Jamaica born women return to the island as men

February 02, 2016

A video chronicling the journey of two Jamaica-born transgender has been making the rounds on social media since the weekend. The ‘men’ who were born women had been living in the United Kingdom for over a decade but returned to Jamaica to reveal their new identities as transgender men to their families.

In the documentary done by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Steffan Zachiyah and Romario Wanliss share their stories to the world.

They described how they felt trapped in their female bodies and their decision to transition to men. They described what it was like growing up in Jamaica and having issues with their sexuality.

Zachiyah who started his transition as a man in 2014, said he felt ‘uncomfortable’ trying to blend in as a girl when he felt like a boy deep down. Wanliss shared that he ran away from home because his father could not understand what he was feeling and would often get violent with him. Fearing his father’s reaction, Wanliss met with his sister first to get insight on how his father was taking the news.

Though they were worried about meeting their families to reveal their biggest secret, the men were pleased with their reaction at the end of the documentary as the family members seemingly accepted the men and their new identities.

The documentary has been gaining much attention on social media with persons having mixed reactions about the men’s revelations. Some social media users commended both men describing them as brave for coming out to their families while others blasted them for tampering with their bodies.

The YouTube upload of the video has received in excess 15,000 views in two days with similar comments. Some viewers while commending the men expressed concern for them in the future stating that the cameras were the reason for the warm reception.

“If those cameras weren't around, the welcoming responses would've been totalllly, compleeetely different,” said one viewer.

“People act differently on cameras, especially on a topic as that in Jamaica. Hidden cameras next time please for the truest expression of feelings” said another.

Others blasted the men for labeling Jamaica a homophobic country stating that if Jamaica were as homophobic as they described, they wouldn’t have been able to return in their current state. 

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