“I was raised around drugs, alcohol and violence. I got hidings every day. I was bullied all through school as I didn’t fit the stereotypical male role. But it got much worse at college. Changing rooms were unsafe and I was fearful. One day this resulted in me being forced to give sexual favours to boys. I felt I deserved what came my way, because of who I was. One day five boys held me down and urinated on me. I ran home with thoughts of wanting to kill myself. I was humiliated but couldn’t tell anyone. I think some teachers knew what was happening but they didn’t know how to deal with it. Every day I hoped someone would walk through that door and rescue me.
People called me lots of names, fa’afafine, faggot, poofter. I now lean towards the western term of transgender. I challenged God on why I was born like this? I read about Job (in the bible) and saw lots of similarities. My experience hasn’t pulled me away from my faith, but it’s made me realise that people are uneducated on how to support or approach people like me.
My smile has a million stories behind it. As I have grown in mind and maturity I have learned to forgive all the people who have done me wrong.”