05 June 2007

A Proud Young Woman

I was...
I was born Vijay, to Marwari parents in Nagpur, Maharashtra. Some of the earliest memories I have are of being different from the other boys around me. At that stage, I couldn’t exactly pinpoint what it was that made me feel so trapped and helpless. As a child, one is not equipped to handle thoughts as mature and complex as gender or sexuality. But as I grew older and more aware of the world around me, I also became more aware of the world inside of me. And it confused me more.

The first awakening...

The movie, “Object of my Affection” opened my eyes to a new possibility. One I had not considered till that point. Homosexuality seemed the only plausible answer to my situation. And I decided that I was a gay man, and began dating men. However, the respite I received from this new lifestyle was not as fulfilling as I had envisioned. For the emptiness, the confusion and the confinement still gnawed at me, deep inside. It was in the 11 th grade when I met Karan*, and fell in love. Being with him opened me up, and that woman inside of me, whom I had kept suppressed this whole time, slowly began to emerge. He was the first person I opened myself up to. I told him everything. My fears, my state of mind and my deepest needs.
He understood, and he loved me for everything that I was. But it was not meant to last, for we live in a very unforgiving, judgmental world which has no compassion for anything that is different. The pressures of society were too much for Karan and we parted ways in 2001.

The road ahead...
I joined St. Stephens College, as a gay man . But I was a woman and wanted to be loved as one. And the more I lived this life, the more it chewed at my mind that I wanted to be with someone who would love me, not as a man, but as a woman . It was then that Hollywood would come to my rescue for the second time in my life. The movie, “Boys don’t Cry” finally discussed transsexuality and the fact that it is not as freakish as I had thought. Spurred on, I looked to the internet to enlighten me further about this new and wonderful opportunity that had appeared before me. What I discovered from that point on made me happier and stronger as each day passed. The shame and hurt soon turned to hope and courage.

The Struggle...
As luck would have it, everything at that point started to happen at the same time. Karan came back into my life, only to leave again. My family finally discovered my condition and made me seek medical help with the intention of making me see that all that I felt was just in my head and if I was only convinced otherwise, I would be able to carry on living as a man.
It was during this time that God sent me an angel, in the form of Dr. Amit Sen, my therapist. He made me see that what I was going through was genuine and that there was a way by which I could set myself free. It was he who began my slow transition from scared, confused man to happy, confident woman.

It was now, during my MA in Sanskrit that I decided to start my life anew. I shifted from North Delhi to Defense Colony. The shift was much more, however, since I shifted into my new home as myself, a woman called Mahua Agarwal.
I had been on hormone therapy for a while by now, which helped not only my physical appearance, but also the way I was perceived by other people.
After living as a woman for about a year, I was finally ready for the operation that would change my life forever. I underwent my Sexual Reassignment Surgery in August, 2006 and have been living as a woman ever since.

At peace, finally...
Now I am finally in a place where I am comfortable with myself. For the first time in my life, not only can I stand to look at the person I see in the mirror every day, but I am beginning to love her. I have no regrets, no expectations from my life or the people around me now.
But if I could, one thing I would like is to tell my story to as many people as I can, in the hope that through my experiences, they may learn tolerance and forgiveness for that which they don’t understand.

* Name has been changed.
Appeared in Indiatimes-Phatchicks

5 comments:

  1. hmm interesting story all the est to the young lady

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  2. i would love to understand u sincerely iff possible

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  3. Hi. I am from the US, but your story is so much like mine. My experiences are so much like yours. I wish you the best. Love Tera

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  4. Dear Mahua Agarwal,

    Wishing you all the best in life. May all your desires be fulfilled. God bless u.

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  5. I am proud and happy for you. You are so lucky in many ways. I always had same feelings but when I have passed that age and never know these when it was possible to do something about it. Now I am in late fifties and somehow cant restart my life.
    Anyway all the best.

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