The Heroes of ‘Out of Iraq’ Chat with Ellen DeGeneres

The documentary Out of Iraq tells the story of Btoo and Nayyef two Iraqi soldiers who fell in love, and made it their mission to escape an intolerant country and be together. Ellen DeGeneres sat down with the couple and had them retell their story.

The two men met in 2004 during the Iraq war where their courtship began simply by sharing meals, until they were having three meals a day together. Despite the intolerant climate and the fear of being caught, the couple hid their love until it was too big to keep a secret. The couple told Ellen, “It’s too difficult to be gay in Iraq. Family and friends say gay is sick. If they find out about you, you will be tortured or killed.”

In a Times article, the two described their first kiss. “We were on a mission and I’m still not completely sure if he’s gay or not, and same thing for him. But I feel he is, just the way I look into his eyes. And that night we sat together and he just told me he loved me and we just started kissing each other. I knew he liked me the way I liked him. In that time everything changed.”

Nayyef soon applied for political asylum and came to the United States. The couple was separated for four years staying in touch using Skype. Btoo was granted a Canadian Visa and the two moved to Seattle and got married. The two agree in the end that love wins. [TR]

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