Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What I want re: Iran-USA negotiations? [Queer Edition]

Note: I decided instead of tweeting incessantly all my conflicting views and emotions re: the inevitable diplomatic negotiations of the governments of Iran and USA, I should write a brief post. Almost all I say in here are wishful thinking of a desperate mind, but, well, as an Iranian queer  (who is quite chatty), I need to express myself. Cheers. -- Queer Iranian  

Here is what I want to happen: 

I want Obama's administration to publicly, explicitly ask the Iranian government to stop and prevent harassment of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) community of Iran. 

Trans(s)exuality is not considered illegal in Iran, but, its religio-legal framework has not resulted in an informed society in Iran when it comes to Transgender people. While Iran is a global leader in sex re-assignment surgery (SRS) in the World*, there are still many transgender Iranians who flee to Turkey to seek asylum from the United Nations Refugee office in in Turkey on the basis that they have been mistreated by their family members and savagely harassed by the Iranian society at large. This is not acceptable. 

Most recently, Iranian government made the remarkable announcement* that the cost of the SRS procedure will be covered by the Iranian insurance companies in near future (Iran is way ahead of US government in terms of facilitating SRS), but the Iranian government has failed miserably in educating the masses and campaigning to de-stigmatize trans(s)exuality in Iran. Moreover, the Iranian government's definition of trans(s)exuality is extremely narrow and applies to heterosexual people.   

Furthermore, the Iranian government continues to mistreat and harass non-heterosexual Iranians by denying them rights to express themselves and preventing them the right to gather and organize without fear of persecution. The suffocating atmosphere the Iranian government has created for non-heterosexual Iranians is preventing health activists to inform the community of health risks than can be mental and physical. All branches of the government in Iran are extremely homophobic and have endorsed the inhumane, savage punishments of homosexuality in Iran. This is simply outrageous. The government of Islamic Republic must not be allowed to continue to maintain this atmosphere of fear to further oppress Iranians who identify as gay, lesbian or queer. 

In light of the significant progress made in recent months in the United States of America (End of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, The Heart-Warming Defeat of Defense of Marriage Act and The Joyous Renewal of Same-Sex Marriages in the State of California), and President.Obama's explicit endorsement of the universal human rights of Gay and Lesbian people, I humbly expect the government of the United States to pressure the Iranian government to protect the rights of LGBT Iranians.  

Specifically, I want the American diplomats to strongly voice the concerns of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human rights in Iran, Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, regarding the LGBT community of Iran. 

Ultimately, as a first step, President Rouhani could instruct the Health Minister of Iran to take urgent steps to stop considering homosexuality as a "curable illness." 

[I guess I should be reaching out to American LGBT right groups to ask them to ask the Obama's government to pressure the Iranian government re: LGBT rights in Iran. I may do so.]

 *: For references for the facts and claims I have made in this short post, comment here, and I'll provide you with references. However, most of the references related to facts about Iran are mentioned in this article.

Final Note: I am well-aware my wishes expressed above are not going to be realized, but, there is no law preventing queer people to wish. So. 

1 comment:

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