Saudi transsexual bemoans identity crisis

Man who underwent sex change four years ago demands recognition from authorities

Arguably the world's most famous cross dresser, Frank N Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Arguably the world's most famous cross dresser, Frank N Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)

A Saudi Arabian man who underwent a sex change operation in 2010 has complained about a lack of help from authorities which have yet to officially recognise his new identity, it was reported.

The man, aged in his 30s, who was born a woman, told the Saudi Gazette that he underwent the operation overseas after discovering “sweeping changes in my physical features” during his sophomore year at university. Tests later found he had male chromosomes.

“My body hair grew like men and my voice became harsh. Nothing in me indicated that I was a woman,” he was quoted as saying.  “I lived a difficult life until I graduated from university."

However, he said after returning to the kingdom and providing authorities with medical reports, he was sent from one department to another before eventually being told by Makkah’s Al Noor Specialist Hospital to wait while it formed a committee of doctors to confirm the sex change.

“I’ve been waiting for this committee to form ever since,” he was quoted as saying, adding that he was asked to resubmit documents again in 2012.

“I felt very desperate because nobody cared about me and the difficult things I was going through.

“The procedures were very slow. I’m in dire need of a psychological rehabilitation programme, which can help me cope with my new life.”

Makkah Health Affairs spokesman Bassam Maghrabi told the newspaper it had received a letter from the man in February 2013 and formed a committee specifically to discuss the case.

The case was being reviewed by health affairs in Makkah, he reportedly said.

Transgenderism and homosexuality are currently outlawed in all of the Gulf states.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Shadi

Hey David Hawley, you need to read carefully before just tapping the keyboard impulsively. Fahim's comment was about homosexuality and the forbiddance of homosexuality in the Arabian Gulf but obviously he has touched a sensitive nerve and ruffled your feathers...

Posted by: Fahim Essa

Despite the laws of the country, people still steal and commit other crimes which are punishable by law and the same applies with activities such as homosexuality even if they do take place. Never ridicule or underestimate the laws of the land because that would prove to be your greatest downfall. Now let me savor my aromatic Arabian coffee while basking in this beautiful sunset.

Posted by: jake

And the same goes to you naive are you to claim that the activities in certain establishments aren't well known to the authorities and emarati sponsors. Looks like it more of a 3 in 1 Nescafe, rather than flagrant arabic coffee...

Posted by: David Hawley

This case is about a medical condition - either an intersex condition or a transgender condition - it is nothing to do with homosexuality. Sexuality is about the people one is attracted to, gender is about who you are - your identity. If you do not know the difference you really should not be offering an opinion here.

Posted by: James

Abdullah your lack of understanding or compasion is shameful and I include the journalist that wrote this.

This man is suffering and seeking medical help and councelling while you shake your fist with high moral judgement on someone you don't even know. Shame on you.

The pic is from a comedy probably illegal and banned in your country and using it is very disrespectful.

The word 'transgenderism' does not exist in the English language any more than 'heterosexualism' exists as a word.

I hope he gets the help he needs.

Posted by: David Hawley

Why on earth did you use that totally irrelevant photo in this article? Do you think that intersex conditions are the same as cross-dressing. Is this malevolence of pure ignorance?

Posted by: Najiram

Iran is not counted as a Gulf state? Stellar reporting.

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
The Al Thanis are Qatar's power family

The Al Thanis are Qatar's power family

New research sheds light on the overwhelming influence of the...

Raising the bar: DLA Piper plans fresh growth in the Gulf

Raising the bar: DLA Piper plans fresh growth in the Gulf

Legal firm DLA Piper’s Middle East business recorded 10 percent...

With monster trucks and Comic-Con, Saudis defy killjoy image

With monster trucks and Comic-Con, Saudis defy killjoy image

Clerics and many citizens still consider it all very sinful,...

Most Discussed