I spoke to 100 LGBTQ+ Afghans fearing for their lives under the Taliban. This is what I learned


Filmmaker Dan Hall accidentally found himself in contact with more than a hundred queer people in Afghanistan living under Taliban rule. He shares some of their stories in a powerful new film. After Hall, a documentary director and producer, put out a call for contributors to help on a podcast about Afghan music, his number was somehow sent out to a list of non-English-speaking Afghans. In the weeks that followed, his phone blew up. Each morning, Hall would wake up to messages from LGBTQ+ people pleading with him to get them out of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. At first, he didn’t know what to do. But soon he realised he could help by amplifying their stories. The result is Gay Under the Taliban, a Channel 4 documentary that details the months after the Taliban seized power. The film tells the stories of four queer Afghans – Odessa, Noor, Habib and Jabar – who, through WhatsApp messages, told Hall what life was like under the Taliban for LGBTQ+ people.

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