The Suffering of Egypt's Transgender Community

Letter from Cairo

Abdallah Dalsh / REUTERS

Yara would wake up every day to face the same agonizing question of what to wear. Unlike for many other women, however, this was not a question of picking between a dress, a skirt, or pants. For her, it was about dressing to avoid stares. Yara is a transgender woman in Egypt, and after years of hormonal treatment, she has been forced to live a double life, picking clothing to mask her transitioning body. “I wanted to avoid another beating,” Yara said, explaining how in 2009 a dozen men had surrounded and beat her based on her appearance. Two years later, she …