Thursday, December 17, 2009
I started my transition just over three months ago. I never moved from where I I lived. That means that my neighbors and people who live or work in my neighborhood have seen me before; when I lived as a guy. Fine, they don't know me, they don't know who I am, but surely they know that this person lives around here. I have lived there for over a year now. Granted, when I began my transition I knew that for me not to have any squabbles with neighbors I should have moved. But getting a house in Nairobi sure is a lot of work and I couldn't jeopardize my work in my new job. So I braved up and continued living. For the first month and a half I looked kinda like my old self. Very little had changed. I only had my ears pierced and thats it. I still had short relaxed hair, I still wore androgynously, but I had breast enhancers on. I was extremely scared every time I went out. I hadn't changed much but now I expected myself to be female and not male and try as much as possible to be convincing enough to everyone and anyone. Definitely this look led to my being confronted by that hotel guard I blogged about here.
The second month saw me change my hairstyle and put on dreadlocks. The ones made with black thread. Again, I was extremely bold in doing this and going out every single day in public and still trying to maintain my femininity amid increasingly confused stares coming my way. I could see the neighbors getting uneasy everytime I passed by. They also would mumble words to themselves whenever id pass by. This still gave me shivers but I braved on. Still not moving. I really love this house. Seeing that I was not confronted by anyone, I felt that it probably was 'kinda' safe to live here and I should continue with my life bravely and not care as to who's who. I got encouraged to continue by some of my friends and one of them told me that I should be ready to face my fears. Again, probably where I would move to could be far worse.
In the third month I again changed my hairstyle. This time I put on a very feminine hairstyle; braids! The braids I have on are very feminine. They are curly, long and black. They give me such a nice look and I really love them. So of course this was going to shake some more ground in my home surroundings. That same week, I put on a skirt for the very first time. I had been wearing jeans and trousers all along. The second week came and I put on a skirt again. Third week, the same. The following day after this third time my friend and neighbor alerted me of something he'd heard being discussed by some neighbors around. It was about this guy who lives around and has started wearing skirts and like a girl! That was me! This was the first time I had heard that I was being discussed. And he told me he had heard it before. Chills ran down my spine. I was petrified beyond comprehension. That night I didn't sleep well. Neither did my mother because immediately after my friend gave me the exposé, I told her about it.
So this means that I need to move. And I need to do this fast! Fine, I still haven't been confronted, but I do not want to continue provoking them in any kind of way because one of the things that my friend heard one guy say was that the guy would make advances to me so as to try and find out if I really am a girl or something. I am now looking for a house and will probably move by the end of the year or early next year. I hope to find a good house in a good neighborhood where people mind their own lives and there are no nosy neighbors!
Pray for me my dear friends. Pray that I get a good house that I can call home. Where I can live as myself without fear of being ostracized or anything!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
This is an umbrella term for:
- Cross dressers
- Gender Queers
- Gender Benders, Gender Non-conforming
The main problem with most of humanity is that culture has taught us that there are only two traditional gender models; also known as binary roles.
- Sex (body has) Male (penis) Female (vagina)
- Gender Role (behaves stereotypically) Masculine Feminine
- Gender Identity (identify as) Man Woman
- Sexual Orientation (gets attracted to) Woman Man
Definitely, a huge number of people do not fit into these models. We must recognize gender complexities; that its vast, explosive and non-rigid.
Before talking about transgender, we need to begin by breaking down 'gender'. Its the critical piece in the word. I will use the above to break down.
- Sex – Its the physical, biological or anatomical sexual markers. Strongly related to genitalia.
- Gender Role – Its the social understanding of how we are in a gendered sense in the world. Its the public, social and perceived expectations of gendered acts or expressions. Something we do or something other people see in us.
- Gender Identity – Simply the self conception/perception of one's gender.
So back to the terms.
- Transgender – A person who doesn't conform or identify with the gender expectations associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.
- Transsexual - A transgender person who has changed or is in the process of changing their physical sex/characteristics by undergoing medical/hormonal treatment such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and/or sex reassignment surgery (SRS).
- Transvestite – A person who sometimes wears clothes traditionally worn by and associated with the opposite sex. Confused sometimes for Drag Queens/Kings.
- Gender queer, gender non-conforming – A person who does not identify as a man or a woman. (Eg. There was this person on a documentary who was born female but felt that they identified more as a gay man)
Trans Man or transgender man – a person who was assigned female at birth but who lives and/or identifies as a man.
Trans Woman or transgender woman – a person who was assigned male at birth but who lives and/or identifies as a woman.
Stereotypically, most transgender people consider themselves as straight. That means, if its a trans man, then he is attracted to women and considers himself as a straight man. If its a trans woman, then she is attracted to men and considers herself as a straight woman.
Most of the time, transgender people are confused for being either gay men who dress as women full time or lesbians who dress as men full time. This is not so as gender identity ans sexual orientation are two very different things. In a nutshell, trans people can be gay, straight, bisexual, asexual, pansexual...you name it. It begins with them describing themselves as whatever gender they feel best then goes to identifying what sexual orientation they fit in.
Almost all transgendered people 'suffer' from gender identity disorder (GID) or gender dysphoria. This is a psychological 'disease' that describes what these people go through. Some people in the world are beginning to push for transgender people not to be categorized as 'psychologically challenged' persons. Others, especially in places where the Transgender movement is still very young, feel that that would make it far more difficult for them to gain rights and access to medical processes.
I could go on, but indeed this (in my view) covers much of the basics. In Kenya, the Trans Movement is very young. There are few trans people out there fighting for rights but it is growing. One of the founders of the only trans organization has made tremendous leaps in fighting for hers and her fellows rights through engaging with the media (Being interviewed my media houses about being transgendered and in Kenya), being actively involved with mainstream human rights organizations such as the KHRC, writing and publishing articles in mainstream news networks such as Pambazuka News, engaging with the medical fraternity like the societies dealing with psychology in Kenya, the Kenyan medical board, the big heads in the largest Kenyan hospital, enganement with legal professionals who could assist in providing frameworks for legal aid to trans and intersex persons regarding name change in legal identification documents and much much more.
She is a person that makes me want to do more for the Kenyan community in terms of advocacy and sensitization.
I really hope that this long long post has and will continue to be of great help to all that come across it and I also hope that people learn from it.
“Vivre et Laisser Vivre”
Monday, December 14, 2009
As the days go by, into my last three months of my job, I am now changing tact. Indeed the words of my superiors made me think a lot about where I am headed and what I should do with my life and with my many talents. It came out clearly that I am immensely resourceful and have lots of potential to do great things and go many places. This made me think about myself and what I am to do with me. I know all the things they said about me, but to be honest, this transition has made my confidence levels drop! I have to be honest with myself. Something else I was told was not to blame my laxity on my transition. This is also true. Somehow I have blamed even my lack of sociality on the fact that I am a transgender and in Kenya. Truth be told, life as a trans girl in Kenya ain't easy. I know Ive said this before. It sure ain't. But once you get over yourself and start living, it can get easier. (My boss' tha best!). She told me that I knew that life would become more complicated once I began my transition and its a decision I made knowing full well the consequences. In all honesty, I have asked myself these questions time and again: am I on the right path? Is it all worth it? Will I trip, fall and turn back? Which life is better? This one or the old one? Am I happier? Will I make it? These questions all get answered somehow in the next few minutes after asking myself. I ensure I end up with positive energy and that I feel fine. I am beautiful and I thank God for that. Definitely, walking around the streets of Nairobi make m nervous, I am less nervous now than before. I feel more confident because of my new hairstyle. It gives me the femme look that I always yearned for. I had small dreadlocks before but even those still made me a bit uncomfy. Either way, just being a tranny in Nairobi is hard work and very brave!
