This is a guest post by fellow gay blogger Michael Demmons of the TheRTWGuys travel blog:
Iran’s human rights record is bad. There is no sugar-coating that. When it comes to gay people, it’s almost as bad as it gets. Most LGBT people who follow the news know the terrible punishments that Iran has imposed for people even suspected of being gay.
Some human rights organisations say that between 4,000-6,000 gay men and lesbians have been executed in Iran since 1979. As recently as April 2017, 30 gay men were arrested in the Isfahan province.
Transgender people fare no better. The only “bright” side is that being transsexual is legal in Iran, but only if accompanied by a gender reassignment surgery. Surprisingly, that surgery can be partially covered by the government. In fact, after Thailand, Iran carries out the most sex reassignment surgeries than any other country in the world.
Is Iran safe for gay citizens? Probably not in general.
Is Iran safe for gay tourists? That’s a little more complicated.