The Taliban Slaughtered Gay Men like Animals
It was hard to be gay in my country. You can’t live as a [free] man.
Editing by Kathryn Cunningham
Photography by Christophe Mortier
I am Nabi, and I’m twenty-five years old. I finished my bachelor’s degree as an engineer, and now I am a refugee in Germany. I am also homosexual. It was hard to be gay in my country. You can’t live as a [free] man. I also heard about the Taliban taking gay men and slaughtering them like animals. But the main reason I left Afghanistan was because of my sister. The Taliban wanted to stone her, so we left together.
We came through Iran in the summer, when it was very hot—115 degrees Fahrenheit. We were out in the open the whole time. Some of the people in our group died because we didn’t have water. From Iran, we went on to Turkey, and [then] to Greece. After that we traveled for four months on foot through Macedonia, Serbia, and so on until we got to Germany.
I spent a year and a half living in the Rebstock camp. At first I didn’t want to learn German. Then I met a German man online, and he visited me. We started dating, and he has helped me learn German. We write notes to each other, we do household chores, we go shopping, and we visit his parents, all the time speaking German as much as we can.
Now I have a house in Frankfurt, and I have a job so I can pay my bills, and it feels like I have my life back again. I am also helping others like me. [There is] a group called Rainbow Refugees for gay men from Afghanistan and Pakistan. I help them with the language, I explain the laws to them, and I help them be more open about who they are.
For now, I try my best to learn German well enough to get an internship in engineering and continue my studies. I hope I can live like a normal man here, as a free gay man. And I hope that I can stay with my boyfriend and we can develop a life together, because we love each other.
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