So the day I was alighting from a bus and just as I stood up to alight, I noticed something. My 'friend downstairs' was peeping out! Somehow it had slid out of where I had carefully tucked it away. To make matters worse, I was wearing a tight short skirt! OMG! I was so scared! It was a good thing that I was headed for work so I walked as fast as I could in my high heels trying as hard as I can to make sure its not visible! That experience was terrible. Its happened before but only when I'm wearing trousers or jeans (I wear these most of the times) and so its usually not much of a scare. But that day's incident really freaked me out!
I began wearing skirts immediately I got my new hairdo. It somehow gave me the confidence to strut out into Nairobi looking glamorous in a skirt; something I had never done and had been looking forward to for such a long time. This was my third time out in a skirt and it always gave me the jitters. Mostly it did because I'm usually uncomfortable with my slightly broad shoulders and smaller hips and wider waistline. I have to admit, I was blessed with a naturally curvy body so I've always wanted to flaunt that. But seeing how broad my shoulders were made me a little scared. So I always make sure I'm wearing a jacket or jumper on top. I am yet to get the courage to walk in Nairobi with a tight top and bottom on, showing all my curves without being scared.
Something else that I still am very conscious about is my neck. I have an AA. Of course I don't like it but its there. So when I'm out in public I'm usually wearing a scarf, no matter how hot it may be because I'm scared of people noticing my AA. Again, because of facial hair and years of constant and frequent shaving, my skin below the chin is very rough and shadowy. Its easy to tell that I have been shaving and I have those razor bumps and the dark shades below my neck. On the face I hide those with foundation but having an oily face only makes my face look plump and shiny; something I definitely don't want to see. I keep telling myself that I ain't the only girl in Nairobi let alone the whole of Kenya who has skin issues and I should just be okay with myself and try to be thankful for what I already have. I also keep reminding myself that there are plenty of girls out there that don't have a curvy body and still have wide-looking shoulders and that I should be thankful that I have one!
Either way, I am doing my best and I am thankful to God for giving me the strength to carry on. I know life will be difficult but I am able to make it through and make it big.
No matter the circumstances I will survive. I will make the best out of my life!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I liked this post I saw somewhere and I thought I'd share.
Written by Lo Nyambok
Monday, 04 August 2008
MIRIAM RIVERA- MODEL
Well, about a month ago someone had written a NOTE on facebook to explain how complicated it is to try pleasing everyone when it comes to GENDER ISSUES (especially in the US/UK etc). The thing is, everyone wants to be identified based on whatever gender they are- it might not necessarily be the gender they were when they were born. Trust me, it gets so complicated to attempt to get everyone happy and stay POLITICALLY CORRECT etc etc
PLEASE CIRCLE ONE GENDER THAT PERTAINS TO YOU:
HERE IS MY RESPONSE TO THAT NOTE:
I took this multi-cultural class last semester and I thought I knew everything about everything. Until a student explained something on TRANS-SEXUAL (NOT TRANSGENDER, there is a big difference.)
(As a WOMAN- I feel like a damn raging retarded alien sometimes KEYWORD: SOMETIMES), all the changing hormonal balances- makes me UN-HUMAN sometimes- but am sure its nothing close to what a TRANS- GENDER person goes through on a daily.)
THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT MIRIAM
I didnt watch the show, but saw something about it one time on VH1- The Men were in complete shock @ the end of the show...
I always stick to one main principle in my life- GOD IS LOVE- period!!!! Meaning the same GOD who took his time to create YOU (As special as you are) is actually the same GOD who also took his time to create Trans- persons, and we are all different as different can be but we are also unified by one CREATOR.
Its like someone telling me that its UNNATURAL to be AFRICAN or its UNNATURAL to be A WOMAN (Wouldnt that be the most ridiculous absolute stupidity that anyone could possible ever say??? lol!) I try and imagine my reaction to that and its quite hilarious. I know that I used a super simple analogy, but its really that simple. They are who they are and choose to live their lives based on whatever suits and makes them happy, so why should I care or lose sleep over people who have nothing to do with me.
Actually that was not even my POINT- my point as you can read from my 1st sentence is that I thought I knew but I didnt. This student explained to us that TRANS- GENDER/TRANS- SEXUAL people are considered STRAIGHT. (Now at this point my entire jaw hit the floor- I was too confused.)
Meaning if a person perceived themselves as a FEMALE and believe it in their mind their minds that are truly FEMALE even though they have a "WRONG" body of a man- then they actually get attracted to a MALE.
On February 27 MIRIAM WAS HOSPITALIZED with multiple broken bones and internal bleeding after she was attacked and thrown from the 4th floor window of her New York apartment.
By Lo (Enigmaress)
I must say that it been one hell of a week! And I hope thats just but a phrase! But it somehow shows what it is that I am dealing with. Somehow as I type this, I remember those days that I used to update my journal at home and also some of my previous posts on this blog. I hate being boring and at this point, I hate what I have been doing to myself. This post will be like just one paragraph because I will be jumping from one topic to the other as I let my mind run wild. I tell you guys I am not okay. I am sure that as I type this there will be tons of grammatical errors and phrases that may sound as 'direct translations' from my mother tongue! I feel like a terrible mess. I am better now but as far as I am concerned, there is so much work I need to do that I am now left wondering where to start. I like doing this. Writing down my thoughts, it calms my nerves, helps me think stuff through. Its kinda like a therapy for me apart from talking to myself when I am alone in my house. I tell myself that it is this 'therapy' that has enabled me to be the person I am now. I am very young and yet I am fully aware of myself as a person. Compared to my age mates, I consider myself very mature. My age mates are busy 'enjoying life', drinking and partying, hooking up and breaking up. All that stuff. So as I was saying, I am a mess. I say this because I have just come out of a meeting where I was extensively grilled on my status in the organization I work for. I have been described as lax and lacking in good work ethic. My effort has been extremely low and areas where my input was greatly required was either not forthcoming or was very poor in execution. Basically, most of my work sucked! Most of these words are things that I had noticed for myself and was already mad at me for them. I consider myself a very strong person and very serious with the work that I do. I came from a very strong financial background and now my new work area encompasses very new stuff. It has a lot to deal with activism, report writing, documentation, filing, administration work...so much! Its all very new to me I admit and being here for the last three months has taught me a great deal. Apart from giving me the plat form to become myself fully and not to hide, it has given me the opportunity to discover new talents that I previously didn't know I had. I am so glad I got this internship. I know it wont last long but I will make the best of it. I have met people of all sorts and I have seen how people work in the community. I cannot consider myself an expert of sorts because I am still quite young in age and also in this activism work but I must say that the environment is quite interesting. I am a person who analyzes the way people behave and the way they react to situations so that I can know how best to approach and/or interact with them. These past few months I have seen very many personalities. Definitely the ones that have stuck more are those of the people I work with but I must admit that I would like to engage more, interact more, meet more people, know how to push the transgender and intersex issues across so they can be addressed, and most importantly, see the realization of my dream of returning back to the society.
