This Blog is for YOU...

If you are/were Gender Dysphoric - so as to know some from me and share some with me, and reaffirm that none of us is alone... To acknowledge that we have a treasure of insurmountable Courage, Strength and Hope in us. I have a feeling that we were given slightly higher quantities of those special gifts :-) [If you have a question to ask me, you could write it as a Comment to one of the posts, and either I would reply to it as a Comment itself, or probably, respond in one of the future posts on this blog]

If you have never been Gender Dysphoric - so as to understand what it means to have a Gender Identity Disorder. Of course, it primarily depends on whether you want to or not. If you don't, please do make a quiet exit and try not to be a nuisance.

If you're confused - so as to realize that everybody goes through a stage of confusion - the period could be short, or sometimes, very long. What is important is to acknowledge that being unsure until you're sure is as normal and as alright as night before day.

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If you're a human being - so as to find out for yourself whether you want to try to make the world a better place to live in, for every fellow human being, irrespective of their health, wealth, colour, race, gender, religion and any and every other line of division you can think of.

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And finally, this blog is for ME - so as to be able to make some difference somewhere by sharing my experiences, and along the way, slowly grow out of those anxieties and insecurities that have inhabited my life for over 2 decades. It is time to escort them to the door now!

Come, Join me on this journey!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Last Mail from 'Gunraj'

Below is the email I sent out to all the important people in my life, sometime in August 2007, when I came out to them...



Dear All

A few of you – I have lost touch with… Yet, when I sat down to write this mail, you had to be in the Receivers' List because you have touched some part of my life – big or small; somewhere, it would give me peace to know that I let you know…

A few of you – already know what this mail is all about; yet, you had to be in the Receivers' List because this is almost an 'official notice' about The Truth – that I'm sending out to all those who have made a difference to my life in some way (of course, the additional conditions being their having an email id and my being able to trace it!)

A few of you – I believe, when you've read the contents of this mail, will exclaim – "Oh, that's why!" Yes, I'm hopeful that a few, if not many of you, will be able to understand me better after this…

Many of you – might be shocked by what you're about to read – especially if the person called 'Gunraj' has been long dissolved into shadows of the times forgotten (in which case, I might owe you an apology for reminding you of me, needlessly!) However, writing this to you would complete a circle somewhere inside me, and very selfishly, I'm doing it for MYSELF…

There was always something 'unusual' with me – and I knew that. I found it hard to be comfortable with almost every other human being around me – for a long time. Everybody needs a comfort zone; mine kept eluding me… For very long, despite knowing that I was experiencing a 'strange condition', I didn't have the words to explain it.

Not until I found out about 'Gender Identity Disorder' at 18 years of age. A so-called psychological condition wherein a person feels themselves to be trapped in a wrong body. An apparently male person identifies with the female gender [in layman language, 'a female soul trapped in a male body'], and vice versa. Whatever little research has been done on this condition has not been able to explain clearly why this should happen when everything else about the anatomy of this person is perfectly 'usual'. Yet, it is a valid human condition experienced right from childhood, and a small percentage of the world population does experience it.

Even though the condition is psychologically termed as a 'Disorder', yet, for all practical purposes, the disorder is biological – because a transsexual person (one who experiences this condition) thinks, feels and often behaves just like a person of the gender identity he/she identifies with, only their body doesn't conform to it.

By now, I'm sure you have put 2 and 2 together to know that I myself am a transperson. It was a relief for me to know when I did, that there was a term to explain my confusion, and even though science itself was not too clear about it, yet 'transsexuality' was an acknowledged condition and many identified with it.

It WAS a relief to know that the condition is valid, yes, but there was no relief from the condition itself…

Until last year… when I decided to take the most important step of my life. It is this step that I want to share with you today. It is the joy that it brings me that I must let all of you be a part of…

I decided to undergo a Sex Reassignment Process, wherein my physical sex would be hormonally and surgically changed to Female. The process is already on. I have been on female hormones for about 7 months now, and by mid-2008, if all goes well, I shall have been surgically assigned my true gender.

This might be causing turmoil in the concerned minds of a few of you, yet if it is any help, let me tell you that I have thought about it for at least 20 years of my life. It is perhaps a new phenomenon for you, yet I have lived with it for my entire life, and I am more certain than I can ever be about anything, that this is the best decision of my life. I tell you this for I want to save your time and energy that you might decide to use in writing to me – "Think about it", "Try and change the way you think", "Happiness is always elusive" etc. Not that I don't understand the urge to do so and not that I'm assuming that you would do so, but a long history of personal experience has taught me that these are the most common first reactions. I just want to spare you the effort, because well, I have been through it :-).

