Monday, April 21, 2008

The Growing.

Roy Schneider had recently passed away. Back when I was just a kid I felt he was awesome. The way he battles the man-eating shark in “Jaws” / “Jaws 2” and the style when he pilots the legendary helicopter “Blue Thunder”. He was one of the few men I would love to be with when I grow up. Any girl would have the sense of security in his sensitive but strong demeanor. Any women would be proud to have this rogue, simple but intelligent reactions to circumstances as depicted in movies he was involved in. He is 75 years old this year. But the memories of his acting career lives on.

For the past few years, I had seen many people I admired all throughout the world pass away. Lydia Shum being one example, the Hong Kong actress whom I grew up with watching “It's A Mad, Mad World”. It gave me the stark realization that these figures died at an old age, all over 60. When I was watching “Blue Thunder”, Roy Schneider and Lydia Shum were only in their 50s and 40s respectively. It also made me realize how old I was then, I was barely 10. Here at the age of 32, I am coming to terms with my growing up and reaching the probable halfway mark of my life now.

When I was in my teens, Captain Steve Bruce, Mr. Reliable Denis Irwin, Bryan Robson, Andrei Kanchelskis, Brian McClair and Mark Hughes were my football idols in the super team line-up of Manchester United I supported then by the turn of the 90s. Those days they were like a set of much older brothers, hitting the ball all over the place between the old English Division One till the days of the inaugural English Premier League. I still remember how Sir Alex Ferguson nearly got sacked, how young he looked then, players he bought and players he sacked. Yes, he was young.

In the mid 90's when I reached my young adulthood, and grew up together with players my age, the five England lions; Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil Neville, David Beckham, Paul Scholes. And another a year older, Ryan Giggs. All under the tutorship of the big brother Eric Cantona. Those were an exciting period, reaching up to the peak of the Champions' League, English Premier League and FA Cup treble at 1999 before the turn of the century. I stress again, they were around my age. Those were the days of inspiration. Now all but Scholes of the England five lions remain in Manchester.

Ryan Giggs, the most decorated player in the history of the Premier League, is now toiling going to his mid thirties. And now, I am supporting kids. Yes, no kidding. From the days when Sir Alex Ferguson took over from Ron Atkinson starting 1986, I was supporting some men old enough to be my father, then grew up with those my age in the 90s. Now I am excited in the prospects of Luis Nani (22) and Ronaldo (23). If football (or soccer in the US) were to be my benchmark, then I have indeed grown 22 football years as a Manchester United supporter. And how time flies, mind you.

And suddenly it dawned to me how the years have gone by so fast. From a insecure female soul living in a boy shell, to a blossoming lady now married to a rugged but kind Australian. From sitting in an old Volkswagen beside my dad I am now driving a humble Proton Wira. From a virgin, I do not remember how many men or women I had been with. From writing for the old Malaysian post newspaper I am now writing on my own blogsite here and the international Ex-Gay Watch. From the ugly pimple faced boy who was branded gay, I am now recognized as an attractive lady.

I am no longer too shy to defend myself against verbal and physical attacks by people. I am not longer afraid of prejudice and discrimination by churches and society. I am no longer the person to be manipulated and shaped according to what people want me to be. And most importantly, in a couple of months time, I am no longer bearing the pain of having something that had caused so much suffering in my life prior to my 30s. In fact, I realized I only truly began to grow up only once I had known how to deal with Gender Identity Disorder. Result? I am a much happier person now.

Though I am sad the years gone by in which I could have done something to prevent being defined by how people viewed me, I am at least now back on the right track. It is better to wake up now then some transsexuals who are well into their 40s right? Though I am regretful to have the peak of my transition with SRS only in my 30s and not 20s, but I do know many are not as fortunate as me to be able to do it even now, and it is all thanks to my husband. I do not know what the future would bring on to me, but I have survived thus far. I guess I am ready for more of what life has to offer.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Yuki's Funnies: Chasers On Homosexual Therapy.

A really funny look at what some ex-gay ministries and reparative therapists are attempting to have you believe in doing in order to change from gay to straight. Re-runs of Richard Cohen's bizzare and mindless methods are on display for the big test! No wonder NARTH threw him out.

