I was quite surprised to come across this gallery of three Lebanese transgenders called Hans, Toy, and Sasha who agreed to pose for a photoshoot for L’Orient-Le Jour. I mean let’s be honest, no matter how much the media try to show that we have a liberated lifestyle here, we still live in a relatively hostile society that acts negatively towards gay people, let alone those who actually desire to transition permanently to the gender with which they really identify.
Upon searching a bit, I found that even Patrick Baz, the photographer who carried out the photoshoot, was also shocked with the courage these three people had to actually agree to go public. But according to his story, they only grew a thick skin after getting rejected by their families.
Last month, Lebanese judge Jannet Hanna granted a transgender man the right to change his legal status in the civil registry. It’s definitely a good news for our juridical system to finally acknowledge that sex change should be a civil right for everyone, however the process was not straight forward for that man since his original request to fix his legal status after undergoing a sex change operation was first rejected by another judge but he appealed it. So given that not everyone is able to go through that procedure and get the same result, can you imagine the awkward situations these people experience every time they have to apply for some legal document? Granted, they get weird looks every time they go to their Mokhtar, at the airport, or event at military checkpoints!
It’s 2016, and it’s definitely about time our society becomes positive about people who experience a mismatch between their assigned sex and their gender identity. Claiming that transgenders and people with different sexual orientation are spoiling our society is no longer a valid argument, because I’m pretty sure the Lebanese media along with us are accomplishing a really good job at doing that!