fight to be on rape crisis center hotlines (one sued in Vancouver, Canada). (Imagine a woman who was just raped calling up and having to talk with a man?) They and their “gender queer” Lesbian and bisexual women allies destroyed the last women’s center in Sweden. It’s their dream to destroy the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. But they could not do any of this if Lesbians didn’t help them. I don’t know of any other group who so welcomes our oppressors than Lesbians. Is it because they’re flattered that men want to be us? Is it because they pity them? How could anyone believe that male surgeons and male pharmaceutical companies could turn men into Lesbians? (No coincidence that this is an enormous profitable business.)
And no, don’t repeat their lie that they always felt like they were female from when they were young. Elliott had told me about his life when we were friends so I know he lies when he says he always felt like he was female. It never crossed his mind, and my being a Lesbian was incomprehensible to him, just as he is oblivious about why he has no right to invade our female-only space. I can imagine that if he became obsessed with African-American culture, he might try to alter himself physically and attempt to get into public positions in that community — which would be as wrong and outrageous as his claiming to be female and a Lesbian. I’m in a unique position to be able to warn Lesbians to just not believe castrated men. Many were married het men for decades before they decided to invade our communities. The ones I’ve met are far more sexist and predatory and male (groping Lesbians in public they don’t even know) than many het men I’ve met. Their idea of being a woman seems to be primarily based on fetishism.
Anyone who protests is told that we have no right to not accept meone’s definition of themselves. But would we agree with a European-descent man who demands to be accepted as Native American because he played being an Indian when a boy? Would it be acceptable for such a person to then get into power positions in that community? If not, why are these men accepted as Lesbians? I don’t want any female in “women’s space” be forced to see a man who has sexually harassed her.
Recently, a friend who posted online on a large Lesbian list for a Separatist meeting was attacked in print by castrated men and their supporters. But there was a larger response from Lesbians who are just fed up with having men in our rare, small amount of Lesbian space. That takes courage, considering the level of hostility from Lesbians who protect these men.
It’s outrageous that Lesbians who don’t know what our Lesbian Feminist communities were like, which means they have no understanding of their own history, call us “ignorant” for objecting to men being in our communities (whether male-born, or female-born and now identifying as men). It’s classist and arrogant, as well as deeply self-hating. Lesbians’ desire to protect “transsexuals” is also about how kind and loving Lesbians can be to anyone they think is suffering. Lesbians are involved in far larger numbers than our percentage of the population in organizations fighting for people and animals and forests and every cause imaginable. Of course these are important issues, but it’s time for Lesbians to also fight for Lesbians.
Thirteen years ago, I wrote an article called “Better to Be Anything than a Lesbian” after seeing a TV show in England about adolescent girls going to Amsterdam to have surgery and hormones to become “men,” and after hearing a radio interview with a woman who decided her three-year-old girl must be a transsexual because the little girl said she wanted to be a boy (she’d been told she had to wear dresses because she was a girl and she hated dresses). Again, I don’t understand why this issue isn’t completely clear. When young Lesbians have been asked why they want to become men, a common response is “I’ll be better looking, more popular, get more women, get better jobs, my father always wanted a son, etc.” Men have much more privilege than Lesbians. Loren Cameron, who wrote one of the early books about FTMs, said how she went into a clothing store in San Francisco and was treated with respect (now that she appeared to be a man) by the gay men and het women working there – but when a Butch appeared, they made fun of her. Sometimes Lesbians want to please their lovers. In a documentary, a Lesbian’s father was thrilled his daughter’s girlfriend was “transitioning” because now his daughter wouldn’t be a Lesbian.
It might not be such a problem in Lesbian communities except that FTMs usually insist on still going to female-only events. They want it both ways. When I’ve heard them speak about being FTM, they usually complain about how hard it is, not about their increased privilege. I also haven’t heard them say anything about the effect on their lover, friends, or community. Like with castrated men, the focus seems to be very narcissistic and selfish. They don’t want to be us anymore, but they want access to us. They even claim to be oppressed by us. For Separatists who consider men to be the people who are raping and destroying the earth, becoming a FTM really is like joining the Klan or another openly evil organization. For Lesbians who call themselves “bois,” don’t they remember how boys were when they were girls? Boys were the dirty-minded small men who tortured and killed animals, and tormented and sometimes raped girls. (Even if you know some gentler boys, this is still how boys as a group operate.)
