Twitter Space Discussion LGBT Discourse in Afghanistan: Power; Identity & Equality

LGBT people in Afghanistan face many problems due to social, cultural/traditional and legal problems. In the Afghan society, LGBT community are held captive by Sharia laws and are forced to keep their gender identity and sexual orientation secret, in fear of harassment, intimidation, persecution, violence, and death penalty. The religious nature of the country has limited opportunity for public discussion,with any mention of homosexuality and related terms deemed taboo not only in Afghanistan but also in  the majority of the Islamic society, However, what is the situation of these people under the rule of the Taliban?

In order to assess this situation, the 
Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies organized an online discussion through Spaces Twitter with a number of LGBT representatives (Rushanya, Behesht Collection, and Link 34) who are working on the ground in Afghanistan, sexual minority rights activists, and researchers on gender studies on Wednesday, April 12, 2023.
In this conversation, the speakers discussed the concept of LGBT, the findings of the research conducted by the Afghanistan Institute of Strategic Studies on the sexual attitudes and behaviors of young people in Afghanistan, the difference between homosexuality and the phenomenon of Bacha Bazi ( and they also discussed sexual education.

Speakers talked about the cultural, social and legal aspect of this issue and pointed out the importance of family and society role in order to combat violence against LGBT community and to ensure their rights. They also shed light to the changing attitudes regarding LGBT rights in Afghanistan and lost opportunities for the last two decades, and added that attitudes were changing in this matter, but opportunities to achieve LGBT rights were not utilized and the role of civil society to fight for the rights of these people has been very weak.

Speakers talked about the situation of LGBT people under the Taliban rule and said that LGBT community live in hiding in fear of persecution, violence, and death penalty while international community forget the LGBT community in Afghanistan. Speakers emphasized that Taliban will never respect the rights of LGBT community under any circumstances and  stressed the importance role of  LGBT community, civil society and human rights activists to help and advocate for the safety and security of the LGBT community in Afghanistan.