A boy's dream
A photo story prepared within the framework of the "Çəkinmə, çək" training
This boy lives in one of the villages near Baku. He has a job he likes and a loving family. The only problem is that he was born a girl.

‘Since I was five years old, I have been fighting with my family trying to make them buy me boy's clothes. I acted like a boy at school and everyone accepted me as such. I was so naughty that I was given detention four days a week.

‘They forced me to wear a skirt at school. In the morning, I would leave the house in trousers, and when I got to school they would tell me to change so I would go and put on the skirt I had brought with me. Before going home, I put trousers on again so that my friends in the neighbourhood wouldn't see me. I was ashamed of the skirt, just like any boy would be ashamed if they put him in girl's clothes.
‘I only hang out with boys. Girls make me feel awkward, but with guys we have so many topics to discuss, especially with the older ones; they know so much. They call me "bro" and so do I. They never treat me like a girl, they know I would be offended.

‘I have three sisters. I always protected them at school so that whenever someone threw an insult at them, I got into a fight, like brothers do. I have been helping my father with his work since I was nine years old.

‘But in the 11th grade, my parents told me to change and act like a girl. I tried, I started wearing dresses, I lived like that for three years but I saw that it didn't work. What I saw in the mirror did not match what I felt inside. I closed myself off, I didn't go out.
I realised that it would not work like that. I went and lived away from home for a while, and when I returned, I had my image back, and my family had to accept it. Now, my whole family is standing behind me.

‘I went to a psychologist and a psychiatrist. They thought I was traumatised and that's why I'm like this. But then they realised that I was born this way.
‘Until the age of 14, I used to think it was just my manner. But when I was 14 years old, I had a crush on a girl classmate. Then on another girl. After that I clearly understood that this is my nature. I have never felt anything towards boys. When I think of it, it feels like something unnatural for me.

‘Sometimes girls mistook me for a boy and gave me their number, then they were shocked when they found out that technically I wasn't one. When I have the chance, I prefer not to tell.

‘Maybe I will move out of this country in the future. But on the other hand, I want to stay here and show everyone that such things do happen sometimes. Many people go somewhere else and change themselves, but I have changed myself staying here. However, I don't want to be too visible.

‘I have a girl whom I have loved for seven years and want to start a family with. She knows everything and accepts me as I am, but I don't want her to have problems because of me.

‘I would advise young people who were born like me to choose the path that makes them happy, not to listen to other people's words, not to be afraid of gossip, to pursue their happiness.’

Mariam Alizade

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