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.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

... because I wasn't born Female

The unabridged version of my story which was published in 'The Week' in March, 2008


And if you just re-examined my picture to gauge how manly I do or don’t look, I won’t blame you. That’s expectedly the most natural, the most common reaction in a social setup, which inherently, even unknowingly advocates a rigid line of distinction between the two genders. Any occurrence of a blur on this line is generally either laughable or ignorable – two conditions, that no human existence would want to be in – under ‘normal’ circumstances.

My circumstances were not ‘normal’ – by the standards of this very setup. But why, you may ask, do I need to tell YOU about them? I’m certainly not a Great Somebody, not an achiever by any of our ‘standards’. So, what’s there in my story except a certain curiosity angle? Why, then, should I be written about?

Maybe, because there are thousands like me amongst you, who’re trying to be invisible, because that’s the only way to acceptability? Maybe, because there are thousands others, still suspended in a polygon of rights and wrongs, uncertain of whether it’s right to feel and want what every single person around them finds wrong? Maybe, because I want the social circle of those thousands to know about my family, friends and colleagues? Or maybe, just maybe, because I’m proud that I was able to survive twenty five years in an act with no ‘CUT’s – a role I didn’t choose for myself, yet lived day after day without any hope of the curtain falling.

‘Little’ Problems

Clothes were nice if they were my mother’s or my cousin sister’s, rather than mine; long hair were alright if my mother tied them into plaits instead of my father tying my head with a turban; games were fun as long as they were like ‘Teacher Teacher’ and not cricket, and even more so when the companions were girls and not boys.

I was often told that I was girlish; and my feeling, in reaction, was that of utter confusion. The condescending tone of those voices would upset me, invoke a feeling of guilt deep down inside; but somewhere even deeper, there was a flash of happiness at the acknowledgement of my true self. That happiness would then make me even guiltier, because I didn’t understand then, that it was alright to be happy.

One of my happy memories from childhood, by the way, is that of a small role in a school drama, wherein I got to play a girl character. All through the preparation, I was the most excited amongst all actors – forever ready to rehearse any number of times through the day. And then, while getting dressed in a pretty skirt on the morning of the final enactment, I asked my father whether I’d get the award for the Best Supporting Actress if my performance were good. No, he said, Best Supporting Actor! For long, I argued with him, trying with all my might to make him see that he was wrong… All in vain. I’d never win the argument. Reason and logic were both on his side. I only had a mess in my head.

A transsexual child is forever trapped in these multi-dimensional circles, knowing not how to be like the rest of the world, how to merge with the ‘norm’, how to evade the mocking laughter, the derogatory names, the taunting peers. There’s a sinking feeling tugging along, all the time – “I don’t fit in”… and worse, “I’ll never fit in”.

The Vague Clarity

Puberty is a tough time for everybody – the time when one tries to and gets to know oneself more, when sexuality becomes an important part of one’s being, and the mirror area becomes one of the most frequented in the house.

My mirror, however, stopped being my friend soon after thirteen. The school uniform added a compulsory turban to my head, and nature added relentless hair to my face. “It’s all wrong, wrong, WRONG” – I knew that, but remained laden with the guilt of Being that wrong myself, hoping tirelessly for a miracle each morning… “May be God would decide to listen to my prayers tonight, may be He would turn me into a girl tomorrow morning…”

Today, I know God had reasons to not work that miracle. But the teenaged Gunraj didn’t. (S)he knew but one thing – that the single question in her head, “Why me?”, would never be answered.

In that age of unanswered questions, I distinctly remember the day when I got goose flesh while watching a rather provocative music video of a male pop singer. And in the numerous sleepless nights that followed, it dawned on me for the first time with a sense of absoluteness, that I was different, and would always be. For years to come, I was to think how unfair it was of God to make me Gay.

The Balance

In all fairness, God didn’t leave me at the crossroads by many other worldly standards. Today, personally, I don’t value Academics too much, but through my growing up years, I was a “bright child”, a “good orator” and a “very disciplined student”. For me, though, my worth was in my singing, my writing and my Dramatics.