The Changes.

I had not written much lately, but yet I thank you all for still supporting my blog. Many were reading into my past articles. I guess I had really written a lot. But I am flattered that there are still some of you out there that cared about what was going on in my life. The response for my articles for Ex-Gay Watch from the Asian region is also encouraging. I apologize for not being able to share much for the past ten days; I am now in the midst of recovering from being used by a person who in the end never treated me as a sister, and reflecting on the soon upcoming changes in my life.

Losing my sister is probably one of the signs of changes in my life. Just barely two weeks ago, we were still joking around my ex-employer's office. We were still planning what to do with her wedding. One of our colleagues we were very close to was leaving, and at the last day of his work we all had a nice steamboat dinner together. I missed the second round of their party in a Karaoke centre, but being ill means I really wish I were to be home. Then barely few days later, she ran away and possibly will never come back into our lives. Suddenly, I no longer have a family here.

The knowledge that she cheated all of us was unbearable for the four of us; the fiancee, my ex-boss, our one good friend and me were unwilling victims to an illusion of an pitiful angel she created for us to see. Having loved her and cared for her unconditionally, it was disappointing for her to have used all of us. She is in the end selfish, and her decision will bear consequences for herself while we all get on with our lives. It would take some getting used to, suddenly not having someone I had treated with so much love and dignity, but I do know some friendships just do not last till old age.

I will be leaving Malaysia to Australia and stay there for an unknown period of time, perhaps years with my husband. I admitted to my husband that I found Australia unbearable because I missed Malaysia. Both have its good points and bad points, but the crux of the matter is that I am so used to the Malaysian environment. The roads, the shops, the shopping complexes and mostly the food. In my commitment to be with my husband, I am resigned to another different culture; one I hope I am able to adapt to. It would be so different, so quiet. But with a promise of a tolerant and nice society.

My husband has planned a move to Perth, and with it the weather should be more bearable than my days at Darwin. I am really seriously moving into an environment I know nothing about, especially barely knowing my husband. But seeing how well he treated me for the past months I am back in Malaysia seems to justify he is indeed trustworthy. And his strive to give me a better future makes me appreciate him even more. I do not know what would happen in the coming years of my life with him, but I do know very well whatever happens I am going to stick around as his best friend.

I am looking forward for my SRS. But of course, I do have thoughts on how I would feel after the surgery. Like a finger that is cancerous and needs to be cut off, my penis had been with me for 32 years. It needs to be off me, but no doubt I will miss it. I will miss my silly antics with it, including trying to remove it with my drawer back when I was a child. I will miss adjusting it so it seems inexistent every time I put on my clothes. In fact, I will miss the shame I had of having it. I was grossly insulted by it. I feel it was on my way of wearing a bikini set. I am going to miss killing it.

There is also a move on the way I live my life. I am now spending more time at home in my room. I have turned into a homegirl. I seldom go out to drink. Though the past week I drank a lot in depression because of my godsister's out-of-my-life experience, I do not enjoy alcoholic drinks like I used to. In fact, in the past month I mostly feel lazy to go out, and resigned myself on the comfort of a sofa and watching my favourite shows such as “House” and all the “Crime Scene Investigation” episodes from Las Vegas to Miami. I am becoming quite a couch potato these days.

I know the hurt of losing my sister will die off in time. I guess since there are going to be so many changes in my life soon in terms of body, country, culture, environment and lifestyle there is too many things on my mind right now. With it, a continuous learning process on how to be a better writer. I do wish to be a Yoga and Pilates specialist, and aspire to be a trainer one day. I really am in a fix on what the future brings soon for this stranger going to a strange land. But somehow I know I had gone through worse in my life. Things still should pick up in my life. After all, life is beautiful.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Who are we to judge Sufiah Yusuf?

I have been following the story of Sufiah Yusuf (Shilpa Lee) with interest. At 13 she is a math genius and now as a young adult she is a full-time escort. What disgusts me is the reaction of the worldwide moral police consisting of bloggers, religious people and journalists having their own opinions on why she choose the life of an escort. It goes from “Blame the father” to “Pressure from young age” then “Divorce from her husband”. Reactions consists of “She needs to 'bertaubat' (repent)” to “sad state of mind” then “unlucky”, recently “look at the kind of money she is making!”

