Meet the teenagers who became the world’s first twins to undertake simultaneous gender reassignment surgeries.
Mayla Phoebe de Rezende and her sister Sofia Albuquerck, 19, got the ops in the southern Brazilian municipality of Blumenau over the 13th and 14th of February.
The operations were successful and the pair are now enjoying life as women – describing their first shower after the procedure as “magical”.
Mayla told local media: “We’ve always done everything together and we recently fulfilled our dream of having gender reassignment surgery and becoming the first trans twins in the world to do so.”
She hopes sharing her story will help to raise awareness for gender reassignment operations – and offer some hope for other transgender people.
Mayla explained: “There are many trans women who give up because the waiting list is too long in the public health system and there’s only one private clinic that carries out the procedure in Blumenau.”
The twins were born as boys but have always identified as females.
Mayla said: “When I saw my (male sex organ), I felt that it wasn’t mine.”
To make matters worse, the teenager and her sister were often bullied for being transgender.
Mayla recalled: “At school it was very difficult. Some classmates even threw notebooks at my head.”
But no matter what society made of them, the siblings had the support of their family members.
Mayla added: “They’ve always known we were girls.”
The twins’ families are so supportive that their maternal grandad even sold a house he owned to fund their gender reassignment ops.
Mayla explained: “He’s very open-minded. My goal now is to graduate in medicine and buy another house for my grandparents as a way of repaying their gesture.”
After drumming up enough cash, the Mayla and Sofia were monitored for years before their operations.
They also received hormone treatment as they transitioned.
Mayla said: “I advise every trans woman to go through this whole process.”
While it’s been a long journey for the pair, they finally feel happy with their bodies.
Mayla added: “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…
“My first shower after being discharged was magical.”
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The twins have received messages of support from around the world since their story went viral.
Mayla added that the pair hopes to have their own families one day.
They also hope to help and inspire other transgender people who are transitioning.
She said: “We want to be mothers, to adopt our children… And we also want to help trans people fight for their dreams and to not give up on them.”