[Recently, when I came out to my ex-schoolmates and teachers, it felt strange to hear some things they said – “Gunraj, I used to think it so unfair that you had every enviable quality in you”, “It was like you were so perfect, you had nothing to worry about”, “I wouldn’t have imagined you as anything but a truly happy child”]

I give my family the entire credit for this balance, for who I was and am, especially for still having been able to retain a sane mind. My stress found an equal opposition in the love I constantly got from my parents, my extended family and later, my friends.

Initially, my parents admitted helplessness in comprehending how ‘a boy could feel like a girl’, yet they never gave up trying to understand, and never gave up on me. There were times when they’d ask me to try and “change the way you think”, but they’d also listen patiently to my yells and wails – “It’s not about the way I THINK, it’s about the way I AM”. “I don’t CHOOSE to be like this Papa, I was BORN this way”. “Why don’t YOU go and try live in the opposite gender? Then, you’ll know!”

I screamed, they listened. They found out that I used to speak at length over the phone to strangers – as a girl, they didn’t even come close to slapping me. I ran away from home before my Boards, they brought me back – and loved me even more. My brother, my sister, my relatives stood right with me through that darkest of times – my parents holding me tight when I was just an inch away from falling, from collapsing.

The Boys’ Hostel

And so, I managed the Boards, the Competitive exams and the admission to a reputed Engineering college. But that meant that I’d be staying in a hostel. That was a very scary thought; all the same, I knew I had to be up to the challenge. I couldn’t stay wrapped in the comfort of home, forever. “If I HAVE a life, I must make something of it”. Besides that, I’ve always had an innate faith in the goodness of the world, and that faith held my hand as I went on to spend four years of my life… in a Boys’ Hostel.

I was prepared to be an oddity there, ready for the remarks – “Always goes to the bathroom to change!”, “Speaks so effeminately!”, “Walk is so girly!” and much worse. I also knew that I’d be a source of entertainment for everybody out there. I wasn’t prepared, however, for the severe ragging which is common in engineering colleges.

Despite the unspeakable horrors of the first year, however, thankfully, I remember those four years simply as the most beautiful time of my life. In the cacophony of mocking voices and laughter, there were a few precious faces that became my friends – people who knew me, understood me, loved me for just the person I was. I’d never felt as light as that, before. I think it was in those years that I started realizing that it was alright to be happy.

I hadn’t ever been bad at studies, but my college life gave me the chance to truly explore my extra-curricular abilities and… freedom. I’d sing, I’d debate, I’d direct college plays, I’d watch late night movies, I’d go out on trips with friends, and I’d have so much fun that sometimes, I’d get scared of my own joy – What if all this turned out to be a dream?

The ‘Real World’

When the dream got over, I found myself gazing at a computer screen, sitting in the massive establishment of a software giant. A studio apartment, the company bus, the office desk and the office dormitory summed up my entire world. I was one of the 10% best employees among the 20,000+ work force. That should not be surprising… I had never objected to an average work day of eighteen hours – week after week, month after month – because at the very least, it kept me away from myself, and from the jeers which had turned from loud name-calling to whispers in the corporate world.

I don’t really know why, but I never attempted to make new friends there. Maybe, because the business environment had suddenly pulled the shutters down on my carefree days. It was hard to trust now. My fear of rejection kept me from accepting anybody new in my life. I desperately wanted to run away again, but day after day, I realized that the only thing to run away from was my own self.

There were times, however, when I couldn’t do that – days when the pangs of loneliness were so acute that I’d look for companions on gay websites. I’d also get myself to meet a one-off guy at times, but yet again, the same old gloom confronted me – “I don’t fit in”. They looked for a MAN in me, while my whole life had been about not being one. Gradually, I understood that Gender Dysphoria is not the same as being gay. While the causes of stress in both conditions might be similar to an extent, the conditions themselves are quite different.

A homosexual man, for instance, (and I’m not saying this categorically) might have no problem in wearing a formal shirt and tie to office every day, while that particular dressing rule of my company was one of the three main reasons I decided to quit! My place of posting being extremely peaceful and dull (for me), was the second. In those two endless years, the silences had started getting to me…

The Relief

The third reason was the most important – it was an attempt to ‘fit in’, at least somewhere.

