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Contrary to what some may believe, transgender people have existed throughout human history. We are a very underrepresented group of people, and we’ve mostly been ignored throughout history.

However, transgender people have been documented in one form or another, in most human cultures throughout history.

General history

Wikipedia has a page briefly documenting transgender history in various countries on earth: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_history

This article is specifically about transgender history (the other article is about LGBT in general): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender_history

Iraq (previously named Mesopotamia)

Wikipedia has a good article documenting transgender history in Iraq: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_history_in_Iraq

Iraq is and has always been a horrible place to live for transgender people, and LGBT people generally. There are reports that their government sends death squads to kill transgender people.


Wikipedia has a good article about Iran: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transsexuality_in_Iran (warning: the article uses the outdated term transsexual)

Iran has historically been very bad for transgender people, but they perform more surgeries than most other countries (they are 2nd only to Thailand) and allows people to transition.

However, transgender people are forced to have surgery and Iran does not recognise non-binary people at all. Iran has homophobic laws which means that gay/lesbian/bisexual people are regularly imprisoned, beaten or killed. Iran’s government only considers heterosexual transgender people; being gay in Iran is still illegal.

Their culture is, and has historically been, very hostile towards transgender people.

Third Reich (Nazi Germany)

Transgender people were treated horribly under the Nazi government in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. This article touches on that: https://veryfemmeandantifascist.tumblr.com/post/103245249690/treatment-of-trans-people-during-the-holocaust

Just before the 1930s, Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld (in Germany) was working on experimental research into surgeries for transgender people, and ran one of the worlds first clinics for helping transgender people to overcome gender dysphoria. They even prescribed hormones.

After the Nazis took power in the 1930s, his offices were raided and destroyed. Transgender people, along with the rest of the LGBT community, were tortured, killed and imprisoned by the Nazis.

We’re seeing the beginnings of the same events in modern times. With the election of Donald Trump in the United States, transgender people are at risk of going through the same treatment. The philosophy and policies advocated by Trump are extremely nationalist, fascist and he has used similar rhetoric to Adolf Hitler during his election campaign in 2016; he described Muslims and Mexicans as criminals, and since becoming president he has begun implementing policies that discriminate against such groups - and the LGBT community - already. His vice president believes in conversion therapy, and several of his cabinet members are from neo-Nazi media organisations.

The same thing could happen in France (under Marine Le Pen) and Netherlands (under Geert Wilders). Wilders’ politics have always been extremely right-wing, and based on racism (his popularity surged on a platform of racism and he has extremely nationalist policies; his party in the Netherlands is currently leading in Dutch opinion polls, in the run up to the 2017 elections. Marine Le Pen’s National Front has shared platforms with neo-Nazi parties in the past, and also advocates policies very similar to those of the Nazis.

Of course, everyone calls them the alt-right these days. We at transit still call them Nazis. Fascism has always been hostile towards LGBT, and transgender people in particular. The fight against fascism is still very much alive today.

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