Ahmed is 36 years old and identifies as a trans man
I lived all my childhood in the country side and when I say country side I mean closed minded people myself included
I never chose or decided to be this way I was just born like this, I was born different and since I was young I noticed that my body is different from the way I felt and behaved , my body didn’t match neither my sexual orientation nor my desires and that’s when my suffering journey started . Day by day things got harder. When I became older I was insecure about facing a racist arrogant society and family about my truth
I remember when I was 6 or even younger that the only friends I had were boys and I may say that I liked it I always wanted to behave like them and play with boy_ish toys, to me it felt so natural . the idea that my body and theirs are biologically different never crossed my mind . I mean I was young and I didn’t understand or had the information about these topics until I grew up and knew that I was imprisoned in a girl’s body.
I never forget how I was beaten everyday during school because my family refuses the idea that I am playing with boys and they think that I only should with girls and that what I was doing back then is forbidden by religion and society norms. I started to question my identity , why I am like this ? why I only think of what is masculine ? why these clothes ? why I behave this way ? why I say these words why do I express myself like the other boys ?? this is pure torture . all these feelings lead me to the decision that I should distance myself from everyone and give up in life . I tried to suicide so many times and it never happened . its like something keeps bringing me back to life but this never saved me from living in a miserable psychological state of mind
I dont think I would ever be able to forget that sadness and pressure. I used to make excuses to escape classes and all the strange looks and questions other students would ask me such as are you a boy or a girl ? why are you dressing up this way ?? why do your clothes are masculine ? I couldn’t forget how teachers would make fun of me,teasing me and calling me names …
This was not the end of my pain because at some point I believed that pain was my only faith especially when I met that girl that was my first time experiencing love but people started to notice our relation . my friends’ families knew about the story it was a scandal and I was the slut and life unworthy person whose pointed at everywhere I go. People never understood my desires or orientation they only saw the bad side and only understood what they wanted to understand .
I did a lot of research I was hopeless I had no idea about what I should do . there were only one solution and that solution was to wait until I grow up enough and be able to travel abroad and do my surgeries . that’s the solution that would make feel confident in my own skin and live the life I want for myself .
I never believed the narratives that we are freaks and perverts because simply I never chose that,my body and gender identity do not match, I was born this way and that’s as simple as that .
Eventually as a trans man as I know myself I needed to do my surgery so I visited a lot of doctors and some of them strongly disagreed with my decision and said that it is against the laws and forbidden by religion . one of them dared to tell me that I am girl and my organs are 100 % feminine and will never be replaced.he kicked me out without even listening to my concerns. I didn’t lose to hope and I decided to travel to the capital city with my mom and live there. I was excited because in the back of my head I thought that city and country lives are totally different and I will for sure find someone who understands my situation. Sadly it wasn’t like I expected I was rejected here too and been told that what I am doing is forbidden and considered as a sin as long as I am changing god’s will and creation . I’ve been told that we are perverts and should be killed because according to religion and society people we are cursed.
I decided to save money and travel to another country where I can do my surgeries and live the way I always wanted to. After a long time of looking for a job finally someone accepted to hire me in a farm in the country side again but I was satisfied with that job because no one would hire someone who claims that their body does not match their gender identity or the way the feel inside.
I accepted the circumstances that were given to me and worked really hard in all the tiring and unhuamn conditions
I was mentally and physically exhausted because the work was really hard and I was in such a fragile situation. I wasn’t strong enough.
I did reconstruction work, cleaning and everything related to the farm work .
I did save a small amount of money that helped me to travel to another Arabic country in which I heard they accept people like me. Back there I met a lot of people who are trans and I did all the tests that I was asked to do. Finally doctors believed that I am trans and approved my sexual reassignment surgery . I was extremely happy because I knew and I understood who I really am.it was the time to set my body free.i came back to Tunisia a brand new person, a person who seeks to live happily in the body that he always wanted. The first person who I was strong enough to tell them about my story was my mom. My dear beloved mom was among the few people who believed in me and stood by my side after I almost lost all my relatives.
When my step father knew about my story he didn’t accept it and he even started to harass me oh wait I may say he tried to rape me and when I rejected him he told me that I am not a clean girl (slut and unworthy) .he literally said to me : you like girls you want to have sex with them and wear boys clothes ?
He ended up disowning me and kicking me out of the house so I lived for days in the streets under bridges and in the cold weather. I was deprived from seeing my mom and from her tender. At that time I had no choice but to go back to the farmer and asked him to work and live there and he accepted my offer
Back in the farm I built a little tent with woods and put herbs in it as a bed and slept there for months . even though it was in a miserable situation that liitle tent represented home to me it kept all my secrets,my pain and my big dreams.
I met some trans people online and we became good friends therefore we decided to meet in real life.we were so happy for meeting each other, we used to think that everyone of us is the only trans in the world because we had no means or devices to know more about our cases.
We promised each other to be forever friends and that we will help each other and raise our voices and be vocal about our reason. Unfortunately till this day doctors still do not approve us as normal human beings, the laws do not protect us and of course religion denies us . we still live in the dark . we are living shadows and our biggest fear is the society and laws which are supposed to protect us in the first place .
I do really hope that OUTCASTS group would be an opportunity for people to know more about themselves and to be a real support for the trans community for now and the next generations because what we have been through is a lot of pain suffering ignorance and arrogance.