On matters more personal, I am doing fine. Life is hard people, it is indeed. Being a trans woman in Kenya and specifically in Nairobi is hard. I'm sure most of you will be saying 'so is where I am', but I'm saying this because I want to. I want to let it be known that its hard. I don't mean to say that its not possible, I'm just pointing out the reality that you gotta stick your chin up and brave it up. From what I see, I only get looks here and there, especially when I am dressed quite androgynously. One cant tell what the person looking at you is thinking and so I try not to worry too much. I have not been confronted by anyone regarding my gender ever since that hotel incident. Even at home, the only lady that was giving me worries is now aware, somewhat, of what my problems are. Somehow the fact that I looked so ladylike before when I used to dress in boy clothes(including suits!) helped for her to understand. Personally when I look in the mirror I can point out so many things that are un-feminine and/or very masculine. I am happy that I got a hairdo that accentuates my femininity and gives me a very pretty look. (I hate tooting my own horn!). I however am still very conscious of the fact that I have an adams apple and more discouragingly, my facial hair. The good thing is that I use foundation to hide my blemishes and black spots and the famous 'five-o'clock shadow'. The bad thing is that my face is very oily. So when I have foundation on I look like I have so much oil on and I cannot wipe my face off! It makes me feel very self conscious about it so I look at people to see whether they are looking at me. I have to say that I am more confident nowadays about myself and I am so happy that this girl FINALLY came out and is living her life. My superior told me, "Get over yourself. You have to now focus on other bigger issue now that you're tackling your transition. You cannot let the transition issues determine how far you can push as an individual!" That may have sounded harsh but I took it positively. It was her way of telling me that now that I am no longer battling my issues internally, I can start doing things that will push me further into what I intend to achieve in life. Now that I am facing the world as a tranny, I should embrace the opportunity with open arms and face the world head on. Its time to stop hiding and playing it safe!
Gosh! I do have so many things id like to share. Now unfortunately as my mind bounces back and forth on what to write on, it leaves me black and I am left typing away on what is going on in there. I get afraid that as I post this someone will read this and think 'oh how so boring! Just someone mumbling about their boring life!'. Haha!!
So I went to a lab for some tests that my endocrinologist wanted me to do before she prescribed estadiol for me. I still have a scan to do. I think I mentioned it. She wants me to be checked whether I have internal female parts!! like ovaries and stuff!! goooosh!!!!
Anywho, I did the test and I cant wait for the results. The only thing delaying me is the availability of funds. Transition is very expensive and most of the times we ask ourselves whether its all worth it. I am quite blessed to have a paying job and an extremely supportive mother who has and still is giving me all sorts of support where she can and more importantly financial assistance. Again, here in Kenya the transgender issue is not very well known. So most of the doctors who are aware of the condition are of upmarket level and therefore charge very high rates. From the responses I got from my blogging friends it seems that the costs may be somewhat similar but since I am still beginning I will put in what I myself have gone through and have paid. For example, my initial doses of hormones was antiandrogens. I am taking spironolactone and finasteride. Spironolactone costs about Ksh.6 per 25mg tablet and my daily dose is currently 150gms per day. Therefore its about Ksh.1,080 per month. Thats about US$ 13.50. Then the finasteride costs about Ksh.50 per 10mg tab and I take one tab daily. So thats about Ksh1,500 per month. US$ 19 per month. The test I did cost me Ksh.5,000, and that was after a discount! That was US$ 62.50. I hope it doesn't turn out recurrent! The scan will probably cost me about the same amount. I am yet to know how much the orchiectomy will be but from what I was told, it may be between the ranges of Ksh.10,000 and Ksh.20,000 (US$ 125 to 250).
Lemme leave it at that. I will update more soon. Right now I have to concentrate on making myself more employable! My bosses need to know I be a hard worker!!! LOL!!
"Vivre et Laisser Vivre!"
Friday, December 4, 2009
So I saw this pps and I felt I should share it today so that my next post shall go back to my (near-boring) life!!
We convince ourselves that life will be better
once we are married, have a baby, then another.
Then we get frustrated because our
children are not old enough, and that all
will be well when they are older.
Then we are frustrated because they
reach adolescence and we must deal
with them. Surely we’ll be happier
when they grow out of the teen years.
We tell ourselves our life will be better when our spouse gets his/her
act together, when we have a nicer car, when we can take a vacation,
when we finally retire.
The truth is that there is no
better time to be happy than
right now. If not, then when?
Your life will always be full of
challenges. It is better to
admit as much and to decide
to be happy in spite of it all.
For the longest time, it seemed that life was about to start. Real life.
But there was always some obstacle along the way, an ordeal to get
through, some work to be finished, some time to be given, a bill to
be paid. Then life would start.
I finally came to understand that those obstacles were life.
That point of view helped
me see that there isn’t
any road to happiness.
Happiness IS the road.
So, enjoy every moment.
Stop waiting for school to end, for a return to school, to lose ten pounds,
to gain ten pounds, for work to begin, to get married, for Friday evening,
for Sunday morning, waiting for a new car, for your mortgage to be paid
off, for spring, for summer, for fall, for winter, for the first or the fifteenth
of the month, for your song to be played on the radio, to die, to be
reborn… before deciding to be happy.
Happiness is a VOYAGE, not a DESTINATION.
There is no better time to be happy than…
Live and enjoy the moment.
Now, think and try to answer these questions:
1 – Name the 5 richest people in the world.
2 – Name the last 5 Miss Universe winners.
3 – Name the last 10 Nobel Prize winners.
4 – Name the last 10 winners of the Best Actor Oscar.
Can’t do it? Rather difficult, isn ’t it?
Don’t worry, nobody remembers that.
Applause dies away!
Trophies gather dust!
Winners are soon forgotten.
Now answer these questions:
1 – Name 3 teachers who contributed to your education.
2 – Name 3 friends who helped you in your hour of need.
3 – Think of a few people who made you feel special.
4 – Name 5 people that you like to spend time with.
More manageable? It ’s easier,
The people who mean
something to your life are not
rated “the best”, don’t have the
most money, haven’t won the
They are the ones who care
about you, take care of you,
those who, no matter what,
stay close by.
Think about it for a moment. Life is very short!
And you, in which list are you? Don’t know?
Let me give you a hand.
You are not among the most
to whom I remember to
tell this message…
Some time ago, at the Seattle
Olympics, nine athletes, all
mentally or physically
challenged, were standing on
the start line for the 100 m race.
The gun fired and the race
began. Not everyone was
running, but everyone wanted
to participate and win.
They ran in threes, a boy tripped
and fell, did a few somersaults
and started crying. The other
eight heard him crying.
They slowed down and looked
behind them. They stopped and
came back… All of them...
A girl with Down’s
Syndrome sat down next to
him, hugged him & asked,
“Feeling better now?”
Then, all nine walked
shoulder to shoulder to the
The whole crowd stood up and applauded.
And the applause lasted a very long time …
People who witnessed this still talk about it.
Because deep down inside
us, we all know that the
most important thing in
life is much more than
winning for ourselves.
The most important thing in this life is to help others to win.
Even if that means slowing down and changing our own race.
“A candle loses
nothing if it is
used to light
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
So since ranting and raving about my love life on the past post, I remembered that apart from that there has been other stuff that have traspired; stuff that may be of importance to the one wanting to learn more about what it means to be a transgender girl in Kenya. Notice how I refer to myself as 'girl'? Its because I believe I am still young enough to refer to myself as girl and not as woman; just a thought :D!
So for all of you who have been following my love life story, we did meet with A eventually and it was okay. I guess I was just being paranoid or something. Things are good between me and my special friend. I cant complain.
I recently visited a few specialists here and there towards my ongoing transition and I want to share where and what I have been upto.
