I was four years old when I told my mom that I wanted to be a boy. The funny thing is, I cannot remember telling her. She told me in early 2017 this bit of information and I was completely floored. I was speechless and scared.
I came out for the first time when I was 24 years old and I had just moved from South Africa to Australia and then again in 2017 as a female-to-male trans man (FtM).
Of course, the second time around had to be the year I turned 40. My brain had clearly done a great job at burying the truth of how I really felt, although, my body had other ideas of how to manage all these buried treasures.
My entire life feels like a form of rebellion, every painful memory seems like a form of rebellion, the crying, the self-harm that no-one knew of, the darkness and even the moments of light.
My physical self always had a problem with living. I have woken up every day of my life for the last 37 years hoping that, “Today will be the day I feel better. Today will be the day I have a break through”.
I would get ready for work or go out to do mundane chores and within minutes the thought of death will cross my mind. I have considered so many avenues to hurt myself but as a registered nurse I learned that the risk of something going terribly wrong is just too high.
I was driving home one day from university in early 2017 and I was crying my eyes out. I came to a red light and I said out loud to myself, “You have a choice: death or testosterone – what is it going to be?”
I have been on testosterone for one year and a few months now and I am taking my anti-depressants religiously. I have stopped drinking because I have a PhD in music to finish. I have poems to write, music to record and perform, motivational speaking and communication masterclasses to start in 2018.
I have a partner who is a light in my life. My animals are awesome creatures who love me unconditionally and I don’t want to leave them or my partner. I need them, and they need me.
Some days are better than others, but I keep going. No-one else can make the music I make, no-one else can bring my view on life and its secrets to the world but me. This is why I try to stick around. I have a story to tell and others to help.
Remember, you are not alone. Don’t hide your feelings. Let them out in a safe place, and reach out for help, even if it means reaching out to strangers. Sometimes it is the strangers who make a world of difference. It makes the pain more bearable and facing life every day can become an inspiration for someone else.
Visit Sean’s website at www.hsbotha.com