Britain's first transgender Muslim woman marries Muslim man


Lucy Vallender 
By: Sarah Weiss

(Scroll down for video) A British man is said to be the first ever transgender Muslim woman.

The man, a former British soldier, has exchanged his Army beret for a veil when he became the first transsexual Muslim woman.

Lucy Vallender, 28, of Swindon, who was born Laurens Vallender, had a sex change three years ago. She said that she is finally "true to herself."

Now, she wears a full veil and she is married to a Muslim man, who she met on an online dating site. Vallender admits that she did not reveal to her husband that she was born a man.

Vallender said that since she was 14, she knew that she wanted to be a woman. "I tried to do macho things, but it did not work because I was trying to be someone I was not. I felt different from others and I was attracted to men," she said.

Vallender said she suppressed her feelings and tried to live like most people her age. She would go out and party with friends.
She even had girlfriends but she never got intimate. "Joining the army was my last attempt in trying to fit into that kind of life, but I could not take it anymore and left after a year,” Vallender said.

"I felt like I was in the wrong body. To keep living as a man was living a lie,” she added.
After leaving the British army, Vallender began to dress as a woman and had sex change.

In another major life change, Vallender converted to Islam. "I felt happy and relieved.
At last, I am the happiest I've felt in my life," she said. After her conversion to Islam, she married a man named Murad, in a small ceremony at his home in London. "I love him, he is kind and soft-spoken,” she said.

“I've seen him twice since our wedding and we had sex. I did not tell him that I was transsexual, but he must have suspected it when he saw my scars,” Vallender said.

Vallender did not say why she doesn't live with her husband. Some people speculate that the man might also be married to another woman, as the Quran allows men to have many wives.

Vallender tried to pray at the local mosque in Swindon, but she was not welcomed. She was not allowed to pray with the other women.

"They asked me questions about my bra size, and asked to see my birth certificate. They said I had to pray with men so I pray at home instead. They told me that I'm the first Muslim transgender, but I bet there are others who are afraid to come out,” she said.

"I hope that people change their attitudes and others like me realize that they have the freedom to be themselves," she added.