I have friends who lament “all the Butches who are becoming men,” but I want every Lesbian and Butch to question this idea, which I believe is partly a myth. By my definition of Butch (and I am not alone in this), many, if not most, of who I’ve seen “transition” are Fem. In Loren Cameron’s book, Body Alchemy, the “before” photos of those who’ve become FTMs look Fem – not drag queen-style Fems, but certainly not Butch. Some who have identified as Butch are actually bisexual, as well as Fem, like “Patrick” Califia. This is an attempt to define us out of existence by defining non-Lesbians as Lesbians. When women choose to relate sexually to men, they are bisexuals, not Lesbians. Some of these women are doing a mind-fuck on gay men too, by identifying as gay men. A lot of FTMs are a new, trendy version of fag hags — het or bisexual women who want to be fucked by gay men (which I’ve heard that gay men describe as having a “bonus hole.”) The result has been some FTMs becoming pregnant and/or getting AIDs.
Some do seem like men in one way, though – what part of “no” don’t they understand? Many Lesbians want female-only (Lesbian-only even better) space, without castrated men, or women who call themselves men or bois or any of the bizarre variations they come up with.
Of course you are not allowed to say any of this without punishment. It’s like arguing with a religious fanatic – no thinking allowed. As I said at the Butch Voices conference when I was accused of being transphobic – “We’re not “transphobic – ‘transsexuals’ oppress us!” I was told to be quiet.
As Katinka Strom, my old Swedish Dyke Separatist friend says: “The word phobia means ‘irrational fear.’ My fear of MTF transsexuals is not irrational – it’s well-founded and justified. That fear is political (they destroy Lesbian Feminist politics and community), and physical (like other men, they are physically violent and can be sexually abusive and intimidating). I also have a Feminist critique of them and the transsexual movement (a conservative, anti-feminist movement). Having a Lesbian and Feminist critique and analysis of castrated men and their movement is not the same as being ‘phobic.’”
Don’t assume this attempted destruction of Lesbian community is just coincidental. Sometimes I forget how deep a threat we are to the mainstream culture and government which represents patriarchy in our immediate lives. What better way to wipe us out than to make the definition of Lesbian become meaningless and to support the introduction of our enemies into our last remaining spaces as a Trojan horse strategy? African American Lesbian friends have been the most vocal about saying to not forget that the government still has agents in our community. Some European-descent friends scoff, saying, “I don’t want to hear conspiracy theories,” but it’s not a theory – it is reality. African American Lesbians witnessed how the government worked to destroy the Black Panther Party and even christian civil rights organizations with the Cointel program. This is well-documented, and the damage continues, with drugs brought into African American communities. If you have any doubts, look it up. One website says “Cointel-Pro created or instigated several intra-and inter-group disruptions for the Black Panther Party.” I remember seeing a documentary showing interviews with several of Malcolm X’s bodyguards who were FBI agents. They were there when he was assassinated. Although they reported on him to the government, they were crying because they could not stop the assassins (sent by Louis Farrakhan and the Black Muslims). These agents loved Malcolm and didn’t want him to die, but it was amazing that he didn’t know several of his closest bodyguards were agents.
A friend says, “Why would they bother with Lesbians?” Well, there were Lesbians in the Weather Underground, and the FBI went through another embarrassment when they had no idea who the SLA were when the SLA kidnapped Patty Hearst, I would think they’d rather not be caught like that again. At least two SLA members had been in our Lesbian community. A friend of mine had briefly been lovers with Camilla Hall. (Another good reason to not join male-run organizations – what a way to die – burned alive.)
Government agents in our Lesbian communities report back, but also work to disrupt any kind of strong movement we create. Just one determined individual can do tremendous damage with lying and doing other kinds of sabotage. One “LGBT” publication funded by the government to make trouble for us can also do a lot of damage.
What further proof that transsexualism is more privileged than being Lesbian or even gay men is that it is welcomed and encouraged in such a fundamentally religious country as Iran, where being a Lesbian or gay man is a crime punished by death. The method of eliminating all Lesbians and gay men in Iran is to force them to change their sex (or to appear to.) More sex change surgeries are performed in Iran than any country other than Thailand, and they are actually partially paid by the government.
