#ReadAtlantic 2SLGBTQIA+ VOICES Staff Picks: Chris Picks Exiled for Love
Exiled for Love
Arsham Parsi & Marc Colbourne
Exiled for Love is both a beautiful personal story of courage and resilience, and a geopolitical look at global acceptance or intolerance of queerness. Parsi had no choice but to be who he is, but was forced into making great sacrifice.
For love, yes, and for love of himself. He took great risks in Iran, speaking out against human rights abuses against LGBT people there. For his safety, and that of his family, he was forced to flee.
Because he could come to love himself, despite whatever hatred his society threw his way, he was able to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to come to a place where he could more safely be himself, receiving asylum in Canada. In Canada he built on previous activism, building International Railroad for Queer Refugees to help others in escape danger and come to places where they can live as themselves.
It is important to both celebrate their success in doing so and acknowledge the incredible sacrifice made, giving up one’s own nation, culture and family simply to be themselves and be safe. This is an eye-opening book about the geopolitics of queerness, through one remarkable human’s story.