“I am equal to you. Difference is the basis of life.”
Michaela Morgan

27 Jun 2017 - 12:35 PM  UPDATED 27 Jun 2017 - 12:35 PM

Colourful posters that celebrate Iraq's LGBT+ community have been popping up all over Baghdad—but no-one is really sure who is behind the campaign. 

The brightly coloured, rainbow filled posters feature same-sex couple symbols and a message in Arabic that reads: “I am equal to you. Difference is the basis of life.”

The posters have gone viral online, with one post on the Facebook page ‘Baghdad 1’ attracting hundreds of mixed comments. 

“I hope the day comes we accept each other,” wrote one Facebook user. 

"I care about the person, his humanity, and his morals, and his treatment and I have nothing to do with who participates in his bed,” said another person. 

Meet Amir Ashour, the man dubbed "Iraq's only gay activist"
In his first Australian interview, Amir Ashour discusses his foundation IraQueer, whose members work in secrecy for the benefit of Iraq's LGBT+ community.

Ayaz Shalal, the deputy director of programs at human rights group Rasan, told Gay Star News that the posters were a “very brave step in Baghdad”.

“It shows us how much change is going to happen soon in the future and that there is a national movement in the whole country that wants to actually change something in the society, but it lacks the proper support,’ Shalal said.

“I am personally very impressed by those who did the posters, and I support them all the way to the end.”

Gay Iraqi soldiers share their love story with Ellen
Nayyef Hrebid and Btoo Allami first met while serving in the Iraqi military.

Same-sex relationships are not technically prohibited in Iraq’s penal code—however the the LGBT+ community is not protected under the constitution and still experiences discrimination. 

In 2015, the country’s first LGBT+ rights organisation - IraQueer - was formed, offering vital support to the community in the Iraq/Kurdistan region.