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Trans men mocked and denied entry to Egypt by border guards because they ‘do not look female’

Patrick Kelleher May 8, 2021
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Or Mizan and Titi Katan

Or Mizan and Titi Katan. (LGBT Israel/Facebook)

Two trans men were denied entry into Egypt and had their passports confiscated by border guards because of their gender identity.

Or Mizan and Titi Katan, both from Haifa, Israel, were travelling to Egypt for a five-day holiday in the Ras a-Satan resort in the Sinai peninsula when they were stopped at the border, according to The Times of Israel.

At the border, guards took issue with Mizan and Katan’s passports, which incorrectly identify them as female.

“Every now and then an officer comes by, talks to someone on the phone, looks at us, laughs and walks away,” the men told Israel’s Channel 12 on Thursday (6 May).

“They say we do not look female and because of that, they are not willing to let us in. We were shocked, we tried to explain that there is no problem with it all over the world, but they took the passports for inspection and looked at the pictures as if we were wanted.

“It is a terrible feeling, we just wanted a holiday,” the men added.

It is not yet clear if Mizan and Katan were ultimately allowed to enter Egypt or if they were ordered to return to Israel.

Egypt lags far behind on LGBT+ rights

LGBT+ rights in Egypt continue to lag far behind much of the world – and polling suggests that only a tiny percentage of the country’s population support legal advancements for queer people.

A 2013 survey from the Pew Research Center found that an overwhelming 95 per cent of Egyptians don’t believe that homosexuality should be accepted by society.

Significant numbers of LGBT+ people in Egypt face arbitrary arrest under the country’s harsh and degrading debauchery law.

Last year, the United Nations Human Rights Council urged Egypt to stop arresting and discriminating against LGBT+ people – however, the country refused to comply and claimed that it does not recognise the existence of sexuality and gender identity.

Hundreds of people have been arrested in Egypt for their perceived sexual or gender identity over the last decade, human rights bodies have warned.

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