Utne Blogs > Arts and Culture

A Celebrity Voice for Gay and Transgendered Iraqis

Campaign of Sexual Cleansing in IraqThe latest word on the sexual cleansing of Iraq is that militias have been scanning internet chatrooms used by lesbian, gay, and transgendered Iraqis as part of a grotesque and tragic campaign of kidnapping, torture, and murder.

There was an endless parade of celebrities speaking out on behalf of Iraqis in the months leading up to the bombardment and invasion of Iraq in 2003. Nearly seven years later few raise their voices for the welfare of people in Iraq (not to mention the estimated two million who have fled the violence there).

Enter Antony Hegarty, the achingly beautiful voice of Antony and the Johnsons who posted an article about the killings, followed by a desperate declaration, written in all-caps:

ALLAH TREASURES HIS GAY AND TRANSGENDERED CHILDREN, HIS PRECIOUS HOMOSEXUAL CHILDREN.

JESUS ADORES HIS GAY CHILDREN AND RESERVES A SACRED PLACE FOR THEM IN THE FOLDS OF HIS CLOTHES.

IT IS A SIN TO HURT A GAY OR TRANSGENDERED PERSON. YOU HURT ALLAH WHEN YOU HURT ONE OF THESE MEN OR WOMEN, BOYS OR GIRLS.

Make a tshirt. Tell your friends.

love from Antony, crying

If you want to learn more about the situation for gay and transgendered Iraqis, here are a few resources:

Sexual Cleansing in Iraq (Utne Reader, May-June 2009)

The Sexual Cleansing of Iraq Intensifies (Utne.com, May 5, 2009)

Exterminating Lesbian, Gay, and Transgendered Iraqis (Utne.com, August 17, 2009)

Iraqi LGBT, an organization that publicizes hate crimes in Iraq

They Want Us Exterminated: Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq, a report published by Human Rights Watch

Source: Antony and the Johnsons