Gay Iranians Forced to Transition or be Executed

Gay Iranians are faced with execution unless they undergo a gender transition. Image via

Unfortunately, there is still a great deal of homophobia in the world, which is very evident in Iran, where thousands of LGB Iranians are forced to undergo gender reassignment or get arrested or possibly executed for being gay, according to The Sun

The thinking behind this abhorrent practice is that, because being gay is seen as an illness in Iran, that people who are attracted to the same sex must the soul of the opposite sex, so LGB people in Iran are now being forced to undergo gender reassignment surgery or risk getting executed, both options that are not optimal, with one being marginally better. Being transgender has been legal in Iran since 1987, but homosexuality continues to be a crime that could lead to a death sentence. 

Shadi Amin, an LGBT activist and native Iranian has said in response to this ordeal that she thinks that “this is a way to fight the existence of homosexual people because you change their body and you solve the problem” and that “they (the Iranian government) are trying to cleanse the country of homosexuals.” She also said that the government would rather have mass surgeries than mass executions because the world is watching them. If someone is transgender then transitioning can be a good thing, but if a person is cisgender, then I can only imagine that transitioning would be detrimental to their mental health. 

In contrast, the Head of the Human Rights Commission of Iran has said that “gay people are sick and they need the physical treatment.” Not only is that incredibly offensive, it’s also terribly incorrect. But I suppose it’s important that it was said so that we can get the harrowing reminder that there is still so much more work to be done in regards to LGBT equality. 

In Iran, there are over 4,000 gender reassignment operations performed every year, many of them subsidized by the government. Amin believes that the number is higher, as doctors in Iran have told her that they carry out around thirty to forty procedures every month, with some days including three procedures done. Because of that, Amin believes that the carrying out of the procedures is just a business, as many of the doctors performing the surgeries are cosmetic surgeons who have no knowledge of transgender issues. 

It is disgusting what’s happening in Iran because people shouldn’t be subjected to unnecessary surgery just to avoid being executed. Then again, LGB people shouldn’t have to fear execution for just existing. Hopefully, things will change for the better for LGBT Iranians, but I’m not holding my breath because I don’t think that will happen anytime soon. 

Source: The Sun

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