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28 February 2024

Saudi's appeal: Man, I feel like a woman

Ayed Al Dousari

By Staff

Ayed Al Dousari of Saudi Arabia is facing a serious problem that no one else would wish to have. His society looks at him as a man but he is convinced that he is a woman and is appealing for help to restore his real gender.

Ayed started to feel that he is a female when he was a child. His mother used to sneer at him, telling him these were only illusions.

When Ayed grew up and became an adult, he realized that he was right and his mother was wrong for his body began to take a female shape.

Yet the society was still not convinced. The head of his school once phoned his mother and told her that her son always keeps away from other school boys and that he believes he is not a boy.

When he finished school and got a job, his ordeal got worse. His colleagues would never stop asking him sarcastically :”are you a male or female.”

Ayed’s ordeal took a serious turn when he was arrested by members of the feared Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, who charged him of disguising and acting as a woman.

“They arrested me then they referred me to the King Saud Hospital in Riyadh, where they examined me and decided that I am a female and that I need a gender-correction operation…I am still waiting for that operation and I can’t have it done at a private hospital as I can’t afford it,” Ayed said, quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily Sharq.

Ayed’s father died when the boy was around five years old. His mother died around five years ago and her death was another serious blow to him.

“I considered her as the compassionate heart for me….she was the only one who supported and protected me…after her death, my brothers kicked me out of home, saying I have brought shame to them…they think that I am pretending and they don’t know that I do need treatment,” he said.

“After I was expelled from my house, I started to roam around, staying at relatives and sleeping here and there…I no longer know stability and I have nothing to support me as I now live on aid given by my uncle and cousins.”

Ayed’s uncle Shalhoub Al Dousari said he deals with him as “one of my daughters” after King Saud Hospital classified him as female.

“I appeal for the ministry of health to help my nephew so he can have an operation to end his suffering,” he said.