Dr Jose Carlos Martins of Transgender Center Brazil, a clinic within the southeastern metropolis of Blumenau, carried out the five-hour surgical procedure on the twins at some point aside
Sao Paulo: Growing up as an identical twins, Mayla and Sofia all the time did all the pieces collectively, and their resolution to endure gender affirmation surgical procedure isn’t 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 delivery present process feminine gender affirmation surgical procedure collectively, mentioned Dr Jose Carlos Martins of Transgender Center Brazil, a clinic within the southeastern metropolis of Blumenau.
Martins carried out the five-hour surgical procedure on the twins at some point aside.
Per 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,” mentioned Mayla Rezende, a brunette who’s finding out medication in Argentina.
“I would blow dandelion seeds into the air and wish for God to turn me into a girl,” she mentioned.
When she noticed herself after her surgical procedure, she wept, she mentioned.
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,” mentioned Albuquerck, a blonde who’s finding out civil engineering in Sao Paulo.
There had been 175 trans folks murdered in Brazil final yr, probably the most of any nation, in accordance with 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 folks within the state of Minas Gerais.
They nonetheless bear the emotional scars of their troublesome childhoods: to this present day, they dwell in concern of abuse. But they all the time had the assist of their household, they mentioned.
“Our parents weren’t afraid of what we were, they were afraid that people would mistreat us,” mentioned 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, mentioned 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 mentioned.
She recalled taking them to medical doctors and psychologists as youngsters.
“In my heart, I always knew they were girls, and that they were suffering,” mentioned the 43-year-old faculty 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 mentioned.
But the twins mentioned their mom was a rock of assist.
“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,” mentioned Rezende.
“She was like a lioness. She always protected us fiercely.”
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 record 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,” mentioned Rezende, who retains an image of Saint Sebastian, the Christian martyr, along with her always.
Albuquerck, who can also be spiritual, mentioned that she believes “God created souls, not bodies.”
“I want to help people see that we’re human beings, too,” she mentioned.
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