I’m a bit of an adrenalin junky and still enjoy the “men” stuff like motor sports and off-road biking. I know anything and everything about cars. Off the eye I look like a city girl but at heart I’m more a farm type o’ gal.
It’s also rewarding when strangers tell me how far I had come since my first video. YouTube helped a lot with building my self-confidence. Documenting my transition in video format and posting it online turned out to be not only beneficial for me, but for many others in my country as well.
|2011 vs. 2013.|
The most noticeable effects from HRT showed after 6 months. That’s when I decided to go full time living as a woman because I was having difficulties passing as a guy… Yes, that’s correct, I didn’t pass as a guy that I was born as anymore! People were making comments like "you are starting to look more like a woman every day, what's going on?".
Because of the conservative nature of the Afrikaans community I grew up in there wasn’t ever any talk about transsexualism or sex changes, but rather me just being an “odd” kid that needs to do more boy stuff and toughen up. That’s exactly what I did until I eventually didn’t think of wanting to be a girl at all.
From the age of four years old I knew I wanted to wear dresses and play with dolls (which I did anyway when my parents weren’t around) but it was only at the age of 22 that I realized how serious it is to me and that I needed to transition or not live at all.
I’m fortunate to have those few good friends who kept quiet about it and support me to this day for doing it. In high school and college I was the naughty bad boy type, so no one ever suspected me being trans, thus I had never been bullied or discriminated against because of it.
|Mieke at age 21.|
It’s been a long time since I last saw them, but it gets easier to go on as time progresses. Not having a family to please kind of took away my feelings of guilt for transitioning, so in a way it’s a softening sadness. I do still believe they will come around one day, but until that happens I will stay strong and try to help other families that’s going through the same thing.
On paper transgender people should have no trouble living a normal life, but from the lack of knowledge of the general public we still get treated unfairly, being refused to use the preferred restrooms, have our identity documents amended, not being considered for employment or getting fired when coming out as a transgender person.
I’m hoping to be a national face for these causes so that the every-day person know more about transgender people and their needs and feelings too. The more exposure the transgender community gets in South Africa the more the public will be accepting towards us.
|2014, 7 months on Hormone Replacement Therapy.|
I’ve seen trans women on the internet that range from being truck drivers to walking on the red carpet, and that’s important to break the stereotypes set it the past. With every trans person coming out we see something different and the cis people realize that we are just as ordinary as they are.
On weekends and special occasions I love to wear dresses with heels even though I tower out above all my male friends without them. My favorite color is blue, but I look better in greens and browns, so most of my clothes are those colors. Of course I have some black numbers too for those days I feel the need to hide the typical “trans woman body” features.
I always wear big flashy earrings and maybe a matching accessory to soften my wrists as well. When I’m home alone it’s gym pants and tank tops…
|Mieke in 2013 aged 24.|
So far it’s been a struggle as most people are stealth or too afraid to come out, and thus we have no funding for the organization yet. Hate crimes against LGBTI people are still a very big struggle we have in South Africa, so most people chose to be under the radar, too afraid to admit it to even themselves. With my YouTube channel I’ve been able to reach and assist many people across the country.
We see the general public being more accepting and open to many things that were considered taboo before, and this is because of exposure by the media and technology that we now grow up with. When it comes to discrimination it’s hard to give advice because it’s something that happens anywhere and everywhere at any given time. For the workplace it’s better to assign a lawyer before coming out to avoid being fired and go through a costly court battle, and to struggle to get employment afterwards.
|New found confidence from living full time as a woman.|
In the next two years I will have Facial Feminization Surgery and a Tracheal Shave with the possibility of Breast Augmentation. Only after that will I have Gender Reassignment Surgery, considering I am ready for it and comfortable with the idea. I consider myself to be a woman as I am now, so no need to rush things.
Besides from transition, I’m aiming to further my studies and get a degree in Civil and Structural Engineering. Once that is done I would love to settle down, get married and have twin boys named Nathan and Graham… a girl can dream right? My ultimate accomplishment would be to have my own family.