You will see a name and an email id in the CC column above – please take that as my new identity and contact [those who use a nickname for me may please continue to do so :-)]. I must acknowledge here that I share the pain that a few of you might feel on my dropping the name I've lived for 25 years. I have always loved my name, however, a new name must accompany a new identity, because the old one, how much ever it is dear to me, will always be a reminder of that part of my past which was most painful…

Like I said, this mail is more about completing an inner circle for my own self. Not that I would know and hence, not that it would make a difference, yet I just want to say that if and when you tell others about me, the correct thing to say would be "You know, Gunraj was a girl", and not "You know, Gunraj is becoming a girl"… Yes, true I'm changing my physical sex, but truer, I was always always a girl…

You may see (and know) me, if you'd like to, on NDTV India on August 24, Friday at 8 pm [Repeat: August 25, Saturday at 2 pm] in a Talk Show called 'Salaam Zindagi'.

Before I close, I just want to say "Thank You" to all the special people who've stood with me throughout and supported me in every way possible to them – from my wonderful parents and family to my friends, colleagues, teachers, and even amazing strangers whom God helps me meet sometimes – all those who see me (or at least genuinely try to see me) as who I really am. I do know it's not easy for you yet, and that's why my heart goes out to you, for trying to make it easy for me.

A few of you – may choose to reject the whole idea behind this mail, and hence, me. However, in any case, now you know me better than you ever have. And that satisfaction is more than what I want :-)

All of you – may lead the happiest of lives!

with Love and Regards
for the 'last time'
Gunraj

P.S. I also request you to keep your eyes and hearts open for any children (or even adults) around you, who you feel might be going through a similar situation. It is not very common, I agree, but that's exactly why, it's so difficult for them to deal with it…

19 comments:

  1. Really touching!! Gazal. I can understand the predicament of urs of putting behind a really hurtful past. I have not had the time and patience to read all the posts, but will surely do someday. And my best wishes are always there with you. Happy 2009 and keep moving forward irrespective of people supporting you are not.

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  2. Vinay - Do excuse me for responding to your comment so late... Thank you so much for your best wishes! Wish you a (slightly belated) very Happy 2009 too! :-)

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  3. hi Gazal. Nice to read your blog. I am Ruchira if you remember your college senior. We always thought that your profile was one of the best in college. never knew how troubled you were. Anyways really good to know about you again. A very good decision. My best wishes. :-)

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  4. hi Ruchira. Thanks a lot. Unfortunately, I'm not able to place you in my memory right now, but I'm very happy to know that you were my senior and that you agree with me that this was a good decision :-)... My Best wishes for a happy life to you too... Take care

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  5. Hi G,
    its Rishi. dont know if you remember, thats not important, whats important is to follow your heart, and you did that and im sure despite all big odds. have a great time ahead, do mail up. rishu82@gmail.com
    tc

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  6. Helen Keller:

    When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.Nice Comment!

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  7. gazal

    amazing and touching. more touching than amazing though. you're a real trailblazer and am glad you're sharing your story to make it easier for others to follow the path.

    cheers to catching up with life. may it be a fantastically great life.

    one last thing - you are a very pretty woman.

    tc aman

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  8. Jacqueline - Thanks for sharing! :)

    Aman - Thanks! :) For all that you've written. That's the only word - Thanks! :)

    Take care...

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  9. hi
    i have read every thing about you(gazal)

    i have here to give you congrutulations for your victory
    thank for all ,what-ever you mensionedd or writen

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  10. Jitu - Thanks a lot! It's been a great experience for me too! :)

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  13. hi gazal
    nice to meet you
    tell me about your nature of thinking ?

    you have achieved the great achievment as new life which is totaly different from your past

    how do you feel now?
    do you remember your past ?

    i was seen you in magazine named "THE WEEK:women's spacial"
    i am younger than you but i want to tell you this
    "you are looking great and on salam namste stage your personality was superb"


    good bye !!!!!!!!

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  14. hi gazal ,

    when i was reading your documents ,
    i have noticed that you have tramendous control over your mind power.

    you have got victory over your mind and power of thinking.
    one tihng i want to tell you that i have no control over my mind . My mind vary on taking any decesion ...
    will you give me your kind suggestions

    good bye !!!!!!

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  15. Hi Jitu!

    Thanks for your generous compliments! I feel great, and of course, I remember my past. The past cannot be erased by a surgery, and even if it could be, I wouldn’t do it!

    Regarding the control over mind, well, frankly, my mind hops and skips a lot too. That is the intrinsic nature of mind – it is unstable. But what is important is how you use this unstable mind. If you want, you can use it to give birth to a creative masterpiece or you could let it wander into the depths of nothingness. It’s the choice of how to use one’s mind that matters.

    I hope you use yours effectively. Take care. All the best!

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  16. hi gazal, i couldn't help tearing up reading.

    gazal is a beautiful name.
    just out of curiousity, did you select it yourself
    or did your parents give you the new name as well?

    it would be wonderful to read an essay by you on the naming process in trans lives.

    regards,
    arshad

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  17. blog pe apne zindagi likh di,
    aankhon se seench kar apne har khushi likh di,
    dard jab apne utara lafzon mein
    zamane ne kaha wah kya ghazal likh di"

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  18. hii mam.
    i need your help i hope u help me because i facing problems like u only i want change my sex i need your help my name is suryateja

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  19. Peaceful,&ur parents realy ishwar ka aashirwad h

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Civility check done? :-)