• November 20 marks Trangender Day of Remembrance. (Ted Eytan, Flickr, Creative Commons)Source: Ted Eytan, Flickr, Creative Commons
Gender reassignment surgery was legalised last month in the UAE for treatment of gender dysphoria.
Stephanie Marie Anderson

23 Sep 2016 - 2:43 PM  UPDATED 23 Sep 2016 - 2:43 PM

A 29-year-old trans Emirati man is petitioning the Abu Dhabi Court of First Instance for permission to become the first person to undergo gender reassignment surgery in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The case was filed by the man's lawyer, Ali al-Mansouri and will be heard next week on the 28th.

Speaking to Gulf Newsal-Mansouri said that his client has known he was "actually a male" since the age of three. He also noted that his client has been undergoing psychiatric counselling since 2012 and that the decision to pursue surgery was made after a medical report advised him to do so.

Gender reassignment surgery was legalised in UAE last month. According to the new law, “the surgical procedure by which a transgender person’s physical appearance and function of their existing sexual characteristics are altered to resemble that of their identified gender is permitted if it is part of a treatment for gender dysphoria in transgender people, as advised by a medical commission to be set up for this purpose.”

Although this marks progress for the transgender community in UAE, homosexuality is still criminalised and can result in prison time or the death penalty.