Charting My Own Path

my path

“It’s my road to walk, my path to define”

From a distance, he is just a man like any other. Blends in seamlessly with the community around him and gets along with most people.

“Most of my days involves interacting with people from different walks of life. So I learned people’s skills so as to navigate well with less issues”, he said.

Lani is a businessman. He runs small businesses to earn his living.

“I started being involved in business from a young age. It wasn’t the ideal picture of my career but I had limited options”, he added. Read More

When Your Documents Says Different

not normalA couple of weeks ago, I went to one of the embassies to apply for a visa. I have gone to this embassy several times and my interaction with them has always been smooth. However, this time it was different.

I have changed my name legally. It reflects who I am. On the other hand, my gender marker on my documents hasn’t been changed yet. It still screams “F” on my passport. Read More

Yearning To Be Freely Me

Glimpses of freedom

Sitting on the sandy beach front in Mombasa’s public beach, Saida stares into the vast blue horizon while she fidgets with her fingers. She’s twenty-two, slender and her demeanor is shy. This is her favorite place to come to when she wants to think about her life.
“I come her a lot. Especially when there are few people around, mostly in the early hours of the morning. It’s usually peaceful and I don’t have to worry about people looking at me weirdly. The beach doesn’t mind about my gender!” She says, chuckling.
Saida is a transwoman, with Muslim parents and a mixed upbringing. She didn’t lack much while she was growing up, yet she always felt out of place. She never quite understood why her “ways” were never in tandem with her older brothers. But being the youngest had its perks; she wasn’t picked on so much by them. They protected her and tried their best to teach her ‘how to be a man’, something that didn’t stick at all. Read More

7 Downsides of Testosterone Therapy: Transmen

A couple of days ago, Nadia and I went for our routine medical check-up. We had been planning to book an appointment with our doctor for weeks. Every time we planned something came up. Finally we managed. We had done some blood test some few weeks before and they were already sent to the doctor’s office.

When one starts transitioning, especially medical transitioning, that is, hormone replacement therapy, you need to go for routine medical check-ups. This will usually involve monitoring your progress with the hormones and how your body is reacting to it. The doctor checks your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, your liver profile, cholesterol levels and so forth…

After the catching up and updating the doctor on our progress, the doctor highlighted how testosterone is a ‘bad’ hormone and estrogen is a ‘good’ hormone. In other words testosterone has more adverse side effects compared to estrogen. I guess that explains why women have a longer lifespan than men, and why men are considered biologically weak compared to women. Thus I felt a need to talk about the side effects of testosterone replacement therapy.

We transmen yearn so much to start our hormones and rip all the good things it brings, but we need to be aware of the downsides of taking testosterone.
The long-term safety of testosterone is not fully understood. Most of the studies on hormone therapy involve non-trans men taking testosterone at different doses than transmen usually use, and transmen bodies are not exactly the same as non-trans men’s bodies. There may be long-term risks that are not yet known. Read More

Top Surgery

trans symbolAs trans people embark on the journey towards themselves, transitioning, many of them choose to undergo top surgery. Top surgery is a general term the surgical procedures performed on the breasts of transgender patients. For transwomen they undergo breast augmentation surgery and transmen undergo mastectomy together with chest reconstruction surgery. Read More

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