Antonella loves to dance – Katie Toth

Celebrity belly dancer Antonella will be swinging her hips into Toronto this June. Billed as the only out trans performer of the Arabic world, she spent years as a male with an intersexed body in Lebanon before finally discovering her feminine identity at 25.

She is reportedly the first person for whom the government of Lebanon has paid for sex reassignment surgery. But policy makers aren’t the only ones who have influenced Antonella’s life. After facing stigma in her community, she has learned how to rely on her own strength.