my strength and my weakness
my pleasure and my pain
my joy and my sorrow….
Miles R Tanhira
The only people who will hate you for living your truth are those living a lie
We came , We spoke , We are visible……TransAfrican visibility – Stockholm Pride 2016.
Trans-Broiz from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia& Zambia
African queen Malaika.. outspoken and resilient trans activist Tatelicious from Zimbabwe
we are loud and proud .. Trans activists panelists for TransAfrica seminar
One love.. Tatelicious shutting down the stockholm subway with love..
Trans is beautiful
That night I didn’t even think about the consequences of my actions,teenage recklessness or adrenaline rush? All i recall is how it was to affect me for years to come.
I was 14 when thieves broke into my family home. My parents were attending a funeral in the village. I was left in the company of my girlfriend and my cousin who was a few years older than us. All i remember is seeing a huge shadow in the lounge, i went out to check and the next thing i noticed was a heavy glass flower vase coming my way.
I shouted for help, in no time we were all jumping and shouting . I am sure a few neighbours heard the noises but took long to react. As the thieves tried to escape by jumping the fence, i followed in hot pursuit, i jumped the fence and as they sprung in the dark towards the forest i did not stop either. Only when they vanished into the thick dark bushy area did i stop. As i turned to go back home with the pride of a wounded puppy, i realised there were some men from my neighbourhood armed with all kinds of weapons from sweeping brooms to spears. They too were pursuing the thieves. It was too late, the burglars had escaped with the Video Cassette Recorder (VCR), before dropping and damaging the TV and stereo.
If you grew up in the 90s like me, you will know how precious these gadgets were. Not only because were they expensive but there were the latest technology, well at least in my ghetto neighbourhood….
For a minute everyone forgot about the incident, i was showered with praises people were more interested in how i had jumped the fence and why i had followed the burglars. No one took notice of my bleeding toes, the gate spikes had cut deep into my right foot.
A few days later Police investigations led to the arrest of the duo, some young men from the neighbourhood . In court i was the state witness and they each got a 2 year sentence. We never got the VCR back.
For days to come, i made the neighbourhood headlines and for years to come i was to be the hero. I was scared…
I feared that the two would one way or another seek revenge. This incident is the reason why i find it hard to sleep alone or sleep in the dark….
I get to hear this word a lot . People telling me i am brave, for writing on this blog, for sharing my story or openly talking about my gender identity.
I know now that what i did that night when i was 14, was bravery. Right now i am just living my life. I am writing my story to connect , to learn and to share. I am not being a hero, i am not doing it for applause, i am honestly just being me, thinking out loud and just defining and redefining myself.
I am right handed, you are left handed
I like tea, you like juice
I love blue, you love black
You are slim, i am thick
i am transgender, you are cisgender
You are heterosexual, i am bisexual
None of us is wrong …
WE ARE JUST DIFFERENT
After almost 4 years, i had the most beautiful and emotional reunion with my Dad. It was so touching for me to see my dad cry for the first time ever in my life. For some reason i felt i had to be the strong one, so i held back my tears.
I had anticipated this day so much, rehearsed and replayed it in my head several times,but when it finally came i was just too overjoyed that all the thoughts i had planned just got lost.
Unlike Luther Vandross and many others who wish to have one last dance, one final glance with their fathers, i feel so blessed because i got to feel my father’s warm embrace and once again i felt a sense of belonging and comfort. I felt like i could just fall and someone would be there to pick me up before i even reach the ground.I felt my family’s unconditional love and care and once again i was reminded that i have people who love and appreciate me.
I am grateful that i got to spend some time with the two men i love, my Dad and my Brother. It felt so great to be part of the team and the cherry of it all was spending quality time with my Dad celebrating his birthday.
For two weeks we had a splendid time catching up, chatting about life, cracking jokes and having emotional conversations about life. This would have been an opportune time to talk about my transition, but i didn’t and am not regretting it because I have actually decided not to seat my family down to announce my transition..
For now i am grateful i got to dance with my Dad, as for the rest time will tell..
I don’t know if it’s me or time is just becoming very expensive…
It feels like ages since i last thought out loud on this space. Well lately i have been pre occupied with other aspects of my life. Work, Family and studies.At the same time i have been having a lot of random flashbacks about things that happened in the past. It almost feels creepy but sometimes the nostalgia is also beautiful. I always want to make sense of everything, so being a 2.0 generation, guess what i did. Yes, i went to google for answers. I was just curious to find out what causes one to experience such random, vivid flashbacks. Obviously i didn’t get a satisfying answer because no one else on google lives my life, but i got to know that some people also get the same experiences.
It’s funny how with every passing second everything just becomes the past, sometimes it stays sometimes its fades. The same is true for our encounters with different situations and people.If there is anything i have learnt from losing the women i loved the most, my mom, my grandmother my aunt, it is to value the people and time spent with those who genuinely love you because one day everything will just be a memory..
There is something about the way time is moving that gets me both excited and sad. I guess one can only worry about time , but as the adage goes it waits for no one and life just goes on…
acceptance, affection, bonding, brother, coming out, dad, faith, family, ftm, God, happiness, human righs, lgbt rights, lgbti, life, love, miles tanhira, naming, parents, peace, self-care, transgender, transman
The other day my therapist asked how far i was going with coming out to my family about my transition, i hadn’t done it and i was not in the mood for discussing it because somehow it made me feel vulnerable.
