I started doing research on hormones first in 2009 - I was 24 then - to know more about the side effects of testosterone & consequences being a transgender in Malaysia as transgenders here are not really accepted in the society. I started buying the hormones in 2013 - 28 years old - which I bought it illegally from friends because it is difficult to get a letter or approval from any hospitals here if you are lucky you get a trans friendly doctor to diagnose you as GID (Gender Identity Disorder). Being trans was not an easy lifestyle. To go through Dysphoria -is a profound state of unease or dissatisfaction. In a psychiatric context, dysphoria may accompany depression, anxiety, or agitation. It can also refer to a state of not being comfortable in one's current body, particularly in cases of gender dysphoria. Common reactions to dysphoria include emotional distress, in some cases, even physical distress is seen. I was so stressed out to having breasts & a vagina to get financial problems that time on getting SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery) was tough because in Malaysia there are no clinics or hospitals that does such surgery. You need to go to either Thailand or Singapore which is the nearest country to Malaysia to get the amount money needed for each step which was expensive (roughly RM10K or 20K for removal of the breasts). The hardest situation was to change our identity card (IC) to our names & gender. Long process. For many transgenders it takes almost a year to get an approval from authorities & lawyers for an IC to be completed (first you need to write a letter to why you want to change your name & religion then to get a signature from the religion you plan to change just for name sake, second 6 months for the authorities to approve your IC, many documentations needed). It was hectic! Being accepted as trans was a difficult thing among family & friends. I started living as a trans when nobody accepted me as who I intended to be. I was criticized & that made me to be more wanting to be a trans. I wanted love as a kid. My parents were (are) divorced & dad remarried, so I was like a ball being tossed to every family who took care of me as I was seeking love. I thought maybe I was better off being a male rather than a female & my parents didn't love me as a female. I was bullied in school, both all girls & mix school comprising of boys & girls, got bullied in the family & at work. So I started being a male officially trans at 21. I was just frustrated with life being a female & thought God created me wrongly & why did I have to go through all this at a young age. I hated God & tried seeking other gods in different religions (I went to a mosque, buddhist temple & hindu temple).
2. What made you decide that you no longer wanted to live as a man?
I received Christ halfheartedly during my intake of the hormones in 2013 (I was 2 months on T) thinking that God finally accepted me with love & the way I was. He loves me but not being a trans. So throughout 2013 - 2015 living as a male, I was taking God's love lightly. I was on drugs, alcohol & many unwanted sins. I thought ok I'm a Christian by name & religion only. God understands my situations & what I'm going through. Many times I tried taking my life thinking nobody loves me but God & nobody accepts me as I was but God, I might as well end my life & be with Him (not knowing suicidal is not the solution & we will end up in hell). So I was so high on meth (I even went to church still high on meth thinking nobody will notice I was high) I kinda overdosed (remember I'm still a Christian & accepted Christ only, baptized with the Holy Spirit). That night I was having bad dreams & I was being attack & strangled by the enemy & was crying out loud in prayer asking both my aunties to pray for me (I was living in a different state 1 half hour drive to my hometown where my aunties lives) then I dreamt my Bible was opened to a page. I woke up around 5am, got up from the sofa I was asleep, took my Bible laying on the TV cabinet & opened to the page given. Revelation 2:5. Daym! As I read it, those words God spoke to me just pierced through my heart & chest (I'm baptized in Holy Spirit so I get dreams from God). I felt convicted & scary too. Because the words were Revelation 2:5 "Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place." I didn't want God to remove the Holy Spirit & gifts from me. But I was so scared & convicted thinking why God is doing like this to me? I thought He loved me? I thought He understood my situations? Why? I was angry with the scriptures given too, so I just ignored it & put it a side not wanting to know anymore what God has to say to me. I continued being like that until I decided to go home for a visit. Then it started. The lectures & sharing of the Word. I just can't hide or run away from God. I didn't feel the love of God anymore (because they were forcing me, judging me, laughing at me & pestering me to change) where as the love I felt from my pastors was so different from my aunties. I tried avoiding them. But I just can't. Each time I meet up with them, I'll be hearing the things a trans person don't want to hear. I was still thirsty & hungry for God's love but they don't know how to show it to me a trans person. Then I went one day to my first aunt's house to have fellowship. Then she started sharing the word to me & scolding me & just judging the way I lived. Then one word taught me this 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." How do I do that? She compared how we confess to God & to the catholic priests. God forgives our sins personally & we say it personally to him where as how can a priest forgive our sins? She told me to just go in the room to confess my sins only to God. Just me & Him. But I was hesitant & scared to face Him what if He doesn't forgives my sins. I didn't do it not until I went back to my second aunt's house thinking about 1 John 1:9. I open the scripture again & I re-read it before I went to sleep that night. Well, I did it. I knelt down, prayed & confess everything except the testosterone. Then I went to sleep. That whole night I was attacked in my dream & was being cleansed at the same time. To make it short, I was filled with the Holy Spirit later & I was praying with my aunties the whole night throughout the morning prophesying & stuff & without realizing I mentioned to God that I was a female & I'm my dad's daughter. Praying finished at 7am, we fasted & went to church. My pastor was preaching the same topic last week he repeated it that Sunday which it was meant all for me. Then in a flash he said "Remember Revelation 2:5. Repent before God removes His lampstand from you." I was in total shock! I turned to my aunts & told them 2 weeks ago I had this scripture given to me in a dream. How come??? I was just until today cannot describe how real God is & how firm & loving is He. He reminded me that particular scripture again that I put a side & forgetting it completely through my pastor because He loves me so much. It didn't end there. I started having dreams from Him like a reminder not only to me but for others too. I heard God's beautiful, peaceful, warmest & confirming audible voice once that I should trust Him giving my offering one Sunday as I was struggling to think & concentrating on serving how much money to put for offering as I didn't have enough money to travel to work after church. He just said "Put as much as you have, I'll do the rest." That instant I obeyed that voice thinking it was someone else but no I turned around to see who was it but no one. As the offering bag came closer, I put the amount I didn't know how much was it. The next thing I know right after church I received a message from my manager saying I don't have to travel to work which was 2 hours from my hometown as she gave me an off day. My my! I cried for excitement knowing my God is real! I told my pastor's wife & she was so happy & hugged me. I was still a transgender during this thing happened. Then for a month bible class was going on, my pastor was teaching about "How to break generational curses". During the final class of breaking the curses & burning the curses, he told us to kneel down, weep & ask God for our mercy & the curses we carried. If we continue practicing the curses, we & our future generation will be stuck with the same curses. So that's when I realize it is time to end being a transgender & taking the hormones. How I wept for forgiveness. Owh His mercy! I got up from my place, told my aunt I'm going to shave the next day. She didn't believe & unsure if I'm really doing it for real. I did it! I was & am free from all the struggles in life I went through!
