Suppressing its history of being Trans – a history that goes back to ancient times – has wrought emotional instability and a confused sense of self in Jordan.
Amman, April 2 – A counselor working with the Hashemite kingdom that currently declares itself “Jordan” has begun encouraging it to stop repressing its original, authentic identity as Transjordan, so that the country can remain secure in the fullness of its gender identity.
Jordan has refused to identify as Trans since 1949, and since then has remained steadfast in refusing to engage with all aspects of its sexuality, preferring to deny its origins as Transjordan. Therapist Ever HaYardeni began exploring Jordan’s repressed past last year, and this March finally elicited from it a willingness to acknowledge that being Trans was not an alien aspect of Jordan’s identity, and while at present the country prefers to call itself just Jordan, it would be healthier and more constructive in emotional and psychological terms to feel connected to being Transjordan, even if only as part of the continuum of its existence and not a currently manifest part of identity.
HaYardeni emphasized that the process requires time, patience, and understanding. “Countries in this neighborhood feel tremendous pressure to conform to certain cultural expectations,” he explained. “Trans is not something that has been welcomed in the Middle East, and as the societies of the region confront modernity, those prejudices often assert themselves with extra force. It is no wonder that Jordan, as it currently prefers to call itself, hesitates to express its Trans aspects, or even to acknowledge that being Trans was once a prominent part of its identity.”
Suppressing its history of being Trans – a history that goes back to ancient times – has wrought emotional instability and a confused sense of self in Jordan, according to the therapist. “The art of therapy involves establishing a safe space where all feelings are welcomed, and authenticity is invited,” added HaYardeni. “Now that we have reached a milestone of not automatically recoiling from being Trans – or being Trans once upon a time – we might be able to move on to integrating Trans into a holistic identity for Jordan, one that embraces and celebrates, rather than rejects, that aspect of self.”
Other entities in the region have similarly pursued identity issues with HaYardeni, but the one that he would most like to see at his practice is the least likely to feel the need. “It can be horribly destructive to live a lie, to go through one’s existence as part of an elaborate fiction one tells oneself and the world,” he lamented. “What we call the ‘state’ or ‘people’ of ‘Palestine’ is unfortunately a strong example.”
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