This book owes an existential debt to Farshideh Mirbaghdadabadi, a dear friend
for many decades who warmly embraced me into her household as I began to
spend long periods of time in Tehran, my base for this research. When I re-
turned to Tehran in 2005, I had not been there for twenty-
five years. The Teh-
ran of 2005 was a vastly different city from the Tehran of 1980. Farshideh’s
affectionate generosity made that return possible and delightful. She enabled
me to build new connections, find friendships, and become re- embedded in
the networks of a city where I had been born and lived the first two decades
of my life. As important, her intellectual engagement with my research was
invaluable: She listened patiently, on a regular basis, to my daily accounts of
what I had observed, what had distressed, angered, and surprised me. Our
conversations over tea, sangak bread, cheese, and walnuts allowed me to pro-
cess my thinking and write more articulate “field notes.” Her multiple social
networks—she seemed to know anybody and everybody I would mention as
a potential research lead—put me at the center of complicated webs of social
actors to whom I needed to connect. How does one say thank you?
No less existential is the debt of this book to the trans persons, gays, and
lesbians in several cities in Iran during 2006–7 who accepted me into their
confidence, circles of socialization, and domains of living. This research and
my understanding of practices of daily life in this realm were enabled by their
generosity and trust. Several persons with whom I worked closely allowed their
names to be used; many more did not. At the end, given the tight circles of so-
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