I went to visit an electrologist. Now, the purpose of this electrologist is to see how I can eliminate semi-permanently the presence of facial hair on my face. Yes . As you all know I shave my face every two days because I still grow that dreadful beard hair! The electrologist is supposed to perform an electrolysis on me which will eventually remove all facial hair semi-permanently. I say semipermanently because if I don't take care of the testosterone in my body; that is eliminate it completely or just reduce it, I will have to keep going back to the electrologist for that procedure. Oh and mind you all this costs money! Where I went it costs $25 for consultation and about $50 for the 30minute procedure! Tough on a cookie like me!! I never got to do it due to finances but I got a prescription for the acne on my face. The 'good' doctor told me that I may wish to concentrate on the acne first before going to the facial hair. I disagreed with him but I never let him know.
So I also went to see an endocrinologist. This is a very important physician in my transition because s/he is the one to ensure that my hormonal balance is in check and that I am taking the correct medications and dosages. So I went to see her for the first time. Before that I was unable to reach her but I finally got her. She is a very good lady and really understand my situation. I was referred to her by my friend who is also a trans woman and her patient. I had gone to her specifically to get a prescription for estrogens since I had been looking around for them with no success. She never gave me the prescription but instead asked me to do several checkups before so that she would know exactly what to prescribe. One of the tests, which I found interesting, was to determine whether or not I have internal female organs! Yes people! She said that one of the reasons behind my rare intersexuality would be the presence of internal fallopian tubes, ovaries and other stuff. Personally I don't think I have ever done such an x-ray. I wonder what my reaction would be if I really do have such in me! Anyways, she also asked me to ensure that I take my pills properly so as to avoid side effects occurring badly. We are dealing with hormones people!!
My friend the trans woman recommended something to me that I had never though of before. She recommended I do a Bilateral Orchidectomy. This is in lay terms a castration! Yes. In order for me to be rid of secondary male characteristics I should get rid of my testes! Ok, if you are male youre probably wondering why the hell I would want to 'cut off' my balls! Well, I'm not actually cutting off anything, I will be simply removing the balls; the scrotal skin cover will still remain! This then definitely means that if I go ahead with the operation, I shall be forever sterile. I shall not be able to have babies of my own. Now for me, I have alsways dreamt of giving birth; not siring babies. Its unfortunate or fortunate but its true. Its the way it is. So my stand is that if I cannot give birth then I cant. Period. I will adopt. My organs may be working perfectly but I cannot comprehend the fact that I 'fathered' a child. That would only happen by accident! So in a nutshell, I am going to do the operation very soon because it eliminates about 95% of all the testosterone production in my body. What does that mean? It means that my body no longer undergoes any further masculinization. It also means that there are side effects. I wish I can tell you more on this but its a lot of info and I'd rather give links such as these.
Finally, work. Work has been fine. As I mentioned earlier, my work is not that involving and part of in is about research. I am yet to teach myself on the methodologies of report writing and proposal writing but I am sure I will get to that sooner rather than later. One of the stuff I have been researching a little on is religion. I had earlier put up a post on the famous Leviticus verses but now I am talking of more than just christianity and whether its for or against homosexuality and/or transsexuality. Thought proviking stuff on the Internet I tell you! Need I say more?
Mambo baad!! (Things are bad!!)
Somehow, I blame this sadness of sorts on one person, or maybe its the hormones taking a toll on me! :D This one person that I have been referring to as 'my special friend', from today I will call him A.
If there is one thing I dislike is ranting and raving about someone I cherish. Maybe its because I expect nothing but the best from them or something but I just hate being sad especially when its them making me sad.
I haven't seen A for almost two weeks now. We have been talking on phone, yes, almost everyday even, but I just want to see him! I wanna hold him! I want him to hold me! (This must be the very first time I speak candidly about my private life! Hehe!). I want to hear sweet nothings in my ear, someone to listen to my yabber jabber! There is so much on my chest just begging to be off!! The steam is easily let out with my head resting on his chest. Its like a breath of fresh air! I miss him so terribly I'm almost exploding! He has been really busy of late and I'm turning into a worried wife! I don't like this at all! In fact, I must confess, I have been tempted to 'enjoy' myself with one of my admirers but I respect him too much to do that and plus, I really cannot possibly have that in my conscience and keep a straight face. I just cannot be with two men at one time. It just cannot register in my head!
I know this blog is meant to educate people on transgenderism and transsexualism and mostly on a personal view of my life, and I know that today's blog may not necessarily touch on that topic but with all due respect, if I'm gonna tell people about my life in transition ans a Kenyan Transgender girl, then surely the love life of this girl must feature somewhere at one point or the other!
I love what I do, who I am and I'm proud of me. One of the ways I let off steam is through writing. I write on my journal at home and most importantly this blog also is a steam releaser for me. Another way is speaking incoherently, babbling away to myself when I am alone in the office. Self talk. Trust me, it works!! After a 20 minute incoherent babble, I feel much better. Its a sort of therapy for me. One of the ways that I was able to deal with all my issues with me being a transgender.
So now that thats take care of, lets get back to more important issues. My main agenda. I hope I will be posting something else soon because I just gotta share my thoughts soon or I will explode!!!!
Great sharing a bit of my love life with y'all!!!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This subject will be for a while a very disturbing and troubling topic. That being established, I will share my thoughts.
We need to realise that:-
1. Christianity is one third of the population of the world. I need not say more. Simply, not everyone is a Christian
2. On the Bible issue, look at this letter to a clergy.
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can.
When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I
simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an
abomination. End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific
laws and how to best follow them.
a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They
claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
price for her?
c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her
period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do
I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend
of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you
clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2
clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill
f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality.
I don't agree. Can you settle this?
g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a
defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my
vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev
19:27. How should they die?
i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me
unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different
crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of
two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to
curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the
trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16)
Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we
do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and
I believe that, this being an online community, we have the capability of finding out what opinions exist out there and more importantly why they are there.
As a Christian, I find that there is and has always been a whole lot of misunderstanding on what the Bible says and doesnt say. Even Churches differ on stuff, leading them to being different in their own ways, all the same (claiming to) preaching the Word of God.
I go back to one true thing. Jesus came to undo what damage the Old Testament had done. The Bible is and has previously been used to discriminate against people. For example, the Black Revolution in the US was at one point condemned by using the Bible!!! Just do your research.
In plain terms, I am a christian. I do agree that a small part of me will never know truly whether I am doing the right thing, but for now, I leave it as is.
Jesus taught the message of LOVE. Period. He even explicilty gave Two Commandments. I dont have to remind you that.
All the same, as a saying goes (and mind my language):
"Opinions are like Arse-holes....everyone has one!!!"
Monday, November 16, 2009
Back to my special friend, its been a while since I've seen him and I'm feeling very lonely. I know people may be wondering why I don't call him a boyfriend or my guy. Its simply because I consider him just as that. A special friend. He is more than just a friend. Its just that I don't think I have reached that point where I can comfortably call him my boyfriend or my guy. Until I am okay with that, it will remain as is. And on the same note, until I see him, I will remain miserable.
