Community Heroes with Erfan Part 1

Get to know our community heroes as we dive deep into our new series. Our kick-off interview is with Berlin-based Erfan who shares the story of his transition, immigration, surgeries, and more with us!
This is Erfan socially distancing in his apartment in Germany during the global pandemic, shortly before his next gender affirming surgery!

Micky @micky.montreal from Aadya Rising: Hi Erfan, let’s start by introducing yourself. Our readers are certainly interested in how old you are, where you live, where you come from, what you studied.

Erfan @erfan.khoshrouzi: I am 22 years old and I live in Germany. I am from Iran and I have studied computer science.

Micky: Awesome! We are so excited to do this interview with you in our new series “community heroes”! Erfan, you have a very beautiful name. Does it have a meaning, and how did you choose the name?

Erfan: Erfan means „knowledge, education, proficiency” and it wasn’t me who chose the name. When I talked to my mom about me being trans and that I will be a man, she rejected it for one year. Yet with time she came to accept it and supported me. It was even my mom who chose my male name, Erfan.

Micky: You were born in Iran and now live in Germany. How was it for you back in Iran when you realized you were trans?

Erfan: In Iran it was very difficult for me to live as a trans-person.

Micky: Our readers may ask themselves when you realized that you are trans? Can you describe that?

Erfan: When I (first) felt different inside of myself, I did not know the word “trans” and had never heard of that, but I only knew the word “lesbian”, and I thought I was lesbian.

As a kid I was always like the boys. I didn’t want to play with dolls. And I didn’t want to wear girls’ clothes. When I was with boys, I always wanted to be like them, but I wasn’t allowed to when I was with my parents or in kindergarten, because they kept saying: “You are a girl, you have got to always be neat, you have got to always play with a girl, because you are a girl, too.” But I just couldn’t.

I didn’t know which differences there are between boys and girls but when I was with the boys, they told me “you can’t play with us because you are a girl” and when I was with the girls, they said “you are a boy” and I remember that I was always alone. I was very disappointed.

As a teenager, before my parents or anyone noticed anything, I myself discovered this feeling in me during puberty. My breasts grew and I suffered from that. I can recall exactly when I had my period for the first time. I didn’t sleep in my own bed for an entire week. It was like a nightmare for me. I was in so much agony that my mom took me to a psychologist.  We had actually discussed that I would talk about my fierce unease concerning my breasts and my period, but from then on I kept going to many different doctors until I learned the word “trans” and I understood what was going on with me. Until then I had thought I was lesbian.

This entire process took 3 years.


Follow us and see how Erfan’s journey continued, how he came out as trans and eventually took refuge in Germany’s capital Berlin, which is widely known for its queerfriendliness. As a refugee far away from home, Erfan keeps on fighting for his freedom and his human rights.

Coming up soon here on Aadya Rising!

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