British drag queen Asifa Lahore has come out as transgender in a moving video shared with her fans on YouTube.
“In the last couple of years, I have really been questioning my gender identity and who I am as a person,” Asifa says in the clip entitled 'From Muslim Drag Queen to Trans Woman'.
“I’ve been asking myself some really real questions and I’ve come to the conclusion—and I want you all to know—that I am a trans woman," she says, telling viewers that she's been on hormones for three months.
“It’s the happiest I’ve ever been,” she says, fighting back tears.
Asifa goes on to say that she has “always been a woman” but it was easier living as a gay man during a time when there was a lack of transgender representation in the media.
“I think living as a British Pakistani in the UK, and growing up in the '90s, it was just so much more easier and it was thrown at you to be either gay or lesbian or bisexual and being trans was so not visible."
Asifa says that when she would visit her parents’ home country of Pakistan, she observed that transgender people were more visible in the community.
“But living here in the UK, its only now in the last few years where there’s been so much trans visibility that I’ve realised that this is who I am.”
“I love doing drag, I love dressing up, I love the self-expression I get from doing hair and make-up, but for me, drag is also a stepping stone to being Asifa," she says. “I am Asifa, I am a woman.”
Asifa says she took her decision to transition very seriously and delayed her coming out announcement so she first tell her family.
When she did make the decision to live as her true gender identity, her husband ultimately left her.
“He couldn’t accept that I’m a woman and I’m going to transition,” she says.
Asifa ends the video by vowing to continue to ask questions of herself about transitioning and growing as woman.
“And being a beautiful, self expressed, happy and confident woman. Because that’s who I am.”
YouTube users have praised her coming out video with one person writing: "Congratulations Asifa!! I'm also a Muslim and I'm heavily questioning my gender (basically plucking up the courage to accept I am a transwoman) and you are a massive inspiration to me :) love you!!x"
You can watch the full video here: