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Transgender in Colombo

This is a short article that I thought to write about how I felt when I first encountered transgender people (to be exact, trans women) and how I feel after learning about them. Especially in a society where we don’t know much about transgender, I hope my somewhat insight will help someone to get more understanding about them.

I’m from Kandy that is situated in the center of Sri Lanka. For some reason, for the many years I have lived in Kandy I haven’t run into a person who is a transgender female and expressing themselves by clothing or with makeup. However in Colombo, the situation is a bit different where the chances are high.

To be honest, as far I remember the first trans woman I saw was in Colombo. At that time I felt awkward, confused on what they are and disgusted. Anyway after that encounter I ignored it. But recently I encountered another two trans women and with their makeup and figure I was so confused that I wasn’t exactly 100% sure whether they are trans women. I knew there are people like this and with different type of sexualities but I didn’t knew much about transgender. Later I discussed about this incident with a group of friends in Colombo and I told that actually they looked very beautiful and frankly might look hot than most females. I wanted to know what they think about these people, but they all laughed for the fact that I said they look more beautiful than other girls. I knew maybe they were thinking about something else because the only way I could describe them was by saying “guys/males who wear like girls and makeup” and also they didn’t know much about it. So the conversation was changed and we moved on.

Anyway later I was curious to search about this matter on the web. Then I found a 14 year old teenage trans woman called Jazz Jennings. She was born as a male but she identify herself as a girl. In her words she has a girl brain but male body. Then I realized how difficult it must be for Jazz and for other trans women. This is a video documentary of Jazz at 11 years old.

Now with the facts and knowledge about transgender, I came to realize that they are part of the community and I should accept for who they are. Also they must have great courage to accept themselves and to express them selves in a society which is yet to understand or frankly know little about. So I hope the next time I stumble on these people, I would at least feel less awkward.

Notes

This is just my personal opinion, however if you think there is any harm caused for anyone from any context of this article please let me know. I will update the article.

More information

What does it mean to be transgender, and what does it look like in the brain?

Networks of the brain reflect the individual gender identity
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/…
“Our sense of belonging to the male or female gender is an inherent component of the human identity perception.”

White matter microstructure in female to male transsexuals before cross-sex hormonal treatment. A diffusion tensor imaging study
http://www.journalofpsychiatricresear…
“Some gray and white matter regions of the brain are sexually dimorphic.”

The microstructure of white matter in male to female transsexuals before cross-sex hormonal treatment. A DTI study
http://www.journalofpsychiatricresear…
“Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has been shown to be sensitive in detecting white matter differences between sexes. Before cross-sex hormone treatment female to male transsexuals (FtM) differ from females but not from males in several brain fibers. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether white matter patterns in male to female (MtF) transsexuals before commencing cross-sex hormone treatment are also more similar to those of their biological sex or whether they are more similar to those of their gender identity.”

Transgender children: more than a theoretical challenge
http://www.gjss.org/sites/default/fil…
“This paper is about one of the most marginalised and excluded groups: transgender children.”

Transgender kids show consistent gender identity across measures
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/…
“A study with 32 transgender children, ages 5 to 12, indicates that the gender identity of these children is deeply held and is not the result of confusion about gender identity or pretense.”

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By Sinaru Gunawardena

Sinaru is a software developer at work and a painter in free time. He enjoys writing tech notes on his personal website. He currently lives in Dublin, Ireland.

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