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Complex trip and sh thoughts when doing well

Community Member
Hey! I’ve got a bit of a complicated situation that I could use some support I guess on? I’m trans and have been on T for seven months now and finally got my legal name change, which was a bit of a challenge due to me living in Australia but being born in the uk. I’m still a minor so that makes the process even harder. I still am unable to change my legal sex due to having a uk birth certificate. At the end of this year my parents and I are going to east Africa. Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya (we were supposed to go to Ethiopia too but that’s obviously not going to happen given the situation there). It’s sort of a graduation trip for me and a trip my dad has been meaning to take given he was born in Kenya and hasn’t been back since he moved at 5. Anyway I bit of a ramble but it’s a very meaningful trip and I’ve been really looking forward to it. However, it’s east Africa and I’m trans. My parents say for my safety I have to basically live as a girl while I’m there. They’re going to use they/ them pronouns and people around us will treat me as a girl because my mum is afraid of complications that if they don’t and people see my passport with the big ass F on it, my safety will be compromised. I understand the situation and the safety aspect but at the same time I’m so angry and sad and frustrated. I finally thought I was done hiding that now I’m out and on T things would finally be okay and I could be myself. I want to travel, it’s my one dream and I’m so enraged by how being trans has limited so much of my life already, I’m only 16, I’ve wasted at least 5 years in confusion and a false sense of belonging. I don’t know what to do, I’m definitely going and I wouldn’t change that for the world but I don’t want to fall back into a cycle of constant dysphoria and unhealthy coping mechanisms. I’m 50 days clean and the best I’ve been in years but the thought of having to hide away again and pretend is really setting me back mentally. I don’t know what to do.
Sorry for this ramble I’m just a bit of a mess over this
2 Replies 2

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Gekota~


Welcome here to the Forum, I think you may find others here who are Trans and may be able to advice you better, we have a section here you might like ot browse




I think really the most important thing is YOU know who you are, a major milestone, and the second is that you parents appear helpful and loving.


Add to that 50 days clean and you have made a major accomplishment.


Being Trans in Australia is to live in a society that is mostly a good one, unfortunately not all other countries have our way of looking at things and there really is nothing one can do about that except to try to stay out of trouble, even "they/them" may be a problem. Both the BBC and SBS have reported highly unpleasant episodes from Tanzania and Kenya, and similarly possibly to a lesser extent in Uganda.


So to be blunt you may need to hide who you are for you safety and that of your parents - or put off the trip until at least your paperwork becomes sorted. This is no reflection on you, and all though history people have had to keep a low profile or outright pretend to be what they are not. Legal systems in different countries have different laws and operate in different ways.


Persecution is not new. I lived in a house in the UK which had a "priests' hole" which was a concealed small room. Duirng the reign of Queen Elizabeth l Catholics were persecuted, hunted down and often killed. Other tried to help them, and hiding them was one way to do it.


Catholics had  no choice at the time, thay had to hide or flee to the Continent, but it did not make them lesser persons. Those who did the persecuting were the ones to blame.


Pretending will not make you less of a person, it will simply emphasize to you that there are many parallels in the modern world.



Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Gekota


The trip is understandably a major challenge for you, given you can't be your natural self or true self at times. Being a mum, I can understand your parents' concern for your safety. Completely agree with Croix in regard to some parts of the world not yet having come to change their perception when it comes to a more open mind. I can imagine you deeply feel for those who actually live in the countries where people suffer from such discrimination, while not having the chance to have a break from it (traveling to other countries to get a way from it).


May sound like a really outside the square suggestion but would you consider traveling 'under cover', going as your old self to some degree, your old identity? Sometimes I've found that if I can manipulate my brain into seeing things from an outside the square kind of way, it tends not to torture me so much. Not saying such a thing would be easy, based on you feeling a lot of the challenges that may come with it, but perhaps it's an option. When it comes to feelings, I can imagine you're familiar with some of your triggers, such as feeling people's comments, feeling their attitudes, feeling their beliefs as being insulting and/or upsetting ones. A lot can trigger our nervous system, trigger us to rage, trigger us to feel depressing feelings and so much more. Given your parents' fears and the way they fear for you, perhaps they're ahead of the game on that one. What I mean is they know that if you go as who you naturally are, you'll end up living in fear and they don't want you to have to experience the feelings that come with that. Sometimes we gotta trust our parent's feelings as being intuitive ones. The trip could be seen as an opportunity to kind of 'go under cover' to see just how much discrimination there is from an observer's perspective, while still enjoying some aspects of the trip. At least you'll get a good idea of what you're up against before going back at a later time in your life as your natural authentic self.


The ability to change our identity at any given time can be seen as an opportunity. As long as we have solid sense of who we truly are that's the main thing. A woman may dress up as a princess on her wedding day, people throw on a sports uniform and transform into a powerhouse (far from who they may be without that uniform on), well known signers or public speakers have been known the completely transform from incredibly shy to super confident the second they get on stage, emergency service workers throw on their 'super hero' uniform before every shift, going into a whole different mode compared to who they are outside of work. My 18yo son actually wants to buy a suit just so he can dress up as someone who'll get a certain reaction from people. He wants to see how much more he's respected or how differently he's treated, just out of curiosity. I know simply dressing differently is very different from a major transition when it comes to a core sense of identity but keep in mind that dressing as your old identity won't take away from the truth of who you are, at your core. Do you think you'd be able to see it as 'dressing as a certain persona'? This way, it wouldn't necessarily be seen as going backwards, it could be seen as moving forwards while experimenting with a variety of personas as an extension of who you naturally are.