Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting Harder By The Day

nothing much happening. would wanna update y'all, but somehow things are not going as planned.

but not to worry. maybe i will bounce back.

you never know.

for now, this short post will do.

(update) lets just say am gone on sabbatical.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Free to live as a woman, at last [Daily Nation 18th August]

On today's paper, my story appears.

Free to live as a woman, at last

Illustration by JOHN NYAGA
Illustration by JOHN NYAGA | Story thanks to Daily Nation Living Magazine
Posted Tuesday, August 17 2010 at 08:49
Lindsay, a 22-year-old transsexual raised as a man, shares her hopes and fears about her decision to live as a woman

“Today, I’m living my life the way I was meant to,” Lindsay* begins.
Born male and named Leo*, Lindsay had lived all her life as a man.
Then, in September last year, she began her journey to womanhood.
Recalling her feelings of being “trapped” in the wrong body she says, “I remember playing with dolls and other girlie toys.
I hated boyish toys. I also remember secretly trying on some of my mother’s clothes, shoes and make up.
I especially loved walking in her high heels. Emotionally, I felt like a girl,” recalls the finance assistant with a local NGO.
Perturbed by Leo’s behaviour, his mother gave him a serious tongue-lashing. “I felt sad because I couldn’t understand why she was angry with me, yet I was only behaving naturally,” Lindsay explains.
Afraid that she might have had too much “feminine” influence on him, Leo’s mother took him to a mixed boarding school in Standard Four.
But that did not help.
“I associated with girls and enjoyed spending time with them. The boys teased me for being ‘one of the girls’ but I didn’t mind.
I enjoyed girlie talk and games, and felt like one of them,” offers the 22-year-old.
Come puberty, Leo was a late bloomer. “While my peers were breaking their voices, developing broad shoulders and growing beards, I remained baby-faced, smooth-skinned and had a high-pitched voice.
Worse still, I had a feminine gait. But when I was 13, I started getting attracted to boys,” she recalls.
Leo’s new feelings both scared and confused him, so he sought refuge in religion and became born-again. “I spent endless days and nights begging God to make me normal, but my feelings remained unchanged, and the stress sent me into a depression.”
After completing primary education, the Nairobi-bred Leo joined a boy’s boarding secondary school in Central Province where, thanks to his effeminacy, he was nicknamed ‘kasupuu’ (pretty girl) shortly after admission.
“I did not engage in aggressive sports and instead preferred interactive activities such as acting, dancing and singing.
I joined the school choir and drama club, where I was always given female roles, which came to me naturally so I did not need to act,” Lindsay recalls of her secondary school days.
Leo’s attraction to boys never ceased, and Lindsay confesses to having engaged in relationships with one or two boys while in high school.
When he mentioned this attraction to his mother, she dismissed it, saying that, as an only child of a single parent, he liked boys because he lacked a father figure. “But I knew this was not true because I was not gay,” Lindsay offers.
While in high school, Leo resolved to stop living as a man and began searching the Internet for information on his predicament.
“It is thanks to this research that I learnt that there were many other people like me.
Better still, I learnt that I could do something about it, that I could actually become a woman. That’s when I decided to transition,” she explains
But he could not find a way to tell his mother. “Every time I thought of telling my mum, my heart skipped several beats.
I did not want to shock her or break her heart because we were very close. She is a conservative person and although she knew there was something unusual about me, she had not heard of transitioning.”
After completing high school, Leo wrote a four-page letter to his mother, placed it on her bed and left for his grandparents home in the village, where he spent an agonising two weeks.
“Waiting for her reaction made me extremely anxious,” Lindsay recalls.
But when Leo returned to Nairobi, her reaction surprised him: “You are my child. We will go through thistogether.
But you have to complete college before you start transitioning.”
It was a great relief for Leo. “I was elated. Knowing that I had her support encouraged me and I could now move forward with confidence.
As a result, I intensified my research on transsexuality and transitioning,” recalls Lindsay.
