Layla: It’s OK to be trans in any religion

Layla is a 31 year old trans Muslim woman, active across a spectrum of groups concerned with equality and trans issues. She has struggled since youth to be accepted for her true self.

She is a caring compassionate human being who continues her activism for all humanity.

credit: Christa Holka

“Lots of people, including many Imams, think transgender people don’t exist in faith but they do, and it’s OK to be trans in any religion or faith.

 Religion is important because it’s like ballast. It stabilises you and it gives you something to believe in, be a part of. It makes you strong inside. Some people and some faiths have a problem [with transgender people]. In this day and age this shouldn’t be a problem.

I’m active with Imaan, a UK Muslim Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Support Group. But also I have my own LGBT Muslim Support Group.

I used to go on about the concept of being Sunni Islam, but nowadays I don’t bother anymore, because if you put Shia, Sunni or Sufi it segregates each strand. I just try to put it under one bracket, ‘Islam’, because it’s better that way.

I want rights for trans people to progress, so they can live a better life and not have the same issues as trans people now.”