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Bahraini sex change officially recognized

June 20, 2008 at 4:17 PM

MANAMA, Bahrain, June 20 (UPI) -- A Bahraini citizen who underwent a sex change said being officially recognized as a man is the end of "a long journey."

The High Civil Court ruled that Hussein Rabei, 34, who was raised as a woman and even married at one point, is now legally a male, al-Arabiya said Friday.

"I'm so happy and relieved that they (the court) ruled in my favor because this has been a long journey and it's finally over," Rabei said.

Rabei underwent a $13,000 sex-change procedure in Thailand, paid for by the Bahrain Health Ministry.

The procedure had the blessing of both Sunni and Shiite clerics, al-Arabiya said.

"Praise God, I feel like I'm a man, I feel like I'm myself," said Rabei, who had endured rejection from his peers, his employer and several psychiatrists.

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Topics: Al Arabiya
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