Finally, after completing a two-year course in July last year, Leo embarked on his journey to womanhood.
He changed his name to Lindsay and began dressing up like a woman. “I shopped for dresses, shoes and make up.
My mother and other male-to- female transsexuals (MTF) helped me.”
At the same time, Lindsay started taking anti-androgen pills to reduce the levels of testosterone in her body in preparation for a bilateral orchiectomy (removal of the testicles). The operation reduced the production of the male hormone, testosterone.
Immediately thereafter, she began taking a daily does of estrogen pills, which she bought over the counter at Sh74 per dose, for four months, until December last year. The effects are already showing.
“My breasts are slowly growing and my nipples have become more sensitive. My skin is now smoother, and my facial hair has significantly decreased. I have also noticed that my waist is getting smaller while my hips are broader,” she says.
The change is not just physical. “I’m calmer and more at peace. I hear I will be moody and emotional but I have yet to feel that so I’ve developed a wait-and-see attitude.”
Lindsay has also experienced hot flushes and mood swings, the side-effects of the operation.
“Although hot flushes are not the best of feelings, having them reassures me of my femininity!” she says, adding that her libido has, however, declined.
Notably, Lindsay has just come out of a relationship with a man. And since the operation, it is now much easier to hide her remaining male genitalia. “I now worry less when wearing short skirts since I do not feel as uncomfortable as I used to,” she says.
Her greatest dilemma regarding relationships remains whether and when to tell her partner about her condition. “It worries me when I meet a man who wants to since I can’t hide my past from him. I’m scared of his possible reaction if he learns the truth.”
But she hopes a day will come when she will not have to agonise over breaking the news to a potential lover without him hitting the roof.
“I couldn’t be happier,” says Lindsay 10 months after she began transitioning.
But she needs a sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to complete her transition. SRS, also known as gender reassignment surgery (GRS) involves surgical alteration of the genitalia. Lindsay says she has not been able to undergo the operation because of the cost — between Sh600,000 and 800,000 — and local doctors’ reluctance to do it.
“A friend once tried to have it done locally but no doctor would do it, although it had been recommended by a psychiatrist, approved by her family and she could afford it.”
Lindsay, once an active church member who even sang in the choir, says she has not been there since she started living as a woman.
Although she misses their company and fellowship, she believes most will condemn her, hence her decision to stay away.
She hopes to join another church, where the members do not know about her past.
Despite such inconveniences, Lindsay is ecstatic. “It feels great to live as a woman.
It is not something people understand easily, but when I compare my life now with what it was like before I began transitioning, I must say I’m living a happy and fulfilling life,” she enthuses.
Any plans to have children?
“I love children, but since I cannot have any of my own, I would be very happy to adopt.”
LINDSAY SAYS HER mother, though still of coming to terms with her transition, remains her closest companion.
“For 21 years my mother was called ‘Mama Leo’, but this now has to change to ‘Mama Lindsay’.
It is not easy for her and I understand. I’m just grateful that she supports me, giving me some of her clothes and offering me fashion tips.
She attends educative seminars and related functions with me.
She is a great mum but I have to give her time and space to fully deal with the situation.”
Reactions from her extended family have been mixed. “Some have accepted my decision, some are trying to deal with it, yet others have rejected me outright. I’ve realised that even those who seem to be understanding feel uneasy when I’m around them.
Others are angry and disappointed, saying I made the wrong move, that I’m too young, that I rushed into it, that this could have been somehow avoided, that I spat in God’s face.
Some have suggested that I be taken to a certain evangelist because I’m possessed by demons and need to be exorcised”.
Lindsay says she avoids friends who knew her as Leo for fear that they migh not accept her.
“We live in a society that does not easily embrace new ideas, especially those that have to do with sexuality, and this is something I have to deal with. I fear that Leo’s friends will not accept me and my decision to transition.”

