Hi, my name is Presley Sathekge, I am 25 years old, and I was born Transgender. I was assigned female at birth, which is not in line with my Gender Identity, and I would like to undergo a gender affirming medical transition.
I would like to begin by unfolding the term Transgender, and what it means to be Transgender. For me to do that, I will have to start by defining what Gender is, and what Sex is. Most people believe, that Gender and Sex is the same thing, but it is not. Sex is the physical appearance of the body. It is what is in between the legs. Gender on the other hand, is an identity. While sex is in between your legs, Gender is in between the ears, it is in the brain. Male and Female brains are wired slightly differently.
In other words, you are not a boy, simply because you have a penis, and you are not a girl, simply because you have a vagina. Gender is not between your legs.
For 99.95% of the population, the sex identity, and the gender identity, correspond with each other. So, the assumption is that Sex and Gender should always correspond with each other, and that is why Sex, and Gender, are often used interchangeably.
However, the remaining 0.05% of us, are not so lucky. Because our Sex, does not correspond with our Gender, hence the term Transgender, or Transsexual. Meaning that, who we are on the inside does not match our physical identity. Hence you will hear most transgender people say that they were born in the wrong body. And that is literally how it is. That is literally how I was born.
I was assigned Female at birth because of my Sex. But my Gender, is that of Male. And life so far, has been an absolute daily struggle. I was internally fighting this thing, before I even knew what it is. At just 4 years old, I knew I was not like every other girl. I could not explain why at the time, but I always known, that I was a boy, even though the world around me tried to define me by what was in between my legs. At times even I, tried to convince myself, that I was in fact a girl. By the time I was 12 years old, I had learned to pretend. To pretend to be girly, because that was the expectation. But this left me feeling even more lost and confused. As a boy living inside a girl’s body, I live in a system where there is just no place for me. Being transgender, I was fighting the system, before I even had words for it.
Being transgender is a very painful thing to experience. Constantly waking up, in a body that I can’t identify with. It feels like having to live through the dislocation between your soul and your. Add this, on top of having to survive living through a society that does not accommodate people like you, and does not have the slightest understanding of what you are going through. As I am writing this, I had to take myself back to what it was like. Back to the days I thought my only way out, was death, until I found out about Sexual Transition.
And so, after many years of trial and triumph, I finally decided to do a sexual transition. Meaning, changing my sex to correspond with my gender. I have joined transgender support groups, to acquire more information about the procedure in South Africa. Learning that there are people out there who also went through what I went through has been such a relief.
My first step of the transition process was consulting a Therapist, which I did, and I started seeing her from the 13th December 2018. Starting Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is my next step of the transition process. I took my first shot of hormones on the 10th of January 2019, however after all the medical costs that I paid, from therapy, blood tests and Doctor’s consultation, I can no longer afford further consultations fees and blood tests, which are required to monitor my hormone levels.
I am a very passionate individual, and I know that I have a lot to share with the world. I carry with me a strong urge for the need to express myself. But, for most of my life I never really gathered the confidence to do that, because growing up transgender I did not always feel confident about myself.
I fear not being able to continue with the Transition simply because I have come so far in my journey, and this is another encouraging time in my life, where I have something to look forward to, becoming my true self.