Gays and Transsexuals in Iran

After Iran’s president last week uttered his ludicrous statement about Iran not having any gays, here’s a Washington Post essay penned by a 25-year-old gay Iranian man, Amir, that strikes back. And here’s a NY Times article by Nazila Fathi, which essentially says the same thing as Amir’s essay – that gay culture, like many things, exists in Iran – it’s just truly on the downlow. Above you’ll see the CBC’s February report about Iranian gays. What’s interesting to me is this quote in the NYT article:

“There is a thick wall between homosexuals and transsexuals,” Mr. Kariminia [a cleric who wrote his thesis on Islam and transsexuality] said. “Transsexuals are sick because they are not happy with their sexuality, and so they should be treated. But homosexuality is considered a deviant act.”

That same cleric is featured in this fascinating Current TV report on Iranian transsexuals by Yasmin Vossoughian and Kouross Esmaeli (via Iranian Truth). Watch the whole thing.

Update: Also see this NYT op-ed, which is comprised of translated reactions to the Ahmadinejad speech from Iranian bloggers. Very cool.