We want this group to be a home to for all the trans community so they would not suffer like we did .
SAMIRA: her story is different from all the other stories …
I am trans an I am 32 years young . I am a woman trapped in a man’s body
A woman who suffered and knew a lot of pain since she was 4. I lived in a household with three siblings; two sisters and one brother . I was so close to my sisters more than I was with my brother. Even in the way I looked I always preferred to look like my sisters ; long hair, girls clothes and played with dolls. I didn’t know anything about the world I just felt deep inside that I was a girl.
Pain was the friend I never chose since a young age he was always with me. I couldn’t distinguish right from wrong and what is allowed from what is not. When I was 4 years old I had an older cousin who used to take me outside with him and buys me chocolate. As I remember he used to ask me if I want dolls and of course I always wanted to get dolls especially the big ones so I can brush their hair and dress them up thinking that will grow up and become like them . but he hidden the doll in his room and he told me that if I want to play with it I should go to his room. I was so happy to find someone who understands me and sees the girl inside.
At that stage of my life I didn’t even now what sex means and I didn’t know that boys and girls have different genitals. My thoughts and desires were all feminine.
One day he called me and took me to his room and locked the door, he told me to play with the doll while he put me on his lap. He was doing things I didn’t understand and when he finish doing his things he tells me to leave and come back the day after. He kept doing that until I grew up a bit and started to understand what was going on . he tried to continue that but everytime he calls me I ran away and I told him that this is forbidden and not right. One day my family went out and I was playing under a tree in front of our house when he came to me and told me that he will never do what he used to do again and that he just wanted to give me back the doll and promised to buy me everything I want. I was so happy and I trusted him again and I went home with him.he was living just nextdoor to our house. Unfortunately he was lying and he raped me and it was so physically painful. I admitted that he manipulated me and took advantage of me when I was young. He claimed that he knew that I am a girl inside but he threatened me if I ever say anything to anyone that will beat me and tell my family that I am lying and no one would believe me. I went out with heavy steps with a lot of pain inside. What am I going to say ? what am i going to do ? and who would care ?
Since that day I trained myself to keep everything inside and not tell anyone about anythi ng and I lived my childhood in total isolation with no friends not wanting any ..
I grew up and I was in high school where I suffered even more because I was so effeminate and I couldn’t fit in. I was emotionally exhausted and I became the joke of teachers and students . they called me names such as : faggot, tranny,sissy … I was bullied a lot and insulted even more
I cried silently I was in pain but I never showed my weakness.
One day I met someone and we became friends. That friend of mine was the person who acknowledged me about my situation and told me that it is called transgender . he also told me that everything is related to the brain and not the body and that he is a trans person too ( a boy in a girl’s body). I was happy because I finally felt belonged and that there is someone like me and I am not alone in this world. In that moment we asked ourselves what should we do ? and are we going to live in dark ? and since that time I started to search for anything that could help me. But in Tunisia sadly we don’t have any treatments or hormone therapies or even doctors who understand our situation.and if there is a doctor they always tell us that they cannot help. I remember one day one doctor told me that I am schizophrenic .
My family took me to a swindler and he told them that I am possessed. I made sure to do what I wanted to until I recently met Ahmed who told me about the group of OUTCASTS. He also told me that I am not alone and encouraged me to fight for our right and raise our voices .
I am a man in a girl’s body. I am a 25 year old transgender. All my feelings and desires are man’s desires. There is a huge conflict between whata I feel and I what I see in the mirror. I tried so hard to convince myself otherwise but I couldn’t , since I was little I always behaved and followed the way my brothers would act even though I have two older sister I never been interested in what they do or how they behave.
When I went to primary school I was fully convinced that I am a boy and not a girl. I used to hear other girls saying things about me such as; she is looking like a man. When I was eleven I was so confused I couldn’t believe the first time I had my period. I didn’t tell anyone about it. I was afraid they would figure out the truth and see me as a less of a man.
In the secondary school my parents obliged me to wear the Hijab , they did everything they could to change me and stop me from acting like boys. But I harshly refused to obey.
Although the violence , both physical and emotional, the insults, the beating I didn’t surrender and I resisted against all the pressure and oppressions they put on me so I can be what I really want .
Like any other biological female my breasts at a certain age started to become visible and curvy as a result I would bind my chest so it looks flat.
Living that life was never easy, at some point I decided to leave my family and run away to a place where nobody knows me. I kept running from one city to another seeking peace and trying to hide.
Again, I found myself in the streets with no shelter, no support but with much more pain. I was broken inside, devastated with this life.
In Tunisia they will never accept any sexual or gender differences. They insult us with the meanest comments. I couldn’t find any way to live and eat but selling my body.
From a trans man whose only dream is to live that he dreamt of I became a slut. There is literally no one who would protect,support or guide us through this journey. No one is aware of our situation as a trans community who lives in the dark margin of the society.
No one understands the dysphoria or the conflicts we go through with ourselves in the first place and with the ignorant arrogant society.
I think I will stop here because I don’t want to remember further pain and torture that I have been through.
One last things I would like to add : one day I will be the person I always wanted to be
People who suffer from such dysphoria feel insecure missunderstood isolated rejected and unsafe. They are oftenly treated so bad from both family and society because they believe that this is not accepted. However the trans community still to this day puts alot of efforts to survive and fight for their rights and visibility .