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Iran Allows Sex Change Operations

Check This: Iran's Position on Sex Change Surgery

Though homosexual relationships are banned in Iran, it might surprise you to learn that the conservative nation has allowed gender-reassignment surgery since the Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader in charge of the 1979 Islamic revolution, passed a fatwa declaring them legal for "diagnosed transsexuals" a full 25 years ago.

Iran provides more sex change operations than any other country excluding Thailand — and it's not just limited to permission. The government covers up to half the cost of the surgery for those who can't afford it, and the change in gender is also recognized on your birth certificate.

To see what the religious cleric responsible for gender reassignment says,

. Hojatol Islam Muhammad Mehdi Kariminia says that the operation is no more sinful than "changing wheat to flour to bread." The key to the popularity of the surgery, according to a documentarian following post-surgery men in Iran, is avoiding shame. Receiving a diagnosis labeling you a transsexual makes it a medical condition and erases the question of morality.

Does it surprise you that this very traditional country has such an open mind about sex change surgeries? Do you think the fact that homosexuality is punishable by death will lead more men to seek gender reassignment for people who are actually gay and not transsexual?


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Yukino Yukino 8 years
Wow, this is amazing.
redheath redheath 8 years
I find it very interesting that the gov. pays for part of the surgery for those who can't afford it. Perhaps this can be one step in their journey of change.
lindsaybriggs lindsaybriggs 9 years
Transsexuality and homosexuality are very different. As the article states, transsexuality is a medical condition; homosexuality is not. Just because homosexuality is outlawed this would not necessarily lead a gay man to change his gender. Diagnosis for transsexuality usually involves long-term psychotherapy. There is no "quick and easy" medical test.
pequeña pequeña 9 years
I had no idea about that, shocking! Thanks for you comment bailaora, I have to confess I don't know much about Iran and its people.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Wow. I'd never read this before. It makes me so utterly sad.
aaaudri aaaudri 9 years
wow i find this really interesting. i wonder what the criteria are to be "diagnosed" a transexual.
minaminamina minaminamina 9 years
that's so funny sophia, you must be a hit with welfare queen jokes at black parties, huh.
sophia_HL sophia_HL 9 years
It's really hard to tell a Iranian cross dresser... especially when they are wearing burka.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Very interesting article, and comments! Mind blowing, really.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Well said, bailaoragaditana! This is fascinating. :ponder:
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
It's because Iranians themselves are, in large part, quite progressive (see: pre-1979 Persian society). It's principally the ayatollahs and the "revolutionaries" who are responsible for stirring up a lot of the hatred and violence, because it keeps them securely in power. So it's not surprising, really - it's a small step on the road back to a cosmopolitan society. I don't think it leads gay men to seek sex changes though - by and large, they just continue to stay in the closet.
x_juicyfruit x_juicyfruit 9 years
I agree, j2e. It's a bit confusing. Maybe it's a step forward in change, though? Who knows.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Yeah, I'm just really confused by it, they would kill gays but then pay for this type of surgery? I just dont understand their rational. Maybe its not supposed to make sense. Oh well.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Mariner I think it was in Marie Claire cos I read that article too. This was on the BBc yesterday, talk about jawdrop!!!
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 9 years
I read an article somewhere about how more women get nose jobs in Iran than anywhere else in the world.
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