Homosexuality is a taboo subject in Afghanistan, rarely discussed in the media and widely condemned as immoral and un-Islamic. As a result there are no statistics indicating the size of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the country.
The BBC spoke to four Afghans with different sexual orientations. All told stories of a life in hiding, but all were determined to stand by their identity. All names in the article have been changed for safety reasons.
Zainab is 19 years old and lives at home. But her parents and siblings have no idea what she feels.
“I was 15 or 16 when I realised that I had a dislike towards men,” she says.
“I was working in a beauty salon. There were lots of girls around me and it was then I realised I fancied girls more than boys.”