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Om Always Anastacia
I stand in front of the mirror as I remind myself that I no longer have to wear the 'uniform'. I can grow my nails, and paint them. I am free, finally, to have my ears pierced. I can use the voice that I've spent so many hours meticulously cultivating with my speech therapist. I no longer have to hide my disgust at being called boet or sir, or tolerate any references to my deadname. I have fought hard, held back for decades by a body that did not fit and an identity that did not belong. At first, it had seemed like transition was a vague and unattainable aspiration, a romantic ideal that was incompatible with reality. But now - after five months of hormone therapy, countless sessions of painful laser hair removal and multiple appointments with doctors and psychologists - it is very much a reality . . . Born into a Jewish family in Johannesburg and raised by her parents as a boy, Anastacia Tomson was never sure just how much of her persistent internal discomfort to blame on her often troubled family life and strict upbringing. She qualified and practised as a doctor, but it would take a great deal more clear-sighted and difficult questioning, not least of the medical fraternity, to finally find peace and self-acceptance. This memoir is a clarion call for a more nuanced understanding of trans people and the concepts of sex, gender and identity. It is a courageous account of self- discovery and transition as Anastacia embraces her truth, as the woman she has always been.