Belonging on my terms -

___Belonging on my terms

I am a transgender woman. Back when I transitioned, the advice given to trans women who could "pass" was to hide her transness for her safety and also for her comfort. And so I hid and found myself doing so for many years. I didn't tell anyone that I was trans, not even my friends or partners.

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Motherhood redefined -

___Motherhood redefined

I have always found it hard fitting in, as in fitting into society in the way all other women have fitted in. I was always the clown, the out-spoken loud friend, the performer, the tomboy. I fleeted around and never felt settled.

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What is sexy? -

___What is sexy?

What is sexy? For me, it’s always been a difficult thing to define. And if you can’t define it, how can you be it? What is this elusive thing that we seek - both in others and ourselves - yet can’t say for sure “yes that’s it- that’s it there”?

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I am sexy, in my own right -

___I am sexy, in my own right

Viewing myself as a sexy and sexual human being has been a journey, especially coming from a Christian and conservative Asian family. I spent years repressing my sexual curiosity, attempting to conform to sexist expectations and learning how to hate my body for not moulding itself into the shape my society had set in stone for me.

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Weird and wonderful -

___Weird and wonderful

I was bullied pretty much my whole way through primary and senior school for being ‘different’; I hit puberty first and was ‘bigger’ and bustier than the other girls my age. I went through a series of weight gains and losses trying to cope with what I was experiencing.

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My sense of home comes from within -

___My sense of home comes from within

I was born in Xi’an China where the Terracotta Warriors are. When I was a child, I went to 9 different primary schools in 3 different countries (China, Canada, Australia). In 2013, I packed all my belongings in 2 suitcases and moved to London permanently from San Francisco.

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I am ok -

___I am ok

I have never felt like I loved myself, even liked myself. Growing up, I was constantly picked apart by my mother telling me I was too big, too thin or that I looked like my male cousin (which as a pubescent girl wasn't something that I wanted to hear). Nothing was ever right.

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What if this wasn't a dress rehearsal? -

___What if this wasn't a dress rehearsal?

Finding out I had a brain tumor at 31, losing the ability to speak. This wasn't the plan. To have surgery a year later and learn new words to describe my body; long, clinical words that made my body sound faulty, ill, wrong, different, that wasn't in the script either.

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