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!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hello Bangkok!

Recap 1: Thus Began my Flight!

This was the first time I was travelling to a foreign land. Ironically, the journey was bringing me home!

It was early morning on October 16, 2007 when we landed in Bangkok, and afternoon by the time we were able to come out of the airport! Mamma had to get a Visa on Arrival [Thailand is one of the few countries in the world which let you have that. It’s just for 15 days, though] because she had got her Passport on the very day of our Departure, so there was no time to get a Visa from the Thai Embassy in India. But Visa-on-Arrival turned out to be one of the most tedious processes, because her return ticket had been booked along with mine and Bua’s – for 3 weeks later. It took us the whole of morning and all our energy to get her ticket changed and the Visa issued.

Thereafter, came the Immigration section! Yes, yet again! When I gave my Passport to the lady at the counter there, she returned it saying – “Oh, you gave me someone else’s Passport!” I replied – “No, that’s mine” and she looked completely at a loss for words. After looking at the Passport for a while, she said – “But isn’t that a GUY?” I smiled and said – “That’s me!” For a split second, I saw an expression of absolute shock on her face, after which she started laughing like a mad woman. She went on and on and on and I feared she would never stop. In between this exercise of laughter and the activity of breathing, somewhere she mumbled, “I… thought… you were a… GIRL!”

The doctor’s driver was there to receive us. He drove us to Hotel Baan Siri Rama – the hotel where most patients of Dr. Chettawut stay. Dr. Chettawut was the guy who would amend nature’s mistake for me. We had opted for the little cottages in the hotel which came complete with a reasonably well-furnished kitchenette. All three of us are vegetarian and Thai food being predominantly meat-based, we knew we would have to do our own cooking for the forthcoming three weeks. We had also carried a lot of packed food from India, besides pulses and rice.

Having settled ourselves down, we bathed, ate and thanks to the fatigue, involuntarily fell asleep. I woke up pretty soon though. I was aching to dress up and for the first time ever, step out in the open without any worry or fear. Since there was still a level of discomfort between Mamma and me over my clothes, I’d rather get out while she was still asleep.

So, I crept out of the bed, changed into a spaghetti and a long skirt, applied oodles of kajal and without making a single noise, slipped out of the cottage.

There was a wonderful breeze outside, and it made me realize yet again that skirt is my favourite outfit! I attach a sense of freedom to the skirt, a sense of beauty and exhilaration that every woman has a birthright on. It’s the best outfit to dance in! And the best to feel free of all inhibitions and controls exercised on you for simply being a woman.

I walked the entire length of the long road twice. It felt amazing that not a single man or woman or child or dog re-looked at me with confusion! It felt liberating! I kept walking to assimilate this feeling for quite some time, and finally stopped when I spotted a cybercafé. The next hour was spent writing to friends and extended family and updating them all about everything being perfect at my end.

When I was entering the hotel, I saw Mamma and Bua coming out, looking rather worried. As soon as they spotted me, instant relief was spread across their faces. After their queries and my explanations, we started walking back towards our cottage to make preparations for dinner and chalk out the next day’s plan. And then, one of the two women walking beside me, said to me, “You look beautiful!”

It was my mother…


  1. Dear Ghazal,

    I saw your program in Salaam Zindagi. You looked beautiful from the outside and the inside. You were confident and at ease with everything.

    I am 24 years old man and gay. I have no sexual experience but I am attracted to men. I knew about it since 12 years of age. I feel very sad and I am not able to tell about it to anyone. I love my parents and my brother. I don't want to make them sad. But every single second of my life I am not able to get that thing out of my mind that I am gay.

    I don't know how to deal with it. What should I do if the people around me start making fun of me or I lose my job, if I come out. And if I don't come out how do I deal with my life. I am just 24 I have to live so many more years.

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    I can fully relate to the space and time you are going through, since I have been exactly there too, when I was 12 years old. Of course, by 13, I had informed my parents that I have unusual issues. My parents, being who they were, tried to understand me over the next decade and hence, got ample time to come to terms with it.

