Egypt: The untold stories of Egypt’s transgender community

Ever since realizing he had Gender Identity Disorder (GID), Bassem has been receiving professional psychiatric support, though mostly “kinda useless.” But Bassam's new treatment is “amazing!” His treatment now is indeed unique and advanced for a country like Egypt, where most psychiatric professionals are uncomfortable with dealing with transgender patients, often not even willing to acknowledge the existence of GID as a medical condition.

Even more unexpected is that this treatment is neither expensive nor private, but is free and provided by a government hospital. Moreover, it is headed by one of Egypt’s most experienced and leading psychiatrists on transgender therapy, Dr Hashem Bahary. 

Dr Bahary, who has been working with transgender patients for 25 years, has been at Al-Hussein Hospital for nearly 10 years now. For almost half of his career, gender reassingment operations were prohibited in Egypt. In 2003, they were allowed only for cases of intersex. However, in 2013, in what is considered a major landmark moment for the transgender and transsexual community, the Egyptian Medical Syndicate issued a new Code of Ethics, which essentially recognised GID as a medical condition and permitted transgender patients, who could prove they have GID, to have gender reassignment surgery in Egypt. Read More