Story by Sneha Malik
I can't remember a time when I was not fascinated by female clothing. I was barely 6 years old when I wore my mumma's clothes, jewelry and her makeup for the first time. I couldn't understand this ! I was born as a boy but I liked only female things. As a child, these thoughts would often make me anxious and I had to tell myself that this was just a phase and that one day this too shall pass.
I used to look at my female classmates at school , and this would make me very sad , of not being able to wear their clothes, and I would resort to question God Hopelessly that “WHY DID YOU NOT MAKE ME A GIRL?!” I knew this was meaningless but what else could I have done? My soul was just not matching my body!
Then came the most important years of my academic life and I got busy enough to almost forget this other side of myself.
Just when I was convinced that this was over, I got into Engineering school and with it came back the ghosts of yesterday. But this time I started reading about this "fetish" that I had become a victim of . At first I was shocked to find out that this was not an ailment, something that I had believed all my life but the fact that I was not alone and that there were thousands in this world, like me, made me ecstatic.
I was never bullied by anyone at school or in University. For the world, I was still THE perfect male. I excelled in academics and sports, my competency was in perfect symmetry with my gender and hence my masculinity, unquestionable. Living a double life, therefore, saved me from the deplorable behavior of society.
The turning point in my life came when I went to a University in States. Transgenderism was a normal thing there. This amazed me and I learnt a lot from the Trans women, their stories of struggle inspired me. It was here when I first walked out into the world dressed like a female. Though I was a bit nervous , when I walked out , leaving my “Normal” clothes behind, I felt accomplished. I felt complete.
Around the same time a friend of mine posted a picture of mine in where I was draped beautifully In a saree , on Facebook, without my knowledge. Though I was shocked and though I asked her to remove the picture, it was greatly appreciated by people. And I think a lot changed that day.
I came back to India , two years ago and to pursue this other side of myself , I opened an Instagram account and eventually got connected to larger community of transgender women. Over a span of two years, I have acquired quiet a number of followers on Instagram. Many women magazines have approached me to share my story with them and I have gladly complied.
I am currently working as an engineer in an MNC but I still haven't told my parents about it. I come from a Hindu Family and though my parents are working and modern , this revelation might shatter them .
Neither have I been to a Pride March in India. The great "what if?" here is the fear of coming across a known face. And it's only legitimate when for 27 years , your body has belonged to the eyes of those who look at you. I only go out dressed, once in three months and I think I'll take more time to go out publicly.