Two transgender friends returned to Jamaica and reveal their new identities to families

Romario Wanliss and Steffan Zachiyah are best friends, who were both born female but have now transitioned and live their lives as men. BBC Newsbeat travels with them to their birthplace, Jamaica, to find out how their friends and family will react to their new identities.

Despite the potential risks to their safety and not knowing how their relatives will react, the friends were determined to be open about who they are.

Romario said growing up in Jamaica was “not about living - it was about surviving”. He felt like many transgender people from black or Asian backgrounds, were faced extra challenges.

"I thought being Jamaican made it harder for me," he told Newsbeat.

Romario said it took a lot of courage to tell his family as he feared violence and rejection.

Romario, who is in his 20s, had already spoken to his mother about it and said she is 'extremely supportive of me now' but had 'mixed emotions at first'.

He travelled back to Kingston to break the news to his sister and father who he hadn't seen for years.

Romario had to plucked up the courage to tell his family that he was making a transition to be male. He was terrified how his father would react as they had always experienced a difficult relationship in the past. However his father cried and said he still loved him

Steffan also found it difficult growing up as transgender in Jamaica.

"I had to practically beg my sisters not to call me Stephanie," he explains.

Steffan said: 'Being of a Jamaican background it is usually seen as an "embarrassment" to go against the norm.

'My parents were very traditionalised and this made it even more difficult to even explain what transgender is never mind telling them I was thinking about transitioning

He left Jamaica 12 years ago, and has since returned, but he always made an effort to dress more feminine to hide the fact he was transgender. In 2014 he started his transitioning to a male.

Steffan's Jamaican mother, who lives with him in Birmingham, has accepted his transition but didn't support his decision to return to Jamaica as a male.

'Her main concern is my safety. She is Jamaican and knows what the possibilities are, she said "they don't care, they will kill you",' he said.

Steffan's Jamaican mother, who lives with him in Birmingham, has accepted his transition but didn't support his decision to return to Jamaica as a male.

'Her main concern is my safety. She is Jamaican and knows what the possibilities are, she said "they don't care, they will kill you",' he said.

While both Romario and Steffan found their visit back to Jamaica emotional and found not all their relatives completely understood, they have no regrets about revealing all.

Jamaica is considered by some human rights groups as one of the most transphobic countries in the world.

To hear their story watch the full documentary below.