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As Repression Lifts, More Iranians Change Their Sex(Iranian transexuals, what will Al Qaeda do!)
NY Times ^ | 8/2/04 | NAZILA FATHI

Posted on 08/01/2004 7:42:36 PM PDT by finnman69

TEHRAN, Aug. 1 - Everything about Amir appears masculine: his broad chest, muscled arms, the dark full beard and deep voice. But, in fact, Amir was a woman until four years ago, when, at the age of 25, he underwent the first of a series of operations that would change his life.

Since then he has had 20 surgical procedures and expects another 4. And Amir, who as a woman was married twice to men - his second husband helped with the transition and remains a good friend - is now engaged to marry a woman.

"I love my life and I'm happy, as long as no one knows about my past identity," said Amir, who asked that his full name not be published. "No one has been more helpful than the judge, who was a cleric and issued the permit for my operation."

After decades of repression, the Islamic government is recognizing that some people want to change their sex, and allowing them to have operations and obtain new birth certificates.


Maryam Hatoon Molkara, who was formerly a man known as Fereydoon, was an early campaigner for the rights of transsexuals in Iran.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: iran; transexual
And Al Qaeda is pissed at us for OUR WESTERN CULTURE?!?!?!
1 posted on 08/01/2004 7:42:39 PM PDT by finnman69
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To: finnman69

Before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, there was no particular policy regarding transsexuals. Iranians with the inclination, means and connections could obtain the necessary medical treatment and new identity documents. The new religious government, however, classed transsexuals and transvestites with gays and lesbians, who were condemned by Islam and faced the punishment of lashing under Iran's penal code.

But these days, Iran's Muslim clerics, who dominate the judiciary, are considerably better informed about transsexuality. Some clerics now even recommend sex-change operations to those who are troubled about their gender. The issue was discussed at a conference in Tehran in June that drew officials from other Persian Gulf countries.




Dr. Bahram Mir-djalali, one of Tehran's few sex-reassignment surgeons, said one of his patients had been a member of the Revolutionary Guards who served five years in the war with Iraq. His operation was paid for by a Muslim cleric he had worked for as a secretary. After the surgery, the man-turned-woman divorced, and then married the cleric.

"When she came to see me years later, she was wearing a chador," the doctor recalled, referring to the black head-to-toe garb worn by religious women. "She took off the chador, and there was no sign of the bearded man I had operated on."

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But many who cannot deal with the legal and financial obstacles to a surgical solution have to deal with humiliation in their daily lives.

One 27-year-old man said he ran away from home at the age of 14 because he did not dare tell his family of his urge to become a woman. He wants to be known as Susan and wears women's clothes at home but only emerges dressed that way at night. He says the constant need for secrecy has left him severely depressed, and he has attempted suicide several times.

"I have suffered all my life,'' he said, constantly adjusting his long curly hair to cover his sideburns. "People treat me as though I have come from Mars. Women pull my hair and laugh at me on the street. Most men I am attracted to reject me."


2 posted on 08/01/2004 7:46:41 PM PDT by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: finnman69

Moved em to SF where they will be welcome
Wouldn't want to offened anybody.


3 posted on 08/01/2004 7:47:07 PM PDT by dadburn
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To: finnman69

Amazing, the NY Times chooses to look past all of the horrible things the Iranian government is up to and find 'repressed' transexuals suffering under Islamic tradition.


4 posted on 08/01/2004 7:48:20 PM PDT by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: finnman69

Where did he get the money for this? It's expensive. Looks like sexual abuse abounds in any culture.


5 posted on 08/01/2004 7:49:48 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: finnman69

Frickin' perverts are everywhere ... Hey Pervs! Stay in Iran, we don't want you here!


6 posted on 08/01/2004 7:50:42 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: finnman69
Since then he has had 20 surgical procedures and expects another 4. And Amir, who as a woman was married twice to men - his second husband helped with the transition and remains a good friend - is now engaged to marry a woman.

Why the heck do these freaks get their wingdings cut off, and then become "lesbians"????

7 posted on 08/01/2004 7:52:13 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: finnman69

Decades of repression?

Not yet 29, has been married twice as a woman, has had a sex change, and is now engaged to married to a woman?

I'm obviously missing something in the translation.


8 posted on 08/01/2004 7:52:31 PM PDT by Happygal (Kerry has a chin that could chop cabbage in a glass!)
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To: ArrogantBustard

I think it got 'wingdings' added! ;-)

(I'm not really sure how that works meself)


9 posted on 08/01/2004 7:55:46 PM PDT by Happygal (Kerry has a chin that could chop cabbage in a glass!)
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To: Happygal

Iranian version of Victorian England


10 posted on 08/01/2004 7:56:27 PM PDT by cyborg (http://mentalmumblings.blogspot.com/)
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To: nmh

"his second husband helped with the transition and remains a good friend "

Maybe that's where the $ came from.


