Transsexual in Iran

  • More Options

GD Star Rating
a WordPress rating system
Is This Documentary Broken?
(Click Here To Let Us Know)

Be Like Others (also known as Transsexual in Iran) is a 2008 documentary film written and directed by Tanaz Eshaghian about transsexuals in Iran. It explores issues of gender and sexuality while following the personal stories of some of the patients at a Tehran clinic.

Although homosexual relationships are illegal (punishable by death) in Iran, sex reassignment operations are permitted. In 1983, spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini passed a fatwa allowing sex-change operations as a cure for “diagnosed transsexuals”. Be Like Others shows the experiences of male and female patients at Dr. Bahram Mir-Jalali’s Mirdamad Surgical Centre, a sex-reassignment clinic in Tehran.

One of them is Ali Askar, a 24 year-old man who faces harassment from other men due to his feminine appearance and behaviour. He does not want to become a woman but sees no other options for him in Iranian society.

He decides to go ahead with the surgery despite death threats from his father and finds support from Vida, a post-operative transsexual he meets at the clinic. By the end of the film, Ali has become a woman named Negar. She has been disowned by her family, experienced depression and has had to work as a prostitute. 20 year-old Anoosh is another young man who has been ostracised due to his femininity.

His boyfriend feels more comfortable when Anoosh dresses as a woman, and in contrast to Ali, Anoosh’s mother is supportive of his desire to change sex. The end of the film shows Anoosh — now Anahita — happy and engaged to her boyfriend.

Transsexual in Iran, 8.6 out of 10 based on 39 ratings

Related Documentaries

From The Web

  • Stephen O’ Connor

    Fantastic, sad and gripping.Very highly recommended

  • http://futanaria.eu futanaria

    Really interesting movie. Thank you for sharing.
    As we live in tolerant society we sometimes used to forget what kind of problems people might have in 3rd world countries…

  • Pingback: Refusal of entry into Dubai for a transsexual woman » Dubai, Iran, Singapore, Mohamed, Janice, Al-Mazrooei » Saras World

  • Melizara

    Very interesting. I am myself transsexual & although living in a western country I have encountered similiar problems with parents & siblings – shunning & threats etc – to the girls in this video. The religion I was born into, Christianity, considers transsexuality an offence against God & a corruption of nature. It’s sad to lose one’s family & one’s faith community for pursuing a direction of self realisation & honesty. Shiite Islam has a much more positive & sympathetic attitude towards transsexuals than Roman Catholicism. Ayatollah Khomeini, a champion of the rights of transsexuals, is my hero and new spiritual father.

  • uratitmouse

    i cant even imagine how it would feel to have to change your gender just to not be arrested or killed…these people are put in a very difficult situation…whats so sad is that some truely want the sex change but others are just gay and have to have it…i very moving documentary thats for sure

    • LZT1

      Transsexuals and gays are not the same thing – at all. Not even close.

      best wishes

      • abdillah

        Allah does not allow transsexual and homosexual to be practiced

  • Edwin Weaver

    as a canadian gay man, i’m shocked gay men have to change there gender just beacuse they live in Iran. I hope for the gay men in Iran this law will change!!!!!Great documentary!

    • Samaneh Sadeghnia

      hi may be you do not know that hemosextual is differrant from transsexualism.transsextualism is a psychiatric disorder that person has not insighit about it.it treates with sex change.but hemosexualism is not a psychiatry disorder.

    • Samaneh Sadeghnia

      hi may be you do not know that hemosextual is differrant from transsexualism.transsextualism is a psychiatric disorder that person has not insighit about it.it treates with sex change.but hemosexualism is not a psychiatry disorder.

    • LZT1

      Hi, I made this respone to another post as well, but it is relevant here also.

      If you have viewed the documentary you will see that they stated clearly
      that homosexuals and transsexuals are very different, and not even
      nearly the same.

      They are not “forcing” homosexuals to become transsexual – they could
      not do that since transsexuals *want* to join the “opposite sex” (to
      the one they are born in) and homosexuals want to retain their sex, but
      have sex with a partner of the *same sex*.

      So they aren’t forcing “gays to become women”, they are helping those
      who feel they were born into the wrong sex to correct what they feel
      was nature’s mistake.

      Best wishes

  • Ivory

    This is heart breaking. If Iran could only accept being gay,  this unnecessary operation wouldn’t be performed, women wouldn’t be shunned or have to sell themselves. But their society will never change as long asthey are Islamic   

    • Jankivich

      Your wish for tolerance towards women and homsexuals is all very well, however this is followed by a comment which clearly paints you as a bigot: “But their society will never change as long asthey are Islamic .”

      • Anna

        “But their society will never change as long asthey are Islamic .”

        That comment is true; in the sense that certain family values, societal behavior, and the lack of rights for sexual and gender diversity will never change in Iran while under Sharia or Islamic law which dictates a particular way of living for men and women. As this documentary shows, a way of living for ONLY men and women; which leaves no room for in-between genders like transvestites, transgenders, or transsexuals.

