Growing up as similar twins, Mayla and Sofia at all times did every little thing collectively, and their determination to endure gender affirmation surgical procedure is not any exception.
The 19-year-old twins, who grew up in a small city in southeastern Brazil, each say they “never identified as boys.”
Now, they’ve made the transition they lengthy dreamed of collectively, in what their physician calls a primary.
“This is the only reported case in the world” of twins who had been presumed to be male at start present process feminine gender affirmation surgical procedure collectively, stated Dr Jose Carlos Martins of the Transgender Center Brazil, a clinic within the southeastern metropolis of Blumenau.
Martins carried out the five-hour surgical procedure on the twins in the future aside.
Every week later, the euphoric younger ladies smiled, joked and shed tears as they talked about their shared journey in a video-conference interview with AFP.
“I always loved my body, but I didn’t like my genitalia,” stated Mayla Rezende, a brunette who’s learning drugs in Argentina.
“I would blow dandelion seeds into the air and wish for God to turn me into a girl,” she stated.
When she noticed herself after her surgical procedure, she wept, she stated.
Her sister, Sofia Albuquerck, is extra reserved.
But their camaraderie is obvious. They end one another’s sentences whereas sharing tales of how they supported one another by the bullying, sexual harassment and violence they had been subjected to in childhood and adolescence.
– ‘Most transphobic nation’ –
“We live in the most transphobic country in the world,” stated Albuquerck, a blonde who’s learning civil engineering in Sao Paulo.
There had been 175 trans individuals murdered in Brazil final 12 months, essentially the most of any nation, in response to the National Association of Transvestites and Transsexuals (Antra).
Latin America’s largest nation is thought for a robust tradition of machismo and overt homophobia, not least on the a part of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.
The twins had been born in Tapira, a city of 4,000 individuals within the state of Minas Gerais.
They nonetheless bear the emotional scars of their tough childhoods: to today, they dwell in worry of abuse. But they at all times had the help of their household, they stated.
“Our parents weren’t afraid of what we were, they were afraid that people would mistreat us,” stated Rezende.
Their grandfather is the one who paid for his or her surgical procedures. He auctioned off a property he owned to pay the 100,000-reais ($20,000) invoice.
Their mom, Mara Lucia da Silva, stated it was “a relief” when her twins got here out as trans.
“I don’t even remember thinking of them as boys. To me, they were always girls,” she stated.
She recalled taking them to docs and psychologists as kids.
“In my heart, I always knew they were girls, and that they were suffering,” stated the 43-year-old college secretary, who has two different daughters.
“I’m upset with myself for never giving them a doll or a dress, for not making them happier when they were girls,” she stated.
But the twins stated their mom was a rock of help.
“Whenever someone did something to us in the street, the first thing we wanted to do was go home and tell our mom, for her to give us a hug,” stated Rezende.
“She was like a lioness. She always protected us fiercely.”
– Proud ladies –
Rezende and Albuquerck — one has their father’s surname, the opposite that of the grandfather who financed their surgical procedures — had been initially planning to go to Thailand for the operation.
But then Rezende discovered the Transgender Center, which opened in 2015.
Gender affirmation surgical procedure has been lined by Brazil’s public well being system since 2011. But solely 5 public hospitals carry out the process, and the ready listing is lengthy.
Going by a personal clinic enabled the twins to have the surgical procedure sooner.
“I’m proud to be a trans woman. I’ve lived in fear of society for too long. Now I’m asking for respect,” stated Rezende, who retains an image of Saint Sebastian, the Christian martyr, together with her continuously.
Albuquerck, who can be non secular, stated that she believes “God created souls, not bodies.”
“I want to help people see that we’re human beings, too,” she stated.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by LiveNews360 workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)