Still on being low, I recently mentioned that my mom (brave as she is!) went to my grandparents and broke the news (of my situation and subsequent journey into transitioning) to them. It wasn't easy. I'm not sure whether I want to divulge more info on the matter but what I can tell y'all is that one of them wasn't too happy about it at all. They said that I was being deviant, that I was possessed by a demon spirit from the pits of Hell, that I was in dire need of prayers! They even went to the extent of calling up my supportive cousins and telling them not to support what I am doing, that its ungodly that they should instead take me to a renowned local pastor that is known for his (and God's, I presume) ability to perform 'exorcism' on demon possessed persons in the society. It is unbelievable yes, but its the reality. I am still recollecting myself from that massive blow and trying to keep my shoulders held high and my spirituality and faith in God, yes, the same God she believes in.
in as much as I write about being down, I still try to remind myself that its normal to have ups and downs, that we all go through those. And I hope for the best.
The best is yet to come.
Friday, November 13, 2009
There is a young woman inside of me
Lost in a labyrinth within my heart
A butterfly trying to break free from her cocoon
Trying to spread her wings and fly
Longing for acceptance and love
A soul alone trapped in the dark
Many have laughed and criticized her
Others have watched in silence
As this young woman holds her head up high
With courage she absorbs the cruel remarks
On the outside you may see a man
But on the inside she is a lady; a princess
Beautiful and sweet though she may be
Many tears have fallen from her eyes
But still she chooses to hold on
Knowing she will be real one day
As for her truelove
Her Knight in shining armor
He is out there; somewhere
Waiting for her to find her way
Like a bud blossoming into a rose
She blossomed from a man into a woman
This feminine spirit I have inside
A shadow of shame falls onto to her face
As she makes her way through the maze
She prays, prays to Him
In hopes that He will hear her
Forgive me father
All is forgiven
Becoming a Martyr for all to see
Fighting to survive and living to be
For no man or woman
Shall defeat the feminine spirit inside of me
Monday, November 9, 2009
Here is a letter I had written to God in desperation. I had many of these, I just happened to come across this one. If my prayers were documented, I'm sure they'd fill up a whole library!! Wish I'd remember the day I wrote it though!
Thank you for being there for me. I am in a deep rut and I am afraid I cannot get out. It seems the devil has gotten the better of me. Now I'm too afraid to even face you. I am begging you Lord to purge my spirit. Touch me once more. Touch my mind and remove all these crazy ideologies I may have developed. Please Lord, I'm languishing in torment and the torture is unbearable.
I don't know myself, only God knows me. Only He can do with me what he wants but I have to submit, I cannot be His if I don't change.
Its upto me to become the change I want to see.
Am I truly female? Is there anything such as transgender or gay? Personally I do not understand gayness but the situation I am in really puts me in a total fix!
This question I hate asking; WHY?
Why wasnt I born okay like the rest of the guys?
Why did I become such?
Why is it that my feeling go 'wayside'?
Why oh why?
Is it my fault? Am I to blame?
Did I bring this on myself??
The letter ends there. Its interesting but you tend to see where I was coming from.
I don't want to write much today. Nowadays I seem to read a lot and forget to write about what I'm reading and stuff like that. There are so many issues to deal with, to write about and sometimes, I think that one can never really read everything. So I just tell myself, one day at a time.
Hope to have more juicy stories to write about!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
This day was difficult. Something happened and suddenly my peace of mind went blah! I just don't know whats wrong with me. I'm so moody!!! Just now, I smsed my drama director that I will be quitting drama! Just imagine! He has just replied telling me to persevere for a while but I'm telling you the way I feel isn't normal! I don't know whats wrong. I just feel so bad. Everytime I try to be happy I am reminded of my reality; that for me to be true to myself and be happy I have to be myself, and thats not possible right now. Its so saddening. Its so sickening. Makes me feel like cursing the day I was born and altogether giving up on life! Aargh!! I'm saddened sometimes to think that maybe this is what I put on myself. I let this happen to me. Ive always felt pretty and beautiful and today its not like that. Today I'm sad. I'm down. I'm deeply confused, heartbroken, angry, all those mixed feelings! Nowadays I feel like I've lost my glow, the one I had back in high school when I was being hit on my guys knowing perfectly well that it was a boy school! I feel like the manly look is improving by the day. I'm no longer noticeable and even that photo I took of myself looks weird now! Huh! I keep telling myself everyday that I am beautiful both inside and out. I guess it will wade off. These feelings shall go and I will continue with life. But how will it be? I know too well what I am capable of. But I cannot achieve much because I keep holding back. I keep looking over the shoulder. Trying so hard to hide my true self. Trying so hard not to be affected by what people say about me when they see me doing something 'awkward'. I keep reminding myself of my acting skills. I can act like a boy. It will be okay. Even if I'm not one, I can act like one. Maybe it will sink in. The manliness. The masculinity that I so lack. Maybe I will find a way to live this way. Maybe, just maybe. Despite the saying about wishes, I only wish I was on one side. Male or female. Like I would wake up one day and it will be well. That my faith in God somehow makes it happen or someone somewhere gets a sort of vision and makes a prayer and voila! I'm free!! I wish... oh I wish!
It ended that way. Most of it is edited. Some things I couldn't put here. But its what I felt then. About four years ago, when I had just cleared from high school.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Apart from dissing myself there, life hasn't been met without the usual ups and downs. It sometimes worries me to be writing about me and my life seeing that I personally tend to be very private. It also sometimes saddens me that I don't get to follow my fellow bloggers' blogs properly (as I would like to) because of the lack of time. (I say this despite the fact that we all have 24hrs in a day!!).
Now to update you on what's been happening; what I've been up to, lemme start by telling you that I was diagnosed with Ulcers! Now now, lets not jump into conclusions by saying, “Oh no! Its a case of stress! Oh you poor thing!”. Well, quite frankly, it was! But not entirely though. I also haven't been eating well. You see, I used to work for a catering company (I must've mentioned this somewhere else) and thereby used to eat nice, well cooked, healthy, FREE meals!! Expectedly, I never cooked at home, unless I had visitors over or was on leave. But now, now cooking is something I have to 'reinvent', remind myself. My mom keeps telling me, “If you ever get married, you will be one disappointing wife!”. Funny as it may sound, its not, in reality. In our culture, a young woman should know her way around the kitchen EXTREMELY well. As someone said in a radio recently, a good woman/wife should be a chef in the kitchen, a friend in the living room, a partner in public and a slut in the bedroom!
So, yes. I did have an ulcer scare. It lasted about three weeks and during this time I didnt have any hormones. I felt bad for that but I couldn't help stopping knowing very well that one of the side effects of the drugs is nausea and stuff!
I am now back on meds and I am relatively happy. I say relatively because there are still so many other issues that have been cropping up and its weighing heavily on me. I hope that I will be able to create time so that I can share these issues with y'all. Otherwise for now, I will stop there.
But I will leave you with a question. For those in transition and or completed transitioning, how much did it cost, roughly? Could you break it down simply into total cost, cost of meds, cost of srs(if any) and also into yearly, monthly, weekly and daily costs especially for the hrt(meds).
Thanks y'all. Happy blogging!!
Monday, October 19, 2009
So I felt inclined to reply and pour my heart out. Eventually I thought it would be nice to share this with you. My thoughts:-
Its not gonna be smooth sailing.
Here was the reply.
