'It's not about them. It's about me.' What people don't realise about being transgender.

Posted on by Sexyland Team


This post mentions suicide and could be triggering for some readers. 

Pharrell Shaymar is living the life he always hoped to as a young transgender boy. 

The motivational speaker, boxing coach and proud trans man just recently featured in Sexyland's Get Real Sexy TV ad promoting inclusivity and sex positivity, where he represented a drag queen he named Sharrell. 

The experience, whilst life-changing, was one that challenged him.

"I wasn't sure at first, but the whole reasoning for the ad was to be like, men can be sexy, women can be sexy, we can all be sexy! What defines sexy should put gender aside," he explained. "That is why I wanted to do it, because representing men made me realise I know what it's like to always feel like gender roles define us.

"So I did the ad and then I ended up actually just being so open to it all and really just so happy."

The moment the lights, cameras and spotlight were on Pharrell was pivotal. 

"I've been able to feel a part of my life that I spent my whole life searching, looking for, fighting for. It felt like, not a personal achievement but a personal completion. I feel like it was an empowering and powerful statement that I took the opportunity to do. And it turned out better than ever," he explained. "I didn't care if people were judging me, because it was not about them. It's about me. The empowering moment had nothing to do with sex, and had nothing to do with being in drag."

At 18, Pharell began his transition; but he knew from five years old he didn't identify in the same way he presented to others.

"It just felt like something was wrong. You go to school, you can see other boys around and it just felt really wrong. It felt like something is not right. I didn't understand what was going on and I was always asking Mum, 'Why? Why don't I look like everyone else?'" he explained. 

"Commonly you hear the term tomboy or a lot of people really just don't grasp the concept of something not feeling right. I can only describe it as... I'd rather not be around. It was wrong to be in that body in so many ways. It was uncomfortable and [it's like always] feeling cold. You're never happy, never satisfied. You'd just really rather not be here anymore. That's the best way I could get everyone to grasp what I dealt with."


It was a complex process, one Pharrell wasn't aware of until he and his mother attempted to kickstart his transition at the age of 16. 

"Mum did try her best and we met with a few trans women who spoke bout hormone blockers until surgery was available," he explained. "So that's when Mum started to [take me to] doctors and psychologists in the area. The ones that were defined as the best practitioners for this situation turned out to be the worst in my experience."

He said they would not assist "in any way, shape or form."

"Hormone blockers, to me, are a lifesaver because it stops the transitioning from puberty," he said. "So being able to not transition completely as a woman would have been an absolute lifesaver because it stopped the process and they're reversible! They wouldn't even grant me that and they are reversible."

He added, "There's nothing at the time of this situation that would have been better and if I did change my mind, then hypothetically, there's no harm done."

Pharrell explained his request was denied because he was "upset."

"Or rather, depressed, angry and suicidal," he said. "The [person] I was seeing said, 'We're not going to help him until he's happy, which is a bit... stupid. It's actually pretty disgraceful because I didn't want to be [alive] anymore because I just really wanted to be a man.

"Obviously [me being happy] isn't going to happen when I'm stuck in the wrong body," he further added. "So that was a really horrible time."

At 32 years old, Pharrell has lived a complex, inspiring and what has sometimes been challenging, but ultimately empowering, life. 

He wants people to ask the tough questions, to learn from their mistakes and become better people from it. In fact, he believes this is the ultimate way to educate oneself. 

"I speak for people who genuinely want to understand what it's like to be transgender to [know] words are everything. Ask, 'Do you feel comfortable if I ask or to talk about...?'" he explained. 

"I do tell people to go to the internet but it also doesn't have the most educational research. So if you don't understand, research, but also ask people if they are comfortable to talk about their [transgender experience] because it also might be a trigger."

He added: "The same way I would ask someone else, I would like them to ask me. Basically, I would say treat your friends the way you want to be treated.

"Just treat people the way you would want to be treated. It's a simple thing, but it actually goes a long way when used correctly."

Get real sexy with Sexyland's largest range of adult and gender-affirming products. 



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