“Since 15, the question of whether I was a boy or a girl haunted me. Eldest in the family, my responsibilities forced me to leave school when I was young and it drove me to tears. At 18, I ran away to join a nunnery. There, I developed feelings for a nun and, unable to control them, ended up expressing it. I was judged for my attraction towards women and in the end, was surrounded and humiliated for possibly being a man in disguise. They forcefully stripped me to check my sex which traumatized me and became my reason to leave.

I wanted to run a restaurant in Thimphu so I called my mother to ask for her help with a loan. The answer was no. But my aunt agreed to help. From then on, I put all my energy into running the business. However, instead of using the money from the restaurant to pay the loan, I used it to have fun. It got to a point where I didn’t even have any money for rent. After about a year, I sold the place and moved out. I worked two jobs at the same time to make enough money. It was stressful. My friend, who I confided in, talked me into taking drugs to feel better. To make some money, I started selling them too which put me at the risk of getting caught.

It made a lot of money but paying the loan never occurred to me; the interest kept piling up until one day I met someone online who put me on a straight path and I was able to pay back most of my debt. When things seemed to finally go my way, I was caught and sent to prison. Inside, an officer on duty who questioned my gender identity groped me. Picking a rock, I almost hit him when he apologized and ran away.

It was a lonely and depressing place. When I caught people peeping out of curiosity while I was bathing, I asked them to imagine their own child being in the same position which somehow stopped them. Now, I am out, it’s been hard getting back to my normal life because of an ‘ex-convict’ label. It has barred me from doing what I want.

Surgically changing my gender is what I wish for but it’s too expensive. So, I’ve started believing that saving that money and helping others will let me be born as a man in my next life.”

#HumansofThimphu #HumanStories #Thimphu

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