11 posted on 08/01/2004 7:57:27 PM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: finnman69
What can one say? Father, I am ready and wait for Your call.

FMCDH(BITS)

12 posted on 08/01/2004 7:57:37 PM PDT by nothingnew (KERRY: "If at first you don't deceive, lie, lie again!")
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To: finnman69
They're depraved 'cause they're deprived.

FMCDH(BITS)

13 posted on 08/01/2004 7:59:26 PM PDT by nothingnew (KERRY: "If at first you don't deceive, lie, lie again!")
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To: Happygal
He wants.....

I want some things too, like the investment of money to immediately find a cure for my dad's leukemia. But that ain't gonna happen.

What kills me about pervs (and quite a few dems, now that I think about it!) is that they are so narcissistic. Narcissism use to be considered a mental illness. Wonder if it is any more?

14 posted on 08/01/2004 8:01:41 PM PDT by lizma
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To: finnman69

Everything about Amir appears masculine: his broad chest, muscled arms, the dark full beard and deep voice. But, in fact, Amir was a woman until four years ago, when, at the age of 25, he underwent the first of a series of operations that would change his life.

Since then he has had 20 surgical procedures and expects another 4. And Amir, who as a woman was married twice to men - his second husband helped with the transition and remains a good friend - is now engaged to marry a woman.

"I love my life and I'm happy, as long as no one knows about my past identity," said Amir, who asked that his full name not be published. "No one has been more helpful than the judge, who was a cleric and issued the permit for my operation."

After decades of repression, the Islamic government is recognizing that some people want to change their sex, and allowing them to have operations and obtain new birth certificates.

Before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, there was no particular policy regarding transsexuals. Iranians with the inclination, means and connections could obtain the necessary medical treatment and new identity documents. The new religious government, however, classed transsexuals and transvestites with gays and lesbians, who were condemned by Islam and faced the punishment of lashing under Iran's penal code.

But these days, Iran's Muslim clerics, who dominate the judiciary, are considerably better informed about transsexuality. Some clerics now even recommend sex-change operations to those who are troubled about their gender. The issue was discussed at a conference in Tehran in June that drew officials from other Persian Gulf countries.

One cleric, Muhammad Mehdi Kariminia, is writing his thesis on transsexuality at the religious seminary of Qum.

"All the clerics and researchers at the seminary encouraged me to work on the subject," he said in an interview. "They said that my research can help change the social stigma attached to these people and clarify religious decrees on the matter."

One early campaigner for transsexual rights is Maryam Hatoon Molkara, who was formerly a man known as Fereydoon. Before the revolution, under the shah, he had longed to become a woman but could not afford surgery. Furthermore, he wanted religious guidance. In 1978, he wrote to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who was to become the leader of the revolution but was still in exile, explaining his situation.

The ayatollah replied that his case was different from that of a homosexual and therefore he had his blessing.

However, the revolution intervened and men like himself or those who had already changed their sex were harassed, even jailed and tortured. "They made me stop wearing women's clothes, which I had worn for many years and was used to," Ms. Molkara recalled. "It was like torture for me. They even made me take hormones to look like a man.''

It took him eight years after the revolution, in 1986, to get government permission to proceed with surgery. But he could not afford the surgery and did not have it until 1997, when he underwent a sex-change operation in Bangkok. The Iranian government covered the expenses. Four years ago, Ms. Molkara established an organization to help those with gender-identity problems. Co-founders include Ali Razini, head of the Special Court of Clergy, a branch of the judiciary that only deals with clerics, and Zahra Shojai, Iran's vice president for women's affairs. An Islamic philanthropic group known as the Imam Khomeini Charity Foundation has agreed to provide loans equivalent to about $1,200 to help pay for sex-change surgery.

To obtain legal permission for sex-change operations and new birth certificates, applicants must provide medical proof of gender-identity disorder. The process can take years.

It also involves considerable expense. In Tehran, the initial male-to-female surgery runs about $4,000. So far, Amir has spent $12,000 on medical procedures.

The people who pursue this route come from many different backgrounds.

Dr. Bahram Mir-djalali, one of Tehran's few sex-reassignment surgeons, said one of his patients had been a member of the Revolutionary Guards who served five years in the war with Iraq. His operation was paid for by a Muslim cleric he had worked for as a secretary. After the surgery, the man-turned-woman divorced, and then married the cleric.

