From the film Listen to me: Mel, 28
When people called me a girl, I felt I was suffocating, I would shrivel. As a child, I did not want to picture the gender of people around me. I would have asked a boy if he were a boy or a girl. Everyone looked at me in utter disbelief when I asked that question. I didn’t want to cause any harm or disrespect to anyone with my question.
My coach had told me to wear a dress and I would ask him if he would picture himself in a dress. I had told him if he wore a dress and plucked his eyebrows, I would do the same.
I was 17 years old. My coach beat me up because I hugged a girl. After that day, he would make me promise that I was not going to be with any girl. As a self-defense mechanism and as a reaction to those kinds of statements, I was forced to make false promises so that I could save myself. He would say, “Look, she is a liar, she makes false promises every time.” I did not like lies, but I was forced to protect myself so I lied because I knew that the truth would kill me.
There came a time when I realized that no one would accept me anyway. I was not going to be able to have a life of my own. Things would get worse and I wanted to put an end to myself. I wanted to simply die. I could not have imagined that I would have so much strength to be able to fight this and would have won and would have my own family and be happy.
It seemed to me that I would live the life they had imagined for me that eventually I would get tired of it all and then had decided to commit suicide, to redeem myself. Then I found strength to understand that my putting an end to my life won’t solve anything.
By me being alive, and by being happy I would show them that I am what I am and was stronger than any one of them because I would live my life without ruining theirs; as for them, instead of living their own lives , they live my life scheming to ruining and wrecking my personal life.