A new report from EurasiaNet chronicles the lives of LGBT individuals and the struggles they face in a society where homosexuality is a sin and "contrary to nature."
Homophobia in Tajikistan is widespread due to traditional Islamic attitudes, and hate crimes often go unaddressed even though homosexuality has been decriminalized since 1998. Some individuals report being blackmailed by authorities who threaten to out them.
"The population at large does not tolerate or accept LGBT people in general," said Kiromidden Gulov, director of a local equal opportunity NGO. "There are some people who are friends or communicate with the LGBT community, but they are very few."
A Ministry of Health official said many Tajiks still believe homosexuality is a disease that can be treated with medication and therapy.