I have said this before and i will say it again since i totally understand how or why it is very hard for you to understand, let alone accept who i am. You have no idea how tormenting this issue has been on me all my life however short its been. No one ever wants to be unhappy or feel tormented or sad or confused or depressed or stressed or have ulcers as a result of such. I never chose this for myself. I have prayed feverently that i go one way. I have stressed myself when i was younger trying to fit into this masculinity that i supposedly belonged to. I even had my Christian friends pray for me, 'kuniwekelea mikono'(laying hands on me) and stuff like that. I have been suffering in silence and the only thing that kept me going was my faith in God. He is the only reason i kept on living. Believe it or not, I have considered suicide several times in my life. I still wish this wasnt happening and that i was just a normal young handsome man who would one day marry a beautiful girl and live a normal life. Its not the case. Its not my fault. I cannot blame God. I cannot say its Satan. Actually I don't know. Maybe it is. I don't know. All I know right now is that, even if currently i look like those tomboys coz I'm a girl, I'm happy. I now live as Linsay. A girl. One that has always existed since January 2nd 1988 usiku. She never knew what was going on. She never knew why it was happening. Why she loved dressing up in her moms clothes yet everyone told her 'stop doing that! you are a boy!'. She was so confused when it was so easy doing girl stuff like playing 'kalongo' and 'kati' and 'bladder' and 'hapo' and playing with dolls, yet when it came to interacting with 'fellow boys', it was difficult; an uphill task. She would get so worried and confused and have mixed feelings when she would get nick names such as 'kasuppuu' in primary and when boys her age would treat her differently from her 'fellow boy-mates'. She kept wondering why it was so easy relating with girls than it was relating with boys in that primary school. She got even more confused when puberty hit and all her feelings were feminine. Her gait, mannerisms and even thought process. She wondered why she couldn't be like her 'fellow boy-mates'. It was hard for her. To make matters more confusing, since puberty was also there for her friends, the ones in the same dorm as she would like to tease her, telling her how pretty she was and some even went to the extent of touching her in 'suggestive' ways. She stressed over why boys did that to her asking herself 'si we are all boys?'. Her stressed shot up even more when one boy blackmailed her into having 'relations' with her because she lost something of his. This was emotional rape. It was horrendous. Doing something unwillingly. She wondered, 'aren't there girls in this school that he could go for? why me?'. Thats a question that would repeat itself in her mind all through her young life "Why Me??". Her spiritual life fell apart. The confusion grew rapidly. Her stress levels skyrocketed. She was diagnosed with stress induced ulcers. She contemplated suicide. It wasnt easy. She couldn't do it. She still believed there was a reason why she was going through what she was. She sought for answers in the Internet. She saw 'gay' and thought, 'no this isn't me. I'm not a man, but then this body...'. She saw transsexual/transgender. Then had the 'aha!' moment....
I could go on, but i hope you get my drift. It was not a choice I made to be who I am, it was the choice to embrace my reality and be happy that i made. I seriously do wish it was different; 'in tandem with the norm'. Its not. Someone described this as "Having the brain of a girl and the body parts of a boy". Thats me. Crazy, yes. Delinquent? Maybe. Human? Yes. Very. I am happy. Happier than i have ever felt in my entire life. I now see my future happening. I now see myself fulfilling properly all the dreams i have and had. I now can be myself and not worry about whether I am 'convincing enough'.
In any case, I thank you for being there for me, when you were there and even now when you cant stand what I'm doing.
May God Bless you and help you understand, somehow.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
When I sat down and decided to write something to put into the blog, I couldn't help but think about all I had read about the struggles, pains, joys, sorrows, fights, love, hate, acceptance, rejection, and all that the transgender/ transsexual people have gone through in being who they really are. I draw a lot of my thoughts from the community here in Kenya and specifically from one activist who had dedicated practically her whole life including experiences to educating the general public (here in reference, the Kenyan public) about the transgender community in Kenya, about what they go through, their issues with the law in relation to registration, medical issues such as the lack of policies and so forth.
Im sure most of you who know me, maybe in person or just by guesswork know exactly who I am talking about and for those who don't, its easy to know since if you Google her name or just the words 'Kenya' and 'transgender' together, most of the articles are by her. She is eloquent, intelligent, can be difficult and downright annoying because she may come across as insensitive or arrogant but if you filter that out you are able to know where she is coming from. I like her articles, mostly because it gives the trans community in Kenya a voice and a chance for the willing-to-learn public to know and understand what it is we fight for daily.
In Kenya its very difficult to survive as a trans woman. Maybe its so even for other places in the world. I read somewhere that its easier for a FTM to transition than it is for a MTF. Why? Because basically the foetus in the womb when developing, is firstly female cum androgynous then if its a male, it graduates into its masculine state while if its female it just develops into the female from where it was initially. I have just put this in a very simple way and I am sure there are tons of mistakes and miss-outs. But I hope you get the point.
First of all, there are absolutely no laws that govern such incidences or persons. So we are neither supported by law, nor are we against it. It simply doesn't exist! As the activist I spoke about earlier says in one of her articles, it is important that we try and have some laws put in place to help out our tribulations. One such issue is the one of birth certificates and identity cards. Because most transgender persons grow in their birth gender upto adult age, they end up getting ID cards that indicate the name and gender that they are so against to but have no other choice but to accept. Secondly, even when such persons have discovered that they are indeed transgendered, there are no medical policies and/or guidelines that assist in the correct measures to be undertaken in such a case. For example, many medical practitioners in Kenya do not believe that trans people exist and hence, when encountered with such a case, shun it away saying there is no such thing, “these things only happen in the west”.
I have written a lot on what is going on and I totally forgot to mention what I am experiencing myself since this blog is supposed to be based on what is happening to me. But it would be very selfish of me to write all the time about myself when I am surrounded by bigger things than I can imagine.
As my friend told me once, “These things are bigger than you are. Its not always about you you you.”.
May have sounded harsh but its true. The picture is indeed big. My only hope is that the role I play, however small it may seem, will one day be seen as useful and eventually helpful.
We all have struggles. We just handle them in different ways.
Monday, October 5, 2009
My hair is growing slowly, I am planning to make it look better, somewhat weirder! But thats me. I want to see how I look and I pretty much don't care what people think about it.
I still am slightly worried about where I live since I haven't moved out of the place and so most people there knew me or have seen me before in say suits and ties! So I think its quite weird for them. (see, I don't want to be just about me me me, but also those around me.).
Work is going on well, we just finished a huge project that involved meeting people from the LGBTI community in East and South Africa together with their Donors. It was a real learning experience and I got to meet other transgender persons, most of them being FTM's. It was very informative and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
I went out for a Bash, basically involving the Q-Community!! It was a blast! I strutted out in my best outfit (The only one I had! Lol!) and made sure I had the most fun ever. It was my first time out in the public in such 'body-hugging' clothes and I looked hot! (and that's not my comments!). It was also the first time out in public wearing high heels(very high indeed) and make-up! My feet still hurt! Lol! Ultimately, enjoyed myself. One incident that happened was that, since it was full of the queer group and most Kenyans don't know well that Trans girls exist, most people at the party thought I was a Lesbian! (forgive me for tutting my own horn!!). Plus there was this guy who claimed to be bisexual who followed me all over and I couldn't help but think of the way regular girls would get thoroughly hit on by guys in clubs! I was one of them! Finally! That night, I felt things I had never felt before! Things that only existed in my head, my dreams, fantasies. I saw things happen to me, as I do them, that I only saw happening to other girls when I used to go out. I felt on top of the world. The Christian in me kept reminding me to be careful so I was, but I ensured that I enjoyed myself to the max!!!
Somehow, I just narrated my two weeks of existence since the last blog post and well, a lot of other stuff happened but that was, and must have been the most exhilarating week I had ever had!!
I cant wait for another opportunity like that one; but then again, its no longer in the closet! Its all out there. I didn't have a wig, I was myself, completely! Fine, there is still a lot of work to be done on me, but surely I must be thankful! I must give credit where it is due. This luscious body was created by God. And honestly, I AM THANKFUL!!!!!!!
