At birth, intersex children 'who are born with several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, sex hormones or genitals that do not fit the typical definitions of male or female bodies' are often assigned a legal gender by their parents. But in some cases, they find later in life that it doesn't correspond to their own sense of identity.
Wael, who is intersex, is registered as female on official documents in his home country of Morocco, but identifies as a transgender man. Because changing one's gender is illegal in Morocco, Wael decided to claim asylum in Europe in order to change his legal gender and start testosterone therapy.
He settled in Norway in 2016, but only began hormone therapy, a fundamental part of his transition, in May. Waiting times for appointments are long, he says, and only a small number of doctors deal with gender identity issues. He regularly has to travel by overnight train from his home in Bergen to Norway's capital, Oslo, just to see a doctor, as there aren't any specialists in Bergen. Wael is registered and resettled in Bergen, home to many of Norway's LGBTQ asylum seekers, after spending time in various refugee camps across Norway.
Having successfully changed his legal gender in his Norwegian documents, Wael is keen to have top surgery and complete his transition, before eventually moving back to Morocco.

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