Written by: Lebogang Mokoena
Dedicated to: Roderick Kgosi Lechuti
My own skin vowed not……
To be comfortable in my own body.
My own skin abandoned me Not connected to me….
Not content with me Not comfortable in its own self Dawn passed and filled me with wisdom…
Wisdom to set me free.
To break the chains,
To see me beyond gender,
For gender is misunderstood Gender is mistaken.
Today, my skin comprehends that gender is not between the legs.
For gender is between the eyes.
Today, my own skin smiles at criticism,
That mimics voices that I am gay, I am lesbian, transgender?
That is not me world….
I am a new transition, a vivacious new being,
A bright and in the open, have made a decision binding….have erudite that no matter my decision the world will not fall apart.
In my own skin, the senile is gone.
The new me is bold without boundaries. In my own skin, undergoing a transition… I am comfortable in my own skin, Therefore I accept me.
After weeks of having conversations with Roderick, I have learned a lot and have stepped into his shoes to know him better and to be able to tell a story on his behalf. Being his voice, I now understand that in our own journeys it is through, first and foremost, our own self acceptance that others find it in their hearts to accept us. Be it gender or race related or any situation it may be, acceptance starts with you.
A short interview with Roderick:
Q1: How does it feel being labelled ‘transgender’?
A1: It is not nice as I don’t identify myself as a transgender person. It is almost an insult as much as being called she/her. I feel like I am grouped, caged….
Q2: What does your transition mean to you?
A2: A second chance at life, a different outlook on life to live my life as I was destined to. To fully indulge in the happiness that society and my body has robbed me of.
Q3: How would you advice people out there who are undergoing the same thing as you are? Or who are about to?
A3: To just hang in there, to be cautious of their surroundings, as well as to have patience, be understanding and be open minded. People wont and don’t accept things that they don’t understand. When coming out one needs to understand the other persons views, as much as they want to other people to understand their too and ‘do unto others as you would like them to do unto you’ and that your transition does not mean you are special, no one owes you acceptance, it just means that you are facing a challenge in your life just as a teenager would experience when telling her parents she is pregnant. But in all in all accept yourself, be comfortable with you then only will other people be comfortable with you and do not compare yourself with others for our journeys are different. Gender identity, sexual orientation are complex.