The existence of gay men is undeniable in Iran. Being a homosexual in a country where gays risk execution for their sexual orientation and the publics' mindset is completely closed to same-sex relationships, everyday existence is difficult. Homosexuality is a target that both society and the regime are against, and most of the time, the pressure from family to conform to traditional ways of thinking is the most challenging factor.
It's not only about disclosing homosexuality to your parents. It becomes a concern for the family-at-large. In a strict, traditional, and religious family, having a gay son or lesbian daughter is shameful and against the family honor. This is why homosexuals are being abandoned by their family members, or even worse, they are threatened with death. You are not my son anymore follows the photographer's life as he is a member of the LGBTQ+ community himself.
After his family found out about his sexual orientation, Ashkan Shabani has been disowned and threatened with rape and death. Ashkan had to escape and leave Iran for his own welfare. Now in a safer place, Ashkan was able to reveal a world unknown to many – sharing the actual trauma his harrowing experience that he and his partner have been through.