I’ve never written fan mail. This feels weird so… bear with me.
Thanks. – My Self-esteem
Who is she?
If you don’t know who Stef Sanjati is: She is a Canadian transgendered woman who has documented her transition on Youtube and is now a year into her hormone treatment. She’s also an amazeballs make-up artist (like camel sized amazeballs).
I was lucky enough to come across her videos a year ago so I’ve had the privilege of following her on this journey. I have learnt so much from her, her attitude towards life and the ferocity of her spirit deserves to be admired.
Her videos definitely speak to more than just the transgendered community. My friends, the people who knew me where surprised when they find out about my strong advocacy for gender reassignment surgery. Why would a 26 year old cisgendered woman be so invested in this subject? Which often led to the question ” Is their something you want to tell me?” (To be fair I did write a play on the subject.)
No. I’m not questioning my gender identity. I know my sexual identity is bisexual/pansexual. I do have an unstable sense of identity and do struggle with anxiety, depression and borderline personality disorder (BPD)*. Unstable emotions and identity are symptoms of BPD. I’ve really struggled this year because I didn’t know who I was supposed to be or what I was supposed to do with my life, this was topped with a depressive episode that led to a short stint in a Psychiatric hospital. I’m now attending Dialectical Behavioural Therapy.
So why is she my role model?
She taught me to chase after my happiness. She knows who she is, she’s learnt to accept herself for who she is and she has worked hard to do what makes her happy. I, on the other hand, am so concerned with what others think of me. I have to be the person they want and not who I want to be. In Stef’s (a.k.a Bread Mom’s) videos she discusses her whole journey, and explains how and why she decided to fully transition. Often stating that her choice is what feels right for her but may not be the right choice for everyone and that’s okay. She share’s how her mental health has improved since being able to accept herself and work towards reducing her gender dysphoria. I struggle with my own kind of dysphoria. I often feel a disconnected from who I really am. I know who I am but often my anxiety and depression suppress my ability to be who I am. I hide behind mask, my own fears and insecurities preventing me from working to be the person I know want to be. To do what I need to do to be at peace with myself.
Stef Sanjati very openly states that she know’s who she is. She always knew she was a girl, no matter how hard others insisted she was a boy. She knew who she was and she’s worked to do what will make her happy and not let society’s opinions suppress who she is. She knows she is worthy of love and acceptance despite the adversity she has faced.
To learn about her journey in her own words watch her video:
My Transition Timeline (so far!) | 1 year on Estrogen
So I have decided to take steps to reach my own happiness.
Knowing what I want.
- I want to accept myself as I am and do what makes me happy despite fearing rejection for my life choices.
- I want to openly accept my sexuality without feeling like its something to be ashamed about.
- I want to be healthy but I also want to love my body for the way it is. – I know society says I have to look a certain way in order to love myself but I am learning that I really don’t have to apologise for my body, for my opinions.
- I want to learn to openly and honestly express myself and to not be afraid about communicating my needs to others
- I want to live lovingly and to fight discrimination against anyone who falls outside the parameters of ‘normal’.
All of this is a work in progress but I’m getting there.
Stef will be undergoing her FFS (facial feminisation surgery) very soon and I’m so excited for her in this next big step of her life. Do check out her channel on youtube, watch some of her videos. I promise you’ll have a laugh and learn something new.
I’m gonna end this now before this gets all Kathy Bates…
*Endnote: I don’t believe that being trans or having gender dysphoria is a mental disorder. I believe that HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and psychotherapy is the way to treat the condition.