by Sara Farizan

Reviewer Rating:


Living in a country where homosexuality is illegal, Sahar has learned how to hide her feelings for her best friend Nasrin since she was very young. While the girls are able to see each other in private, any sort of dating or life together seems out of the question.  When Nasrin becomes engaged, Sahar jumps on the idea of a sex-change operation in her desperation to keep Nasrin close.  By attending transgender meetings, she attempts to convince the other attendees that she too believes she is born in the wrong body.  With time and guidance, Sahar begins to understand what a transgender identity really is realizes she cannot pretend to be in the same struggle.

This story was difficult to read. It deals with very heavy ideas of love and loss involved with the inability of some people to take LGBTQ relationships seriously and not treat them as a phase or something they’ll grow out of once married. It looks at how the LGBTQ community functions, even in the face of severe oppression and threat of death in Iran and the intricacies of faith and sexuality. It also looks at how obsession and love can become dangerous, convincing Sahar that she must change her identity and physical body to meet the expectations of her country and the girl she loves.  I was relieved that the story explores real transgender characters who speak with Sahar and doesn’t rely on the idea of sex-change as the ultimate romantic gesture, which would be a dangerously inaccurate portrayal of the transgender community. 

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