We are a group of transgender individuals with different non-conforming identities spanning the gender spectrum; we are working on our cause across different areas in the region. We joined this year in the yearly provincial conference Nadwa for people involved in gender and sexuality issues in the Middle East and North Africa- the turnout was very decent. We participated in discussions and exchanged our opinions separately and as a group of individuals and organizations concerned with our cause regionally. We believe we have succeeded this year in asserting and amplifying our voices while gaining a new space for the trans* rights cause inside the regional civic society. After a long dialogue, we have formulated these points that are regarded as the most essential rights to Trans people in the MENA region to present to the organizations working on our cause:
1- Ending the marginalization of the Trans cause by not regarding it as an irrelevant cause or a part of separate causes.
2- Recognition of the very diverse and specialized needs of Trans people that are radically different from any other group.
3- Providing the necessary and imperative health-care services to trans people, including talk therapy or psychological follow-up sessions (a mental health report obligatory to the court), as well as the required medical/physical care of hormone therapy and surgical operations, in addition to general health care.
4- Providing legal assistance to Trans people to aid them in their long and taxing fights against the components of their different states (Legal, Judicial and Security) to change their official papers in order to achieve their full rights in regard to their citizenship.
5- Supporting Trans people professionally and academically, by creating safe workplace environments, as well as providing scholarships/financial assistance for students who are financially unable due to different factors and causes stemming from discrimination based on their gender identity.
6- Supporting Trans people who are forced to flee their home countries as a result of the danger they face due to their gender identity, especially those who are forced to apply as asylum seekers to the United Nations high commissioner in the countries of the region.
7- The total cessation of permanent and continuous guardianship that is imposed on Trans people by the concerned organizations. Furthermore, the cessation of assigning the work pertaining to the Trans cause to people who are unaffected by the issue and those outside the Trans community (No work for our cause without including us.)
8- The cessation of exploiting the Trans cause for meaningless promotion without providing any genuine and tangible support to Trans people.
9- Proceeding to work on terminating all forms of discrimination and transphobia directed at Trans people, intentional or unintentional, in all regional and local activities.
Finally, these are not demands or pleadings. These are our legitimate rights and we will never cease the fight to acquire them; we will continue to work on our cause until we are all able to fully achieve our rights.
In conclusion, we would like to direct our sincere gratitude, appreciation, admiration, respect and love, to all Trans people from all of our countries. Those who are resilient in facing oppression, persecution and violence in all its forms. Those who transition against the barriers of ignorance, discrimination, hatred and prejudice. Those who without their endurance, their strength and inspiration we never would have been in this privileged position wherein we announce the demand for our rights to everyone. We hope to succeed in giving back, if even a little, of your fortitude.