    In your case, however, I can see that the age is a crucial factor, and I understand how you must feel about not wanting to hurt them. But, let's be sure about ONE thing Anonymous. Sacrifice is not the way to go. And there is a very strong reason why I say that. Because it doesn't work! It never works. If you are contemplating getting married and seeming 'normal' for their sake, you will be living a deceitful relationship all your life! Unfair! On you and more, on the girl you marry... So, Marriage is totally out of the window, whether you come out or you don't. If you want to keep your sexuality a secret, you must find other ways to dodge getting entangled in that knot!

    Coming to coming out, the first step is for you to acknowledge that you are not just 'normal', but in fact, perfect. Your sexuality is simply one aspect of your life, and one aspect that you have every right to choose. But your sole interaction with the world is not your sexuality, right? I mean, if you're an efficient employee (and are not found to sexually harass your male colleagues), nobody has any business to fire you.

    Also, some people make fun, they WILL make fun, because all that these people know, is to make fun. But trust me, the kind of people who do that are really not the people you should give a damn about. You have every right to choose how you want to live and who you want to love. To hell with those who laugh... You can laugh back at them for being pig-headed!

    Yes, the family cannot be ignored, so, plan your coming out to them. Plan it over 6 months or say, a year. Sensitize them to homosexuality first. Let them cursorily read articles, see shows or movies based on it, share with your brother first because he, being younger, has a higher probability of understanding. I know that all this will still not shield your parents from the shock the day you disclose it, but it will surely cushion the impact.

    Every coming out is like this, Anonymous. The first few days will be very hard and the reactions could be most extreme. But gradually, as weeks pass, months pass, things will settle down. There could be a phase of denial for some time, there will be angry or emotional outbursts from time to time, your mother would probably be most affected, but THEY WILL COME AROUND. As long as you don't get too hyper in arguments and maintain your cool and your maturity. You must come across as assertive and certain to your family, but at the same time, you must also assure them that you love them and always want to be with them.

    I have heard of several gay coming outs and invariably, 90% of the parents come around in 1-2 years time and become more accepting. In a place like Bombay, there are also parents' meets where parents of gay men meet and share their experiences. Taking one's parents to these meets and letting them experience what others have been through and how they have come to understand is an idea you could explore too.

    The bottomline is that you must live your life to the fullest. If you're incomplete without your family and friends, so are you not whole without your sexual identity too. To balance both is in your hands and I'm sure you can do it. You just have to believe that you can... May Hope and Faith be with you!


  3. hi i am babal kase hon app app ko jan kar ek nai umed milay hain jenay ke asas peda horhe dil main bahoth jald ek maksad banrah hain mazil nazar arhe hain app ka tora sa sath cahye mujhe mujhe path ke mujhe samjo ge or mera sath do gey bye t c be happy and keep smile always be strong

  4. Thanks Dear 4 the information,still i dont have courage and money to to proceed with my HRT and SRS,If possible,kindly give the address of ur psycriatrist in Mumbai and name of ur DR.who performed SRS,I will b highly obliged

  5. Anonymous, take your time. There's no rush. You will know in time, whether you want to do it or not.

    I had consulted Dr. Matcheswalla in Maseena Hospital, Byculla. The doctor in Bangkok who performed my vaginoplasty is Dr. Chettawut. If you search for his name on google, you'll find his website and all information on it.

  6. Hi Gazal... first of all, i'd like to say, Hats off to your spirit!! And you define the spirit of women!
    Seriously, your story can stand as a source of inspiration to so many people.
    You are so pretty! Oh my God! and i just checked your photos on facebook... you have that face of a model! you look Gorgeous!
    and you sing damn well!! your voice is very very sweet! (saw the video- NDTV Salam Zindagi's)
    You are very talented... i admire you! :)
    God Bless your Sweet soul! :) have a great life ahead :)

  7. Hi Gazal , Hats of to you for taking the right decision to transform into a beautiful girl. I do not agree with the term transgender attached to you. You are a full fledged female . I'am also having the same problem like you faced before. Right from the age of 14 i got this desire to become a girl. I behaved like a girl. all my classmates teased me that i'am a girl. The inner me is a girl though i'am having a male body. I started to secretly wear my mothers underskirt saree and blouse and put bangles and other ornaments and enjoyed the feminine look. Now i'am more than 50 yeras old and i still wear underskirt saree and blouse secretly. I do not know what to do. Should i go for SRS in Bangkok. No body will help me and support me for this sex change operation. Pl suggest me some ideas. Thank you and God bless you for bright future.


Civility check done? :-)