An Interview With a Bisexual Man From Azerbaijan

29 Nov, 2018
I recently interviewed a bisexual man who lives in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is the worst country to reside in for the LGBT community in Eastern Europe. Gay sex just became legal in 2000, but same-sex marriage is still illegal. Workplace discrimination is still prevalent, and the country does very little to prevent it. There are almost no punishments for businesses in Azerbaijan that discriminate against their employees. Police brutality is also a large issue, and many have reported that they have been raped or tortured while being detained.

To get more information about Azerbaijan, I had to dive into social media platforms.

On Facebook, there are few Azerbaijan LGBT groups and pages. There are very few that are active and still post. One in particular, which will remain anonymous, answered some questions about the LGBT community in Azerbaijan.

All of this was translated through Google, so understand it is not perfect English.

Me: What is your identity? Are you male or female and what is your sexuality?

Them: I prefer to remain anonymous. I am Azerbaijani. I live in Ganja, Azerbaijan. I am 20 years old. My orientation is bisexual. I’m an activist for LGBT. My aim is to eliminate LGBT phobias and eliminate discrimination.

Me: Do you believe most families are accepting of LGBT family members? Is your family accepting of you?

Them: I was 17 years old and thought there was no need to hide my orientation from my family, and after thinking a lot, I decided to explain my orientation to my family. When I first told my family there were fights every day, my mother did not allow me to spend time with LGBT people, and I didn’t listen to her and spent my day with LGBT people. There was a big fight at home, but I didn’t give up. I promised myself, “I’ll prove you wrong” After 6 months I won the battle with my mom. I introduced my mom to my LGBT friends and when she saw they were normal her idea changed and now she is completely tolerant. If a family has modern thinking, it’s easier.

Me: I’m glad your mother accepts you. How large is the LGBT community in Azerbaijan?

Them: LGBT community in Azerbaijan is naturally small. If it was big, we would have been distressed, handed down, and handed down our voice in our country. As we all know, LGBT people are many, but 25% live in an open way, and 70% prefer to remain private. Some individuals threaten them to keep them hidden. Families have a theory: “As gay comes, they start to sing and shout, say gay does not go away, and talk is changing.” The elderly generation does not have the right idea of LGBT, but most young people are accepting.

Me: Do you believe things are progressing in your country? Or are things becoming more difficult for LGBT?

Them: There are some improvements to LGBT, and I can show you some examples. 2 years ago, when people went through the names of the LGBT place, people were behaving nervously, but now they are laughing at LGBT, so at least they do not discriminate. From a social network in the sample. When we shared 2 LGBT positions, we could only insult the comments, but at least now, the LGBT individuals support one another, at least from social networks, no longer silent to hate speech. There is progress toward goodness and expressing opinions. But LGBT still remains in a miserable state. Every year or so meetings are coming and somebody comes from LGBT and then they ask “what will help”. I understand one thing well that no group or organization can help us. LGBT system in the country is completely inadequate, and I believe that it can only change with the future generation. Thank you simply. I wish you success in your work. Thank you for listening to me.

Me: Thank you for being a voice for LGBT in your country. I wish you luck as well! Goodbye.

Them: Thank you Mr. Vincent.

Unfortunately, there were some questions that could not be answered because of restrictions. There were fraudulent companies that were mentioned, but he could not answer all of my questions because of these restrictions.
There is hope for LGBT in Azerbaijan, as he said.
The government is unfair to its people, and as was mentioned, the LGBT community in Azerbaijan is in a "miserable state".
People like the anonymous user above are working hard to advocate for LGBT rights in this country, and not all hope is lost. There is hope everywhere. With new generations coming, and new ideals, countries like Azerbaijan will find peace in the future.