‘I’ve lived in the wrong body my whole life’
In a landmark case, brave woman tells Abu Dhabi court why she wants to be a man
A woman hopes a change in UAE law will allow her to undergo surgery to become a man.
Reem, 28, told 7DAYS that she has applied for gender reassignment to an Abu Dhabi court, following the introduction of new medical legislation several weeks ago.
The Emirati has submitted a series of medical documents and physical examinations that she claims shows her testosterone levels are similar to that of a man. But she also said psychologically and emotionally, she no longer wishes to be a woman.
Speaking exclusively to 7DAYS after the hearing in Abu Dhabi, Reem (who asked for her real name not to be used), said: “I have been struggling with this issue since I was five years old.
“I have always felt like a man trapped in the wrong body. It’s not just something that I have felt recently.
“However, I was nervous and didn’t know how to speak about it. I didn’t know what to do or what’s going wrong.”
The new Medical Liability Law, which was ratified just weeks ago, covers a series of changes surrounding medicine, including a section on gender operations, including “treatment for gender dysphoria in transgender people”.
Reem’s lawyer, Ali Mohammed Al Mansouri, said his client has undergone six medical tests to show her testosterone levels are similar to that of a man.
She is suffering from gender dysphoria, which is when a person experiences distress because of a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.
Her lawyer, Al Mansouri, said: “In the beginning, I rejected the case when my client contacted. However, I accepted the case when she proved her medical condition and described her psychological situation.” Al Mansouri said religious authorities allow the sex change operations as long as it can be medically proven the person requires it. He said: “This case is the first of its kind in the UAE. Court approval is essential for this kind of operation and the court will examine the defendant’s medical records.” If the court approves, Reem hopes to undergo an operation, possibly in the United States. The case is due to continue on September 28. email@example.com