Transgender identities and trans* embodiment are topics that are generally ignored within many communities, and the Muslim community is no exception, and transgendered people are oftentimes pushed to the margins.
Art, film, music and other forms of artistic expression, unlike more fixed modes of understanding, can often open up a conversation that communities and individuals may be hesitant to explicitly explore. As I was cruising tumblr recently, searching for thought provoking and groundbreaking work by women of colour, I stumbled upon a movie trailer entitled, Facing Mirrors. Directed by first-time directing Iranian woman Negar Azabayjani, this feature film tackles the complex realities of transgendered men and women in a country that is known for its religious stances and fatwas that have violated the rights of its citizens.
The trailer doesn’t say much, but clearly reflects the fears, pains and stigmas that are present in Iranian society, which has psychological effects for both those who are transgendered and those who struggle to understand its complexity, in a country that represses members of the LGBT community.
The film follows the lead character, originally known as Adineh but who uses the self-chosen name Eddie, belongs to a rich family and whose father is both ashamed and humiliated by Eddie’s wish to undergo gender reassignment surgery. [Read more...]