amiga My name is Leila. I’m a lesbian from Iran. I migrated to Britain a few years ago. I was a teacher in my country and the story which I want to tell happened in mid 1980s when I was in my twenties.
amiga In order to make my story understandable for a foreign reader, I should explain the situation of those years. Shortly after the 1979 revolution, a theocratic dictatorship began which harshly oppressed the women in Iran. In 1980, a war began between Iran and Iraq. Since the government couldn’t provide sufficient military hardware for its army, the army had to rely on human waves. Masses of humans had to be brainwashed into believing that they are fighting in a holy war and if they die they go straightly to heaven. But what kind of place was this heaven? According to Islamic clergy, heaven is a paradise full of tasteful food, beautiful palaces and Houris – mindless sex slaves who always stay virgin and unconditionally offer themselves to faithful people!
amiga The government used propaganda to encourage martyrdom. Since it’s a little hard to brainwash a grown man with that promise, the propaganda mostly targeted children. Brainwashed child soldiers were suitable for human waves since they made submissive cannon fodders. There was even a lesson in school books about a 13 year old child soldier who tied grenades to himself and jumped under a tank! I’m ashamed to admit I had to teach such lessons at school without realizing their effects on my students.
amiga Back then, I had made a small safe world for myself which was separated from the rest of society. Nobody cared about me and I didn’t care about anyone else either, except for my partner Faranak. She and I were friends since our childhood. We grew up together, went to school together, realized that we were lesbians together and became partners in secret. She was also a teacher and worked in the same school with me. We are still together after all these years. Our families were close too.