I sure hope this makes some form of difference in the Kenyan Society.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Dilemma, Dilemma, Dilemma!

i have a new dilemma.

i have shared out this blog to most of my close friends and relatives and now most of them follow it religiously, i guess to know more about my life and its ups and downs.

problem is, i am no longer anonymous!

there are certain things id like to shed off but i simply can. i dont want those "haiya" looks coming from them when i meet them *sigh*

wish it were easier aki. truly do.

nowadays all i write is short posts with paragraphs of about one or two sentences tops. is it fair? i dont think so.

here is a solution to this particular paragraph. i will mix it up. no breaking it down. let it flow. lets see how it goes. i dont write much so i guess the sentences will be short. someone said you can actually write about virtually anything. oh and one thing popped into my head. is there a similarity between my two blogs? can one who follows both be able to see that this is one and the same person even if i (try to) write about completely different things on both? can they? 

reminds me again. i met a new trans girl. shes sweet. tall slender and has hips! omg! that was crazy! coz she's all androgynous and one can't really tell if she's a he or she. kinda reminds me of my hey days (hehe "hey days"... i like that!). but she's sweet and young. i told her what to do. about transitioning and stuff. i told her that she needs to be completely ready before she does anything. she asked me to help her buy meds (hormones) which i did gladly but not after a serious pep talk (in a noisy bar over some novida!)! i made her understand that for one its damn expensive especially because she has to deal with the testosterone in her body - which by the way is very very feminine! - and then some. i also told her that she'd have to keep things under wraps as she is going to college and all. seeing that she will still be forced to identify as male, then she'd have to stick to being androgynous.

my other dilemma, something i must have mentioned before, is men. oh men oh men! i get hit on all the time nowadays. ALL THE TIME! fine, it feels good n all but it makes me sad. why? because its hard being me. am still scared they might see something in me! something "they can't quite put a finger on"! yep. still freaks me out. like dancing with dudes then its kinda sensual and hands travel to places and....omg what am i writing! ok lemme finish...hands travel...and then maybe ...a slip...and omg what the hell is that between...STOP! <-- I DONT WANT THAT! i am sccaaaarreeed of that! okay lets say that doesnt really happen. but what if this dude is totally into me and now "wants to know me more"...what do i do? what do i tell them? i try throwing the "gay card" (tell them am pro-gay n stuff) and see their reaction. if the dude is like "woow! i don't like gays!" then thats the cue for me to run! but they still come back! huh!! now what?!

ok back to my first dilemma..

see, stuff like what i just wrote now feel even harder to write about. feels like am an open book. (which by the way is true when they read my blog...) feels like am trading my life out. opening it to others. wondering if i shall ever have some form of privacy. fine i dont mention about other stuff like what sex position i use or even whether i have sex at all.....which reminds libido? KAPUT!....back...yea. stuff like that. do i write about them? or do i keep them to myself.

you tell me.


Thursday, August 12, 2010


i am getting tired. i dont know why. work is okay, life is ish ish. but every day i feel tired. i dont know why.

maybe that is why i can't even write anything. nothing!



Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What's Natural, Really? (Newspaper Cutting)

I saw an old news paper cutting in my house without the date or where it appeared. Just thought I'd share.

What's Natural, Really? (Newspaper Cutting)

There have been many views about whether a person is born gay or is recruited into 'gayism' or just find themselves in circumstances that lead to it. My belief is that its all three. You can be born gay, be recruited into it, or reach a point where you start asking yourself; am I gay or what? But gay people say that you are either gay or not, there is no in-between.

Many people frown at gay people, claiming its unnatural. Please, like we are not surrounded by so much that is unnatural that, because we don't want to deal with it we dismiss as witchcraft and satanic. We refuse to believe that the same God responsible for making a 'perfect' being is also responsible for making things we cannot comprehend. There is this fourteen year old in Germany who grew up as Tim but ever since he was two, he told his parents over and over that he was a girl, trapped in a boy's body. As a child, Tim liked to play with Barbie dolls and enjoyed wearing dresses, the father says.

