12 minutes, 2005
Newsnight, BBC2
Producer-Director: Amir Amirani
Camera: Kambiz Karimi
Programme Deputy Editor: Mary Wilkinson

This film generated a lot of interest in the subject, and there were subsequently a number of other films made.

Before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the issue of transsexuality in Iran had never been officially addressed by the government. Beginning in the mid-1980s, however, transgender individuals have been officially recognized by the government and allowed to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

The government’s position on transexuality was changed when Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa that authorized such operations in Iran. Hojatoleslam Mohammad Mehdi Kariminia, a mid-level cleric wrote a PhD thesis about transexuals, and is in favor of transgender rights. He wishes “to suggest that the right of transsexuals to change their gender is a human right” and that he is attempting to “introduce transsexuals to the people through my work and in fact remove the stigma or the insults that sometimes attach to these people.”

The film also features the surgeon Prof. Bahram Mirjalali, who carries out a large number of such operations in Iran and in Europe.