Gabriel Veloria, Phillipines, Transwoman, 18, East Auckland

Hey everyone, I’m Gabriel and I’m a trans! ūüôā I live around east Auckland.

This is my story on how I discovered my sexuality and gender.

When I was young, around the age of five, my parents knew I was different. I liked to play barbie dolls, and was always hanging around girls. Basically, my parents were in denial, and thought this was just an ordinary phase of life that boys have.

As I grew older,¬†we migrated to New Zealand (I was nine years old), and we met up with my dad who’d been living¬†here since the time I was born.

The problem started occurring when I was hitting my early teenage years (age fifteen).

After several years of torment, and feeling uncomfortable in my body, I came out to my best friend (Chelsea).  She was the first person that had ever supported me.  This gave me comfort in myself.

Her, and her family treated me so well that often I’d come to their house to gain that sense of stability, and regain¬†the loss of confidence, while with them.

My parents always threatened me physically, and put me down emotionally.  It was a constant struggle.

I had told Chelsea’s Mom about the problems which resulted in me coming out to¬†my parents. ¬†At first, they thought I was kidding around. ¬†Later, they realised my drastic changes in my appearance like¬†make up, or the feminine clothing. ¬†It was the way I expressed myself.

The physical abuse had begun when the changes came! I was being punched by my father and once I had a black eye.  It was dreadful.  I was sobbing inside, and I felt loss.

With this, I started coming to counselling. ¬†That’s when they suggested¬†getting the Independent Youth Benefit. ¬†Furthermore, it took a long process to get this done. ¬†When it was approved, I moved¬†out as soon as I can.

Afterwards, I realised I was still suffering from depression/suicidal due to my self image, and because the oestrogen hasn’t been started to be prescribed to me.

Many times, I attempted suicide.

One night, I came back to my parents house feeling at my lowest.  I was ready to die.

That’s when my mother realised that isolation had gotten me so worked up and depressed. ¬†So she took me back in. ¬†I cancelled my benefit, and got back on track. ¬†Although everything was getting better, I had already missed so many classes in school due to emotional bullying. ¬†I decided to quit, and never come back.

The next game plan was Youth Guarantee which helped me get the basics.  After it finished, I was prescribed my first oestrogens pills.  It felt empowering, and I cried tears of Joy. I felt like I was heading in the right step of direction.

Nowadays, I’m currently doing a certificate in Communication and Performing Arts. Next year, I’ll be able to do my degree. ¬†Hopefully, I want to get the sex change three years down the line. ¬†Rainbow Youth has helped me spread my wings like a butterfly because it helped me realise that I wasn’t¬†the only gay one in the world.

Also, I’m proud of being asked to be one of the leaders with Affinity Services for their project in improving the¬†well being of the future generations. ¬†This is probably my current greatest achievement.

Someday, I reckon all the pain I went through will be all worth the wait.

Asians everywhere are suffering, and it’s not just the white people who¬†suffer from their identity. ¬†Everyone is the same, with hidden problems. ¬†It takes a strong, courageous person to speak out, and make a difference¬†in the world.

So please Asian people in Parliament, not all Asian’s are Straight!

I’m born and bred in the Philippines which is located in South East Asia, and I’m most definitely proud of being a Trans Woman!

Thank You!