And while their experiences are representative for some of Iran's homosexuals, they are hugely different from those of the people who choose to stay in the country, or don't have the opportunity to leave.
Gays from lower classes and rural areas, where stigmatization is often most severe, rarely have the ability to move out of the house before marriage, let alone leave the country. there is generally little acceptance of homosexuality, but some middle- and upper-class Iranians have the means to create parallel lives, out of sight of their relatives or friends.
A retired colonel in the Iranian Air Force, Saeed's father looked at him with a straight face, not moving a muscle. He had spent three decades in the military, and had been shaped equally by its rigorous discipline and his religious upbringing. " he said, turning to his wife, then added: "Saeed, this is your nature. You should have told us earlier." Saeed burst into tears, relieved.
"I always knew you were different from my other children. His mother took his hands and nodded, "What can we do to help?
While dating apps like Grindr, Scruff and Hornet aren't censored like Facebook and Twitter, most people still assume the country's intelligence services closely monitor them.
So, often the best alternative is random, anonymous encounters.
Dozens of men dance and mingle, drinking bootleg vodka out of plastic cups, and several of them are visibly high.
Thick trees surround the garden and the swimming pool, allowing the residents some privacy, but the loud music traveling downhill gives them away.
In a dimly lit mansion on the slopes of northern Tehran, the thump of an electronic bass so loud it makes the windows clatter, bounces off the walls of the vast living room and out onto the porch.
He has paid off the local moral police in the hopes his guests will be allowed to enter and exit the party undisturbed.
A party like this is the easiest way for young Iranians to hook up for a one-night stand. "All of us have profiles in the intelligence service, I'm sure we do," says Saeed.
Sexual interaction between two women is punishable by flogging.
The vast majority of media reports about homosexuality in Iran are based on accounts of torment and oppression from gays and lesbians who have fled the country.