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Trans

Iran’s transgender community are being beaten and disowned in spite of legal protections

Jasmine Andersson May 21, 2018

Transgender people are still being beaten, attacked and disowned by their families in Iran in spite of the country legally accepting transgender people, a harrowing report has detailed.

Although it is legal to be trans in Iran, the trans community still face a life of violence.

30 years have passed since a fatwa was issued demanding the acceptance of the community, but trans women like Nahal only feel safe within the confines of their own home.

“I no longer see my relatives,” Nahal told ABC News.

“Maybe I’m a sign that if your own children will have a similar problem later, you can accept it.”

trans Iran
A trans woman has gender confirmation surgery (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty)

Iran is often thought of as the most liberal country on transgender rights in the Middle East.

Iran grants transgender people loans worth nearly $1,200 for gender surgery.

Although the grant is helpful, it doesn’t come anywhere near covering the $7,000 to $12,000 cost of the surgery.

Surgical Instruments
(Getty)

And those lucky enough to raise the funds are targeted by cis people in the street.

“Social encounters are not good at all — verbal and physical abuse and harassment,” Nahal told the Australian broadcaster.

“Once even some people attacked and beat me.”

trans Iran
The mother of Iranian transsexual Setareh, 19, holds her hand after she has gender confirmation surgery in Iran (BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty)

A shocking video of a trans woman being assaulted in the country while the police stood by and watched went viral in April.

In the video, a woman confronts the policeman about his lack of action, and asks if he is ignoring the attack because she is trans.

“Why aren’t you helping her?” the woman asks angrily in the clip.

“Is it because she’s transgender? You shouldn’t drive away. You should help them,” she adds, to which the policeman shrugs.

“But look at what they look like,” the police officer responded to the woman.

(Mark Makela/Getty)

Inspired by the plight of transgender people in Iran, director Sanaz Bayan produced a show named Blue Pink, which looks at the difficulties faced in the country.

His show may have been successful, but Bayan believes the country has a long way to go when it comes to accepting transgender people.

“More than 30 years have passed since Imam Khomeini issued the fatwa. … 30 years is more than enough for a rule to be realised and implemented,” the director told ABC News.

“Our society lacks the ability to accept minorities.”

More: Iran, Iran, Middle East, Trans, trans rights, Transgender

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