How Could Lying to Everyone Be "Right" ?

Hayase Ami
Sano Nihon Daigaku Secondary School

Most of you here today see a young lady about to give a speech. In a way, I suppose you are right. But what you see is not who I really am. This body is merely the girlish costume that I was born wearing. Because since I was a small child, I have known that in my heart I am a boy.

There are many things I hate about myself; I am short, I have a cute face, and I canft stand to look at myself in the mirror wearing this blue skirt. Most depressingly, though, is that for the last three years, my body has been changing. No matter how much I hoped it would not, on the outside I am becoming a woman, while inside I remain male.

Since when I was very small, people often say gAmi, keep your legs closed when you sit! Donft talk like a boy! Remember, you are a GIRL!h Each time that I heard those things, it made me furious. One time I blamed my mother. I said, gItfs YOUR fault that my teacher tells me to be a girl. You gave me the wrong name! I hate it! Change it!h She started to cry, and I felt bad. So, at the age of five, I learned that I needed to keep those words deep inside and never mention them to anyone.

When I started elementary school, the older students would tease me. Tall boys and girls stood around me and giggled at me asking gWhy are you acting like a BOY? Look at your school bag, itfs RED, and you know what it means? You are a GIRL!h They even beat me, saying that I disgusted them. I started to feel that there really was something wrong with me, so I looked on the Internet and came to the conclusion that I might have GID, or gender identity disorder.

After I read about it, I felt it was a mistake that I had been born like this; different from most people around me. I even wanted to end my life, especially when someone told me to my face that I was simply running away from the effort needed to become a cuter girl. The reality is, I wasnft running away from anything. I couldnft tell them what I was thinking, because I was so scared. Although I was just trying to be gmyselfh, people around me said what I was doing was wrong. But if being myself was gwrongh, then how could lying to everyone be grighth?

I never planned on telling anyone how I feel, because I thought doing so wouldnft save me from the despair of this girly shell Ifm forced to live with. But I now feel that itfs the right time to tell people how I have struggled to find who I am for the past fifteen years. I am gme,h nothing else.

Donft look at me in disgust. Donft let your fear or misunderstanding color your view. Yes, I am confused, I am struggling with who I am and who I want to become. But so is every 15-year old, not just ones with GID. Every one of us, at some point, will face the struggle of being a minority. But does that make you wrong? Everyone was born to be different, and each of us makes society unique. No matter what you look like, what you feel like, or who you love, there is no right or wrong. Rather than focus on what separates us, letfs embrace the one thing that makes us all the same; our humanity.

From now on, I know that I will probably continue to have a hard time but I wonft give up on being gmyself.h I wonft pretend anymore.

(5th Prize in the 65th Contest, 2013)

(C)JNSA FUND/the Yomiuri Shimbun

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