Chanel Ayan Reveals Isolation After Childhood Circumcision Disclosure on RHODubai

The reality star opens up about the emotional aftermath of sharing her painful past.

Chanel Ayan Reveals Isolation After Childhood Circumcision Disclosure on RHODubai
Life Style

Chanel Ayan, known for her role on The Real Housewives of Dubai, recently shared the profound loneliness she felt after revealing her childhood circumcision. Speaking on the May 27 episode of the Two Ts in a Pod podcast, hosted by Tamra Judge and Teddi Mellencamp, Ayan recounted the moments following her disclosure on the show.

"Not even my closest friends knew I don't have most of my vagina," Ayan, 45, confessed. She had shared the traumatic experience of being circumcised as a child alongside her older sister, Ifrah, without their family’s knowledge. The episode aired in August 2022, and Ayan anticipated some form of support or outreach.

However, the reality was starkly different. “When my story aired, Tamra, nobody reached out to me, and I mean nobody reached out to me,” Ayan revealed. “I was on my own in my house crying, closing the curtains, now knowing that the whole entire world knows this about me.”

The Kenya-born model highlighted the cultural barriers she faced. "In my predominantly Muslim culture, people don’t typically discuss this type of subject matter," she explained. Her openness about such a sensitive issue led to significant backlash. "I got the worst backlash, man. ‘We don't accept you. We don't want you. Who do you think you are?’"

Despite the negative reactions, Ayan found solace in the messages of support from women who had undergone similar experiences. “Literally in the worst moments of my life, the messages I got from women that have gone through the same thing as me was insane,” she said. “I think that's one of the things that kept me going.”

Ayan also spoke about the personal turmoil she endured, having to disclose her past to her husband Christopher, her son Taj, and her sisters. She described the period as “the worst moment of my life," adding, "Every time I walk around, I don't think people see me as this girl that's funny. I feel like the first thing they see is they know my story, and I'm OK with that now."

Christopher, Ayan’s husband, has been a source of unwavering support. Ayan previously told PEOPLE, "He supported me and loved me for who I am” after learning about her circumcision at age 5.

Despite the initial lack of support from those close to her, Ayan has found strength in connecting with others who share her experience. "Listening to the stories, and then me sitting there and replying back,” has provided a sense of community and understanding.

The new season of The Real Housewives of Dubai premieres Sunday, June 2, at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.