No to Forced Sex Change was a joint project between Justice for Iran and 6Rang (The Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network), highlighting the Islamic Republic of Iran’s ill-treatment of its LGBTQ+ citizens.
The project uncovers the traumatising and ongoing abuse of individuals with diverse sexual orientations, and the manner in which state authorities subject them to forced ‘treatment’ of sex change. These ‘treatments’ include various procedures including surgeries that are often horrific leaving victims physically and mentally damaged, sometimes leading to their suicide. Nevertheless, Iran’s authorities impose forced sex change to wipe out sexual minorities and continue to falsely claim “Iran has no homosexuals.”
No to Forced Sex Change began in 2014(?). Its main is to raise awareness about the plight of this community on an international level, including relevant bodies such as the World Health Organisation, to stop this form of human rights violation. Since then, 6Rang and Justice for Iran have documented numerous accounts about forced sex changes, by interviewing homosexual individuals who identify as transsexual as well as healthcare professionals.
Through these interviews, the research report, Diagnosing Identities, Wounding Bodies, was launched at Istanbul Pride in 2014. A year later, Gender X, a book featuring over 100 interviews with LGBTI Iranians, was published. Gender X, was read by thousands, including academics, everywhere including Iran. The impact was felt within the community of human rights defenders, many of whom were looking at the situation of LGBTI in Iran for the first time.
The research for this project was subsequently used to present a report to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to inform this body about the dynamics affecting LGBTI children in Iran. International awareness amplified by No to Forced Sex Change led to Iran acknowledging the ill-treatment of sexual minorities and to partially accept 11 recommendations made by 6Rang and Justice for Iran.
To read more about the project and its impacts, please click here.