239f9b7f4894e69d972496b456a04ee5International: A gay academic’s coming out message on Facebook has launched an LGBT rights movement in Afghanistan where homosexuality can be penalized with the death penalty.

“I’m so happy to have finished the process of ‘coming out’ to the entire world… Yes, I’m proud to be gay, Afghan, American and Muslim,” said Nemat Sadat, whose post appeared last August.

“Now, I can live life without all the aunties & uncles harassing and pressuring with questions like why I haven’t married a woman. If they do, I will simply shake my head, snap my finger, toss my hair and tell them I am marrying a distinguished gentleman,” he said in the post.

“I didn’t plan on coming out so dramatically but living in a repressing society finally got to me,” Sadat wrote in out.com.

Sadat was born in Kabul in 1979, the year the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and a year later his family resettled in California.

Later, he moved back to his homeland to be a professor of political science at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).

“Unable to cope with life in an oppressive war zone, I started talking about controversial topics on social media as an outlet to my frustration, he wrote in out.com.

In July 2013 the Afghan government alleged that his public outreach was subverting Islam in Afghanistan, so they pressured AUAF to fire him.

He was disowned by his father and he received thousands of death threats from angry Afghans who were flabbergasted about his insistence that he is both a proud homosexual and a Muslim. ”I became the butt of jokes in a way that was unprecedented in the history of Afghanistan if not the entire Muslim world,” he wrote in out.com.

However, since his coming out, Sadat received hundreds of messages from closeted Afghans who regard him as their hero in life for giving them hope and raising global awareness about gay rights in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is no longer the same. All over the country, Afghans are candidly talking about homosexuality in a way that would have been unimaginable before Sadat’s Facebook post.

“In an interview last October with Voice of America Dari, which was their most-read story in 2013, I differentiated between violent bachabazi (pederasty) and same-sex love among consenting adults. A few days after my talk, Afghanistan’s human rights commission launched an investigation into pedophilia,” he said.

“No one would have guessed that from my laptop, thousands of miles away from Afghanistan, I could ignite a revolution that has engaged millions in a national discussion about a topic that was previously taboo. But if social media prompted the downfall of dictatorships in the Arab World then why can’t it energize the LGBTQ movement in Afghanistan or Russia?” he wrote.

“I just hope I’m alive to see the day when the first lesbian couple legally marries in Russia and on Afghan soil,” he said.

Source: out.com