Experiences from South Africa
“I was born with a boy’s body but from an early age I wanted to be a girl. I could not understand why I was a boy. I do not feel like a boy, I never have and I never will. In Grade 6, I went to a new school and was made to feel that I was different. I was teased for stuttering and for being gay. But I knew that I was different from my gay friends and, when I was in Grade 7 I realised I was a transsexual after watching a TV programme.
That was the first time that I tried to castrate myself. I came to high school with a totally different attitude from primary school. From day one I told myself that I would not allow anyone to bring me down. We had a social worker at school and we worked through my feelings. When I told her she cried and said had been waiting for me to confide in her. She helped me to get in touch with a psychiatrist who confirmed that I was a transsexual. I also had support from the school principal and my mother, who has accepted me as I am and encouraged me to be myself.”