In Iran a “Secret Pride” has been celebrated since 2010. The event calls for individuals from an LGBTQ group to take photos around Tehran, the country’s capital, holding rainbow symbols and with their faces concealed. Being gay is punishable by death in Iran and exposing their identities as queer individuals is a large risk for persecution. Which is why “Secret Pride” has become one of the only forms of expression this group of Iran’s LGBTQ people can be ‘themselves’.
This year’s “Secret Pride” will be on July 28th and it has been coined Ranginkamaniha (Rainbow Friday).
According to Queerty, organizers have said:
We are believing in the power of happiness, miracle of hope and the strength of colors, even in this world of superficiality and helplessness. Our grief is not dimmed, but we, the rainbows of Iran are screaming our happiness as a shape of resistance and we keep our euphoria alive as the torch of justice. Awareness is brightness and by that we will take back our days from the night we all have drowned in, more than ever. Because we believe that humankind is remedial, and human being is beautiful and kind as strong as that can be relied on it. It’s possible to overcome ignorance that dominates the world.
This year, LGBTQ activists from Iran will not only take part in Ranginkamaniha,but publicly march with a float in Amsterdam’s Canal Pride parade on August 5th. While their faces will still be concealed for their own safety, the group will march with pride, shattering barriers within their own country and beyond.
Organizers have shared more about this:
We, as an Iranian queer community out of Iran, are going to come out of closet and prove that we are not ashamed of ourselves and we are proud of who we are. We will be marching behalf of the Iranian LGBTIQ community and behalf of everyone who has no voice and no face. We will be showing visibility of the hope and the dream. That’s why we are here to make our dream come true.
Here are some images from Iran’s “Secret Pride” throughout the years: