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Nemat Sadat
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191 followers
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By many measures 2016 was a brutal year. But as Hillary Clinton said in her moving concession speech, with successes there will be setbacks, even painful ones. There is an Afghan proverb that echoes these sentiments. In Dari and Pashto it says, “There is no rose without thorns.” Despite the hardships, 2016 has been a defining year for me. Here are the highlights of what I have accomplished in the last 12 months.

International LGBT Rights advocacy: In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, I evolved from being an alternative voice to a mainstream voice, with my calling and cause for universal human rights and civil liberties becoming enmeshed with issues of US national security and jihadi terrorism. I had an opportunity to break the status quo and change the course of human destiny by sharing widely my story as the first public figure to come out in Afghanistan and my relentless campaign for LGBT rights and gay marriage in Afghanistan and throughout the Muslim majority world; delving into the mind of Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, and explaining the terrible suffering endured by rejected and repressed LGBT people in Muslim communities worldwide. I appeared on CNN & CNN International and interviewed by news anchors Christiane Amanpour, Amara Walker, and Don Lemon to an audience of 200 million households and hotel rooms worldwide. I was also interviewed by NBC News, Die Zeit, Radio Azadi, Voice of America and mentioned in the Washington Post.

Last October, I appeared in the first-ever panel debate on Islam & homosexuality in Afghanistan that was broadcasted on BBC Pashto and BBC Persian on multiple platforms (radio, TV, web, mobile) in Afghanistan and throughout the region. I also appeared as an LGBT rights activist in the first-ever segment about the secret lives of members of Afghanistan’s LGBT community that was broadcasted on BBC World, BBC Pashto, BBC Persian, and other BBC language divisions around the world.

Helped five gay and one bisexual Afghan man with their LGBT asylum cases in Belgium, England, Germany, and the Netherlands by providing written testimony confirming their sexuality and explaining the homosexual cleansing campaign in Afghanistan. Provided LGBT contacts and material evidence to an attorney/law firm in London defending a case of an Afghan LGBT asylum seeker in a tribunal that will determine the fate of Afghan LGBT seekers not only in the United Kingdom but even in jurisdictions across continental Europe and beyond.

Publications: Authored eight articles and placed them in Huffington Post, and Taz (die Tageszeitung), and Washington Blade.

Novelist aspirations: Completed and polished a final manuscript draft of my first novel and started seeking agents and editors to publish my book.

Memoirist aspirations: Made headway in the first in a series of memoirs that I intend to write about various angles/slices of my life and will hopefully appeal to a wide readership.

Health & Nutrition: After several years of being a Vegetarian, last August I evolved and became a Vegan. I’m shedding weight and happy to live an eco-friendly, cruel-free, and brain nourishing life.

Networking & Allyship: Attended the Victory Institute’s International LGBT conference in Washington, D.C. earlier this month where I elevated the plight of LGBT people internationally during the opening plenary when I asked a panel of gay American ambassadors what the US government and civil society can do to assist LGBT people in Afghanistan, the greater Middle East, and across the Muslim-majority world, who continue to be criminalized and killed under sharia law. During the conference, I also rubbed shoulders with Tammy Baldwin, Brian Kendall Sims, Carlos Guillermo Smith, and other LGBT elected officials, appointed officials, and political aspirants.

Happy New Years to all of you. Wishing you a prosperous 2017.
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I was on the front cover of Washington Blade.
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After spending my 38th birthday being among the people and sharing my passion, what a great way to end the day with a splendid spectacle to enjoy from my hotel room. #nycpride #pride2017
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This vegan beefcake exposed over a million New Yorkers to his cruelty-free agenda. #Gays4Animals
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I strike New York City as the "Most Lovable Teddy Bear." 
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Lining up for the New York City Pride Parade. 
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We honored 47th Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic National Committee's annual LGBT gala.
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Going butch for the Democratic National Committee LGBT Leadership Council Gala. 
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Running in Central Park with my new hairstyle. 
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Thrilled that the Serbs have elected a lesbian as their Prime Minister (PM) especially in an orthodox country where 65% believe that homosexuality is an illness. Who knew that a mostly homophobic nation that instigated the breakup of Yugoslavia could overnight become a vanguard of gay rights and women’s rights by electing the first gay & female PM? Congrats to Serbia from moving from Slobodan Milošević, an ethno-nationalist and war criminal, to Ana Brnabic, a reformist who has promised to boost civil liberties.
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