Two trans men working for the government in Bahrain have been given initial approval for gender reassignment.

The lawyer acting on behalf of the two said the High Administrative Court had referred them to a medical examiner.

This is expected to lead to them being allowed to undergo gender reassignment surgery abroad, and to be legally recognised as male.

Both parties sought permission to undergo the surgery abroad, but needed the approval of authorities in order to have legal recognition of their gender identities.

Speaking to the GDN, their lawyer Fawzia Janahi said both of the men had gender dysphoria.

She said: “The court ruled that they will be allowed to see a medical examiner,

“This is just a start for them to be able to live their lives normally.”

Both will be asked to see the medical examiner before and after the surgical procedure.

“The medical examiner will note down their current situation before they undergo a sex change operation abroad.

“They will then be brought back to the examiner, who will inspect them for a last time before their medical documents are submitted to the court.

“The medical examiner does not choose if the two women will undergo a sex change operation, he only examines them and records their medical situation.”

According to reports, Ms Janahi is the only lawyer specialising in gender identity cases in the region, and succesfully represented two other trans men in 2005 and 2008, both seeking gender reassignment.