Woman by Najood Al Terkawi

Posted on November 27, 2012 by


January 2012


“You are beautiful”. Three words I’ve been longing to hear my entire life. At the age of 17, those three words could’ve saved me. No one knew how to utter them because they were taught that beauty is measurable. The units of measurement are defined by gender and how much you fit the mold of a cliché. I chased not the physical beauty, but the beauty of the heart, mind, and soul. That would come with acceptance of who I am as a person. My flaws are not what I asked for.


April 1962- (17 years old)


I looked at my reflection today and all I could see was half a person. The mirror showed a male with firmly set cheekbones and a sharp jaw line and my facial hair shading my face in all the right places, but in my eyes, I saw a woman staring back at me. When I moved, she moved. We were not two, but one, sharing the same body, the same frame, and bound by prison bars made of my skeleton. I touched my neck to feel a pulse, I’m not dead. This is real. I’m like mismatched puzzle pieces forced to fit together. My heart pounds faster, thoughts rush through my head and knock at the side of my skull. I look down at my palms as they start to sweat. This is metamorphosis in a brutal form.


July 1962


I must come to terms with this. I am trapped in this body, bound by organs that medically solidify my gender but I am fighting with myself internally. And let me tell you something; there is nothing worse than waking up in the morning and looking in the mirror and wanting to slam your fist into the glass. I am the embodiment of confusion, tied down by what God made me and the flaw he set upon me.


August 1966- (21 years old)


Today, I fell in love with a beautiful idea. I’ve found a method of setting myself free. I will rid myself of the physical proof that decides my gender and decide for myself who I am and who I am to love. At the moment, I do not love what I see before me. My hands are not delicate but I crave them to be. My movements are not smooth, and my body and mind are at odds. My heart is not level with its beats. It beats with fear; fear of rejection, or internal collapse, and fear of not loving what I become. This is what I want, it is what I need, and it is what I must do.



 October 1967- (22 years old)


I’m writing this entry which will be my last before the procedure that will hopefully liberate me. This body of mine will finally make sense and the curves and concaves of it will be a masterpiece I can flaunt.  For once, the reflection will not defy what I see and feel. The internal war will be over, and my heart will not be screaming with every beat.



January 2012


I am a woman. I was born a woman. The universe just chose to confuse me. I did not end up with the fairytale that everybody dreams of. I’m in love with a man who will not return the favor, but I have learned to love myself. These diary entries are my heart on paper, so I will write a story with a twisted ending; my own. My name is Jayden Harris. I’m living proof that we are not bound to what we are born with. It defines who we are only if we allow it to. I spent half my life fearing what I should have embraced from the first moment I found out I was different. Now, at the age of 67, I know one thing for sure; there is no greater power in the world than that of a feminine mind set on a mission.

Posted in: Woman