Uncategorized

Egyptian transgender woman faces uphill battle against stigma

CAIRO: Farida Aly spent decades performing blood tests, brain scans and personality tests before doctors issued the needed medical reports to allow her to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

Born Mohamed Ramadan Aly, the transgender woman is one of the few in the conservative Muslim country able to confront what doctors diagnosed as gender dysphoria.

“I had a life, and I lost it completely. But I made my decision to be the person I wanted to be,” said Aly, 50.

While the gender reassignment procedure is legal, it is a long and complicated process that is highly stigmatized.

Discrimination against LGBT+ groups is rife in Egypt, with gay and transgender people facing instances of assault and torture, according to Human Rights Watch.

The issue was brought to public attention earlier this year when a prominent Egyptian actor revealed on a TV talk show that his son was transgender, and expressed support for him.

Aly, however, was abandoned by her family and left jobless after extended medical leave, and has had to move to a new town where only a handful of people know about her past.

“Our society will never accept my situation, or won’t accept it easily. Society can accept the opposite of my situation but never my own, I have no idea why. It’s just this rule engraved in their minds,” she said.

The former teacher now tutors children in the neighbourhood to earn a living, but her dream is to one day get married and have a child.

“I had a dream that I had a girl and I raised her, brushed her hair and changed her clothes. I named her Alaa, and until this day I am referred to as Um Alaa (mother of Alaa).

“Nobody in the neighbourhood calls me by my (first) name, they call me Um Alaa,” she said.

 

Support Ethical Journalism. Support The Dispatch

The Dispatch is a sincere effort in ethical journalism. Truth, Accuracy, Independence, Fairness, Impartiality, Humanity and Accountability are key elements of our editorial policy. But we are still not able to generate great stories, because we don’t have adequate resources. As more and more media falls into corporate and political control, informed citizens across the world are funding independent journalism initiatives. Here is your chance to support your local media startup and help independent journalism survive. Click the link below to make a payment of your choice and be a stakeholder in public spirited journalism


 

The Dispatch is present across a number of social media platforms. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for exciting videos; join us on Facebook, Intagram and Twitter for quick updates and discussions. We are also available on the Telegram. Follow us on Pinterest for thousands of pictures and graphics. We care to respond to text messages on WhatsApp at 8082480136 [No calls accepted]. To contribute an article or pitch a story idea, write to us at [email protected] |Click to know more about The Dispatch, our standards and policies