As Repression Lifts, More Iranians Change Their Sex
By NAZILA FATHI
TEHRAN, Aug. 1 - Everything about Amir appears masculine: his broad chest, muscled arms, the dark full beard and deep voice. But, in fact, Amir was a woman until four years ago, when, at the age of 25, he underwent the first of a series of operations that would change his life.
Since then he has had 20 surgical procedures and expects another 4. And Amir, who as a woman was married twice to men - his second husband helped with the transition and remains a good friend - is now engaged to marry a woman.
"I love my life and I'm happy, as long as no one knows about my past identity," said Amir, who asked that his full name not be published. "No one has been more helpful than the judge, who was a cleric and issued the permit for my operation."
After decades of repression, the Islamic government is recognizing that some people want to change their sex, and allowing them to have operations and obtain new birth certificates.