All my life I have dealt with conflicted feelings inside. I am a transgender woman, so I had gender identity issues to sort out growing up as a boy. I am now in a place where I am comfortable and happy in my womanhood. But of course, that would not be the end of my struggles. I found Islam. It feels right to me. The God I had prayed to all my life finally called to me one day and I realized that I had been Muslim all along. But does this religion accept someone like me? That is the struggle I find within myself now. I cannot back down from being female, and I cannot denounce my faith in Allah subhanu wa ta'ala!!! I will not do either. Where do I fit in this grand scheme of things as a Muslim transgender? What is God's plan for me? Why did He send me on these paths??
I will tell you how my eyes were even opened to Islam. It all started very superficially. I started dying my hair with henna, and before I knew it I was researching more on the traditions of India and the Arab world. I wore bangles, looked up makeup tutorial on Youtube how to do an Arab cateye look... and I NEVER thought I'd revert at this point. Then I moved in with two Muslim men in an apartment, one of whom I had intimate relations with beforehand (during Ramadan, which at the time I did not celebrate or know about). One was from Yemen, the other Morocco. At the time I was working as a webcam model stripping on the internet for money... and he accepted it and my transgender. But things soured, and tension got into the house. They both were fighting with me, I was fighting with them, the tension was so thick, and the guy I had relations with was starting to be exceptionally cruel.
I could not take any of it anymore. I quit working as a webcam model. One day after crying my eyes out to my mom on the phone before school about the situation, I didn't put any makeup or jewelry on, just some loose clothes and a scarf loosely around my head. I felt at peace, like someone was watching and protecting me. I prayed to God, Who at the time I did not know was Allah subhanu wa ta'ala, for strength and guidance. I kept wearing the hijab and moved out of the apartment. Before I left, I tried to make amends by asking both my roommates for forgiveness. They didn't really say anything. I don't even think they paid attention to that I was finding my way to Islam, but I wanted to offer a last olive branch before I left.
When I did, I found peace at my parents. Peace enough to really look into what had happened during those turbulent days. And I realized that I am a Muslim. Ash hadu anla ilaaha ill Allaha wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan rasul Allah. I felt these words to be true in my heart as I said them and I felt so much happiness and peace.
All the horrible things I had done... all my past mistakes... I wanted to move on from. I am not perfect by any means. But I feel that becoming a Muslim has made me realize what really matters, and has helped me be a better person. Ironic that it took Muslim brother's unkindness to help me find my way... but I pray for them and hope one day they too can find themselves better people with the love of Allah. Alhamdulillah.
I guess my point of telling you all this very condensed story is... while I'm most blessed and happy that I have finally found the truth and right path... I cannot help but feel that being transgender is going to prove difficult in my relationships with other Muslims. I know mukhannathuns are referenced in the Qur'an, Hadith, and Surrah, but is there a place for us here? Like I said, I cannot give up my transition as a transgender because I feel God has lead me on that path all the while planning for me to revert. I feel I am a Muslim woman. Am I wrong?