Re-writing our past is also hurting us. I know a Butch who was two years old in 1970, yet she angrily repeats the myth that Butches were badly treated in the Lesbian Feminist community in the Bay Area. It doesn’t matter that I was here and she wasn’t. It’s true that Lesbian Feminists mostly are against role playing, but that isn’t the same as being anti-Butch. I’m also against role-playing. (For me, identifying as Butch is like identifying my class background, and is about fighting role playing.) What I saw in my old community was that Butches like Pat Parker and Judy Grahn and Willyce Kim were loved and respected, and that the now ridiculed and vilified tradition of wearing flannel shirts and jeans was wonderful support to all of us who had grown up being humiliated by being forced into wearing dresses and other revealing and uncomfortable “feminine” clothing by our families or even just to be allowed to go to school. It was such a relief being in a community where most Lesbians looked like Lesbians – unlike now where Lesbians will say even about Dykey Fems, “She’s so ugly.” The reclaiming of the worship of male-defined “femininity” and the accompanying role-playing and sado-masochism was not liberating for many of us. Equally frustrating is hearing Fems from that era saying how oppressed they were by the pressure to look like Lesbians. They had the whole world supporting them in following male rules, but they wanted to impose their patriarchal values on our beleaguered communities. And those values are so entrenched that many Lesbians think Lesbians who look like drag queens are more attractive than Lesbians who look like Dykes. Personally, I loved seeing all those short-haired Dykes in flannel shirts and jeans. I still do.
I am not meaning to insult Fem Lesbians or criticize how someone wants to look – many of my friends are very Fem – but I’m asking Lesbians to be aware of standards of beauty and who sets those standards. Please don’t participate in the increasing Butch-hatred in our communities where those who fit in with male and het rules of the most “feminine” are considered the most beautiful. A friend was saying how much better she thinks life is for women now, yet there’s been an increase of violence against females being shown in films and on TV. She also said she knows she has to wear her hear long if she wants to get work. As long as women in any positions of power appear in the media in high heels, slathered in make-up, and dressed ways that a man looking like that would be laughed at, we know things have not improved very much. Notice how males in the media are allowed to look relaxed and natural, and how even the ugliest men are considered attractive, while women are expected to be in pain and look like caricatures in order to not be ridiculed.
Sometimes Lesbians will say, “Well, how does a Lesbian look anyway?” It’s true that many Lesbians look no different from het women, but there is clearly a recognizable Lesbian look, which means looking more Butch and which means you’re more likely to get harassed on the street or be unable to get a job. But it’s also a way to identify a stranger as one of our own, and is the way we’ve been able to find each other through the ages and across all cultural lines. If we all looked like Lesbians, it would have a huge impact on hets realizing how many of us there are, and it would be easier on all of us to not be so singled out in Lesbian-hating ways. Every Lesbian who is out benefits all Lesbians, as a culture and individually.
Anyway, in the midst of the sadness about what we have lost, I’m seeing what we have gained. Perhaps too many of the old activists have walled themselves off from present Lesbian communities. I’d also mourned the early Seventies, but the community I’m in now is much larger and friendlier. There’s an incredible amount of Lesbian singer/songwriter/musicians creating exquisite music. I meet new Lesbians every week, and there are so many Lesbian events that I sometimes have to choose between five in one night. (If possible, I’ll try to get to three.) I have to ignore that very little is female-only and very few of the Lesbians are Feminists or even know basic Feminism. Yet, like in the early days, many of these Lesbians came out because of their love for other females and not because they thought the politics were trendy. There is a love, and warmth, and camaraderie that is beautiful, with an age range from the twenties to eighties.
So I say, let’s bask in the warmth of all the Lesbians and keep our struggle going
Endnote: From a BBC News story by Vanessa Barford, “Iran’s Diagnosed Transsexuals,” and “Transsexual in Iran,” from the original film, “Be Like Others,” directed by Tanaz Eshaghian, that was broadcast on BBC television in 2008.
Below is an excerpt from the article:
“Homosexual relationships are banned in Iran, but the country allows sex change operations and hundreds of men have elected for surgery to change their lives.”
“Sex changes have been legal in Iran since Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution, passed a fatwa – a religious edict – authorising them for “diagnosed transsexuals” 25 years ago.
Today, Iran carries out more sex change operations than any other nation in the world except for Thailand.
The government even provides up to half the cost for those needing financial assistance and a sex change is recognised on your birth certificate.
‘Islam has a cure for people suffering from this problem. If they want to change their gender, the path is open,’ says Hojatol Islam Muhammad Mehdi Kariminia, the religious cleric responsible for gender reassignment.
He says an operation is no more a sin than ‘changing wheat to flour to bread,’
Yet homosexuality is still punishable by death.
‘The discussion is fundamentally separate from a discussion regarding homosexuals. Absolutely not related. Homosexuals are doing something unnatural and against religion,’ says Kariminia. ‘It is clearly stated in our Islamic law that such behaviour is not allowed because it disrupts the social order.’”