Legal Support for Transgender on Agenda

Legal Support  for Transgender on AgendaLegal Support  for Transgender on Agenda

The director of Trauma & Critical Care Office at the Social Welfare Organization (SWO) announced measures to introduce a bill in support of people with Gender Identity Disorder (GID).

Valiollah Nasr quoted by ISNA said “the bill has been negotiated with the Majlis Culture Committee” and hoped that “it will be passed in the near future.” The bill outlines the obligations of every organization towards transgender people and after its approval, “policies will be clear to every ministry and organization vis-a-vis GID people,’’ Nasr said. He noted that back in 2000 a committee was created at the health ministry to address the issues facing this group.

Nasr said people with GID have faced numerous problems in treatment, ID card registration, national identity, military service, and residence in students’ dormitory, which are all addressed in the prospective bill.


 Bearing the Costs  

Since the costs for treating GID people are huge and unaffordable for many families, Nasr said ‘’ the ministry of health has been tasked with the responsibility to address the issue.’’  He further said “so far all costs of treatment -including surgery were shouldered by the SWO.’’  He added ‘’oftentimes these people were referred to some places for surgery which incurred enormous expenses with mostly poor results.’’

Nasr maintained that the insurance and treatment costs for transgender people should be covered by the Social Security Organization (SSO).

He emphasized the role of Iranian Legal Medicine Organization (Association of Medical Examiners) in identifying and helping this group and said “medical experts at the organization determine whether a person has Gender Identity Disorder or not and also who needs surgery.”

Nasr said transgender people often face many problems at home and are frequently rejected by their own family, which leads to immense emotional pain for many of them. Not all people with GID seek help from the SWO, according to Nasr and may go to hospitals or other centers. “But, 236 transgender people have sought the help of the SWO,” he added.


Nasr lamented the confusion that many of GID people face when they refer to hospitals and said ‘’if these people get legal status, then their disorder will be viewed as a medical condition and thus they will get better services.’’ He said the final aim of the legislation is to identify people with GID so to grant them with social status and rights.

GID or (gender dysphoria) is classified as a mental health condition in which a person desires to be the “opposite” sex of that assigned to him or her at birth. Due to its criteria, many such people fall under this diagnosis.

Unfortunately there is no major consensus on the number of transgender people in Iran or the world today. Hard-and-fast statistics are lacking for a several reasons. One is that many GID people are not seen and are either living behind closed doors or stealthily, meaning that people in general may not know that they were born differently than they what they appear now. Another reason for the lack of statistics is that so different forms of GID fall under the umbrella term that it is hard to discern which subcategories should actually be statistically counted as transgender and which should not.