Last month, Iran processed over 100 applications for government subsidized sex-change operations. The country's State Welfare Organization is set to spend 6 billion rials ($647,000) on gender reassignment surgeries. Surprised?
In a nation where homosexuality is habitually punished by death, how does Iran negotiate its support of trans rights?
Unlike homosexuality, which Iran's religious leaders see as a sin, transsexuality is viewed as a treatable disorder. Mohammad Mehdi Kariminia, a cleric who wrote a thesis on the rights and duties of transsexuals, states thats these people are "trapped" in the wrong gender and that they are doing nothing immoral. Hassan Moussavi Chalak, head of the agency's office of social injuries went on to say that "they have rights such as every other citizen.''
Iran's stance on this one issue is admirable. However when it comes to something as fluid as sexuality, drawing a morality line in the sand is nearly impossible. I'm still not convinced if the government truly cares, so just wants a simple solution to ensure cultural homogeny. Regardless, I'm happy that these members of the queer community are getting the financial help they deserve.
Iran Sex Changes Get Mullahs' Money as Regime Persecutes Gays