At the risk of sounding clichéd, Bombay IS, after all, a city of dreams. I wasn’t aware when I arrived there that the deepest of my dreams would see life in Bombay, but the energy and pace of the city had me charged up in no time. The vigour of the college days was back, so were the college days themselves!

I was doing a one-year Diploma course in filmmaking – writing, shooting, directing AND making friends! Not only was I happy that I had made the right career choice, the excitement of filmmaking was also a sedative to the pain I could never completely learn to live with.

A year passed away in an instant, and it was time to choose subjects for our Final Documentary films (which had to be made in groups of six). I had no idea of how I would go about it, yet I proposed “Transsexuality” to the class – a subject, not welcomed by most. However, two friends who were aware of my condition raised their hands in support of the subject. It was one of the most ordinary days, but today as I look back, the moment when my friends raised their hands was perhaps the most important moment of my life.

Soon enough, three more friends joined in, and the group was complete! We now needed a title for the film, and what immediately came to my mind was – ‘To Be… or Not To Be’. It sounded perfect, and yet, that night, something inside me said – ‘This is not it’. This title represented my state of mind; it didn’t take me forward. And the next morning, I knew what the title had to be…

To Be… ME

I had never had any plans of coming out of my closet for the film, but as we met more and more transgendered people through our research, I realized that nobody wanted to. They all preferred invisibility.

The research was fruitless day after day, none of our contacts being ready to face the camera; but I was sure of one thing – we were not going to interview someone with their face hidden in shadows. This film HAD to be about light, about courage, about pride.

And then, somewhere along the way, I realized that I was being dishonest to myself. If I expected others to face the world, I couldn’t choose shadows for my own self. I realized that at the end of the day, I was not as scared of the world, as I was of myself. It was not about ‘them’, it was about ‘me’ all along. And it was time now to confront that fear; it was time to accept myself, to love myself, to celebrate myself.

Almost magically, the day I decided to face the camera, we started discovering others who were not only willing, but even excited to share their stories! In my heart, I knew it was God’s way to tell me that He supported my decision.

‘To Be… ME’ turned out to be the best film of the year, and my Coming Out brought sheer positive energy to my life, from both without and within.

I had been reading about Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) for many years now, but it was my first-hand research through the making of this film that reassured me that it was not only alright to be happy. It was my right to be happy.

Becoming… ME

“So, when are you going for it?” – That’s the first thing my father said, on seeing the film. And ever since that question, there’s been no looking back.

A year-and-a-half ago, I started my Gender Reassignment procedure, which will probably go on for another year or so. Frankly, this period of transformation is not one of the most convenient – socially, physically or emotionally. One has to pull out every thread of strength and will power from within; but looking at the positive side, it’s not that difficult when one knows that this WILL get over, that there IS bright sunlight beyond the dark.

During that stormy time, I luckily discovered a lighthouse – in the form of a Yahoo e-group for transsexuals (called Sampoorna -
sampoorna@yahoogroups.com). I made wonderful friends there – men and women who had been caught in a game of hide-and-seek with their own selves – a few who had won the game and found out themselves, and others, who like me, were going to win soon.

I was also fortunate to find a job of a writer, assistant director particularly because the staff at my office is truly godsend. Not only did they do their best to understand my issues, they also went out of their way to ensure my comfort through this period of transition. My faith in the goodness of the world has only deepened in the last 20 months.

This period has been a time of Absolute Wonder! It’s magical to see my inner self slowly but surely taking its form in the mirror, amazing to notice the little changes big enough to make my day, thrilling to get compliments that I have always pined for, and musical to hear the taxi walla ask, “Madam, kahaan jaana hai?”

Bangkok and Beyond

On October 19, 2007, my male genitals were replaced by female genitalia, the surgery being called ‘Vaginoplasty’. The miracle-maker in my case was Dr. Chettawut of Bangkok (
www.chet-plasticsurgery.com), who I came to know of through a friend from Sampoorna.

Thailand is a place renowned for Male-to-Female (MTF) SRS. In my three-week long stay under the excellent care of my doctor, I saw patients coming to him from different nationalities, races and ages. My nurse told me that the doctor undertakes 15-20 SRS patients every month. Considering that Dr. Chettawut is just one of the many SRS surgeons in Thailand (and the world), I was surprised by the number of people struggling with transsexuality across the globe.

