To The Person, I Have To Let Go
Thank you for all the beautiful memories. We met almost 13 years ago, I was 20, you were 31. You had been having difficulty accepting your sexuality. Your attraction to men. You did nothing about it until you reached 30’s.
I, on the other hand, was just starting to explore my sexuality. I always knew I was attracted to men since I was so young. Living in a Muslim majority country, I never had the chance to discover myself until I moved there, closer to you. I felt this new sense of freedom, I didn’t have to hide my attraction for men any longer.
By fate, you sent me a message on the great grandfather’s of all gay dating websites, Gaydar. We chatted on MSN messenger for a month before we arranged to meet. We met at the stairs near an RPAH clinic, you looked tired, walking towards me. We then walked to your apartment. we talked for a bit, you played your guitar and sang a song, we kissed for a long time. You placed your hand on my chest and it felt right.
The start of our relationship wasn’t smooth, you weren’t out to your colleagues and family. I was your secret boyfriend nobody knew about. You pretended you didn’t know me when we ran into your mates and you just walked straight past me. When your family came to visit I had to disappear, I was hurt. But we pulled through. Slowly you made a progress, telling your friends about me one by one and your family members. Then everything fell in its own place.
We were the perfect couple, we laughed a lot, we were a good team. We were so sweet to each other. Of course, we had arguments and but we always discussed them. We live together for years, we did everything together, we shared at least a meal together in a day and we traveled together.
I am a woman now
A girl then when we met, a little girl as far as I can remember. Always have been. But you didn’t know, because I hid it so well. The society where I grew up told me I couldn’t be a girl. Because I was assigned male at birth, so I must be a boy. What I felt didn’t matter.
Growing up I had always thought of and saw myself as a girl. My mother was my most significant role model. I wanted to be like her. I put on her clothes, makeup and shoes when she wasn’t home. When I was a kid, I always wanted to be the bride, when I and my sisters or my cousins played pretend to wed. I designed dresses for my sister’s Barbie doll, under my mother’s bed.
One day I got caught, and the doll was never to be seen again. I got in trouble from my father for being so feminine. So many times he tried to man me up by helping him doing activities he deemed to be manly. Sometimes he hit me and called me names. At school my brothers were ashamed of me, they didn’t want to sit with me in the school canteen. My older sister joined in my cousins when they all teased me with funny names.
Then I moved out of home to go to boarding school and I found out that I was not alone, I was not the only one. I made friends with people like me and they were all brilliant and creative and very competitive. They were a good influence for me to do well in school. It was obvious that society knows of our existence, but we can never cross the line, the blurry line between being male or female. It was the case then, It still is.
I have learned, to survive, to avoid discrimination and difficulty in life, I must hide my true self with masculinity. I was so good at it, so good that I forgot who I was and developed a craving for approval of others. When we moved back, I reconnected with some of them, they are still the same. Some of them did try experimenting with their gender, but then they got older and felt the pressure from family and their religion, and repented.
I was lucky to have met you, to see and learn the world from a very different perspective from what I was brainwashed with. I no longer kept in touch with these friends as they always reminded me of the wrath of God and the hell that awaits. To them, I am a walking ‘sin’ the way I live my life, so free and no boundaries. They were also so bitchy to me in a way I think they are jealous. I had to cut loose a few friends who were holding me back but you were always there for me, picking up pieces for me from what’s left in the betrayed friendships. Thank you so much, baby.
It is no longer a secret
Throughout my adult life, I had been having this recurring dream. It was so real that when I woke up I was so scared. Worry if someone would found out what I did in the dream. In that dream, I kill someone and bury the body very deep in a secluded spot. I never see the face and I don’t know the person. I just worry if somebody would find out.
When I went to fancy dress parties or Mardi Gras parades, I always wanted to dress up as a feminine. But I kept telling myself, “You would never be a girl. You wouldn’t look good as a girl anyway. What is the point of being an ugly girl?”. That was the kind of mentality I had from living in a fucked up country where being a man is a god. Then 4 years ago, I dressed myself up in a corset, a big afro wig and heels in public for the first time. I thought it would be just for fun and I was doing fundraising for a side business I started with a friend. I raised a lot of money, I received a lot of attention. At the same time, it opened a stream of memories, a Pandora box. Childhood memories that I had so effectively suppressed all this while kept running through my head.
These memories struck me. Who am I? What am I? Why do I do this? Is this really me? Is it the attention? What would happen to us? our relationship?
I was so scared, I didn’t know what to do, I enjoyed the attention. But I like the feeling when I am dressed as a girl by myself too. The thought of living like my life authentically as a woman makes me happy, but I was so scared of your reaction. I was so scared of what would people think. I would then just did it in private when I am alone, slowly building my confidence. Of course, you knew of it.
Once I tried to spice up our sex life by donning a beautiful lingerie. lace bra and panties, complete with garter belts and fishnet stockings and heels. The thought of it makes me laugh now. I was so anxious and excited at the same time waiting for you to come home from work. You went home, saw me. You laughed and I chuckled. Nothing happened that evening and we continued with our daily routine. Netflix and dinner on the couch.
