Ashkan Shabani

Freelance Photographer
You are not my son anymore
Location: Istanbul
Nationality: Turkey
Biography: I'm a self-educated photographer and visual storyteller based in Turkey. When I was a teenager I started photography by taking family pictures. In 2016, I started working as a photographer for a local news agency called DiyarMirza which led... read on
Public Story
You are not my son anymore
Copyright ashkan shabani 2021
Date of Work 10/01/19 - 12/28/20
Updated 01/20/21
Location Tehran

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.


Also by Ashkan Shabani —


"Eshgh, Tars, Azadi" (Love, Fear, Freedom)

By Ashkan Shabani — Iranians face many obstacles. Some come from the regime imposing ideological restrictions and political..


By Ashkan Shabani — The earth is one of the marvels of creation, and the way man dominates his long-held dream, that is dominant..


By Ashkan Shabani — The first day I heard about Corona's arrival in Iran, I decided to cover this international crisis in..

People down there

By Ashkan Shabani — Unlike Iran's government statement, as the number of infected and deaths increases nationwide,..

Caspian Sea pollution

By Ashkan Shabani / anzali — The Khazar or the Caspian Sea is a water area bound to Iran from the south and to Russia from the north. The..

A Fading Culture

By Ashkan Shabani — Periodic markets and especially weekly markets are one of peasant communities' features in the less..

Kermanshah Earthquake

By Ashkan Shabani / Kermanshah — The Iran-Iraq earthquake of 7.3 magnitudes happened on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, near Azgaleh,..

The Second Sex

By Ashkan Shabani / Iran — Iran is a country where half of its population is deprived of their rights, while being unable to follow..
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