Friday, December 11, 2009

Cross-Dressing for Freedom: We are All Majid!

Most people are probably aware of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's infamous comment that there are no homosexuals in Iran.  Some know the darker truth behind that statement: homosexuals in Iran must submit to forced gender reassignment or be executed.  An offshoot of this brutal policy is that it is actually illegal for men to wear the "hijab" or headscarf, the gender-identifying garment for women.  I presume costume-party hi-jinks with men stuffing the largest bras they can find and prancing off in an evening gown for a night of good-natured ribbing are right out.

But when you're a charismatic student leader like Majid Tavakoli, who gave a fiery speech to a crowd of 1,500 at Monday's Student Day uprising, and you're running for your life from Iran's notoriously brutal security forces, you wear whatever you can find that might help you escape, even a hijab.  Anybody would.  That's why the Iranian regime's recent plot to ruin Tavakoli's "street cred" among Iranian youth by displaying the mug shot of him arrested in drag, has backfired and actually created a worldwide wave of support fueled by YouTube and blogs.

A call has gone out over the internet to all men who support the Green Movement to "become Majid" by taking a photo of themselves wearing a headscarf, the forbidden garment the regime thought would shame Majid Tavakoli forever.  This regime is so out of touch with the modern population of Iran they actually thought they could ruin a person's reputation with one scrap of cloth draped over his head.  Instead, a wave of young men inside Iran and all over the world are switching their social networking avatars to their "woman pictures" in solidarity.

If you support human rights in Iran, or even just an end to discriminatory forced-clothing laws in general, let the Iranian regime know it's hip to hijab!  It's easy and free to support this cause.  Simply find a piece of cloth, preferably green, large enough to drape over your head (previous submissions have included towels, blankets and sheets).  Then, drape it over your head and take your picture (cellphone or webcam quality photo is fine).  Email your picture to to submit it to the online gallery, and don't forget to share the link with your friends, who no doubt will want to see the picture anyway.  With the power of the Internet to bring people together, this is one dictatorial plot we can thwart using only cell phones and household linens!


  1. Please, if you might, do a bit of research about gender identity issues. I doubt that "homosexuals in Iran must submit to forced gender reassignment or be executed." Gender reassignment will NOT affect sexual orientation. I belive that homosexuals in Iran must pretend to be something other than homosexual or be executed. I believe that transgendered persons may be excuted if they live true to themselves. I believe that someone failing to conform to rigid gender stereotypical roles may be executed. I believe that just about ANYbody who displeases the Mullahs may be executed. But gender reassignment is an expensive medical procedure related to gender identity. It's not about sexual orientation.
    VERY respectfully,@808lika

  2. @808lika, thank you very much for your comment. I did not mean to imply that homosexuality and transgender identity are the same thing, I only wanted to inform readers that this is the brutal philosophy laid out by Imam Khomeini in a fatwah decree, and followed by ruling mullahs in Iran today, that anyone feeling attracted to their own gender should surgically switch genders to conform to religiously-approved gender roles. Because of this, the government will even help pay for the costs of the surgery. I found a lot of info about this topic from the BBC here

  3. Can I wear a skirt, shave my legs, and get a bra?

  4. @Sanguinarious If you're going to do it, do the HELL out of it! Accessorize and vogue for the camera!