Trans Bodies on the Route: Transgender and the Claim for Identities in Iran

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal 22 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Gustavo ELPES, University of Coimbra (Centre for Social Studies/CES), Portugal
Setting off from the acknowledgement that the subjective recognition of gender along with the understanding about the body are relationally placed within the cultural influences and values of a given society, our intent with this debate will be to map the possible constructions of individual identities in the Iranian context in which the practice of transgenitalization is being carried out for decades. Thus, the main objective of this paper will be [a] to clarify how policies implemented by Iranian government encouraging sex reassignment surgery gives sense on way people live (or should live) their own subjective experience of being, and [b] to understand how (if) medical professionals involved at the diagnosis of transexuality undertake to a gender bias that can both undermine expressions of the self and allows strengthening and rise of personal identity. We also intend to reflect on the extension of citizenship and on the granting of humanity to transformed bodily configurations, highlighting existing attempts to associate psychological and behavioural disorders with sexual orientation and ways of life of the transsexual population.

If we were to summarise the thrust of this reflexion, we could say that its main reason is to understand the destiny of trans bodies and identities given the arduous path of the transsexualising process. In addition, we intend to investigate the relevance of the discussion around the act of recognising the condition of humanity and dignity of the "human person" throught the process that disciplines body transformations, mostly attempting to the ways through which religion engages with politics in the context of individual demands of identity and right to subjectification.