Growing up, I was taught that boys grow up to be men and girls grow up on be women. Patriarchy was heavily celebrated in my culture and the idea of erasing male privilege to become a woman was a foreign one for my family. I was 12 years old when I finally realized that although I was born male, my plight was to transition to female and that I would have to make this journey despite all the odds.

Becoming a trans woman at 17 years old in Polk County, Florida, was jarring. I was grappling with so many intersections. First was the color of my skin; I hail from West and East Indian immigrants. Second was learning to navigate the world as a woman; what that meant, how I would learn to feel about myself and the world I lived in.

At 29 I still grapple with the intersections of being a trans woman of color. I have the ability to navigate the world a lot easier because I’ve been granted passing privilege, so I create change in my community by working in social justice and community-building to lay the foundation for the generation that will follow after me.

At 12 years old I made a decision that altered the course of my life forever, one that was rooted in honesty and authenticity. The fact that I get to be a visible trans woman of color in this social and political climate is profound. I dream of a day when we are not taboo and stigma placed on trans people, immigrants, and people of color are no longer applicable.

Miliana Singh
She, Her