Iran's gay plan: A documentary looks at Iran's heartbreaking "solution" to homosexuality

CBC reports:
Filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian (pictured) has long been fascinated by gender issues, so when she read a New York Times story about how the Iranian government was dealing with homosexuality, she was completely transfixed. Iranian-born herself, the New York-based filmmaker learned that in Iran, homosexuality is a crime punishable by death. But the government has provided a way out for the nation’s gays and lesbians: a sex-change operation. Fully paid for by the state, the procedure would allow these people to conform to Iran’s theocratic standards of sexuality. Eshaghian decided she had to interview some of those involved in this gender-reassignment program. The result is a devastating documentary called Be Like Others.

Shot in verité style, the film captures the pain and brutality of a regime that is pushing sex-change operations as the path to a final solution to homosexuality. What was nearly as surprising as the revelations in the film is the fact that Eshaghian didn’t have to go undercover to get her story. “It’s a very public phenomenon,” she says. “These sex changes are legal and are endorsed by the leading clerics. What her film reveals is a culture so steeped in hatred of gays and lesbians that it deems a sex change preferable to simply accepting differences in sexual orientation. READ MORE

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