Hamid Zaher, talks about his experience being gay in Afghanistan


Author of ‘It is Your Enemy Who is Dock Tailed,’ Hamid Zaher was born to a rustic family in 1974 in the Parvan province of Afghanistan.

He graduated from the pharmacy faculty of Kabul University in 1998. He left his country in 2001 because he faced discrimination for being a homosexual. 

After years of hardships in Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey, he reached his current home of Canada in March 2008.

Growing up in Afghanistan, Hamid Zaher did not feel like a man and was more comfortable in the company of women. He eventually realized he was a homosexual”•a subject that was taboo in his country and one that was never discussed. 

In his memoir, Zaher tells the story of his life journey as a gay man in an attempt to acknowledge the existence of homosexuality in Afghanistan. 

Zaher recounted his experience with 429Magazine:

429Magazine: Growing up in Afghanistan did you ever find any support? With friends or social groups? Or was your sexuality always like a secret you had to keep?

Zaher: My sexuality was always like a secret I had to keep.ӬӬ

429Magazine: Under Shariah Law homosexuality is punishable by death, is this one of the main factors for you to risk everything and flee your country?

Zaher: Shariah Law and my sexuality, is not one of the main factors for me to risk everything and flee my country. In Afghanistan the problem for homosexuals is beyond homosexuality. Because in case of getting older, regardless of homosexuality, even those who do not marry and even those who marry but cannot breed a child, are ridiculed, humiliated, taunted, and violated. Even those who breed daughters but no sons, are humiliated as “daughter-begetters” and “female-backers”.

429Magzine: What would you like to see change in the Afghanistan of your youth?

Zaher: I would like to see change many things in the government, culture, and economy in the Afghanistan of my youth and after.

429Magazine: Do you have any advice for young gay men who live in places where their sexuality is a crime?

Zaher: My advice to them is do not lose their confidence in their struggle to get equality.ӬӬ429 Magazine: Any final comments?

Zaher: My final comment is that UN, human rights organizations, politicians, governments, judges, and the media should not make judgments on preferences of sexuality, nationality, race, and class among humans.


About The Author

  • Rebecca Wildblood

    God had create Adam and Eve to love each other, having descendants and make the earth better. Why LGBT choose to have same sexual interest?
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  • VanessaWest

    You can’t really blame them for defending their beliefs.
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