Amir Ashour joins GAY TIMES CEO Tag Warner on the fifth and final episode of his original podcast series, Tag Talks…

The human rights defender, who has over 10 years of experience working with Iraqi and international organisations, speaks with Tag about the inception of IraQueer – Iraq’s first and only LGBTQ+ human rights organisation.

Amir, who is the founder and Executive Producer, reveals how IraQueer quickly evolved into an LGBTQ+ organisation committed to focusing on three key areas: education, advocacy and direct services.

“I think the strongest feeling was really feeling heartbroken that these people have been living their lives without even thinking that they could be queer, without daring to think that they could be queer – and many actively oppressing their identities, actively practicing violence against themselves,” Amir says of LGBTQ+ citizens in Iraq.

Speaking from personal experience, Amir adds: “I want to show that I know myself so well that your attacks will actually not change anything in the way I think.

“I am so comfortable in me being gay, what you do and what you say is not going to change the fact that I will continue posting about my gay life on social media, which especially in Iraq, people are still not really used to!”

Tag’s conversation with Amir marks the final episode of Tag Talks… The four previous instalments feature discussions with singer-songwriters L Devine, Greyson Chance and Leland, as well as fashion designer Daniel W. Fletcher.

All five episodes are available to stream now on Apple Podcasts and Spotify (or wherever you get your favourite podcasts).