3. What has been your family's reaction to your decision to change and live for Christ?
Just wow! My aunt a born again who saved my soul saw the first time I came out clean shaved from the bathroom & she was so excited & praised the Lord continuously. My dad a catholic (he will be a born again soon) almost cried when he saw my cleaned shaven face. But being a born again I get persecuted in the family for leaving the catholic church. The truth has set me free! And I'm still testifying God's mighty works on me because He loves me & He won't stop loving me.
4. How are Christians treated in Malaysia?
Malaysia is still known as probably the best role model of a liberal and tolerant Islamic country in the world. This image is increasingly fading, especially given incidents that have occurred over the past year. One example of this is the effort to introduce Sharia penal law (hudud) in the federal state of Kelantan. Its implementation requires amendments to the federal law, so the introduction is still pending, but it clearly shows an increasing Islamic conservatism. The opposition parties even split over this issue in June 2015, which in the long term might mean that Islamic parties currently opposed to each other might unite to protect Islam. Observers are calling the Malaysian society increasingly racist, as the ethnic Malay majority is clearly being favored, while the Chinese and Indian ethnicity (as well as the indigenous tribal population) living in the eastern part of Malaysia are discriminated against. Malaysia has witnessed an increasing political, social and religious instability recently, and there are no signs that these developments will cease any time soon (taken from Open Doors I don't really follow much on the news). Recently the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh has gone headlines. The Muslim community are also threatened because more muslims are accepting Christ as their personal Saviour & they have secret hide outs. My own aunt (dad's cousin) is a secret believer herself (Sorry can't give full details). Former LGBT who are Christians are also struggling to share their testimonies to others as we live in a multicultural country where everyone accepts every religion in respect to each other. But some places in my point of view in Malaysia, Christians & other religion are treated equaly not like other muslim countries. Like my family & friends from other religion are one in heart.
5. What advice would you give a transmale who wants to be delivered but is struggling to take the first step?
If you are struggling, God is just there for you but if you can't find the truth but still hunger for God's love, when a Christian family member or friend share the Word with you, just listen & accept it. Find a church or Christian family who shows you God's love. Not hatred, judging or put force into your life to change (like what other Christians do). Just be who you are first. Go to church & listen to God speak to you. It will take time. It will be awkward at first getting back to your God given gender but just be patient & let God do the rest for you. Believe in His works on you. I accepted Christ when I was on testosterone. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit when I was a transgender. I only felt the love my pastor & other church members gave. I felt God's love. They didn't ignore me or ostracized me (exclude someone from the church).They kept asking about me. They didn't want a precious soul like me (I think I'm the first trans to be saved in my church) to desert from God. Just be yourself first, when you are really ready to change & God tells you when, then you can take the first step to change whatever needed to be change. Remember that God loves you & never forsakes you. He will never leave you. Just find the right church that don't judge you or criticizes you. Go to someone a loving Christian who is willing to help you change spiritually first & understand your situation & you can share your struggles to that person (like I get comfortable sharing my problems to my spiritual sister who understands my situation rather than my judging & forcing family). Find someone like that & God will do the rest. Trust Him & His works.
6. How can people hear more about your story of deliverance from transsexuality?
If a documentary (a personal interview like you see on Youtube & news) will do I'll be glad as I can really share everything on video (I hate to type) as I want the entire of Malaysia & the world to know God works 24 hours on us without fail & to glorify His works too. He loves the sinners but not their sins. Or they can read my blog at :http://mariannepillai.blogspot.my/2016/01/how-jesus-my-saviour-transformed-my-life.html
Here are my last thoughts : Ephesians 2:8-10
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He has planned for us long ago.
|Free from bondage!|
|Yes! I am free!|
|Shekinah Family Retreat July 2016|
|A prophecy over me|
|Shekinah family picnic|
|When I first accepted Christ as a transgender during my 1st church camp|
|With my family|