I find all these very silly indeed. I had a chat with my friend recently about her and we both agree, we should stop making assumptions and just listen to what she had to say. And she finally uttered this sentence, “By the time I was 15 I wanted to be in control of my life. I fought back”. This sentence seemed to be virtually ignored by every person reading her story. In fact, many quarters still wishes to define her for herself when she is already in control of her life. In fact, everyone is trying to act like they know her, still repeating the really annoying dogma of “Blame the father!”.

She was 15 when she decided to take control of her life. I wish I had the courage and determination to do so at that age. When I was her age, until a few years back I was still being controlled by people; parents, church members, friends, teachers and boyfriends/girlfriends. They imposed what they believed was for the good of me when it made me a severely confused girl who is trying to be a boy to please everyone. Whatever I do was taken under scrutiny. In the process, I lost the soul of what makes me, me. I became the parody of each and everyone's definition of the surname “Choe”.

If I had chose to stop listening too much to people at that age, and start to question and think for myself, I would have a hard a life as a transsexual female at a very young age. But at least I know I would be happy. But knowing that at 30 plus I am finally in control of my life makes me realise it is not too late. And of course, there are the usual ridiculous assumptions of what made me “become” this way; “Must be the mother”, “She had been sexually abused”, “The last girlfriend must have hurt this person so badly”, and a host of other fallacy of ambiguities. All post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

I took control of my life as Sufiah Yusuf did. I wish I had the maturity to do so at her age. But at least I am on my way. Sufiah Yusuf is now happy in her career and we all should just leave her alone. We talk so much about “blame the father”, but are we not doing the same things the father did? The father pressured her when she was too young to be a math prodigy, did we not say that? And look what we are doing now. We are pressuring her to “repent” and we made out her story like a personal disaster movie; but she already stated that she is happy her life had turned out this way.

And what is wrong with being a escort? The calls of “sin” again? Are we not sinful too? And I sincerely ask every women reading my humble blog here this question. Since most of us Malaysia women would also have our chance encounters with men until we slept with them for the night, which is better, to give men sex for free or to give men sex for money? This is a controversial subject, but just think. How many one night stands had some of us women had with just a “mamak” supper to show for. If we call her a “hooker” for earning her kind of money, what about us then?

Let us all just respect her for her decision. Who are we to judge her? Are we giving her money to use in United Kingdom? Are we feeding her or clothing her? For goodness sake, she is taking care of her own life. It is time we should leave her alone. We would bear consequences of our own fallen nature, and similarly would not like to be judged in the same manner. And she is smart enough to know she cannot be in this field of work forever. And we cannot live forever without taking care of ourselves too. It is insane trying to control or define Sufiah Yusuf when we do not even know her.

It is time for us to stop condemning or pitying or judging her. It is time for us to start listening to her, because she is happy in her life. We would be ultra shallow to resort to condescending remarks about her when we have our own problem and our lives to live. How would we feel if we were to be under the same scrutiny and being defined by everyone around us? We surely would not like that. To Sufiah Yusuf, I give you my sincere high 5 . You are a very brave young woman. Even though everyone thinks you are crazy, you are an inspiration to me. Take care, all the best for the future.

Selective wit and wisdom of Sufiah Yusuf (Shilpa Lee):

"People think escorting is sleazy and terrible but I don’t see it like that,”

"I hate this stereotype society has of escorts as being exploited. It is so far from the truth. My clients treat me like a princess.
One guy took me shopping on Bond Street. He bought me a beautiful black Gucci dress for £300 (RM1,920) and then took me to Selfridges, where I could pick a handbag I liked.”

As I grew older, I began to clash with my father. He was violent at times. He pushed me so far academically, I became more confident for any girl my age. I grew up too quickly.”

Oxford was an amazing place but I was too young. By the time I was 15, I wanted to be in control of my life. I fought back,”

"I have never felt so confident about my body and I’ve had some of the best sex of my life”

Yuki's thoughts:
She Is Da Bomb! Kinda Inspire Me To Really Do Something About My Body. : )