Fortunately, in many places, there has been great progress in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (“LGBTI”) rights in recent years, including an increasing recognition of same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, nearly 2.8 billion people live in countries where identifying as LGBTI is subject to rampant discrimination, criminalization, and even death. Indeed, same-sex acts are illegal in 75 countries;
in five, one can be put to death. Behind these statistics, there are millions of individuals with unique, often harrowing stories.
Where Love Is Illegal was created to tell those stories.
Robin Hammond visited seven countries to document stories of discrimination and survival from 65 people
of 15 different nationalities.
He collaborated with the subjects to create the portraits, giving them veto rights over the photographs, and
each person wrote and recorded their own testimony. For many, it was the first time they had told their story.
Before, pervasive bigotry and discrimination had rendered them silent.
Ultimately, the aim of this work is to amplify the voices of those silenced by bigotry, to provide an alternative narrative that states that LGBTI people are unholy, unnatural, immoral. While there is much work to do, Where Love Is Illegal makes an important contribution to the fight for equality by allowing stories of discrimination come from those most impacted, the survivors themselves.