Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Transsexuals in Iran
These days I tend to watch light-hearted TV shows if I have time for television. I like the real estate shows we have here like Selling Houses and the other home makeover ones. Occasionally I'll watch Gilmore Girls, but mainly the only thing I get to see on 'the box' is Teletubbies.
So tonight was a little different. I caught the second half of a documentary on SBS called Transsexuals in Iran and it was about just that. I'm disappointed I missed the first half but I was downstairs battling with my dryer. It has been on the fritz since Friday.
Anyway it was a moving programme. The low down is that it is against the law for a man to dress and behave as a woman in Iran, so the state has the answer. Have your penis surgically removed. You will be issued with a new birth certificate and you will have a new identity card saying that you are now a female. Your family will most likely disown you, if they haven't already and the only job you will be able to get is that of a "temporary wife". A sex worker.
It was a really distressing documentary with a really sad ending. So much for my light hearted TV viewing. It got me thinking again about that episode of Oprah to do with children who want their parents and their communities to accept them as the opposite sex. I was not a parent when I saw the show and I remember being horrified with the parents on the show for allowing a 4 year old to say "that's it mummy I want to be a girl from now on" and then raising their son a girl.
Now here I am, a mother and I am wondering what I would do. The answer? I honestly do not know. I think now I have a lot more compassion for the parents than I did then. Before I just thought it was a lack of discipline and direction but know I realise that was a very ignorant perspective.
The whole thing is just so sad and depressing. One of the people featured in the Iranian doco was Negar whose parents rejected him as a man with female tendencies and then he had the surgery and they completely disowned him as a man without a penis but legally a woman. Negar said her mother and father had killed their love for Negar and following the surgery Negar's body had love removed completely. She said she would never feel any sort of love again and would devote the rest of her life to making money as a prostitute (the accepted term is temporary wife).
Did anyone else watch this terribly sad and moving show? Have you seen that episode of Oprah about the children with 'gender identity disorder'? What are your thoughts?
Heavy topic really. I'm off to tour a prospective preschool tomorrow morning. I've seen so many now but I think this will be the one. I am getting pickier and pickier, if this isn't right then I have no idea where Tinker will go because I have almost seen them all!