Life as a trans* person is hard, but living your life as if you were someone else is even harder. Read Lukas’s inspiring story.
Hello, my name is Lukas and I was assigned a female gender at birth. Ok. That’s not how I usually introduce myself, but yes, I am a trans* person (trans* is one word for a variety of identities that are incredibly diverse).
I was born in 1986, and I had a happy childhood. I wasn’t depressed or thought about gender too much until I was around 10 years old. I didn’t think of myself as anything different to what I thought of my brother, and, fortunately, I didn’t have parents that forced me to fit into rigid gendered boxes. I figured my body had a slower development, and that, eventually, I would wake up and my body would have grown into what I assumed it was supposed to be: I would have my penis.
Time passed and that never happened. I could see the embarrassment of my family when people would refer to me as a boy. I started believing that something was wrong with me, and that I shouldn’t tell anyone about my feelings.
During my adolescence, I got into a deep depression. I didn’t have any role models. It’s not like our media is full of trans* people. When I was 16 I heard the word “transsexual” for the first time. It was a bittersweet feeling: I finally knew I wasn’t alone and, at the same time, I was confronted with the challenge of explaining my identity to my family. The last thing I wanted was to hurt them. So after the first argument as a result of me telling them, I decided to postpone my intentions to start my gender-affirming process.
Our parents want us to be happy and they try to avoid any hardship in our lives. Being trans* is not easy. The discrimination we face is everywhere. But to live your life as if you were someone else is even harder.
With the love and support of my friends and partner, I started taking testosterone and, in the following years, had some surgeries done. As an advocate and educator, I do my best to change the current discriminatory environment and exclusive situation trans* people face everywhere.
I am proud of who I am, which is so obvious to my family now that they know it couldn’t have been any different. I went from being a frightened and insecure teenager to a confident human rights advocate, currently living and working in Asia.
What do you think should be done to end discrimination against the trans* community?