Over there, it melted my heart to see a middle-aged woman accompanying her ‘husband’ for ‘his’ surgery. The ‘husband’ was a transsexual woman. I had read on the internet about such cases where a spouse turns into a companion/friend for a transsexual person, but to actually see such human beings was like witnessing the purest form of love – a love beyond all boundaries and ‘man-made’ definitions of relationships…

I really wanted to connect with all those other patients, but I wasn’t sure whether they’d welcome it. One is on an emotional roller coaster at such a time and may not want to know a stranger. But one fine day, somebody just walked up to me and we spoke as if we’d known each other for eternity. With her permission, I share with you…

C’s story

C S is a 65-year-old American (transsexual) woman, although she could easily pass for a very fit 50. Based in California, she’s an English teacher – a role she couldn’t help slipping into, even through our conversation!

Her childhood and youth had been clouded over by recurring phases of depression. In the era of 1940s and 50s, it was a horrifying thought to tell her family that she “felt like a girl”. This ‘girl’, however, made up for her inferiority complex by excelling above her peers in anything which required superior strength, endurance or sheer courage.

But when life became too heavy a burden to endure, she decided it was time to get rid of it. Thinking she’d die fighting for a cause her heart was in, she enrolled herself for the Vietnam War in 1968. But as God would have it, after two years in the battlefield, she came back unscathed except for a Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

It didn’t help that her very conformist family expected the man who was C to get married. She, however, couldn’t bring herself to lie to her would-be wife. C disclosed herself to her fiancée; and somehow, that made an emotional bond between the two. They were able to reach an understanding. C would be man for the rest of the world, but then the woman could get out of the closet whenever they chose. Often when the “husband and wife” went holidaying, they lived and frolicked as two best friends, two girl friends.

At home, C spent decades being a family MAN, even being a father, perhaps in the hope that her thoughts would go away with time; however, three years ago, at 62, she had to concede that her ‘thoughts’ were her life. And whatever time was left for her, she must live it as herself.

She moved from North Carolina to a more trans-friendly California, where she started letting herself blossom. She’d visit her family occasionally, but it was tough to pass as a man now, yet she had to, because her wife was wary of the neighbourhood, while her daughter didn’t know how and what to explain to C’s grandchildren, and hence refused to let C near her family.

Finally, she and I sat cross-legged across from each other, chatting like two teenage girls. I was in awe of C’s courage for having flown thousands of miles, all alone, to BECOME; and I couldn’t help thinking: No human being would ever CHOOSE to be ostracized by friends, family, and society, and then endure the months of recuperative pain that Gender Dysphoric people bring upon themselves, unless they absolutely HAVE to!

Later, I received an email from Ms. S, telling me that when her wife found out about the surgery, she forbade C from coming home for Christmas. Her daughter, however, wrote her a beautiful email, wishing her a happy and healthy life, and promising that when her children grew older, she’d definitely explain to them what C had been through, but meanwhile, she was unable to welcome C at her house. And then the new Ms. S added, “It’s so ironic that this is the saddest and yet the happiest time of my entire life!”

The Vivid Clarity

A certificate given to me by my surgeon identifies me now, as an “infertile female”. Both are strong words. For most, the first might be stronger; for me, it’s the second one. Being a mother, after all, is not just about the ability to give birth.

Being transsexual, also, is not just about LOOKING masculine or feminine. If we were not living in a world which so loves to categorize, demarcate and idealize, transsexuality would not have been a problem at all. Even now, it’s not the condition itself that’s a psychological problem, but the amount of social pressure and emotional stress it causes often leads many towards suicide.

The bottomline is that Gender Dysphoria needs a biological, a medical correction. An SRS is only as unnatural as a cancer surgery or any other surgery, for that matter.

The sooner a transsexual person can start their Gender Reassignment procedure, the easier is the transition, and better, the visible results. At times, I do find myself wishing I had started my transition soon after puberty. Not only would I have had to undergo fewer years of emotional and psychological distress, I would also be spared the physical pain and time of transitioning from a male body to a female one.