"When she came to see me years later, she was wearing a chador," the doctor recalled, referring to the black head-to-toe garb worn by religious women. "She took off the chador, and there was no sign of the bearded man I had operated on."

But many who cannot deal with the legal and financial obstacles to a surgical solution have to deal with humiliation in their daily lives.

One 27-year-old man said he ran away from home at the age of 14 because he did not dare tell his family of his urge to become a woman. He wants to be known as Susan and wears women's clothes at home but only emerges dressed that way at night. He says the constant need for secrecy has left him severely depressed, and he has attempted suicide several times.

"I have suffered all my life,'' he said, constantly adjusting his long curly hair to cover his sideburns. "People treat me as though I have come from Mars. Women pull my hair and laugh at me on the street. Most men I am attracted to reject me."

In a society where men enjoy a higher status than women, the stigma against any man who wants to be a woman is especially strong.

"They compliment a girl who behaves and dresses like a man as a strong person, but they look down at us and despise us," said Assal, who was disowned by her father for having surgery to become a woman.

Dr. Mir-djalali said he had to fight on many fronts to help more than 200 patients who had consulted him in the 12 years he had performed sex-change operations. Even if Iran's Muslim clerics are more understanding now of transsexuals' needs, others lag behind.

"We have a problem even deciding at which hospital to do the surgery because society considers these people deviant," he said. "Hospital officials have reacted negatively because they say other patients do not like the looks of my patients."

He said one patient's father pulled a knife on him in his office, and threatened to kill him if he touched his son. "What we really need to help these people,'' Dr. Mir-djalali said, "is a serious cultural campaign."


15 posted on 08/01/2004 8:04:36 PM PDT by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: Happygal
I suppose that depends on your definition of "wingdings", now doesn't it?

It's a really bizarre combination of amputation, really radical plastic surgery in strategic locations, and pumping 'em full of hormones.

And after all that, they still want the chicks! Wouldn't it be simpler just to keep the original equipment?

16 posted on 08/01/2004 8:10:01 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Happygal

The operation is called an addadicktome.


17 posted on 08/01/2004 8:21:36 PM PDT by NurdlyPeon
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To: NurdlyPeon

And the reverse in Russia is 'whodjanickabollikoff' ;-)


18 posted on 08/01/2004 8:23:31 PM PDT by Happygal (Kerry has a chin that could chop cabbage in a glass!)
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To: finnman69

All in all I have to agree with you finnman69. Of all the important things in the world that can be talked about, why in God's names does the NYT have to hunt down and dig up a subject like this?


19 posted on 08/01/2004 8:27:47 PM PDT by NurdlyPeon
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To: Happygal

I just re-read the article. This critter started out as a woman, and had "wingdings" added!!! Somehow, I read it the other way around, the first time ... Now I just gotta say WTF???? I don't know how that works, either.


20 posted on 08/01/2004 8:30:46 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

I had to read it a couple of times myself to figure out what 'IT' had done.

While I can get the Lorena Bobbit op, having the ol' trousersnake added leaves me....well...um....it just leaves me! *L*


21 posted on 08/01/2004 8:34:32 PM PDT by Happygal (Kerry has a chin that could chop cabbage in a glass!)
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To: finnman69

My thoughts too. NYT sees the world and all its suffering and chooses to focus on the most odd ball things that apparently are far more significant than all the big issues. NYT is really just a weirdo paper now, little better than the Enquirer or News of the World. It's just a tad bit more polished.


22 posted on 08/01/2004 9:26:05 PM PDT by elhombrelibre (Liberalism corrupts. Absolute Liberalism corrupts absolutely.)
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To: finnman69
My question would be, should we call an Iranian male who has undergone this operation a depleted Iranian or a deleted Iranian?
23 posted on 08/01/2004 9:32:09 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (You get more with a gun and a smile than just a smile itself!)
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To: NurdlyPeon
why in God's names does the NYT have to hunt down and dig up a subject like this?

Because of the gay marriage issue. By highlighting something arguably more radical being 'blessed' in repressive Iran, it makes the Republicans seem barbaric in comparison. It is just a setup for conversations on the cocktail party circuit.

24 posted on 08/01/2004 11:16:36 PM PDT by StriperSniper ("Ronald Reagan, the Founding Father of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy." - Mark Levin 6/8/04)
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To: finnman69

Trapped inside the body of a Newspaper of Record, the New York Times leads the way for Democrats protesting cultural norms. Call their "Values Revolution."


25 posted on 08/02/2004 6:29:18 AM PDT by OESY
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