“The sex change operations carried out in Iran are nothing short of a crime,” says Akan, a transgender, assigned female at birth, who experienced discrimination and violence on a routine basis in his secondary school in Sanandaj.
He was told by a psychologist that he must undergo sex reassignment surgeries, when he visited to relieve the pressure and scrutiny he was suffering, due to him loving a girl.
Akan, who hates being called “a lady”, believes that the government of Iran is “swift” in carrying out the surgeries and issuing new documents to erase homosexuality; in other words, to ensure a heteronormative face for the society.
Pathologizing and criminalizing non-normative gender and sexual identities endanger the lives of all transgender and other LGBTIQ individuals alike. It is our lives that we want decriminalized and depathologized.
Watch his testimony below:
Although horrific, Akan’s Testimony is a typical example of the life of all LGBT Iranians. 6Rang (Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network) releases a video of Akan’s story of rejection, social pressure, and eventual escape. The film shows the life of stigma faced by Iranians whose gender or sexual identity falls outside of a strict binary.