Be Yourselves Y'all!!
Monday, September 14, 2009
It is with deepest sorrow and remorse that I share my condolence to all who lost loved ones in the US Twin Towers bombing and do hope that they feel better. I sincerely pray for you all and also for those who got hurt in anyway that you recover sooner rather than later. My words may not be enough but what I feel for you only God can testify. May The Living God surely Be your guide and Protector now and forever more, AMEN!!
Now that that part is done, the question 'why' registers in my head. I don't know why (see what I mean!) it is but its there. I am coping well with the transition and I just wanted to let you all know what transpired this weekend. (someone told me I'm making my life public but then again, how would people know about the Transgender Issues if I don't share my experiences, and again, I'm in Kenya, I probably am the 1st – and feel free to prove me wrong- girl to share my experience.)
On Saturday I met this lady from UK who was a trangender and it was really amazing. She is like 60-something plus she used to be a guy! Now she is a lady, old lady to be precise and loving her life. She isn't like me, she started her transition about 5 years ago when she had already married and had kinds and even grandkids! So she definitely wasn't as lucky/blessed as I am. She shared her experiences with us, me and other transgender girls in Nairobi and how its been for her those 5 years transitioning. It was such an amazing experience for me and I am so thankful I went there and saw her. She also gave us some well deserved advice. The one that I really took in was 'don't rush it, take it one day at a time'. She attributed this to an anecdote of how some ladies (trans) from the UK, who were older (not my age), when beginning their transition went all out, dressing and stuff and eventually were either molested, beaten up,criticized, ridiculed, etc. it was a bad idea to jump into it rather than taking it slow and being who you are while allowing others time to internalize, understand and probably accept the reality which is your transition. There were other stuff that she mentioned, I may not remember everything to the last detail but something else that came into my mind is that, for me and for all that wish to do what I'm doing or just are happy to see people being happy, just as the hormone replacement therapy takes time, so is your transition, especially in the public world and more so, to your loved ones. It is imperative that while you transition you don't forget that your loved ones are also transitioning; from knowing that boy to trying to know this new girl they never knew existed! Am I right?
Things to think about.
Friday, September 11, 2009
The biggest scare for me when I realized who I really was and what was going on with me was that my mom would reject me. I'm an only child and don't have a father. So basically my mom was my whole family and the thought of me losing her at the time I really needed her most was dauntingly terrifying! I mastered up the courage to open up to my mom and her sisters but I couldn't face her directly. So I wrote her a two page letter pouring my heart out to her , explaining exactly what was going on with me. I left the letter for her to read one evening when I went to my grandparents so that she could have ample time to read, reflect, internalize and accept (if possible).
That week she called me and told me that she had read the letter and her response was that SHE WILL TAKE ME AS I AM!!! I was extremely happy, excited, thankful, relieved...all at once! The mixed feelings I had were overwhelming and I thanked God for such an amazing mother.
THIS NEW ME...
(This just happened..)
My new job entails meeting people, going out and having discussions, that kind of stuff. Today in particular, I was aware that I was to meet up with some people we were dealing with at the office but at a hotel in town. Now, since we were going for a lunch meeting, it lasted longer than expected and so it reached a point where I had to use the bathroom/loo. I kind of had forgotten that my physical appearance still wasnt that feminine so when I asked a guard to direct me to the ladies he grew pale and gave me a confused look. I didnt get why he looked at me that way and maybe it was because so far most people that I had interacted with were very accepting and understanding so that idea somehow was instilled in me. This guard was an old looking fellow and thus, me, looking the way I did and asking for the ladies, blew him away. I just left him since someone else showed me where they were and went in the ladies. When I came out I found him waiting for me with a look that showed he meant bad business! I immediately got terrified and my heart raced four times as fast! He started questioning me in swahili asking me 'are you a lady? Why are you asking for the ladies and youre a guy? Why did you enter the ladies? Are you a lady?' I tried explaining myself telling him that I was a transgender but then it hit me, this guy, probably at his age and being a guard, may not even have the slightest clue as to what that was. This confrontation went on for like three minutes, me trying to insist that I'm a girl only differently looking and also trying to put across the fact that he wasnt in a position to question my gender but then, since probably his level of understanding didnt allow it, he just couldn't get why a dude would ennter the ladies! Thankfully, a staff member came by and helped me out telling the 'askari' that it wasnt in his place to question my gender.
That incident gave me shivers that are still running through my body even now as I post this! This was the exact kind of reactions that I really am trying to avoid. I keep telling myself that I can do it, I am beautiful and people can see that. My biggest set back is my beard and probably the apple. I am trying my best to get atleast some of it off and invisible but clearly, thats gonna be a mountain to climb. A hurdle that I have to pass, a trial that must be fulfilled. I really want to do this but my environment is semi-hostile. I'm hoping Nairobians are don't care and wont bother me, but I want to be realistic enough to accept the fact that this process isnt gonna be smooth sailing, and that I shall indeed come across such characters that will mess up my confidence and make me feel like nothingness. Its a reality that I have to embrace and I pray to God that, as He has protected me time and again, including today, He shall continue to guide and protect me from all harm and evil. Amen.
Thanks for all your support and prayers. May God truly bless you all!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Okay. Let me not bore you with small stuff!! Its now official! Lindsay has finally come out as herself!! Hip hip, HORRAY!!! I sure hope y'all are happy for me! And its all thanks to the job I got as an assistant at an NGO that accepts my kind!!!! What happened is that I applied and they wanted someone from the LGBTI community and they called me, gave me an interview and finally called back to tell me that I was successful and voila! I'm at the new job! Now the tricky part is that I applied as myself, as in my female self and not as the 'fake' male that people knew. So I knew I had to act fast! That weekend was weird! First of all I had to do the handing over at my old place. They kept asking where the hell I was going but I definitely could not tell them exactly where I was going and especially not that I was now going there as the real me! None of them knew what went about me and I never wanted them to know. So after the handing over and the sorry goodbyes the weekend came and then I remembered, CLOTHES!! I DONT HAVE ANY CLOTHES!! As in I don't have many female clothes! All this time I kept telling myself that I'm ready to come out but I guess I forgot that the first day is very important! Anywho, that weekend I went out and bought a few clothes that I felt were not too feminine but would still show that I was a girl. It was exciting to finally buy girl clothes! I had dreamt of it and even though the first day wasn't as I had pictured it, I'm pretty sure my day will come! Since I didnt have enough cash, I only got a few stuff. I also approached my cousins for assistance but then again, female bodies are different and thus the clothing dilemma!
Monday came and I for the first time ever, I came out of my house as ME! It was the scariest feeling I had ever had! First of all, I was scared of my neighborhood. I knew I wasn't that known by people, but seeing that I had really stayed there for a while, people around must have known my face from here and there. Again, I was afraid of being seen by my building neighbors. They knew me better, probably not by name or anything, but just by knowing that it was I who lived in that house! Thirdly I was afraid of the worst; being discovered and worse still, being embarassed in any way in town. See, I still havent done much with regards to my appearance so basically I still have beard growth marks (I always shave), slightly broadened shoulders, an adams apple (I really hate that thing, but,....) among other things. And again, by that time, I still hadnt pierced my ears so from looking at me, one could tell that there was definitely something going on there! Remember I had mentioned earlier that I always get weird looks from people, wondering whether I was male or female? Now you can imagine how these looks grew more intense, especially when they see a protruding chest (I put on some 'boobs') together with a neck-poking apple and beard marks! I was extremely terrified at what people would do to me.
