In a conservative society like Iran, talking about what it is like to be transgender is still considered shocking and taboo. But a theatre group is daring to start that conversation in cafés and performing arts spaces across Tehran. For some of the actors, the struggle is personal.
While most LGBT communities are banned in Iran, transgender people who choose to undergo a sex change operation – also known as transsexual people – are legally recognised. Our Observer Saman Arastou was born with female anatomy, but underwent a sex change operation in 2008. After a stint as an actor, Arastou became a theatre director and playwright. He and his troupe have been performing his play, “You all know me”, which discusses what it is like to be transgender in Iran today, across Tehran. In parallel, Arastou has also been organising small, informal performances about transgender issues in cafes across the Iranian capital.
Initially published on France24 on 09/19/2016
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