One night before bed, I told you that I think I am transgender. You told me it could be a phase, and you talked me out of it by asking me why would I choose to live a life of struggles and difficulties. That night I slept with sadness, I cried so quietly in my sleep. I knew by then what would happen to us if I live my truth. So I kept it aside for a while.
A Future Together?
We then moved to Kuala Lumpur. I was so excited, so did you. We got ourselves a big 3 bedrooms apartment in the middle of this city. So big compared to our 1 bedroom Sydney flat. We were excited. I helped furnish the place while you were away for work. I didn’t know you were going to travel so much, back to back and at one point I didn’t see you for 6 weeks. This is a big apartment to be alone I thought. It was hard for me trying to adjust living alone. I so used to live in Sydney for 12 years.
We did everything together, you were a big part of my life but I was by myself all the time. I have friends in this city but they have a new circle of friends now.
I was so alone and depressed and the thought of starting transition revisited me. I then went along with it, reading about it and learning about gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. I started asking myself these hard questions again; Who am I? What am I? Why do I do this? Is this me? Or is it the attention? What would happen to us? our relationship?.
My family had always known you since the start and always take you as part of the family. That is until they know we were together a year before we moved to Kuala Lumpur. My sexuality put a significant strain on my relationship with my family. They no longer recognize you as their family. I knew it hurt you and It hurt me a lot more to see the way they treat you until now. My little brothers who you treated as your own no longer see eye to eye with you or even acknowledge you.
I feel sad so I made the stand to stay away from my family for the way they are treating you. By that time, I didn’t give a fuck about what my family or other people would think of me and I figured that I can never make them happy. I cannot wait any longer, I had to be me, the real me, the authentic me. And the only person that matters too, was you. Still you.
For me, when I started my transition into womanhood, the process is painstakingly so long and slow. I was in my head and alone all the time. But for you it happened so quickly, you only see the changes in me in between your travels. You said I am moving so fast that you are afraid that you couldn’t catch up. You noticed my breasts started to swell and my body started to look feminine, I started to dress feminine. You said my breasts looked weird. You no longer touch my chest. You lost interest. You slowly becoming less attracted to me. At one point you stopped me from wearing dresses in the public with you because it is too confrontational for others you said. But I knew you felt it, you felt confronted. The boy you love slowly slipped away from your view and now there is a woman. Mind fuck.
Always be my Soul Mate
True it took you a while to accept me as a woman. But I so admire your patience with me. Once you had come to term with it, you were beautiful. You were very supportive and you told me you wanted to work on us, our relationship. I selfishly was so happy to hear that. You told me you were never going to leave me. Then you travel again for work and I didn’t see you for a few weeks. There was nothing to work on if we weren’t together. The texts and phone calls were getting lesser because of the different time zones.
You tried hard and yes you did. but I was beaten by guilt and feeling selfish that how can I force this beautiful man whom I love so dearly to change the way he is wired?.
I felt conflicted when you tried your very best to make me happy but somehow I was still complaining. The way you kiss me and the way you touch me wasn’t the same anymore. I feel the love and the warmth but there is no burning desire. I want to feel wanted. I want to feel desired, but still, I can feel the love. Love that we built for almost 13 years. That is what I was clinging on. oh, I feel so selfish every time I see you tried your very best. This torture feels like a DIY Gay Conversion therapy kit you can do yourself at home!
I knew what it would do to us. I thought of you leaving me, but you never did. You never gave up on us. I thought hard about letting you go. A few times I tried but you didn’t want to let go. I am sorry that I gave up on us but I need to do this baby. I need to live like me, the woman you see in your eyes. You know her very well, it is very much the same person as the boy you used to know.
You have taught me a lot in life and we have learned a great deal from each other. We have helped each other grow so much. The memories I shared with you have played a significant role in shaping the person that I am today. We are the product of our memories. You made it possible for me to be genuinely present and I can’t thank you enough for that.
I’m grateful for your kindness. From all my weird quirks to my occasional indifference, you generously accepted them all. Because of your belief in me, I was convinced that I, too, ought to have a little more faith in myself.
Letting you go
I’m truly, madly, deeply in love with you and in letting you go I hope I’m giving ways for others to feel the same way. Trust me, I can’t bear to imagine the day when someone else shakes your world, just as I did. However, I can’t just ask you to turn your life around 180 degrees for me. You tried and I am sorry to have put you through that. At the same time, I am not because I want you so badly.
But I can’t hold on to you. It’s true, we can have everything in this world, but never all at once. We tried our best and have enjoyed each other company for the past 13 years. I am glad we went to have our last holiday together in Bali, to celebrate our life together, how we have helped each other grow and be there for each other. I know I can start a new life because you have taught me so much. I know I can do this because I will always have you as my best friend forever.
‘Here with a heavy heart, I have to let you go, and you have to let me go. But I know we will always be in each other’s thoughts and support each other despite this parting. I will always feel the warmth of your love wherever I go and it will be huge of strength for me.’
Love You Always and Forever.
Sent by Raz