16 November 2016

Book Review: Professing Selves

Afsaneh Najmabadi is the Francis Lee Higginson Professor of History and of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University.

I have to admit that it took me a few months to read this book. I couldn't read it straight through. It was written by a historian but is more like an ethnography so it just took some breaks to get through.

Newspapers the world over have published the persecution of gay men in Iran over the years. It's well known in the media world. It sucks to be a gay man in Iran.

But apparently, in a post-modern twist, not all gays are equal. Interpreting the Koran, the Ayatollah allows those deemed under Islamic Republican medicine to be organically transgender, as opposed to mentally disordered (gay), to obtain state funded surgery and are "accepted" into society as opposed to sentenced to death.

Professor Najmabadi explains how this is and explains how this works. I'd say this should be required reading for any student in queer studies or LGBT studies.

The version I read was a 432 page paper published by Duke University Press on December 16, 2013. ISBN: 978-0822355571. Lowest price seems to be abebooks.com and amazon.com

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