A TRANSSEXUAL woman married to a Derby man could face 20 years in jail if she is forced to return to her home country after being turned down for a visa.
Fatine Young, 36, who was born a man, has lived with her husband, school caretaker Ian Young, in Spondon for six months.
Big day ... Ian and Fatine at their 2009 civil ceremonyThey met in a Starbucks cafe at Petronas Twin Towers three years ago.
Ian Young, a Briton who was then working as a security officer, was smitten by her exotic features and striking eyes.
He took the seat next to her and was impressed by how good her English was during the conversation.
But when he asked for her number, she said she might not be what he was looking for. Fatine said she was a transsexual.
But despite Fatine's revelation and her refusal to have sex-change surgery, Ian says he is still in love and "can't contemplate his life without her''.
But Fatine has been refused a UK visa and faces jail if she is sent home because their relationship would be perceived to be homosexual. Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia.
The couple were married at a civil ceremony at Derby Register Office in June after a three-year romance.
Despite that, Fatine has been refused permission to stay in the UK by the Home Office.
Ian, 30, who works at St Chad's Infant School, said: "I know it is hard for many people to understand, but I love Fatine and I feel lucky to have met such a caring, wonderful person like her.
"It doesn't matter to me that she is a transsexual, it's the person she is inside that I care about and love."
The couple met in Kuala Lumpur in 2006, when Ian was working in the country.
Ian, who was born in Derby and went to Chellaston School, recalled the moment the couple met.
He said: "I was overwhelmed by her striking eyes and exotic features – she was gorgeous. We started talking and I was immediately impressed by how good her English was.
"When she got up to leave I asked for her number and that's when she told me. She said she might not be what I was looking for, and that she was actually a transsexual.
"Naively I just said 'oh' and blushed with embarrassment. But for some reason I wasn't put off. I'd never met a transsexual before and my instinct was that I liked Fatine."
Two days later, Ian and Fatine, who was born Mohammed Fazdil Bin Min Bahari, went to a bar together and at the end of the night they kissed for the first time.
Ian said: "Being a straight man, I did have a few concerns about what had happened and the way I was feeling. But I couldn't ignore how I felt."
When Ian's contract finished five months later, he returned to Derby.
But he and Fatine stayed in contact and he would spend £10 a day on telephone calls.
In December, Ian arranged for Fatine to come over to the UK on a visitor's visa, for what was at first intended to be a holiday, but they soon realised it would be more long-term.
A month into Fatine's visit, Ian proposed and they applied to the Home Office for a certificate to marry in a civil service, which was granted in June.
His family were supportive, with his mum saying on the day of the civil service: "I've got a son and a daughter now."
They hoped it would support Fatine in her bid to secure a permanent settlement visa.
However, their dream of staying in the UK has been thrown into doubt after Fatine's leave to remain visa was refused in September, on the grounds of an incorrect passport photo. Their second application was also rejected because it was received after Fatine's visitor's visa had expired.
She has now been told she must return to Malaysia – although the couple will put in a third application on Monday.
Exotic looks...Fatine who was born as Mohammed Fazdil Bin Min Bahari
In Malaysia, transsexuals can be sacked from jobs and arrested.
But Fatine said she had always felt she was in the wrong body and, from the age of 17, had dressed as a woman.
Although her father accepted her, Fatine's sexuality caused a permanent rift with her mother.
Nevertheless, Fatine took hormones to feminise her body and voice, although she has no plans for major surgery.
Ian said: "We've followed every procedure and done everything by the book, but we've still been refused.
"Ultimately spending our life together is our dream, just like any other couple in love. We want to do simple things like have a mortgage together, work and be happy.
"At the moment we both feel desperate and that our options are quickly running out. We love each other. Being forced apart is our worst nightmare."
UPDATE: 2 Dec 2009
Transvestite may face action if he returns
PUTRAJAYA: A Malaysian transsexual, who married a 30-year-old man in Britain, may face action when he comes back if he has been found to have violated immigration laws.
Immigration Department director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman said it could not take action against Mohammed Fazdil Min Bahari as long as he remained in Britain but would investigate the case if he was deported home.
He said it would have to study Mohammed Fazdil’s travel documents to ascertain if he had committed any offence.
UPDATE: 3 Dec 2009
Fatine worries for safety after negative reactions to ‘marriage’
Malaysian transsexual Mohammed Fazdil Min Bahari is afraid to return home due to the negative reactions over her marriage to a Briton.
She has received a lot of negative e-mails and comments from people, some even accusing her of insulting the Malaysian government.
Mohammed Fazdil or Fatine, said she felt frustrated that people did not understand she had come to the United Kingdom because she wanted to be with the man she loved.
She added that she could not do that in Malaysia and people in the country seemed to be taking a religious point of view over the matter.
“I am so frightened to go back. I am worried for my safety,” she said in response to what she claimed was the inaccurate portrayal of their love story by a Malay tabloid which caused the negative reactions.
Fatine’s family pleading for him to come home
THE FAMILY of a Malaysian transsexual who married a British man in London, are pleading for him to return home, reported Kosmo!
