This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Delectably, Gorgeously Female

"They would see boys going in, and we would put on our eye shadow, our wigs and skirts and dresses, and walk out and say, 'Hiiii'."
"I said OMG, really? Seriously? There are people who are like me? And then the idea came in my head, and I held on to it like a rope that would save me."
"I think winning the crown [as Miss Trans Star International] in Barcelona will give some hope, like planting a seed of hope [for other transgender people]."
"Imagine because of who you are, you have to leave your family, home and country -- I am speaking of Arab countries."
"I'm Arab, I'm Christian, I'm Israeli. All that is tied together. And I'm going to win."
"My father should be proud of me. My father is the father of Miss Trans Israel."
Talleen Abu Hanna, Miss Trans Israel, Tel Aviv
Talin Abu Hanah walks on stage during the first-ever Miss Trans Israel beauty pageant in Tel Aviv, Israel May 27, 2016. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Growing up in Nazareth, a majority Arab city in Israel, a young boy decided against karate and wanted to take ballet lessons instead. Into his teen years he experimented with his mother's cosmetics and tried on his sister's dresses. He had other friends who were as curious as he was about the opposite gender and wanting to express themselves and their personalities in that gender, forbidden and alluring.

When Ms. Abu Hanna was fifteen she went to a party and came across a woman who informed her that she was born male, still she couldn't believe what she heard and saw. But her friends knew far more than she did and explained all about gender reassignment surgery, an astonishing revelation to the young boy who yearned to be a girl. She had simply considered herself as an effeminate boy, and was resigned to life surreptitiously dressing and dreaming of being a woman but bearing the outward characteristics of  a man.

It was, after all, what her family expected of her, saw in her, felt she should be, and if they knew how deeply engrained her female-ness was under the facade of male-ness they would be unforgiving, and she knew this too. She eventually transitioned to female, shedding the veneer of a male and embracing the female within her, struggling to escape the confines of a male persona, a male life and its expectations of her.

A year later she was crowned as Israel's first transgender beauty queen when she won the Miss Trans Israel pageant and wore the Swarovski crown, becoming a celebrated figure, able to present herself as she truly is, unafraid and forward-looking, a role model for other young boys in the Arab world puzzled and concerned over who and what they truly are. And she is preparing to present herself in Spain on September 17 as a contestant for the global transgender pageant

Israeli Christian wins first “Miss Trans Israel” pageant -- CBS News
She will, she says, represent Israel, out of "respect, because it is a democracy that has given me peace". Her 24-year-old Muslim university student boyfriend's name, Mohammed, has been tattooed on her wrist, though she is herself a member of the Catholic community, a Palestinian minority subset of the State of Israel whose Arab demographic represents a fifth of its eight million citizens.

It is painful for her that her family no longer wishes to have any familial relations with one of their own who became openly gay and then completed the transformation as a transgender person. She had been outed by a boy scout in her troop, years ago. After that, in fear of violence directed at her from a furious relative in the interests of 'family honour' being tarnished at her unforgivable sin, she left her home. Her mother had given her $100 to enable her to travel and she ended up in Tel Aviv.

She had gone to Thailand in 2015 to begin the transition to female. She now lives with the attitude of acceptance, using women's bathrooms with most people surrounding her in Tel Aviv recognizing her as a woman. The Israeli government provides her with a stipend in support of people transitioning. She hopes eventually to be recognized as someone who can give advice, to be given respect when she counsels Arab parents to love and accept their children for themselves, however they happen to be.

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