Sunday , 21 April 2024

“As a Member of Our Rainbow Family, I Couldn’t Remain Silent”

Iranwire – In the vast tapestry of Mohammed Sadeghi’s life, his earliest threads are intricately woven with the art of dance. 

Reflecting on his childhood, Sadeghi reminisces about the profound significance of movement — a gateway through which he sought to understand the complexities of emotion, tension and femininity inherent in the opposite sex.

For Sadeghi, dance was more than mere physical expression, it was a profound exploration, a departure from the conventional norms of masculinity that often dictate stoicism and restraint.

Instead, he delved into the depths of vulnerability and sensitivity, embracing a path less traveled, one that diverged from the rigid confines of imitation and conformity.

Born in 1993 in the vibrant city of Tehran, Sadeghi’s journey into the realm of arts began at the age of 18. 

Despite obtaining a bachelor’s degree in executive management with a specialization in industries, his heart was drawn to the stage, where he found his true calling. 

Through theater, cinema and television, Sadeghi’s talent blossomed and earned him acclaim and recognition from audiences and critics alike.

It was through iconic roles in celebrated series such as Mankan and Afra that Sadeghi carved his niche in the world of entertainment and captivated audiences with his nuanced performances and charisma. 

With each role, he breathed life into characters, infusing them with depth, authenticity, and raw emotion.

He shaved his head in a poignant act of protest following Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody in September 2022. 

Sadeghi also shared a video of his dance performance on Instagram, stating, “As a member of the rainbow community, I couldn’t remain silent.”

His childhood and adolescence were meant to be times of self-discovery and exploration, yet societal norms and legal constraints imposed upon him brought confusion, inner turmoil and the burden of concealing his true identity.

The school became a battleground, where he resisted arbitrary rules such as being forced to conceal his groomed eyebrows.

Like many Iranians, he faced confrontation and arrest by the Morality Police due to his choice of attire or his gender expression.

His expulsion from a national taekwondo training camp due to his appearance marked his first experience of discrimination.

Sadeghi is among the artists who supported the Woman, Life, Freedom protest movement from its inception. 

Before his arrest, he had garnered attention from the LGBTQ community as a non-binary person. 

During the 2022 uprising, Sadeghi posted a picture with red lipstick, with a message reading, “We don’t want censorship.” 

Although the image was removed from Sadeghi’s Instagram page after a few hours, it circulated among LGBTQ Instagram users.

Government-affiliated media used Sadeghi’s sexual and gender identity to discredit and insult him. 

Sadeghi said that his identity was used to pressure and suppress him during his interrogations.

Sadeghi, who was released on bail, said on Instagram that Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court had sentenced him to five years in prison for “encouraging people to fight and kill each other.”

He has since left Iran and now lives in a relatively safer country.