However, Fatine, whose real name is Mohammed Fazdil Min Bahari, told Kosmo! via Facebook that his fate was still unclear although his marriage to Ian Young was sensationalised both here and in Britain.
According to the report, Fatine’s family was initially angry and upset to hear that the 36-year-old make-up artist had married Young, 30, last May.
His sister Noor Min Bahari told Kosmo! that the family still loved Fatine and had forgiven him.
Noor said she did not want her brother to be a fugitive and he had to sacrifice by leaving his “husband” and return to Malaysia, the report said.
“Our mother is appealing for him to come home. We are not angry and have forgiven Fazdil,” she told the daily, adding that they only knew of the marriage from the newspapers.
Noor said her brother had contacted the family and apologised over the marriage but did not ask for help to return to the country.
Meanwhile, Fatine told Kosmo! that he was worried about his fate should he return home as his visitor’s pass had expired and he had failed to extend it twice.
His first application last September was rejected as British authorities were confused over an “in-correct” photograph on his passport while the second was made after the visa expired, the report said.
Fatine also expressed disappointment that his family’s name was dragged in, adding that he had applied to stay in Britain as a spouse.
UPDATE: 4 Dec 2009
Fatine to face action only if marriage registered in Malaysia
MALAYSIAN transsexual Fatine will only face action under the Syariah law should he return and re-register his marriage here, reported Kosmo!
Fatine’s marriage to a British man Ian Young, 30, in London last May has created waves both in Britain and here.
Quoting Syariah Lawyers Association vice-president Musa Awang, the report said that Fatine, whose real name is Mohammed Fazdil Min Bahari, had escaped punishment for same-sex marriages as he had wed overseas.
“If the same-sex marriage was registered here, it will be deemed as an insult to Islam,” he told the tabloid.
Those found guilty under the Syariah law could face a maximum of three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine or both.
Fatine could also face another charge should he return wearing women’s clothes.
Both Fatine and Young have set up a Facebook chat group, which currently has 2,000 friends, to draw support for their plight.
UPDATE: 8 DEC 2009
Fatine: I’ve never neglected religious dutiesHE may be a transvestite but Mohammed Fadzil Bahari or better known as Fatine, 36, claimed in his Facebook webpage that he has never neglected his religious duties as a Muslim, reported Kosmo!.
Fatine who has been staying in the UK since last year and recently married an Englishman, Ian Young, said he might be ignorant about some religious matters but had never neglected his prayers and fasting.
“Let God be the only one to judge me when it comes to my sexuality,” he said.
Fatine’s family has recently expressed concern that he might leave Islam after marrying the 30-year-old Englishman.
Fatine, who is currently living in Derby, is in a limbo as his tourist visa has not been approved.
The make-up artist explained that he married Young in a civil contract to legalise their relationship.
“It had nothing to do with religion. He is still of his religious faith and I am still a Muslim,” he said, adding that he was happy living there as people accepted him as he was.
He also said he could not return to Malaysia to visit his ailing mother at the moment.
A note written in his Facebook read:
“I have never committed any crime and have never hurt anyone in my life. My only crime is being a woman trapped in a man’s body, but I still deserve to love and to be loved.”
UPDATE: 14 Dec 2009
FATINE REMAINS- RESILIENTIn an exclusive interview with The Malay Mail, Fatine speaks his mind.
Q: Why have you chosen to remain silent up to this point to the Malaysian media?
A: I had nothing to say to them and I was just cautious and afraid if I did say anything, it would some how end up fuelling the controversy back home. Hence, my choice was to stay silent.
Q: Why was your visa application rejected? Some speculate that it was because the photo showed you as a man.
A: My application was rejected due to a technical reason. It had to do with the wrong background colour of my photograph sent to the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) and nothing else. The picture in my passport is not of me as a man as speculated by some, but as you see me now.
Q: How is your situation now?
A: I am running out of options, and all we can do is wait for an answer from the UKBA on the outcome of my third application.
Q: You have just made the third request for approval, how long will it take?
A: I don’t know how long the process will take for approval. It may take months.
Q: You have been chided for overstaying illegally. Is that a fact, since you seem to be in a legal wrangle?
A: According to the Immigration solicitor who represents me, I cannot be classified as an illegal overstayer as my application is still being processed by UKBA and my case pending.
Q: Do you feel victimised and do you feel there are those who are taking advantage of the situation by being vocal about your situation?
A: I don’t know what to think. I have no comments on this.
Q: Should your third application fail, what is your next course of action?
A: I believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Should my third application fail, we will appeal. If they say we can't appeal, we will try another way.
Q: There are those who would claim you've shamed Malaysia, what do you say?
A: It makes me very sad. Far from being sympathetic towards my plight, these people have singled me out from amongst thousands of overstaying Malaysians in the UK. If these people didn't turn their backs on Malaysians who have even been convicted of crimes abroad, why are they dressing me down in public? What crime have I done? I've tried my best to comply with UK Immigration laws. I followed everything by the book and even hired an Immigration lawyer to handle my application, just to ensure I don’t breach UK immigration laws. Tell me how have I brought shame to our nation? Could it stem from prejudice towards me as a pre-op transsexual who was registered at birth as Mohammed Fazdil Min Bahari?
