Arsham Parsi is an Iranian LGBTQ rights activist who currently lives in exile in Canada.
Parsi began volunteering for underground gay organizations in Iran, where being queer is punishable by death, at the age of 19. He kept his work a secret from family and friends until 2005, when Parsi realized that the police were looking for him. He then fled the country.
Parsi has dedicated the rest of his life to helping queer refugees flee their home countries where they would be murdered by the police for their sexuality. “I know exactly what it’s like to be a gay man in Iran, to put a mask on your face 24/7, every second deny your existence. You cannot do anything.” – Arsham Parsi