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A 25-year-old Malaysian transsexual wants a court to affirm she is a woman following sex-change surgery so she can change her name and gender on her identification documents, her lawyer said Thursday.

Sex-change surgery is legal in mainly Muslim Malaysia, but transsexuals often cannot legally change their gender status.

Lawyer Horley Isaacs said Ashraf Hafiz Abdul Aziz underwent a complete sex-change operation in Thailand in 2008 but that the National Registration Department refused to update her gender and name on her identity card.

"Since young, she has felt like a woman trapped in a man's body," Isaacs told The Associated Press. "Doctors who evaluated her after her operation found her to be a woman in her physical and psychological buildup. We want the court to declare she is a woman and that she be given a change of name and gender."

Ashraf, the third of five children, has the support of her parents to change her name to Aleesha Farhana Abdul Aziz, Isaacs said, adding that the High Court will rule on her case July 18.

Activists have estimated there are at least 50,000 transsexuals in Malaysia, many of whom face widespread prejudice and often cannot find employment.


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