SO I did what i do best when feeling that way, i brushed off the question and spoke about something else instead. After a few minutes of listening to me rumbling and mumbling, she wouldn’t budge she stubbornly came back to the question but in a very subtle way.
From that moment i knew this is something i still had to do, whether i like it or not a day will come when i will have to say something , be it through this blog, a letter or a phone call.
Reflecting on why i was finding it so hard to just let my family in on my journey, it hit me that i was wrong.. In hoping for a special event when i can have a discussion with my dad and share with him about my transition, i am failing to see and appreciate that he is already on this journey with me. We may not be at the same pace or have the same understanding but my family is walking with me.
Whether its’ painful, confusing or worrying for them, they are still doing it. For example my dad has for the past months started calling me Miles at least when he is talking to me or when we are chatting on the phone.This for me is HUGE.. i actually realised he is transitioning with me. Just as i have been patient with myself, i also need to be patient with my family and appreciate the effort being made.
Knowing my dad as a man with a huge ego and pride, it must take a lot for him to let go of the name he gave me, and use the name i gave myself without even resisting or questioning. He is not one to show love and affetion either, but lately he has been telling me he loves me. Lord knows i’ve waited and always wanted to hear these words from him.
Whether we get the opportunity to talk about the name change and so many other changes,or not, just this love, acceptance and respect from my family especially my Dad means so much to me. This gives me the strength to go through this journey knowing that i do not walk alone,my God and family are with me.
conform, crossing boundaries, diversity, femininity, ftm, international womens day, intersex, lgbti, masculinity, miles tanhira, norms, patriarchy, questioning, resilient women, society, stacy anne chin, transgender, transman, transwomen, women, womyn
Stacy Anne Chin says: ‘i come in too many flavours for one fucking spoon’..I resonate with this quote. My experiences living in a body that is considered female have and continue to shape my consciousness around many things, but most importantly it has taught me to value my experiences and those of of others as well as to acknowledge and embrace diversity.
This word gets thrown around so much especially when describing experiences of being a woman, whatever its meaning i imagine that is also captures the different experiences, the diverse backgrounds and lived realities of many who feel like womyn, choose to be women as well as those who are forced to identify as womyn.
I didn’t always identify as trans, there are spaces and places where i took the female identify. While It is something that did not make me feel at ease , i am not ashamed of the personal experiences living in a female identified body and having identified with and as one.
If it wasn’t for these experiences, i wouldn’t be the man that i am . The man that recognises, celebrates , and does not question, doubt or feel threatened by the wisdom and strength of a woman .
I salute the womyn who taught me all i know about being a womyn, all the sisters, lovers, mothers who do not conform to the whims of patriarchy, who dare to cross boundaries and refuse to be ‘good womyn’.The resilient womyn who defines themselves and without prejudice also acknowledges the right of others to do the same. The womyn who realise that experiences of womynhood are complex and what is and who is a womyn cannot just fit in one Fucking spoon..
Am looking at the map trying to figure out where i am, at this very moment, the names are confusing and i cant seem to really figure out where i am, i have been travelling for 10 hours now and all i know is i am 689 miles to my destination, Zurich.
A wise person once said after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.. I am thinking about how some journeys can easily be calculated and almost go according to plan, yet some are just not as predictable.
My screen shows that we are at an altitude of 11582m above sea level; the Temp is 55 oc and the time left before touch down is 1:08 minutes.
Reflecting on journeys, it is patently clear that my transition journey hasn’t been so predictable. Planning and timing feelings, thoughts, is just not possible. I am discovering that in as much as i am an individual i am not an island. This is my journey, yet there are many factors influencing and impacting on the decisions i make.
Transitioning is not a linear process ; it has many corners, mountains, blind spots and thorns. What i am learning however is that as i proceed some things become clearer. I have never spoken with the self so much as i have done for past 2 years. I may seem self-absorbed, because sometimes I actually get lost in myself, consumed by so many thoughts.
Unlike this trip to Zurich, my journey does not have exact timing or miles to final destination; actually i don’t think i am quite sure of the final destination as yet. All i know is I am crossing boundaries; sometimes-swimming oceans and other times, jumping hurdles. I am not trying to be a Hero, i am just creating myself, and so I can be at peace with ME and subsequently with YOU….
I continue to get a barrage of questions regarding my medical transition. Folks are asking me if i am on hormones or considering starting hormonal therapy before or after my top surgery. Others are keen to know when i will get bottom surgery, or if i have already done it. Some want to know if I’ am considering having children and whether i will carry the child and how we plan on doing this process..
So many seemingly relevant questions right..?
Maybe i am expected to have all the answers concerning my journey. To be honest i don’t have answers to most if not all these questions. If the past 2 years are anything to go by, i have learnt that you only notice you have crossed a line only when you are on the other side…
Maybe there are some who already have or know their final destination regarding their transition. This is my personal experience, i do not speak for many other trans*people who may not relate with what i am talking about.
I could be confused or just plain confusing, but as far as my transition is concerned, right now i do not feel like i know the timing and final destination, where i will safely say i am landing..
All i know is i am ready for take off, going up the steep hill, not yet at the peak and certainly not yet ready for landing..