An Iranian lesbian has said the country’s authorities tried to force her into having gender reassignment surgery to “fix” her sexuality.
The woman, known as Sara, said she was ordered to undergo the “treatment” by a psychologist, after coming out to her family, aged 20.
Sara told Reuters: “At first it was difficult. They tried to convince me that I was wrong and made an appointment with a psychologist.”
“She said I was really a man in a woman’s body and I had to change my body to suit my personality.
“My sister had brought a photo along, (taken when) I was maybe 5 years old. I was wearing boy’s clothes and had a toy gun in my hand and the psychologist emphasised that this photo showed that I was a man.
The shocking scale of female genital mutilation (FGM) in a Swedish school, where every single girl in one class had been subjected to the procedure, has been revealed.
School health services in Norrköping, eastern Sweden, discovered 60 cases of FGM since March, according to the Norrköpings Tidningar newspaper.
In the class where all of the girls had FGM performed on them, 28 were subjected to infibulation – the most extreme kind where the clitoris and labia are complete cut away, and the genitals are sewn to leave a small vaginal opening.
Last summer, an American-born teenager of Somali descent fled her parents’ home in a suburb here after she discovered that a coming vacation to Somalia would include a sacred rite of passage: the cutting of her genitalia. In Guinea, a New Yorker escaped to the American Embassy after an aunt told her that her family trip would involve genital cutting. And in Seattle, at least one physician said parents had sent girls back to Somalia to undergo cutting.
Immigrant parents from African and other nations have long sent their daughters back to their ancestral homes for the summer, a trip intended to help them connect with their families and traditions.
During their stays, some girls are swept into bedrooms or backwoods and subjected to genital cutting in the belief that it will prevent promiscuity, ready them for marriage or otherwise align them with the ideals of their culture.
“Vacation cutting,” as the practice is deemed by those who oppose it, has existed in immigrant enclaves around the world for decades. Federal law has banned genital cutting in the United States since 1996, and last year it became illegal to transport girls for that purpose.
Afusat Saliu, 31, and her two daughters, Basirat, three, and Rashidat, one, have been taken into custody by Home Office officials and transported from their home in Leeds to London for removal, the family’s lawyer told the Guardian.
Saliu, 31, a victim of female genital mutilation, has said that she fears her daughters will also be mutilated and spoken of her fear that, as Christians, they could be targeted by the Nigerian Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, which recently kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls.