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Is Iraqi Kurdistan safe for a lesbian Kurdish-American?

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I am part Kurdish and have extended family living in Northern Iraq in the Kurdish region. I was born and raised in the U.S. but have a strong connection to my Kurdish roots and I've spent some time there, but am hoping to move there for a more extended time period. A year and a half ago I came to terms with my sexuality and am out to my family, friends, and co-workers (except for my Kurdish family).

Although I wouldn't plan on sharing my identity openly in Kurdistan, I don't think it wouldn't be hard for people to find out if they looked, even if I make my Facebook/Twitter etc more discreet. Or they may already be aware. I know that gossip and rumors can spread like fire in Kurdish social circles.

My question is, should I be concerned at all for my safety? Is there any chance however small that I could be a target of an attack? Has that sort of thing ever happened before?

If you have any ideas or know anyone who I could talk to, please let me know. .

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  • 25-34_f_w_h3_f2
    Advice

    I don't think you should be very worried. I imagine there is tons of gossip about LGBT individuals (and many other things) in Iraqi Kurdistan and I've heard of others there being out, so I don't think you should worry about anything such as a "hate crime" as long as you stay relatively quiet about this. I don't think this should stop you from pursuing this trip.

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  • Hey, I have a friend currently living in Iraqi Kurdistan. I asked her about your situation and she said:

    "Please tell her that we have some open gays and lesbians, that it's alright. We have gay and lesbian diplomats working in KR as well. I do recommend her keeping it private, just as I recommend other men and women to keep their relationships private. As far as safety, she shouldn't have a problem at all. And I would be happy to meet her here."

    Hope that helps

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  • 25-34_m_w_h1_f4
    Comment

    hope you have a good time there

    Reply to 6a3miya
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  • 25-34_f_b_h1_f3
    Comment

    Please tell me more about your experince if you go! Im just like you, but European

    Reply to Evolution
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