Q: There have been questions pertaining to whether you are still a Muslim.
A: As ignorant as I am, my faith has not strayed. I am still a Muslim, and I still carry out my religious duties as expected of me.
Q: Do you think people were confused over the terms marriage and civil partnership? Is it the same or does it just bear similarities?
A: A civil partnership is an agreement, which validates my relationship with Ian within the civil laws of England. It has nothing to do with religion. Ian is still practising his own religion, and so am I.
Q: You have been following Press reports concerning your case in Malaysia. What do you think of what has been said about you?
A: I am not an artiste or a popular personality, so there is no need for the media in Malaysia to sensationalise my story.
Q: What is one thing you would say to Malaysians in general?
A: Not all Malaysians have been vicious and hateful towards me. There have been those who have been sympathetic and offered moral support and advice. To them and the many non-governmental organisations that
have supported me – thank you so much. I am appreciative of all that you’ve done for me, and only God can repay the kindness you’ve shown.
Q: If you have to choose between never coming back to Malaysia, or leaving Ian, what will you do?
A: I will never leave Ian. He is a really, really good person who really wants to take care of me. He accepts me for who I am and what I am. Someone who is not ashamed to face up to society, and who is willing to go through all this with me. We will fight for my visa together, and hopefully be able to spend the rest of our lives
together. Only death can tear us apart.
Q: Some quarters have urged you to come home and promise 'help' if you do, are you reassured by that?
A: I have no idea what 'help' they’re offering, so I will refrain from commenting.
Q: How is your relationship with your family now? You have reportedly been disowned and that your mother is ill.
A: My relationship with my family is getting better. I do not deny, not all my siblings are accepting, some are okay with the situation and some are just shocked and angry. But my mother has forgiven me and understands my current situation of not being able to see her. We are growing stronger by the day through our contact by phone. She is constantly praying for my safety and wellbeing. As for claims that my mother is unwell, it’s a twist of words supposedly from my sister by a tabloid.
Q: You have primarily been seeking support for your case on Facebook but there have also been hateful comments. Do you have anything to say to these people?
A: To those who have nothing nice to say in Facebook's 'Right To Stay Together' group, I say enough with what you’re doing. There is no need to insult me or my friends who extend support. These people act so pious but one wonders if they are aware that their actions, especially claiming me as an apostate. That's a sin!
Q: If you could address someone here, a leader in our country, to seek aid for your situation, who would it be and what would you say?
A: I think they have a lot more important things to think about and handle. But if there are those who are sympathetic to my plight, and can extend any form of help, I would definitely be appreciative.
Q: Do you think life will ever be the same for you after this?
A: I don’t know if my life will ever be normal after this. I hope sooner or later, people will not talk about this anymore. Ian and I just want a simple existence, earning our keep like everyone else for a happy life together.
UPDATE: 17 DEC 2009A growing number of Malaysians have voiced support for Fatine.THINGS appear to be looking up for Fatine, the Malaysian transsexual who caused a furore back home over her marriage to a Briton. The 36-year-old make-up artist has just received an acknowledgement from the Home Office about her application for a Right to Family Life under the Human Rights Act in Britain.
Although it did not state the processing time or the chances of approval, Fatine believed that she did not fear deportation to Malaysia for the time being.
For her, that’s probably a sweet consolation after several weeks of edge-of-seat moments following the rejection of her Leave to Remain visa in Britain and the subsequent appeal.
“At least, I am safe for now. They can’t deport me as my application is still under process,” said a somewhat relieved Fatine, who was born Mohammed Fazdil Min Bahari.
Her marriage to Ian Young touched a raw nerve in Malaysia, with the Immigration Department director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman reportedly accusing her of having “brought great shame upon us” for overstaying in Britain.
While Fatine’s love story has irked certain quarters in Malaysia, it has also touched the hearts of many who felt she should not be penalised because she is a transsexual.
UPDATE: 12 APRIL 2011Ian Young said his life is in ruins after he spent £12,000 to get his Malaysian wife Fatine a visa - only for her to leave him immediately after it was grantedA transsexual who walked out on her British husband two weeks after he helped her win the right to stay in this country has explained her decision to leave.
Malaysian-born Fatine Young – who was born Mohammed Fazdil Min Bahari – spoke out after her husband Ian told yesterday how the couple split after he spent £12,000 on helping win the visa battle.
Fatine, 38, has defended her actions, saying she made major sacrifices to move to the UK and live with the school caretaker, who she claims eventually pushed her away with his behaviour.
Fatine said: 'In the end he was totally ignoring me. It's horrible when the man you love treats you like that. I've sacrificed my life because of him.'
Mr Young admitted he had not treated her as well as he could have done.
The night before she left, Fatine said the couple had a 'massive argument', with her husband storming out of the house they shared in Pear Tree, leaving her alone.
'He left me without any money,' she said.
Mr Young previously told how he was hounded out of jobs at three Derby schools by angry parents because of his love for Fatine, who was born a man.
The saga left the 32-year-old jobless and homeless, and at one stage he tried to take his own life by downing a bottle of pills.