Excerpt:

Before she fled her home country of Lebanon, Eliana could only find work as an escort. As a trans woman, she faced the constant threat of arrest and torture at Beirut's notorious Hbeish prison.

In Germany, where she applied for asylum in October 2015, Eliana worked at a beauty salon, went to German language classes and wore what she wanted. For the most part, she felt accepted.

That feeling of security was shattered earlier this year, when she received a deportation letter from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, known locally by its German acronym, BaMF.

The office had rejected her application for asylum on the grounds that Eliana crossed the Mediterranean from Turkey to Greece as a man and therefore could not be considered trans, despite reports that women regularly suffer sexual abuse on migrant routes to Europe.


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