“Life after the transition is happier and now I love myself more”

I am a 35 year old trans woman living in Calcutta and a professional model. I also have a degree in business administration and fashion design. I became the first transgender model to walk the ramp without surgery or hormone therapy. When people in my community mostly shied away from this profession, I made sure to set an example for everyone. I have done various stage shows as well as professional shoots, and also have little experience in the theater industry.

I didn’t realize my gender identity on my own, in fact, society made me realize that I am different from others. I have never thought of myself as a boy or a man since I regained my senses. I’ve always thought of myself as a girl, but the first time I heard about female genitals it shocked me and led to depression.

During my childhood, I did not understand why everyone harassed me. They called me by names, and my school life was nothing short of a nightmare for me. My effeminate behavior has become a curse for me. I even became suicidal, but I never thought about quitting my studies.

I always knew I had to change my body to get the right one. So in August 2016, I spoke to my mom, and she said, “If your dad allows it, he’s fine.” However, my father is a very conservative person. It was very difficult to make him understand the whole process. What I have observed over these years is that all parents are ready to accept their child, but they refuse to do so simply because they fear society. No child will leave their home once this world begins to accept them with open arms as they are.

Life after the transition

However, in 2018 I had sex reassignment surgery. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. It is a long-term process that includes various visits to psychologists, psychiatrists, endocrinologists, hormone therapy for at least a year, facial hair removal treatment, vaginoplasty, etc. After having lived it all, now I love myself more. I am much more confident than before. I now live every second of my life as a free bird. I feel like I’ve been locked in a cage until now and someone suddenly opened the door.

For those struggling with their gender identity, I would say knowing yourself first and accepting who you are, what you want out of life, studying well no matter what, it will lead you to make your dream come true. Never hurt yourself, always remember that there are good times and bad times. Never underestimate yourself and have patience. No one will understand or accept you overnight, for me it took 6 years, for others it may take more or less.

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