Somehow, Monday passed on well. In the evening I had my ears pierced, and thankfully I hadnt shaved off my hair so whatever bit I had, I made it up and it looks good enough. Because I'm starting off, I shan't beat myself down. All I'm praying is that I will continue on courageously and fight for my happiness, because to be truly honest, I have never ever felt this happy in my entire life!! The things I used to do in the house, where no one would see me, now I can do them in public, go to work where everyone embraces me for who I am, however weird-looking I might seem to them, going about my things as myself.....it was all but a dream that is now slowly taking shape into reality.
Honestly today I can go on and on and on about the mixed feelings I'm having but I don't want to pour out everything just yet. As it said in my 'about me', I am about to begin hormones. Now I'm editing that part and I'm putting 'I have just began my hormone therapy'! I am experiencing mixed feelings. At one point I'm extremely excited! Then again on the other side I am extremely scared. I am banking on my God given courage and strength that I shall be successful I this thing I'm pursuing. I am happy to know that I have a good number of supporters and it also gives me more greater pleasure to know that where I work they embrace my true self and let me be who I am. The job wont last forever but at least for the time it will be around, I shall utilize it to the fullest.
I will try and dedicate time towards updating this blog frequently because I really want to let people see a true transgender/transsexual's life how it unfolds; from before, during and after hormonal effects and other stuff that might crop up. I also ask my dear ardent readers to please put me in your daily prayers as I pursue this dream of mine and hope that all will be well in this Nairobi for me!
Ciao Amigos! Love ya all!!
Friday, August 14, 2009
I felt that I needed to offload some of the stuff that has been going on in my mind lately. I've got so much to share yet I don’t want it to be like I'm telling the whole world my ‘nakedness’. (I hope you get me).
It’s Friday and I’m at the peak of my scratching! Aargh! The facial hair! I shave every weekends and of course, by Friday, all that is grown and all itchy. Everytime I look at the mirror and see that hair, it breaks my heart. Everytime I look at my facebook profile photo of Isis, I get so emotional and wonder to myself about when all this is going to end. I wonder how I'm gonna begin this really excruciatingly harrowing and difficult journey that I'm beginning! Can anyone feel my pain? I know, I know, people sometimes don’t like listening to other people’s problems. But it is my assumption and hope that by sharing what I'm going through, people can somehow understand exactly what goes on inside a Transgender’s mind or life, before and after. I also hope that when I say ‘after’ it means that I shall be able to continue updating my blog even after I have started doing all that stuff I dream an long for so much.
I have been listening to Tyra’s interview of Isis King, a transgender model who contested in Tyra’s America’s Next Top Model. She is such an inspiration to me. Both of them are. She speaks about her life so easily and frankly and I see a lot of me in her. Because she has gone through much of what I have and I feel she is just like me. Americans have it easier that us Africans, or Kenyans for that matter. I sometimes just wish I would get a visa or green card to the US and I can finally pursue my dreams and aspirations with ease. It would make me the happiest girl in the world.
I dream of so many things. I take myself to be a very intelligent young girl. I have so many ideas in my mind. There are numerous things I want to achieve in life. I have told several of my friends that I made a pact with God that He would not take me before atleast achieving these aspirations and dreams. I know there are people who may thing I'm nuts or something, but believe me, I dreamt it and I desperately wanna achieve it. Again, its mostly to do with helping others and I believe this would come in handy to the rest of the world. In a nutshell, I believe the world needs me!
I dream of one day waking up, dressing for work and not hating it, going to do something I love doing, people appreciating and respecting me for who I am, being able to help the less fortunate in the society, and basically just being the me God intended me to be.
My dreams will come true. I will do everything necessary to achieve this. Amen.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Maya Angelou hit the core with this one
Yesterday I cried watching the Michael Jackson memorial. I cried for a little
black boy who felt the world didn't understand him.
I cried for a little black boy who spent his adulthood chasing his childhood.
And I thought about all the young black boys out there who may feel
that the world doesn’t understand them.
The ones who feel that the world does not understand their baggy jeans,
their swagger, their music, their anger, their struggles, their fears or the
chip on their shoulder.
I worry that my son, may too, one day feel lonely in a wide, wide world.
I cried for young children of all colors who may live their life feeling
like a misfit, feeling like no one understands their perspective, or their
soul. What a burden to carry.
As a mother, I cried for Katherine Jackson because no mother should
ever bury a child. Period. And I think about all the pain, tears and
sleepless nights that she must have endured seeing her baby boy in
inner pain, seeing him struggle with his self- esteem, and his insecurities
and to know that he often felt unloved. Even while the world loved him deeply.
How does it feel to think that the unconditional love we give as mothers
just isn’t enough to make our children feel whole?
I wonder if she still suffers thinking, “What more could I have done?”
Even Moms of music legends aren’t immune to Mommy guilt, I suppose.
When Rev. Al Sharpton (who always delivers one “Awesome” funeral
speech), said to Michael’s children “ Your Daddy was not Strange . . . .
It was strange what your daddy had to deal with” I thought of all of the
strange things of the world that my children would have to deal with.
Better yet, the things I hope they won’t ever have to deal with anymore.
And as a mother raising a young black boy, I feel recommitted and yet a
little confused as to how to make sure my son is sure enough within
himself to take on the world. Especially a “strange” one. To love himself
enough to know that even when the world doesn’t understand you, tries
to force you into it’s mold or treats you unkindly, you are still beautiful,
strong, and Black. How do I do that?
Today, I’m taking back “childhood” as an inalienable right for every brown
little one. In a world that makes children into “booty-Shakin”, mini- adults
long before their time, I’m reclaiming the playful, the innocent, run-around
outside, childhood as the key ingredient in raising confident adults.
Second, I will not rest until my little black boy, My Michael, knows that his
broad nose is beautiful, his chocolately brown skin is beautiful, and his thick
hair is beautiful.
And nothing or no one, can take that away from him.
Now, ain’t we Bad, ain’t we Black, and ain’t we Beautiful!
I'm going through a lot of moved emotions right now. Its getting quite complicated, my life that is. I have someone new in my life and we’re taking it slow. Things are looking good on that department and I'm very thankful.
Honestly I can’t quite put a finger on what's bothering me all of a sudden but all I know is that the anxiety is getting stronger and more intense as the days go by, or as the d-day draws nearer.
I'm feeling confused about a lot of things and as I said, right now, I don’t exactly know what it is.
The good news is that I applied for a position at an NGO that asked for applications from persons within the LGBTI community and I am so praying that I get it because it means that I might just start my growth earlier than planned!
Also as I said, there is someone new in my life. He is one of a kind; that’s all I can say for now, and frankly, I'm smitten! I think I mentioned a little about him on my blog ‘I'm a Flirt’. He is the guy I flirted with a lot and I guess the flirting paid back handsomely!! (Pun intended, hehe..).
The slightly bad news isn't new at all. I'm still sad that I have to wake up every day and wear a shirt and tie or suit and go to work at a place I like, but cant enjoy because I'm not myself.
These things are hurting me and I guess maybe today they’ve manifested themselves a lot more. I usually don’t like thinking about it but every now and then I shed a few tears and pray hard that my misery shall be put to an end soon.
When I get the time, I will share with you some of the hurdles that my kind of people, especially in Kenya have gone through just to try and be ourselves and be happy.
May peace rest in our souls now and forever more, Amen.