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Saturday, January 25, 2014

True Colors: the Tragic Death of an LGBT Hero

It is indeed tragic when the political climate of any country pressures an individual so much because of one's politics, gender, race or sexual orientation that it pushes him or her beyond the breaking point.

Isa Sahmarli, a mere 20 years old, took his life in his homeland of Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic, three days ago. Isa was chairman of the Azad LGBT group and a prominent figure there who received international attention. As a final protest, Isa hung himself with a rainbow flag in his Baku apartment, obviously intent on being a martyr for his cause. He left this note on his Facebook page:

I am leaving you. God bless you. This country and this world are not for me. I am going to be happy now. Tell my mother I loved her very much. I blame you all for my death. This world is not colorful enough for my colors. Farewell.

Azerbaijan decriminalized same-sex relationships in the '90s although the culture remains extremely hostile toward LGBT people. 

On-line's The New Civil Rights Movement reported today:

After months of anti-gay propaganda laws, discussions on outlawing lesbianism, and continued votes preventing same-sex marriage, the LGBT community in the former communist world suffered another setback this week.... Sahmarli... served as the head of Azad (Free) LGBT, one of the few gay-rights organizations in the country. He also organized multiple LGBT movie nights for the community in Baku, and had begun... an LGBT radio station, according to those who knew him....“Isa was so proud to be an openly gay young man in Azerbaijan. He wore it as a badge, sometimes literally, and nothing made him smile more than educating people about LGBT rights,” one of Sahmarli’s friends, who lives in Azerbaijan and requested anonymity, told The New Civil Rights Movement. “He was repelled by hate. Any kind of hate.”

I liked best what someone posted on-line at and I echo the sentiment: "RIP, beautiful soul."

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