How I Came Out As a Transman in Islamic Society of Pakistan

“When I can’t cope with the dysphoria, I pretend I’m a eunuch instead of a woman.”

Being a transgender isn’t a choice, transitioning is. Nothing forces people to transition, but transition is not equal as to being a transgender. A transgender person is still trans, before they started the transition. And a person, who never medically transitions for whatever reason, doesn’t stop being transgender either. They were born as a different sex, than what their “gender” identifies them as.

I was born transsexual, and I think that’s the way I was supposed to be born. I don’t think that transsexualism is a “curse” or anything to hate or be afraid of. We’re real people, who contribute a voice to the symphony of human life that comes from nowhere else….that, indeed, can’t come from anywhere else. We’re a legitimate part of the mix. We contribute to the diversity that makes life beautiful and worth-living for everyone.

I don’t hate being transsexual, and NO I’m not afraid of it. I have NO desire to “wish it away”. I was born as a child of a pukhtoon (pathan) man and a beautiful mother, both of whom obviously had preconceived notions of what being a ‘daughter’ meant to them. I grew up having to wear feminine clothing, and it truly made me miserable. When it came to getting dressed, I used to throw tantrums, play sick and refused to go places.

I didn’t understand why I was so angry all the time. I just knew I would prefer to wear some pants and a t-shirt to ‘dress up’. I hated dresses and well, anything of girly nature. I preferred tool sets over Barbie Dolls and always wanted toys that were designed for a “boy”. I started to dress a little more girly when I got into high grades, mainly as an attempt to please my mother. After all, I was born and raised in an Islamic family, where you have to think more about the society than your own desires.

I felt attracted to girls at an early age, but was not able to completely identify with the lesbian label. I had my first crush at 14, but I never felt comfortable being labeled as a ‘lesbian’. I always felt like I was never truly being myself. As time passed, I started to feel more and more convinced that, maybe I’m not a lesbian. Not that I don’t love girls, I LOVE girls and part of this was my awkwardness towards the female gender.

I was a boy, without a doubt in my mind. Being born of the female gender meant nothing to me. I was convinced that I was a boy that unfortunately just looked like a girl. I went through life with this thought pattern until last year. This is when I made an unchangeable decision and decided to become a transman. I cannot say I had feelings like everyone else. To me, it was just a mathematical equation: this is what the male gender does, this is what I want to do, hence I must be of the male gender. Of course, this is a terrible thing to believe, if you are born in a strong ethnic and Muslim background!

I always had fears while living in an Islamic society and Muslim family. I never dared to explore myself, due to those fears. I also believed that LGBTIQ are against nature, due to indoctrination which provides no room or space whatsoever for LGBTIQ issues. I didn’t have the courage to find the answers of questions being raised constantly in my mind. I died everyday during that phase concerning gender identity. I also faced criticism and objections regarding talking on gender identity and lifestyle. In addition to me, my family also had to respond to such questions.

My life between the ages of 14 and 18 were the most difficult ones. I almost started hating myself, which seemed without any solid purpose. My life came to a halt without any ray of hope. I suffered from high levels of depression and anxiety. I also faced suicidal thoughts. Many friends left me during those days, and those who were with me also seemed rather uncomfortable. My student life passed as a victim of gender role. Studying about sexual minorities rights increased my frustration. It appeared to me that being a lesbian/gay was easier, as compared to being a transsexual.

Why? Because they didn’t have to struggle with themselves on a daily basis. My life became more difficult, and I made numerous suicide attempts, which were luckily unsuccessful. However, the attempts at committing suicide made me realize the importance of life. After passing this miserable phase, I gathered the strength and courage to never face that scenario again, because it was a never ending nightmare which killed me every day. My struggle has not ended, but only COMMENCED. And I know that this isn’t an easy journey, but it’s also not an impossible one. I won’t let people bring me down!

This is why I’ve started questioning a lot of things. Who am I? Was I supposed to be a boy? What went wrong? How did I get this far without realizing something was not right? How can I fix it? Will people think I’m a freak? What am I supposed to do now? In all of my questioning, I did what any other curious young adult would do. I searched the internet. I looked for anything to help me make some sort of sense of how I felt. I actually found a lot of things that really helped me out. I found out that I’m not alone. There are millions of us. I found that being transgender isn’t abnormal. It’s part of who you are, who I am. So, in conclusion, I’ve made the decision to live my life the way I am and not be discriminated for it. This is really what I want. I am taking a stand. For myself, and in support for the LGBTIQ community!