But at the same time, one must be mature enough to understand oneself and one’s priorities, and sometimes (not always), age is necessary for that maturity. For instance, if ‘infertile’ is the stronger word for you, or if you’re doing this for ANYBODY except YOURSELF, you must think again! I’ve heard of homosexuals who undergo SRS to be able to live a socially acceptable life with their partners, and then regret the decision, all their lives. When one has to make a decision, the keyword has to be – ME!

Being… ME!

I still have a lot of catching up to do! I badly need to get some humour, some spontaneity in my life; then, there’s an urgent need to catch up on shopping – clothes, shoes, ear-rings, makeup, and the list goes on.

But there’s this one thing I caught up with, recently and not many people do that – Life! It’s precious, it’s beautiful, and if you truly love it, it gives you wings! Tell me… how many people in the world know how it feels to grow wings!

I’ll leave you to the counting, with the closing line of our film –

“The question is not whether To Be… or Not To Be! The question is – Who decides my Being? A faceless entity called Society? Or ME, MYSELF!”

25 comments:

  1. Hello Gazal
    Quite strange a life , not easily comprehended by mortals like me.Got to know about you from Vibhuti Shekhawat Sir (Humanities-MNIT).An interesting journey so far.Would love to read more about you though i have no plans of following your footsteps.

    Moreover you write well.The above post was so smooth & had a sense of flow(our end terms starting next Monday-still I could sit through & read the whole post).

    I would also like to know how your MNIT friends & your pre Gazal well wishers deal with you now.If you dont mind it would be my pleasure to introduce you among my blogger friends as well & may be write a post on you.

    Alex

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Alex! You're the first person to comment on my blog, so thanks for that! :-)

    Also, thanks for the compliment on my writing. This particular piece was written over several days and underwent many rounds of editing, for obvious reasons, but yes, at the end of it all, it was very satisfying.

    I plan to write a post about my friends and well-wishers as soon as I get some time, so hopefully, I'll answer your question in that. And I won't mind at all to be introduced to your friends. The more awareness is generated about such human issues, the better.

    Take care... And All the Best for the exams! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. you are a push for girls like us who are under closet.u really rock!!!have a wonderful womenhood.enjoy ur womenhood.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous - Thank you so much! All the very Best to you too! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ironic that you started the blog on my birthday...I feel just as you do although I'm much older. Thanks for putting my feelings into words. Good luck as the woman you should have always been.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tony - Life is all about some not-so-beautiful and other very beautiful coincidences :-)

    Thank you so very much for your good wishes... I'm very touched. May your journey be blessed too! Take care...

    ReplyDelete
  7. You write beautifully. For the record, I'm a crossdresser. My family and friends (atleast those who have still remained friends) are well aware of my dressing. It took very little courage to be myself, but I have my family to thank for that. They aren't always supportive but they've never been dismissive. And they've made me wonder if perhaps the so-called conservative older generation is actually more liberal than my own generation. So many of my prejudices fell by the wayside as I opened out to them my feelings and frustrations.
    I dont really know why I'm telling you all this. I guess I just want to tell you that I really admire the fact that you have come out so publically. I'm sorry if I'm rambling.
    Your post made an excellent read. Please accept my congratulations and do keep writing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sriharsha - I'm very touched by your words and your courage. It may seem to you that it took very little courage to be yourself, but from where I see it, this comment, in itself, is a symbol of courage. Very few people in this world live a life true to themselves without a feeling of guilt or shame for an identity that is truly their birthright. You are one of those few brave people.

    No doubt, your family has a huge role in giving you the emotional support which is indispensable on such a journey, and I believe that any family capable of selfless love for their child will be understanding and accommodating of his/her problems, irrespective of the generation gap. But at the same time, it takes a mature sensible sensitive responsible and brave person to make them able to see that his/her side of the world may be a little different from theirs, but it is genuine and rightful all the same. Congratulations on being that person... More POWER to you and your family and friends!

