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Life Stories

Transgender people sharing their life stories with you. They are very personal, but might help you to understand transgenderism or you might find parallels to your own life.

Every life and journey is different. If you have your own life story to contribute, please contact us. You can choose any form and language you are comfortable and may stay anonymous if you wish.

Stephanie Adaralegbe PDF Print E-mail

Stephanie Adaralegbe describes herself as a prolific writer on the vicssitudinous life of a transgender in a typical third world African Country, Nigeria. She submitted this series of essays as a contribution to our live stories. The essays are taken from e-mail correspondence between Stephanie and other activists with her permission.

Andrea PDF Print E-mail

Celebrating Trangenderism

Why call this article or life story celebrating transgenderism? Well…life is a celebration and if you are Trans, then you have a double celebration. This not always true as to discover that one is transgendered causes many conflicts, as we are often taught that if you have the plumbing of a male/female then that is what you are and should not act, love the things of the opposite gender that you appear to be.

Thembisa PDF Print E-mail

Age 19, Rural KwaZulu-Natal

“Everything in me is tough.”

At first glance, it is difficult to tell that Thembisa , whose friends call him  Thembe, is biologically female. He has broad shoulders, a shaved head, and dresses in baggy men’s polo shirts and shorts. He frequently crosses his right arm across his chest, his hand gripping his left shoulder, neatly concealing his breasts. He lives with his family in a rural Zulu village north of Durban, where he spends his time playing soccer, watching television, socializing with his friends, and helping his family around the house. Next year, he plans to attend university in Durban, where he will study marketing. 


Steve PDF Print E-mail

Age 20, Pretoria

“I’m always confident. I always have had high self-esteem.”

Steve  carries herself with an air of confidence and chivalry, with a beaming smile and a firm handshake. When she is not studying Human Resources Management at the University of South Africa, she works as a nearly full-time volunteer for OUT, an LGBT organization based in Pretoria. There, she helps to mobilize gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people from all over the city and its surrounds for social events, sexual health workshops, and awareness campaigns. Steve is also involved with several other organizations in the Joint Working Group, a coalition of nine GLBT organizations in South Africa. When asked what it is that makes her such a powerful activist, she says, “For me, it started when I was young. I’m always confident. I always have had high self esteem.”


Zane PDF Print E-mail

Age 38, Pretoria

“I was a bit of a nightmare child.”

Born on the South Coast to “terribly British” parents, Zane  describes himself as having been “a bit of a nightmare child.” He attributes his childhood rebellion largely to the fact that his conservative family could not accept that he did not fit into traditional gender roles:

“Growing up with a mother who was so terribly British and came from this  aristocrat thing where you’re taught you shouldn’t be gay and your girls must act  like girls and your boys must act like boys, I rebelled a lot, probably more  because of her than because of other’s people’s comments. It was kind of like, if  I’m not even accepted in my own family … what other people say, I don’t care,  they don’t mean anything to me, but if my own family can’t even accept me, then  I kind of just rebelled and … used to run away from home and go out  drinking and come home and puke all over my mother’s carpet.”


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