The novel Exiled for Love: The Journey of an Iranian Queer Activistwritten by Arsham Parsi along with Marc Colbourne is based on a true story about Mr. Parsi. Arsham was a gay man who was forced to flee his country due to the fear of being punished for whohe was. After witnessing many of his friends, who shared the same or similar sexuality, being tortured, arrested, and worst of all taking their own life, Arsham made the decision of leaving his whole life behind. Although Arsham left his family and friends, he continued to work on an organization for his loved ones in order to free them from the fear they live in Iran. The organization was originally accessed through the internet and after Arshams immigration to Canada, it became a well-known organization for those in need of escaping the torture of society’s identification of the self. The goal of this paper is to relate four theories to Arsham Parsi’s dream of a safe environment for those who wish to identify as different in terms of their sexuality. The four theories that will be analyzed are; post structuralism, post colonialism, neoliberalism, and radical feminism. These theories help in portraying the sacrifice that Parsi endured and the wrongdoings of the state. It is shown thatnon-compliant individuals are not to be reckoned with and that allowing them to live freely inthat state diminishes their authority. All around the world, citizens are shunned for believing in themselves and their love yet nothing shows of the progress to end this prejudice.Queer theory has emerged through the examination of social, theoretical and political conditions (Sullivan, 2003). Queer theory has multiple, but similar, definitions according to differentthinkers. Yet they all seem to explain “Queer” as an ‘umbrella’ term to define all outcasts whether they be different in race, gender, class and sexuality. Chris Berry defines it as “…an ongoing and necessarily unfixed site of engagement and contestation” (Sullivan, 2003).Page 2 of 9
Annameria Jagose identifies queer theory as “…having neither a fundamental logic, nora consistent set of characteristics” (Sullivan, 2003). Overall the term ‘Queer’ is not a term intended to cause chaos rather it is to try to reinforce. Nikki Sullivan makes the claim that ‘bisexuality is not a sexual identity at all, but a sort of anti-identity, a refusal (not of course conscious) to be limited to one object of desire, one way of loving’ (Sullivan, 2003). That is indeed the case in Arsham’s story. Any individual who claims a sexual identity that was not “normal” (being attracted to the opposite sex) was frowned upon and they were labelled as abnormal. These individuals would be punished and their after life is threatened due to religious beliefs which is exaggerated.