Once you are past the fact that this is news and a national paper feels the need to carry it as a front page story, ’66 year old man discovers he is a woman’ arouses some mixed feelings.
While this poor man’s condition is the result of two genetic disorders and hardly a dilemma, one has to acknowledge there are those that have to actually make these daunting choices.
Anees who became Anisa, pops to mind almost instantly and while I never thought college was supposed to teach me this, like most lessons in life, this one, too, came without being included in the syllabus.
It started innocently enough with Anees wanting to try on some low-necked sweaters with tights. He looked strangely pretty in them. When he started using mascara and a bit of lip gloss, for those close to him, it wasn’t as funny as the sweaters had been. Then an innocent prank, calling the college stud, pretending to be a shy girl with a slightly husky voice, led to Anees realizing he was strangely excited.
After two years of struggling with a dual sexuality and being the only son of high profile industrialist parents, Anees finally had an operation that made him Anisa.
For most people, this story held much amusement.
However, to see at close quarters the anguish that Anees went through, the emotional wreck that he became, his rejection by close friends and reluctant acceptance by few others, and his gratitude for those…the courage that it took for him to break the news to his parents and then for his parents to accept that their only son was now their only daughter, was no laughing matter.
For the longest time after, Anees, now Anisa, was considered a freak show.
In the last year of college, when a rather handsome, new student joined the batch, all the girls in class waited with bated breath to see who would be the first to steer him away to that quiet spot at the back of the college lawns.
Anisa, naturally tall and slim, superbly groomed, cultured and well read, effortlessly staked her claim within the first week, when he asked her to the college social.
Without the baggage of who she had been in her past, Anisa was a winner.
Then somebody whispered to this boy what we had all known for the last three years. Almost instantly, Anisa went back to that place where all the mis-fits of society go.
However, St Xaviers’ was the kind of college where there was always more tolerance rather than rejection of new ideas and this time there were many more that held her hand through this painful journey.
Because heartbreak, whether you are male or female, feels the same.