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Sun 9 Mar 2014 11:35 AM

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Saudi transsexual bemoans identity crisis

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

Saudi transsexual bemoans identity crisis
Arguably the worlds 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.

Chris 5 years ago

A picture from Rocky Horror ... seriously? Balanced reporting?

expat08 5 years ago

picture of the year award!

Abdullah 5 years ago

The closing of your article is praiseworthy and should serve as a stark reminder to all those who even entertain the thought that the Arabian Gulf is the haven and playground of perverts and homosexuals. Being a tolerant country does not mean that homosexuality, vulgarity, debauchery, or drunken revelry will be tolerated. People must acquaint themselves with the laws of the country because 'ignorantia juris non excusat' and never skip the Crimes & Courts section of the local papers to realize the consequences of breaking the laws of the land.

Mark Renton 5 years ago

Abdullah, the inference from your post is that all of these things come from outside the Gulf. However a regular scan of the crime section of the local papers (or indeed a trip to a hotel at the weekend) will tell you that foreigners do not have the monopoly on these activities....

Najiram 5 years ago

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

Jake 5 years ago

It's people like you who live so detached from reality with their little sound pieces they come to post online, that make it fun to come here every once in a while. I've got a few friends who are homosexual and have gotten a lot of money and pricey gifts from their wealthy Arab (GCC) admirers. Let's also not forget the little bars downtown that offer exactly what you are claiming is nonexistent in the region. good morning, do you smell the coffee?

David Hawley 5 years ago

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?

James 5 years ago

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.

Fahim Essa 5 years ago

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.

David Hawley 5 years ago

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.