Verdicts of Science, Rulings of Faith: Transgender/sexuality in Contemporary Iran


Najmabadi, Afsaneh. 2011. "Verdicts of Science, Rulings of Faith: Transgender/sexuality in Contemporary Iran." Social Research: An International Quarterly 78 (2): 533-56.

Author: Afsaneh Najmabadi


This essay offers an account of the contemporary diagnostic and treatment procedures of transexuality in Iran, situating the official process in a discursive nexus that is engaged in establishing and securing a distinction between the acceptable “true” transexual and other categories that might be confused with it, most notably the wholly unacceptable category of the “true” homosexual. In this process, the category of transexual is made legible as an acceptable form of existence by the condensed working of the legal, the Islamic jurisprudential [fiqhi], the bio-medico-psycho-sexological, and the various contingents of the forces of coercion – which we often call “the state.” This nexus is as well constituted and authorized by transgender/sexuals’ practices of everyday life, self-definitions, and self-productions.

Topics: Gender, LGBTQ, Religion, Sexuality Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran

Year: 2011

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