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An Extraordinary Life

Merell Lystra L . Recta | Feature Writer

Have you ever tried proving something to the society knowing that they will just acknowledge but they will never truly accept it? Have you ever felt conscious of the way you look, act, and even respond because what you might do in the next thirty seconds is something that the society would consider as taboo? In this world where people have shortage of acceptance and a surplus on criticisms, where do you belong?

The concept of sexuality in our generation has become a controversial issue. However, despite the consequences, a lot of lesbians, gays, transgenders, and bisexuals finally have the courage to come out of the closet. Although they are still regular members of the society, queers still have a difficult time before being fully accepted. Being accepted by the public is not a piece of cake— it will always require an extra amount of effort.Lee Verdoguillo,

Lee Verdoguillo, transgender woman, is a fourth-year Juris Doctor student of Silliman University.

It was during her second year in college when she started transitioning. However, being feminine and flamboyant started way back in her childhood days. At first, she thought she was only gay but upon reading some articles and studies about sex transition, she realized she wanted to be a biological woman after all. Taking hormonal pills was done in secret during her early transitioning stage. Although her parents accepted her being gay, being a transgender was a different story.

When they finally knew about it, they got mad because of two concerns: her health and society’s reaction.

How does a being a transgender differ from being gay or lesbian?

There is what we call sexual orientation wherein a person can get attracted to another person of the same sex but still considers himself or herself the sex that was assigned at birth. However, in gender identity, there is already that consideration of being the gender opposite to what is assigned at birth. One common misconception about transgenders is that they undergo a surgery and change their private parts however, they do not need to do so. In a nutshell, men who identify themselves as women are already transgenders.

“Even if they scolded me for taking hormonal pills, I just continued secretly still,” Lee said.

Later on, the changes made her look better and made her do better in school, too. This is because she felt more free. It is as a woman that she can express herself fully. She even graduated cum laude in her bachelor’s degree.

Her family was against it at first but eventually they have seen how the transition improved her as a person. Six years after, she can say that the greatest struggles lie in the beginning of the change. Just as how your classmates will tease you if you got a very unusual haircut.

“It is never really a choice; it is who you are” she said.

By the time she became conscious of it, she knew that she wanted to be woman.

According to a study that she included in her thesis, the brain of a transgender woman is similarly structured to that of a genetic woman. It isn’t much of a personal choice; it is just being who you are. Her life as a transgender is extraordinary. In some way, people like her even excel than others. Perhaps it is because they will always strive to prove something in the society. There is always that extra effort that is part of her daily life. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what your gender is. As long as you know your identity in this world full of criticism.

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