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!"