September 8th, 2016
A soul-stirring story of Shanthi Sonu who is a RJ at Radio Active and she shares with us her journey, her challenges that she chose to overcome rather than succumb to it and on her mom who took years to accept her.
“My childhood days were very confusing for me. I could not understand what was going on in me right from figuring out the changes in me to the feelings – I knew I was different from others and often was very secretive. I used to hide my secrets and stayed alone.
Few of the best moments of my childhood were like when I was playing with dolls or when I was in the company of girls as they were my best friends or dressing up my doll, combing the hair and did what little girls love to do in life.
Sometimes I loved trying to apply a few cosmetics on myself or do something like wrap a towel around my head to resemble like long hair. I would also love drawing rangolis outside my home.
Then there were bitter moments too like when my neighbors or friends would tease me for being so girly which made me sick and sad. I often questioned myself and went into bouts of depression.
I knew I was not acting and was angry why others couldn’t understand me as I was and it pushed me much further and deeper into achieving the women in me. I fought for my identity and I fought for my survival. Even through tough times, I did not let myself break down completely and lose track. Today I feel am a complete woman who is bold, independent and love that I work in a radio station.
My family did not accept me for many years. It was difficult during the earlier stage of my transitions – I faced so many difficulties and nonacceptance from my own family. My mom would scream at me to change and my brother would beat me for no reason at all. All that has changed thankfully.
I tried to commit suicide twice but then changed my mind because this was ‘me’ and decided no one can change me. I am happy now as people around me have changed their mind and accepted me for what I am today.
There’s no one as important as a mum in our lives. Every day I am grateful for the love, care, and inspiration I received from my mum from the time I was born to the exile days of my transition period. I missed her of course tremendously until the phase of re-union and her level of acceptance of me has been commendable.
My mom has been a wonderful woman. I have learned so much from her. When it comes to parenting I feel the base support must be provided by the parents with transgenders/gender nonconformation kids.
Transgender youth engages in behavior that put their health at risk due to lack of support and can have depression and other mental health problems. In extreme cases, they become homeless and commit suicides.
A few suggestions to handle such children would be:
- It’s always better to use the child’s preferred gender pronouns and names.
- To break the trans-phobic minds and ask others to respect your child’s identity.
- Educate yourselves about the concerns facing the transgender youth and adults.
- Encourage your child to stand up for themselves when it is safe to do so.
- Accept and assure your child that they have your unconditional love and support
- I would like to reborn as a girl in my mum’s womb and want to sleep on her lap and play with her and tell her to dress me like a girl and comb my hair, everything that a daughter would do being with her mum. I want to become a real woman like her and make her happy and proud.
I do not wish to be born as a male or the in-between/transgender again in any life.”
We wish Shanthi Sonu a successful journey and thank her for sharing this story.