The international straights have lost their cotton-pickin’, hypocritical mind. We all know how ridiculously homophobic Iran is, especially when in September 2007 Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said they didn't have the "phenomenon" of homosexuality. Well, if they didn't have the phenomenon then why a law to kill gays? Whatever the case, it gets even more complex; Iran is anti-gay but supports and pays for transsexual operations. Accord to BBC News:
"Sex changes have been legal in Iran since Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution, passed a fatwa - a religious edict - authorising them for 'diagnosed transsexuals' 25 years ago.
Today, Iran carries out more sex change operations than any other nation in the world except for Thailand.
The government even provides up to half the cost for those needing financial assistance and a sex change is recognised on your birth certificate.
'Islam has a cure for people suffering from this problem. If they want to change their gender, the path is open,' says Hojatol Islam Muhammad Mehdi Kariminia, the religious cleric responsible for gender reassignment.
He says an operation is no more a sin than 'changing wheat to flour to bread'.
Yet homosexuality is still punishable by death.
'The discussion is fundamentally separate from a discussion regarding homosexuals. Absolutely not related. Homosexuals are doing something unnatural and against religion,' says Kariminia. 'It is clearly stated in our Islamic law that such behaviour is not allowed because it disrupts the social order.'"
While the concept is deeply flawed, it's fascinating how Iran seems to get that sexuality and gender are two different entities. However, to use Islam as an excuse to embrace gender reassignment surgery, but hate gays at the same time is troubling. On the other hand, I've had many transgenders tell me they’ve experienced more prejudice from gays than heterosexuals, especially if they are "unspookable". Still, not all is love juice in Iran; some transgenders are still rejected from their family:
"'Her family's reaction has taken its toll. Although they warned her she would be disowned, she thought that they would change their mind after the operation.
'They pray for me to die soon. If I'd known that my family would truly shun me like this, I would never have done it.'
She now lives with other transsexuals who have had a sex change. She has had to work as a prostitute to make ends meet.
Rejection by her parents has affected her deeply: 'When parents can kill the love for their own child inside themselves, I have killed love in my being. I will never fall in love'."
On another note, I'm curious to note what type of hormones they use (transgenders take female hormones). The men in Iran are known to be hairy - do they get laser surgery? What about facial surgery -- what about breast implants? Is Iran paying for all the extra services? From what I saw in the movie clips, these Iranian femme queens are looking as real as a sandstorm!
Labels: Sexuality, Transgender