Shadi Amin

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Shadi Amin in IWSF- Cologn- 2013

Shadi Amin (شادی امین) is an Iranian writer and activist. She was forced to leave Iran in early 1980s because of her political activities. Amin is currently living in exile in Germany.[1]


Prior to leaving Iran, Amin had to hide her sexuality in public, though she had freedom to express herself in her own family.[2][3] Amin was politically active starting in 1979, when she was only 14: she was against Khomeini's rule. Eventually, she had to flee in 1983, traveling to Pakistan, through Istanbul and Berlin to settle in Frankfurt.[4]

She has researched gender discrimination, systematic oppression against women and the state of female homosexuals and transgender people in the Islamic Republic of Iran publishing a book called Gender X with her findings.[5] An English synthesis of her findings by Raha Bahreini has been published as well, entitled Diagnosing Identities, Wounding Bodies.[6][7] Amin has studied LGBT people in Turkey and describes Turkey as a place where people from Iran can readily seek political asylum.[8]

She is a founding member of the Iranian Women's Network Association (SHABAKEH)[9] and is currently one of the coordinators of the Iranian Lesbian Network (6Rang).[3] As a coordinator for 6Rang, she comments on United Nations recommendations for human rights in Iran.[10][11] She is also a co-founder of the organization Justice for Iran.[3][11]

Activities and publications[edit]

Amin organized a protest in 2000 at a conference in Berlin against the conservative backlash then occurring in Islamic State in Iran. As a member of the Berlin Exiled Women of Iran Against Fundamentalism (BEWIAF), she asked to open the conference with a moment of silence for victims of the Islamic Republic, while other members of BEWIAF opened up "the black chadors they were wearing, inside which were slogans against the meeting and the Islamic Republic." The act led to several members of audience attempting to stop the protestors and the police were called.[12]

Amin won the 2009 Hammed Shahidian Critical Feminist Paper Award jointly with Golrokh Jahangiri.[13] The award was created in memory of Iranian feminist scholar and professor Hammed Shahidian of the University of Toronto and is used to award funds for critical examinations in studies of Middle Eastern women.[14] Amin used her award to research political prisoners in Iran in the 1980s and study rape and sexual abuse, which she presented at the seminar The Political Prisoners, Beyond the Wall, the Word held in Toronto in 2011.[15] In 2012, Amin was part of a panel with Amnesty International, speaking at an event before the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).[16] In 2013, she participated in Turkey's Gay Pride as it was the closest location to Iran where a Pride event was hosted.[17]

Amin took part in a panel with 6Rang at Istanbul Pride 2014, where she and others discussed forced sex changes that have taken place in Iran.[18] She and Raha Bahreini spoke about these human rights violations against LGBTQ people in Iran at Stockholm Pride in Sweden in 2014.[9] She was quoted by The Guardian, saying, "In a democratic society, a sex-change operation is an option for transsexuals, but in Iran it's an obligation for their survival."[19]

Her selection and translation of Adrienne Rich and Audre Lorde's articles were published in a book entitled Ghodrat va Lezzat (Power and Joy) which is one of the few Persian resources on compulsory heteronormativity and lesbian existence.[20] She is the co-writer of Crime and Impunity; Sexual Torture of Women in Islamic Prisons. Amin researched, did fieldwork and provided literature review for the publication on human rights violations against LGBT individuals in Iran, Patholigizing Identities, Paralyzing Bodies: Human rights Violations Against Gay Lesbian and Transgender People in Iran (2014).[21]

Published works[edit]

Documentary films[edit]


  • 2009, Hammed Shahidian Critical Feminist Paper Award[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ De Bellaigue, Christopher (2007). The Struggle for Iran. New York: The New York Review of Books. p. 74. ISBN 9781590172384. 
  2. ^ "Shadi Amin: Şeriatın gölgesindeki kadınlar toplumsal yaşama eşit katılamıyor". Alternatif Siyaset (in Turkish). 5 June 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Terman, Rochelle (Spring 2014). "Trans[ition] in Iran". World Policy Journal. New York, New York: SAGE Publications. 31 (1): 28–38. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Jaeger, Milan (22 November 2013). "Die Hoffnung ist geblieben". Frankfurter Allgemeine Rhein-Main (in German). Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Evans, Trausti (19 September 2015). "Jag vill användamig av humorn" (in Swedish). Stockholm, Sweden: Stockholms Fria. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Stewart, Colin (31 July 2014). "Iran Campaign Seeks End to Coerced LGBT Sex Changes". Erasing 76 Crimes. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  7. ^ Farahani, Mansoureh (18 August 2015). "Forced Sex Changes Must Stop Now". London, England: IranWire. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  8. ^ Mirac, Zeynep (11 August 2014). "İranlı eşcinsellerin bekleme salonu Türkiye". Hurriyet Kelebek (in Turkish). Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "6Rang Talks About Iranian LGBTQ Realities". Sogi News. 22 August 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  10. ^ Stewart, Colin (5 November 2014). "11 Nations Blast Iran's Record on LGBTI Rights". Erasing 76 Crimes. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "Justice For Iran Delivers UPR-Pre Session Statement". Sogi News. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  12. ^ Eshkevari, Hasan Yousefi; Mir-Hosseini, Ziba; Tapper, Richard (2006). Islam and Democracy in Iran: Eshkevari and the Quest for Reform. London and New York: I.B.Tauris. pp. 147–148. ISBN 978-1-84511-133-5. 
  13. ^ a b "IWSF 2012 Awards". 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  14. ^ "Hammed Shahidian Legacy Initiative". Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  15. ^ "The Political Prisoners, Beyond the Wall, the Word" (PDF). Matters. University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada: Women & Gender Studies Institute. 9 (1): 3. March 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  16. ^ Li, See (16 May 2012). "LGBT Iranians Speak Out at IDAHO Event". Demotix. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  17. ^ Bouchoucha, Lea (7 July 2014). "Iranians Move to Turkey to Press LGBT Liberation". Women's eNews. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  18. ^ "Iranian LGBTs hold panel in Istanbul as a part of pride week". Istanbul, Turkey: Hurriyet Daily News. Doğan News Agency. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  19. ^ Deghan, Saeed Kamali (2 November 2012). "Iranian Film Shines Spotlight on Taboo Subject of Transsexuals". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  20. ^ "Sexual Abuse & Torture Over The Past Three Decades In Iran". Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Concordia University. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  21. ^ Milliken, Alice (30 June 2014). "Istanbul: Study on human rights violations against LGBT Iranians discussed at Pride". London, England: Pink News. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  22. ^ "شب های بی نهایت زنان زندانی". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  23. ^ "Final Moments -لحظه های آخر". YouTube. 2013-06-25. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  24. ^ "Triumph for 1988 Mass Executions Documentary 'Final Moments' at Women's Voice Now Film Festival". Justice For Iran. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 

External links[edit]