Published: 2017-08-08 13:00
Last Updated: 2017-08-08 15:25
Being transgender remains taboo in the Arab world. There is a long way to go before society could ever acknowledge it as a legitimate gender identity.
Meet Carla Masoud: an Egyptian transsexual, who, against all odds, has succeeded in transforming into a woman, and, despite online trolling, was brave enough to share her story on social media.
In an inspiring video, Carla tells her full story to BBC Arabic.
After years of physical, emotional and mental abuse, both at home and school, Carla unleashed the woman within her in Berlin, Germany.
She fled to the German capital with the help of her mother, who was a thousand times more understanding of what her daughter was going through than her husband was.
While Carla’s mother told her that “I will love and stand by you whatever gender you are,” her father was much less forgiving.
He violently beat Carla, formerly known as Carles, and forced her to undergo testosterone treatment at just nine-years-old.
However, it was clear by the time Carla hit puberty that her estrogen levels were at much higher levels than her testosterone levels.
After Carla’s body began to change in similar ways to other girls her age, the bullying by her peers started: her clothes were ripped off by curious school kids keen to know whether their classmate was a boy or a girl.
But Carla always knew that she was a girl.
She told BBC Arabic that “I never mixed with any of the boys at school, never wanted to play with them… I just felt different.”
After landing in Berlin, the first thing on Carla’s mind was “clothes.”
She headed to the nearest bathroom, took off her “man clothes” and put on a dress.
That was just the beginning of her transformation.
Soon after, Carla went to court, where she legally changed her name and sex.
Carla currently happily lives in Berlin with her husband, Robert.