A pair of nineteen-year-old trans twins from Brazil have recently made history after they became the first identical twins in the world to both undergo gender reassignment surgery...
Now, this kind of news has been a long time coming.
For centuries, the LGBTQ+ community has been wrongfully discriminated against, meaning that people who identify in such a way haven't felt the confidence to come out and embrace their true selves.
But, as the years have trickled by...
The fight for acceptance and equality has grown.
Since the birth of Gay Pride in 1969, millions have marched for gay rights...
And the movement is showing no signs of slowing down today.
We've definitely come a long way.
Here in the States, the LGBTQ+ community is bigger and prouder than ever before.
In Congress, we now have a number of openly-gay and trans congressmen and women...
And, in 2015, the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage as a legal right across the country.
Obviously, this was a landmark moment in the community's fight for equality.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the plaintiffs asked "for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."
Fast forward 6 years, and the community is thriving...
And in other parts of the world, including Brazil, the feeling is mutual.
Despite the president's right-wing agenda heavily discriminating against the community...
More work is being done within communities in order for people to be more accepting and understanding towards people, and especially the trans community.
And though things aren't perfect yet, some people feel confident enough to want to be themselves.
Mayla Phoebe de Rezende and Sofia Albuquerck, both nineteen, are identical twins from Sao Paulo and have taken the courageous step of undergoing gender reassignment surgery together.
They both went under the knife in a surgery that lasted 5 hours.
But clearly it was worth it in the end because they described their first shower as women as "magical."
Dr. Jose Carlos Martins, their surgeon, said this:
"This is the only reported case in the world' of twins who were presumed to be male at birth undergoing female gender confirmation surgery together."
And just over a week after their surgery, they have spoken out about their decision, shedding tears as they spoke.
In a video-conference interview with AFP, they said this: "I always loved my body, but I didn't like my genitalia," said Mayla, who is studying medicine in Argentina.
"I would blow dandelion seeds into the air and wish for God to turn me into a girl," she added.
Upon seeing herself in her truest form, she cried a lot. Now, she freely posts bikini pictures on her social media as she is so happy with her body.
"Before being sedated in hospital, I still couldn't believe my dream was being fulfilled. When I woke up, I couldn't believe it. It's something that's still sinking in. I no longer feel that discomfort when lying or sitting down. It's a wonderful thing."
And she also told the interviewer "'My first shower after being discharged was magical."
Her sister, Sofia, is much more reserved about it all, but that's also to be expected.
She talked about how "transphobic" the country can be.
"We live in the most transphobic country in the world," said Sofia, who is studying civil engineering in Sao Paulo.
They also talked about how tough it was at school.
"At school it was very difficult," said Mayla. "Some classmates even threw notebooks at my head."
The rates of violence against trans people is very high in Brazil, with 175 reported murders against the group last year.
And the government's rigid attitude on the matter has only made things worse. President Bolsonaro has even gone as far as saying he could never love his son if he was homosexual back in 2011.
Mayla added: "Our parents weren't afraid of what we were, they were afraid that people would mistreat us."
According to them, their grandfather paid for their surgeries after selling off some property to raise $20,000, the overall cost of the surgeries.
They talked about their futures now that one part of their lives had been complete.
"My goal now is to graduate in medicine and buy another house for my grandparents as a way of repaying their gesture," Mayla said.
The girls' mom also spoke out, saying it was a "relief."
"I don't even remember thinking of them as boys. To me, they were always girls," she said. "In my heart, I always knew they were girls, and that they were suffering."
"I'm upset with myself for never giving them a doll or a dress, for not making them happier when they were girls."
However, the girls have always said their mom has been nothing but a source of support.
Now, they're just looking forward.
"I'm proud to be a trans woman. I've lived in fear of society for too long. Now I'm asking for respect," Mayla added.
Her sister also agreed, saying "she believes God created souls, not bodies."
"I want to help people see that we're human beings, too."
Both women hope to have their own families one day and we hope they get to do just that!
We hope the future is bright for both of them!
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