My Story: Till Today, My Family Does Not Acknowledge Me As Anjali, But They Know I Identify Myself As A Woman

Image Credit: Anjali Siroya

My Story: 'Till Today, My Family Does Not Acknowledge Me As Anjali, But They Know I Identify Myself As A Woman'

The 24-year-old Anjali Siroya had her share of ups and downs while being a survivor of bullying and harassment during childhood for her identity. The toughest part was telling her family that she did not identify as the boy they had raised her to be.

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I remember when I was four or five years old, people would often mistake me to be a girl, and while it was different for others to understand, I always felt like I was a girl on the inside. While growing up, I was a victim of different kinds of abuse and harassment in my school and other peer groups as well. The bullying made me question my identity and I always lived in a dilemma for a very long time.

Took Years To Accept That I Am A Woman

That phase of my life, as I recall, was the darkest phase I have ever experienced. I was in depression and constantly had suicidal thoughts. While studying in the higher secondary, I was a science student and hardly had any time for myself. I thought that maybe I should end my life. At that time, my mother gave me courage and I came out of depression. It took me so many years to come to terms with the fact that I am a woman and I should not fear anyone.

I knew I was a transwoman when I saw people celebrate their identity in pride parades. When I was 18 years old, one of my cross-dressing pictures got leaked to my brother's friend. My brother then confronted my mother, who was very emotional at that time. I could not even explain to them what I felt and all I could say was "I am not your son. I do not identify myself as a boy". It was very hard for my mother to comprehend the same because she had raised me for 18 years as her son.

At that time, I was doing engineering and my mother knew that I was doing because of family pressure. So, all she asked me was that if I was not liking it, I could just leave it. She said that one cannot choose what they are as a person, but can definitely choose their career. That was the turning point of my life because I did not have to look back anymore.

Came Out In Second Year Of My College

I took admission for my undergraduate course and came out as a transwoman in the second year. I participated in beauty pageants and won two best titles of my college. Even though I consider my privileged because my family educated me and gave me a house to live in, the situation was not very easy.

Trans-people live in very toxic environments and it is very difficult for them to be themselves. Till today, my family does not acknowledge me as Anjali, but they know that I identify myself as feminine. I guess that is what I need as person. The process of coming out to the family is a very emotional process. Even though I feel that coming out is essential, but it is not the only thing. One can come out whenever they feel comfortable, and sooner or later, one becomes a part of the world.


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Editor : Ankita Singh
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Creatives : Ratika Rana