sprinkle: an undergraduate journal of feminist and queer studies


Marie Lecuyer


Many western commentators have been shocked by the legislation addressing transsexual’s’ right to transitioning and sex reassignment surgery in a strictly-gendered regulated county like Iran. As if all of a sudden Iran rose among countries of the Middle East as a paradise for transsexuals. Other recurrent narratives depicted the Iranian members of the LGBT community as victims of a purely theocratic and authoritarian regime, forcing non-gender normative individuals to change sex to fit in society. Rather, the space given to transsexuals now allowed to function more freely and be at peace with themselves reshapes the LGBT community’s relation to the larger society. This paper looks at the current discourse on transsexuality in Iran and I argue that while the knowledge produced by the state apparatus on the trans subjectivity is forced upon transpersons, trans people have tended to claim ownership of this knowledge to advance their rights and legitimacy in society. They have tried to turn the current discourse to their advantage and define their identity in contradistinction to other non-gender normative groups such as homosexuals.

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