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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.

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.”


Christelle PDF Print E-mail

The Early years

A lot of people asked me "how come you had a sex change?". Here I will try and explain. So .... let the story begin! For now .. its a work in progress and I will add to my story as often as I can!

I was born in January 1969 in a town called Benoni in South Africa. My parents got divorced when I was 1 year old, and through circumstances, I ended up staying with my father, a train driver at the time, and my grand mother. From earliest memories, I did what felt natural to me ... and that was being a girl. In our community there wasnt that many kids to play with, but I befriended 2 girl, sisters, and we became best friends. I played all the girls plays with them. At first my grandmother and father didnt mind much, but as I grew up, they did start to mind, as I was starting to act way too girlish for their liking. I was then kept away from them and being encouraged to play with the boys in the area instead. Of course I did not like that and got in trouble more often than I care to remember. I remember a couple of times when I tried to tell my grandmother that I was a girl, but she would have none of it.

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