Asifa Lahore has revealed that she identifies as a transgender woman.
Asifa first rose to prominence as the UK’s first out Muslim drag queen. In a YouTube video posted yesterday (May 23) titled 'From Muslim Drag Queen To Trans Woman', Asifa tells her fans that she feels "ready to have [the] conversation."
"In the last couple of years I've really just been questioning my gender identity and who I am as a person," Asifa tells viewers. "I want you all to know that I'm a trans woman, and I have begun the process of transitioning."
Revealing she has been on hormones for the last three months said, she says that she feels "the happiest I've ever been."
Asifa - who was the recipient of an Attitude Pride Award in 2015 - admits that she loves drag, but for her drag functioned as a "stepping stone" to becoming Asifa.
Asifa was hesitant to come out publicly until she had told her family, including her husband. Asifa reveals that she and her husband are no longer together. "He left me because he couldn't accept that I was a woman and that I'm going to transition."
"I've always been a woman," Asifa says, adding that she found it easier to identify as gay when she was younger and unaware of trans identities.
"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 either gay or lesbian or bisexual," she says. "Being trans was so not visible."
"It's only now in the last few years where there's been so much trans visibility that I've realised this is who I am."
Asifa's sentiments about identifying as a gay man are similar to those expressed by Juno Dawson in an interview with Attitude editor-in-chief Matt Cain for our Summer issue.
When Juno discovered what homosexuality was, she assumed that, because she liked boys, she must’ve be gay. “In about 1996, when I realised I fancied guys I thought, ‘Oh, I know what that is, there’s a word for when a boy fancies other boys. I must be a gay guy.’”
Juno describes her identity as a gay man as a ‘personal misdiagnosis’, and believes that it is a more common phenomenon than one may think. “I think that there are a lot of gay men in the world who had the same personal misdiagnosis, because we didn’t have the information that we have now,” she says. “I think there are a lot of gay men out there who are gay men as a consolation prize because they couldn’t be women. That was certainly true of me.”
Watch Asifa's coming out video below: