Heart to Heart with Malvika

Published On: February 7, 2017 11:00 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Dear Malvika,
I was born a male but found out I was a woman about five years ago. In a society so rigid I’m scared that no one will accept me. There are only three people who know about me being a transgender. My boyfriend is very loving and fully supports me, yet he is scared that people will criticize him too. My younger sister is more supportive of me than my brother. I haven’t had the courage to tell my parents. Recently the subject of my marriage was approached by one of my relatives and I’m scared my parents will marry me to a girl who I will never love. I don’t know how to come out to my parents. I feel like this is the perfect time to take action. But I have no idea what to do? Please suggest some ideas. 

You have crossed the first step in accepting who you are and that is amazing. The second step is confiding with someone who loves you and is helping you in this journey. You have done that too. Now comes the hard part of dealing with parents and society. Having known many LGBTI individuals, it is never easy coming out to the parents.  But you never know how it may go. Most parents always know who their children are; they just do not want to accept it at times. And this is prevalent worldwide. So you are not alone. And when you do it might come as a shock, there might be a lot of crying and desperate attempts to change you. But be patient and persistent. I suggest you to get in touch with few LGBTI organizations. Blue Diamond Society is one of them. Their President is a transgender herself. You will get counseling and help from them. It will give you more confidence. When you see and meet other people who are just like you, it opens up your world and possibilities. There are many transgender people who are living a respectful life. Sophie is a makeup artist, Anjali is now walking the runways in India, Meghna has her own restaurant business, Bhumika was a parliamentarian. A majority of the society in Nepal has accepted, the laws are good too. Of course there are many things that still need some change. Once your parents come to terms with it, it will be easier. Parents love their children, there is no doubt. So all the best and be free! 

Dear Malvika,
I have been married for five years. I love my wife very much. She means everything to me and everything I own belongs to her. I have been working in Thailand for three years. And recently I have had some ‘problems’. I am ashamed to say this but I have been having relationships with paid girls. It’s been going on for around seven months. I miss the physical aspect of my marriage as she can’t come here. The problem is that my job itself is not permanent. The contract lasts for four years. I’m scared that this has become a habit. I don’t feel any guilt but just fear that I will be caught. I don’t know what I should do as I need to be here for almost eight months more? 

I am really worried when I read that you do not feel any guilt over what you have been doing. Watching porn and paying to have sex are two different things. And the second one is definitely cheating. What would you do if your wife was doing the same thing? Would you still be able to accept her? I am sure not. Yes I do understand humans have physical needs but that does not mean you go and cheat. If you were single, completely understandable. But you are playing with someone’s life here.  And I feel it has become a habit for you especially since you do not feel guilty at all. So here is the thing, go to counseling. Talk to a doctor. You will get some professional help. In the mean time, stop it altogether. It is a dirty habit and you need to go cold turkey. It’s like quitting smoking. Go to the gym, work out and take out all your pent up sexual frustration. That does help. Take up a hobby, live a healthy life. Talk to your wife every day and remind yourself why she means so much to you. Because if you keep this up and go back to living with your wife, it will be difficult for you. And your relationship will never be the same again. Next time if you get an overseas contract, take your wife with you and see how that goes. 

Dear Malvika,
I’m a 16 year old girl. Last year I realized I was attracted to girls. I have never had any relationship with girls or guys. I am fairly good looking for someone my age and have quite a large friend circle. But I am scared to approach anyone who seems attractive to me. I haven’t told anyone about it and won’t until I find someone who can support me when I need her the most. My family is very understanding and they love me but I am sure they will be shocked. I know it might sound selfish for waiting on someone else to make a decision but for me it is what will give me strength. Can you give me some ideas as how to talk to someone without feeling awkward? I want to build up my confidence before I ask anyone out.

If you refer to the first question where another reader confessed of being a transgender you will see many answers there. I have friends who are lesbians and who are in committed in relationships. I feel that you should confide with a friend. That will be your support system. But if you are scared that they might out you, before you are even ready then see who you can trust the most. The initial phases of coming out is never easy. The game plan is the same for all genders when it comes to relationships. You talk to few people, see who you like, then starts the casual flirting and then comes the approach , if they accept well its good otherwise move on to the next person. You are just 16 and haven’t dated anyone ever. So this is very new for you. Do not give up after the first or many rejections.  There will be heartbreaks too. I am not going to sugar coat it. It is the same for heterosexual relationships. So start talking to girls. If you like someone, give them the hint that you want to be romantically involved and see how that goes. Valentine’s Day is around the corner and this is a perfect chance for you. 

Dear Malvika,
I just finished my masters in business administration and passed with slightly above average marks. My father was very proud as he himself has a master’s degree in business. Recently, he approached me with an idea of joining him in business to continue the family business. But I don’t want to work as a factory owner. I feel that I can do much more like open a firm or start a small scale business. In fact, one of my friends came to me with an idea concerning export that I thought was worth investing in. Now I’m torn between fulfilling my father’s dream or to follow my heart and step out on my own. I need to decide soon and take one opportunity. Please help me find the right decision.

Do you have any experience with work or running a business? If you don’t then working in your father’s business first is a great idea. That will give you more knowledge about business with firsthand experience and will help you when you want to open up yours. Because studying and actually working are two different things. Experience does count too. And be open about it with your father that this is what you would like to do eventually. You will learn about operations, management and specially how to handle human resources. And it would be much easier to learn faster as you would be working in your family business. Give it a try and see where that goes. If you do take up this choice do stick to it for at least a year. Do not give up in a few months as nothing is easy. But if you do not like the idea, then be frank with your father and open up your own company. But do tell him that you would need his advice time and again. 

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