The UK has for long been a thought of as a tolerant nation; just one bus ride through London reveals the extent of the city’s multiculturalism.
Recently, however, anit-Muslim sentiment has spiked, following the gruesome murder of a young British soldier in Woolwich, South East London, by two men who claimed they acted in the name of Allah.
With that in mind, meet Lucy Vallender; a 28 year-old former army private, who underwent a sex change in 2010. If that in itself wasn’t an easy change to navigate, Vallender converted to Islam last year, and is now married to a Muslim man.
“I had thought about it for a while, but it is such a taboo, I thought,” Vallender says of her decision to UK newspaper, the Daily Mail. “But I did it because it is a nice religion – so peaceful.”
Already dealing with the societal taboos of transgenderism, Vallender now finds herself shunned by her local mosque in the town of Swindon, where she has been banned after insisting on praying with the women.
“The way they treated me was disgusting. They asked me questions about my bra cup size, asked about my Adam’s apple, about my period and asked to see my birth certificate.”
Bra size? The mosque must be run by Arabs.