    And yes, I'm so glad you like my writing... Thanks for being generous in complimenting! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello Gazal, I have been following your blog to get inspiration and solace of reading your articles...about the issues tormenting my life... I hope I too can accept and live to be myself...
    But being a person having to handle so many responsibilities taken to head since childhood...and sensing well others feelings about "feeling like a girl in a boy's body" acting to be one you are not...is really painful...In fear of rejection or knowing well the nature of the friends & parents I could never come out to change their mind...and never let this face of mine to the best of my well-wishers and friends...With each day passing in pain...knowing well that God won't work miracles for me...not able to leave the responsibilities and the people whom I'm responsible for... Not wanting to lose myself...for all these...not able to give my best in my job...Unable to run away...not want to end up with late transition of highly possible rejection...I am going through lot of pain...in my heart...I wish I had a friend like you having a beautiful heart...I wish you be my friend...I wish I be MYSELF...

    Sorry if I sounded confusing...but just wanted to share my heart...with somebody understanding...

    One thing that is troubling me so much...Am I being so selfish to runaway to be accepted by the society for who I am...for the sake of my little happiness of being a woman do I have to sacrifice others'?at the same time do I have to suffer to be selfless...Is it just the change of body I want? I'm ready to sacrifice my promising career to live a simple life if accepted and acknowledged for my true self...but should I be or not...I hope you understand and help me with this state of mind I'm struggling with... With lot of free time available in my job...I'm not able to runaway from myself...at the same time can't be with friends as what I am not...Am I hypocrate?...may be...I know God always loves me no matter what I am...but will He still love me if I have the opportunity to choose to be selfish or selfless...Will he be happy with my decision?...may be I'll be left alone in the wilderness...may be I'll runaway from this world altogether...Whats life after all meant to be...

    Prefer to be anonymous...even here...

    ReplyDelete
  10. My future decision will lot depend on your reply...I'm going through lot of difficulty...and pain...denial...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous2 – First of all, please read a book called ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrnes. It’s phenomenal! What you really need to get is that you don’t have to sacrifise anything to be happy. You can have everything you want if you really believe in it and stay positive towards it.

    It is a wrong notion propagated in the world that being selfish is bad, so anybody who is being selfish ends up feeling guilty. What we forget is that man’s inherent nature is selfishness. Whatever anybody does in this world is, at the end of the day, a selfish act. Your parents brought you into this world – it was a selfish act. They did it because they wanted to procreate and have a child. They gave you education, facilities, comfort to the best of their ability – selfish act. They did it because they loved you and you belonged to them, so it was a matter of happiness and pride for their own SELF to see you prosper. Now please don’t confuse this. Yes, they did all this so you could have a better life, but the most basic reason was their own sense of fulfillment. [And that’s a perfectly valid and beautiful reason. I’m not saying their being selfish is wrong or immoral. I’m just stating a fact, and the fact is that that is the right-est reason for them to invest in you – their OWN happiness]

    Coming to you, yes, they’re your parents and you love them. But your foremost duty in this world is towards your own happiness. Your happiness does not HAVE to mean that your parents’ happiness would be sacrificed. It may be, or it may not be. But in either case, you owe yourself happiness because it is your RIGHT to be happy. Don’t be pressurized by arguments like – your parents did so much for you, and you’re doing this to them. Firstly, please get it that your parents did whatever they did, for their own selves. Secondly, you’re not doing anything TO THEM. You’re just doing something for your own happiness. If they or the world wants to misconstrue it as you’re being a bad child, then it is not your problem. Thirdly, the initial few steps are always the toughest – for you and for them, but with time, when they see you’re happy, and given that you would have constantly tried to be there for them and be in communication with them, ice will begin to thaw. It always does. My mother was very unhappy with my decision initially, and she was worried about the society and the people for the longest time, but today, when she sees how happy I am and how well I’m managing myself, she feels proud and talks about me to others as well.

    At the end of the day, our parents want a happy child in us. Sooner or later, they will come around. Don’t let the fear of the initial reactions and pressures stop you. You might come across as heartless to them, but it is in your hands to prove them wrong. Be in communication with them, come what may. Discuss the issue with them maturely, and basically, keep them WITH you in thought and in action.

    And no, you’re not a hypocrite. You’re just dealing with one of humanity’s most complex and tough problems. You’re extraordinary! It really takes extraordinary courage and strength to live with what transpeople go through. So never NEVER look down upon yourself. Always be proud of who you are, because an ordinary person would never have been able to be in your shoes.