        On the other hand, if you interpreted Ivory’s comment as an attack on Islam as a religion,  it may very well be, I don’t know.  Or it could be meant as an intrinsically Western perspective which is associated with liberalism and democracy and would (and has) denounced certain Islamic practices and views. One of the transsexuals in the film said that he didn’t know much about the West only that one has the freedom to do whatever one wishes –contrasting his choices in Iran v. what his choices could be in the West.

      • Anna

        “But their society will never change as long asthey are Islamic .”

        That comment is true; in the sense that certain family values, societal behavior, and the lack of rights for sexual and gender diversity will never change in Iran while under Sharia or Islamic law which dictates a particular way of living for men and women. As this documentary shows, a way of living for ONLY men and women; which leaves no room for in-between genders like transvestites, transgenders, or transsexuals.

        On the other hand, if you interpreted Ivory’s comment as an attack on Islam as a religion,  it may very well be, I don’t know.  Or it could be meant as an intrinsically Western perspective which is associated with liberalism and democracy and would (and has) denounced certain Islamic practices and views. One of the transsexuals in the film said that he didn’t know much about the West only that one has the freedom to do whatever one wishes –contrasting his choices in Iran v. what his choices could be in the West.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ERKURTKST25X6RJ75YVCRPRBIQ Tom Thumb

          Islam is immutable and intolerant.  These are this particular fictitious belief system’s (/ system of control’s) constants.

          This is why Islam cannot coexist with other religions or atheists — its fundamental tenet is to change all that is not Islamic to Islam and destroy anything that does not ‘submit’.

          Islam, by very definition, is ‘submission’.

    • LZT1

      If you have viewed the documentary you will see that they stated clearly that homosexuals and transsexuals are very different, and not even nearly the same.

      They are not “forcing” homosexuals to become transsexual – they could not do that since transsexuals *want* to join the “opposite sex” (to the one they are born in) and homosexuals want to retain their sex, but have sex with a partner of the *same sex*.

      So they aren’t forcing “gays to become women”, they are helping those who feel they were born into the wrong sex to correct what they feel was nature’s mistake.

      regards

  • Spaz

    That hairdresser boyfriend is hot! If not understanding of his soon-to-be girlfriend’s woes.

  • Spaz

    That hairdresser boyfriend is hot! If not understanding of his soon-to-be girlfriend’s woes.

  • Tesooke1982

    I live Iran. I defend all of Trasnssexuals. I defend LGBT rights.
    AND for the lovw of god, my dear transgender friends, please BE YOURSELF.
    SELF STEAM!
    It gets better

  • Tesooke1982

    I live Iran. I defend all of Trasnssexuals. I defend LGBT rights.
    AND for the lovw of god, my dear transgender friends, please BE YOURSELF.
    SELF STEAM!
    It gets better

  • Pingback: 30 August 2011 « imagineayear

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1362789959 Carl Frodge

    I find the language very pleasant to listen to. Being that I am American, and only speak English, other languages are very interesting for me to hear.

    I also find the religious tolerance and acceptance of it (even if they treat it as an illness, which in a way, being born in the wrong body could be considered an illness) is very surprising to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1362789959 Carl Frodge

    Ali Askar’s mom is really cute.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ERKURTKST25X6RJ75YVCRPRBIQ Tom Thumb

    It’s archaic to be persecuting people based on sexuality and ‘forcing’ SRS.  Without proper psychological diagnosis – something that’s impossible in countries so brain-fucked by religion – SRS could ruin their lives, not “fix” them.

    I find it tragically hilarious that they can declare homosexuality ‘wrong’ yet profess “god” to have made everything–their god made a MISTAKE?!  =O …lol!

    The very notion qualifies as blasphemy in Islam, no?  Questioning god’s idefectability?  Shouldn’t then the homophobe clerics themselves be jailed / lapidated / drawn and quartered? o_0 …lol

    Idiot sand niggers.  -_-

  • Pingback: Iran Publishes a Legal and Religious Guide on Trans People | Saras World

  • alston

    Remember that it has not been that long ago that many homosexuals here in the United States were lobotomized. The world does not operate on the same timetable nor operating table. In Iran they change genders, in the USA they created zombies. I was surprised to hear of the “temporary marriage license” issued by the gov’t. that can be obtained every hour if needed… more tolerate than the USA in that respect. The documentary shows how similar we are to the Iranians– all of us are screwed up royally by laws, rules and religion which we persist in defending. We’re all walking contradictions.

  • alireza

    alireza

  • Pingback: http://documentaryheaven.com/transsexual-in-iran/ | SOSC1000 - Introduction to Social Science

  • Pingback: Transing and Transpassing Across Sex-Gender Walls in Iran | WGS 552: Transgender Identities & Communities