Queer Pomegranates from Iran

Ava PomI was born in Tehran, the capital city of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I grew up in a multi-textured and layered habitat with very strong binary oppositions. I went to all girl schools (as we were all supposed to) and started wearing the Hijab when I turned nine, as it was required by law. There were some things that were not talked about within my family and society at large—sex was the most adamant. This naturally led to a very sexually repressive environment especially for girls. Sexual orientation is something I had never heard of or knew existed until I moved to California with my family at the end of my middle school years. Being an immigrant Iranian woman in the United States has been one of the most, if not the most, challenging experiences of my life. Over the past few years I have worked very hard on first finding myself, then accepting myself, and finally loving myself. Most importantly I have learned how to define myself for myself, despite all contrasting identities and values that I am supposed to be or abide by.

I am currently a college student studying sociology with an interest specifically in the intersection of gender, sexuality, race and class. I am here to write about the things that I am not supposed to think about, let alone talk about, being who I am. I am here to talk about sex, about pure, utter pleasure and how it feels to own that pleasure. I am here to talk about being queer, super fucking queer, while having immigrant parents. I am writing to feel free, and to maybe, hopefully make you feel a little, just a little, more free too. I am also here to talk about the darker, more difficult parts of this world including the hardships, doubts and questioning; as well as issues that I still struggle with or get angry about. I think it is absolutely important to open up the doors and to talk about sex, to talk about sexuality and what we want and who we are because it is such a vital part of our existence that is too often hushed or ignored. “Love is as love does.” By discussing these issue we create acceptance and we create love—for ourselves internally and for the world we reside in.

I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I cannot wait to start! I will be posting articles the last Friday of every month!

Until next month,

Ava Rakhsha

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