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Transgender Man

Michael-Alroy Michael Alroy giving his talk on life as a transgender man to ESRA Haifa

Story and photo by Harry Hiller

On Sunday 15th September 2019 ESRA Haifa hosted Mr Michael Alroy at the Beth Hecht Central Carmel Haifa. The hall was filled to capacity.

The title of his talk was "Life as a Transgender Man".

Mr Alroy, a slim, good-looking young man with wavy hair and a small beard and moustache, started his presentation by asking the audience "what is a man?" and "what is a woman?".

He accepted all answers and then asked "what is male?" and "what is female?" and there were also many different answers.

Michael told us his life story, starting in South Africa where he was born the third child, as a girl, in a religious orthodox family.

From as early as his 4th birthday, Michael said he felt different, and preferred boy's toys to Barbie dolls.

He was sent to kindergarten and was bullied because he did not want to be with the girls. At age 7 the family made aliyah and Michael was enrolled in a religious girls' school, and he suffered there for several years. His life continued as a girl with very many psychological problems and crises, until graduation.

Michael felt it was his duty to enlist in the Israeli Army still as a young woman, with all the problems he had with his feminine body shape which he tried to hide.

His family tried everything to help him overcome his feelings that he felt male not female, but they were unsuccessful.

The transgender movement had started some time earlier and Michael joined an organization which would help him. After many tests and examinations, Michael at age 21 decided to undergo surgery and to become eventually, what he felt in his heart all the time, that he really was a man.

It was traumatic and difficult, but he overcame all the pain and suffering and then started the testosterone treatments which in a short time changed his voice, facial features and facial hair growth. We were shown a short film of the process.Michael felt happy and complete for the first time in his life. He speaks freely and easily in perfect English about his trans life, and has lectured in Israel and in the USA to many groups of people, schools and businesses.He wants understanding, and wants people to know what it's all about.

During his talk, he was smiling with his beautiful white teeth and putting in a few funny remarks and jokes on the way.

One problem he solved with some difficulty was changing his Israeli Identity card at the Ministry of Interior to read Male from Female, and his name to Michael Alroy from Michelle Haziza. His I.D. number stayed the same.

Michael felt it is very important to talk about the relationship between religion and being transgender, and to have tolerance and understanding towards the transgender community.

No one, at any of our previous ESRA meetings, has ever received the applause and appreciation from the audience that he did.

He is a very friendly and positive young man who would be willing to speak to other ESRA groups.

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