Irans transsexuals: religiously acknowledged, but rejected – By Farshid Motahari

Transsexuals have a tough life in Iran. Although they are acknowledged in religious terms, there is very little tolerance shown towards them by the society, not even by their own families.

Young Iranian woman filmmaker Sharareh Attari made the highly controversial issue the main theme of her new documentary, ‘It Sometimes Happens’, which deals with the life of a young man, Amir, who undergoes the process of turning into a woman, Rima.

Even during his childhood, Amir felt that he was not like other boys. In his teenage years, the religious boy wrestled with his conscience as he thought he was a gay due to his sexual preference for boys.

Eventually he realised that he was a woman, physically and psychologically, and decided to undergo surgery to become Rima.

As soon as Rima went public with her decision, her father abandoned her. Even her mother stopped seeing her regularly and eventually discarded her. Her sister, although tolerating her decision, preferred to avoid her so that she would not get into trouble with her husband.