Psychologically I had been a man for a lot longer, always actually, but I kept putting off my transition because I wanted to find peace with in my spiritual self first. My Jewish background and interest in religion were in that sense extra challenges?
As a child I was very solitary, mostly be found in my room. When I did not want to be disturbed, and I liked to hang a small notice board on the door which read ‘Do not disturb’. I explored boundaries by racing around on a borrowed scooter. I was a child who liked to day dream, a true romantic. I liked to visualize myself with a guitar wooing a beautiful lady under a balcony. I was in love with the girl next door and the nurse. I was raised as a girl, but was a melancholic little boy.
The outside world, after all, continued to see me as a woman. That hurt and made me aggressive. “I started to dress and act like a man and even changed my name.
Buddhism, which I got to know out of curiosity, helped me to deal with my feelings. More than that: it taught me how to assemble the various types of man that I have in me and weld them together into one entity.” The teachings of the Buddha, meditation and reciting mantra’s led me to see that my masculinity expresses itself in various ways. Through years of meditation and mantra practice, as well as doing a number of retreats, my transition has been a good one.
After my inner quest, I went back to the Genderteam in Amsterdam. I was very pleased with their letter which stated ‘in writing’ that from that moment on, I was to go through life as a man. Although I had done so all my life, it was a beautiful honour.” The visits to the hospital followed each other in rapid succession. Operations were prepared for and I starts taking hormones.
Accept and support by my parents and friends was a great gift.
Over the years I founded a number of transgender organisations, among them TransAmsterdam and organized the first Amsterdam TransPride. With this transgender organisations I giving advice, lectures, build bridges, organize transgender art and cultural events.
“Make your gender into your personal power. Without fear and with the right kind of pride.”