Samad Ismaylov

I started in activism in 2013. The suicide of LGBT activist Isa Shahmarli made it clear to me that the society I’m living in is a very dangerous place. People were full of anger, hatred and ignorance. This is the main reason we started publishing Minority Magazine, the first online LGBT magazine in Azerbaijan. We try to cover important topics related to LGBT life in every issue. Our main goal is to educate people in this field, since our team believes that ignorance is what lies behind the homophobia in Azerbaijan.

Being LGBT is very hard in Azerbaijan. It's almost impossible to express yourself fully and live your normal life. You can face oppression and discrimination at every step of your life. You will not have full access to success. Society will make you stay in the closet, lie and pretend if you want to be a part of it. Otherwise, the consequences can be very tragic.

I think in activism you don’t act through inspiration but through challenges. When I see injustice I have to do something. When someone is being hurt I have to help. I hope one day there will be no need for activism in any form. When people will be open minded enough to make space for everyone to exist without fear and pressure.