If you Google the letter “L,” what do you think is at the top of the list? Make a guess, and then give it a try. (I’m using Firefox, so if the link doesn’t work, do it the manual way in your own browser of choice and see if you get the same results.) What I get is L’Oreal. You might think it would be love or lunatic or Lifesavers, but no, we’re interested in Parisian make-up!?!?
I was going to do a post about Iran earlier tonight, but got side-tracked, and then fell asleep with my pups, Cecil and Grady, curled around me. I don’t know much about Iran, and so I decided that maybe my idea for a post wasn’t such a good idea. However, as I wakened intermittently from my slumber, Anthony Bourdain on his series Parts Unknown on CNN was doing an episode on Iran! (See his article and video clips here.)
What I first remember about Iran is the Iran hostage crisis. It began November 4, 1979. I was living in Knoxville, TN, at the time — just graduated from college and away from Arkansas for the first time. The crisis only made my surroundings a little more surreal.
The Iranian hostage crisis became a part of the American political landscape when the hostages were released on January 20, 1981, just after Ronald Reagan was elected president. In 2012, a movie called Argo that dealt with the amazing rescue of a few of the hostages hit the theaters here.
Budget: $44,500,000 (estimated) Opening Weekend:$19,458,109 (USA) (12 October 2012)Gross: $136,019,448 (USA) (19 April 2013)
All of this dovetails with news reports over the past couple of days, indicating that Obama has reached out to Iran for the common interest of defeating ISIS.
My next experience with anything Iranian came in ~1997 when I had a co-worker named Mariam who was from there. Odd strands of feathery memories from the past. Mariam was planning a trip back home, and was a little nervous. She was a software engineer. We were worried that something would happen, and she wouldn’t return, but she did. Also, I was one of the lucky few employees who had air conditioning controls in my cubicle, and I was always having hot flashes — I think I was beginning “the change.” So I’d crank up the air conditioning, which was fine with everyone except Mariam. Every time she walked through the warren of cubicles past me, she’d complain of the cold. The office was a labyrinthian maze, and I wondered why, if she was so bothered, she didn’t take another path to her intended destination.
It appears that Iran has also been in the media with regard to the GLBT community:
The situation of the transgendered in Iran has been the subject of frequent media reports that paint a rosy picture of life for them in the Islamic Republic, and which characterize Tehran – in a recent description in the U.K. daily The Guardian – as “the unlikely sex-change capital of the world.”
Western journalists seem to find it exotic that, in Iran’s patriarchal society – in which sexuality and expressions of sexual identity are religiously codified with the force of law, women are restricted to second-class citizenship, and homosexuality is a crime punishable by death – sex reassignment surgery has mushroomed, with the approval of the country’s religious authorities.
Gay Iranians are being pressured into gender reassignment treatments due to the country’s draconian ban on same-sex relationships, doctors in the country have said.
See these articles:
- CHANGE SEX OR DIE: An Exclusive Interview with an Iranian Transgendered Activist on Iran’s Surgical “Cure” for Homosexuality
- Report: Gay Iranians pressured into gender reassignment by doctors
- I’m an evangelical minister. I now support the LGBT community — and the church should, too.
What a crazy, crazy world. Genuinely transgendered people can’t find the medical, social, and financial help they need to transition. Gay people can’t get married but are stoned (not “high”!) in many places on the globe. Some evangelical Protestant ministers are now supporting GLBT people. And in Iran, gay persons can have gender reassignment treatment when they don’t want it or need it, and are forced to flee. I don’t know whether to laugh, to cry, or resign myself to insanity.
This article is titled “L” because my friend, L, told me about these stories in the news. She is a happily married straight woman, and a semi-closeted Republican, and I was possibly the first transgendered person she knew? (I told her I was transgendered before she admitted being Republican.) L is a Lifesaver.
Let’s be “beautiful”…..
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