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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.

I'm not intersex - I am a man. Interview with Samuel PDF Print E-mail

I am Samuel Makhubela from Johannesburg. I was about 16 or 17 years of age, in Secondary School when I came to know what I was, where I stand. I began to understand the changes that I was seeing. Being passionate about soccer and also because of the way I was dressing questions were asked, “Where exactly do you belong, are you a girl or a boy”. But I used to say I’m a girl because at that time I wasn’t sure of what I am.

Barbara’s Story: “I’m a human being before I’m a gender” PDF Print E-mail

I’m Barbara, Brandon or Barbs, as many people call me. I identify as androgynous. I was always a tomboy. I was never into dresses and girly things. I did have dolls and I wasn’t forced into a gender per sé, but I just felt more comfortable wearing pants instead of dresses. I don’t know how much it had to do with identifying as an androgynous person. I was sexually abused at a young age for about 2 years. It’s difficult to say how that influenced my thinking of gender. In my teenage years I wanted to be a guy. The desire to be strong was influenced by my father who became violent when he got drunk and I always wanted to be strong enough to fight back at any man should he ever raise his hand to me. So subconsciously I would pick up heavy things and do things to make me stronger.
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. 


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