    As for God, what is important is for you to love yourself first, everything else comes later. Even God!

    ReplyDelete
  12. My name is Jonathan and am 40 year old and in all that 40 years think it's gods fault and blame him for not making me who i believe i should have been and the female that i believe that i should have been

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello this is jonathan from Great Britain here once again and I am still angry with god. In all my 40 years still cannot understand why god made men grow beards which they require to shave every day whereas women stay fresh faced throughout life
    Men grow thick black horrible hair mostly all over their body which they are required to leave there but woman grow really fine hair on their legs that they shave once in a blue moon. Women show and are more emotional than men are cry more often. I hate being a man and i am really angry with god

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello Jonathan, thanks for writing to me and sharing your anguish and frustration. I completely understand and relate to all your emotions. I have experienced them first-hand, and once in a blue moon, I still experience them. But what we need to get Jonathan is that these feelings and thoughts are futile. What we have is what we have… and that is objective reality.

    Firstly, if there is a God and He purposely chose to give us these problems, then knowing the nature of God, we must understand that He must have done it for some reason. Everybody in the world has some problem to deal with, He gave us this because perhaps He knew that we have the strength and courage it takes, to deal with it, or maybe He wanted to test us on what we can make of our lives despite these problems. He tests EVERYONE; this is probably our test, and we will be successful in this test when we stop rejecting and start loving our own selves. It is a fact that you and me have ridiculed and demeaned our SELF for years never stopping to realize that it is the same self which has the courage to live such a hard life. Let’s acknowledge ourselves Jonathan for being who we are because we, really, are extraordinary.

    Now if there is no God (which is quite probable actually), then there is no point in being angry at Him or anybody else. We’re born with a situation and we have to deal with it – period. Now, either we can deal with it by cursing our lives everyday, or we can deal with it, loving and nurturing our self everyday. It might seem tough and it will be to start with, but trust me, it is only when we tread the path of self-love will the world transform. It doesn’t happen the other way round.

    As far as body hair etc is concerned, you have medical solutions to it now – like laser hair removal. And don’t forget that plenty of women also suffer from what is known as hirsutism and have very hairy bodies. There are all types of men and women in the world, Jonathan. Why only look at the ones that make you lower your self-worth? And if you want to cry, please go ahead and cry; nobody can stop you. They can judge you, yes, but what the heck? Are you going to live your life for ‘them’ or for ‘yourself’?

    ReplyDelete
  15. ShemaleJasmin - Please stop spamming my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi..
    Gazal, am Vipul 1\2009 batch passout ffrom MNIT, currently preparing for civil services in Delhi.
    heard avout u from VIBHUTI Sir..Ur story is really amazing, wonderful, revolutionary n bold...I dont have any appropriate words in my dictionary. I just want to know ur whereabouts.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Vipul,

    Nice to hear from you. Vibhuti sir shares my story with students every year, I think, but from this year's batch, I've heard from only you. Thanks for all the wonderful things you've said about me. :)

    I stay and work in Bombay now.

    Take care. All the best!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dear Gazal,

    Just came across your blog while browsing the Internet.


    Thanks for a heart warming series of personal posts(not just this) in your blog. Here is hoping that you march ahead in life with all the courage and convictions needed, and let the march be in flying colours!


    From the look, it seems like I was in MNIT in your times, 2003 pass-out here. Quite frankly I am taken aback.


    All the best!
    Govind

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Gazal ,

    Its a beautiful blog. I am a 30 years old male and wanting to undergo gender reassignment procedure under proper counselling and support, please let me know if you could help me in getting to the right people / dr's . It would be a great help .

    ankita5sxn@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hie would like to know about what kind of SRS you went through is it Regular or Sigmoid Colon Vaginoplasty.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Gazal,

    From today's episode of Satyamev Jayate, I came to know that the IT company you have mentioned here is Infosys.
    You would be proud to know that Infy belives in inclusivity and LGBT are as welcome in workplace as any one else.

    May be you should visit Infy and talk to the employees here.

    ReplyDelete
  22. PLZ help me 4 solving my problem n sugest me what i do

    ReplyDelete
  23. i appreciate your passion for winning desired makeover

    ReplyDelete

Civility check done? :-)