Now at fourteen, Tim is going through a sex change (by receiving hormone injections that will arrest his male development).

He is no longer a he, but a she with the name Kim. Psychiatrists who've seen Kim says her mental condition is normal, that she was just trapped in the wrong body. I say good for Kim's parents for listening to her and letting her be who she really is.

People may dismiss this as something that happens only in the west, well, I say lets open our eyes and ears and start seeing things as they really are.

Quite interesting eh? Looks like it was written three or four years ago and on Living Magazine Daily Nation. Not sure about that though.

In other news, Nairobi is just way too cold! This should be a record!


Friday, August 6, 2010

I Wonder

dear diary,

time flies really fast. it does. my oh my!

okay. regaining composure. my contract ends tomorrow! yes. kesho. at least i heard good news. i have improved immensely and so am not worried. i just hope that what am expecting wont be too much to ask. can't wait tho!

i have been meeting really nice peeps and one of them has been touching my heart alot. makes you think about "if only..."

i have also been wondering what im gonna do about the blog. its like i wanna come out but then am fearful. its like i just wanna let it slide and flow on its own, i mean, kwani i have to go and spell it out on my forehead "im transgender!!". it aint none of their biz ama? seriously thinking about this tho.

the hormones. hmmm...where do i begin? its been slow. nothing much has progressed. maybe am expecting too much of it. the boobs kinda stopped growing. or maybe they're growing its just that am not noticing. i dont know. anyway, let it be. at least am taking the pills kama kawaida. its like how women take their contraceptives. its kila siku. morning and evening 2mgs of progynova (estradiol valerate). need them lots :D

still going on with that dilemma. you know, the one of wondering if someone suspects anything about me, the one of wondering if i should or should not tell someone of my trans identity, yea. still makes me uncomfy. one reason is because i dont know how theyre gonna respond if they knew. the reaction id get from them. wish id read minds... really do. but eeh! kwani? al continue being me. it wont matter. it doesnt matter. and if it does, then akwende. he can go his/her way ama?

and...still wondering about my voice. i really should stop wondering and worrying about it. i was told its sexy coz its deep. most girls are forcing i heard! as in they try lowering it. some even go to extreme of smoking severally just to make the voice go down some notes lower am blessed eh? hmmm...i should think of doing voice-overs or better yet, radio or even tv anchoring! just a thought! 

and there you have it diary. my thoughts for today.

p.s. don't ask why i keep changing the look. nakuanga hivo :)


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Am Grateful

dear diary,

its tuesday august 3rd 2010.

i am not voting tomorrow. our country is voting for or against a new constitution and i think it should pass. but you know what? am not voting. am not happy diary. imagine that. the last time i voted was during that god-forsaken 27th election day. remember that one? the one that plunged us into chaos? we now call it "post election violence" or "pev" for short. i dont like how myopic we are. we kenyans that is. it makes me sad. imagine that. we just forget.

know what diary, imagine there are still idps living in camps. wait, there are still idps. yes. and theyre still living in shanties/camps. its 2010 for crying out loud! this happened in 2007! imagine diary. imagine that.

i heard people talking about warembo ni yes. what was that? i just saw bill boards and some flyers here and there. i wish i'd known earlier. i could have gone. too bad for me though. it seemed to be such a nice initiative. oh well, its passed. tomorrow we hope for a new constitutional dispensation. hehe..i used a big word!

diary, it seems that with every passing day my life is becoming boring. someone asked my why the hell i live with my boyfriend. i dont know. is this something i want to rant about? yea oh well. know what? am ok with it. am ok with living with him. i like it. i like it a lot. he gives me comfort. i am glad to be a "ka-wife" hehe... really!

there is not much more to say now. but u know what? am glad. am glad i am alive, am thankful for that, am thankful for my mom, for my friends and co-workers who love and appreciate me, for others who may have an idea but dont give a damn, for my guy for always always being there for me no matter what, for my readers for giving me so so thankful and grateful.


Related Posts with Thumbnails