Short Story of Big Sonya

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
-E.E. Cummings
Sonya was sitting in front of me. Pink lipstick and red nails were attaching in her appearance. It was her answer of her identity. The class was special, because Sonya, a transgender, allowed us to hear her story. This seemed awkward to me, so did my friends I suppose.
She started by introducing herself, "Hi everyone, I'm Olivia Sonya Aresta." Pretty name. "I'm from Klaten, but I have KTP (identity card) of Bandung instead."Her story, about obstacles and struggles, had risen our attention. Our awkwardness faded away.

Her story went to her childhood. She was born and risen in Klaten, Central Java. As a boy, Sonya seemed odd. She refused to play with boys. She chose to play with girl, because they played nice. Sonya started to like having girls things. She secretly had dolls, skirts, makeup. Her finding of identity started. She once secretly wore girls clothing, and was addicted to it. This made her surroundings mocked her and rejected. The feeling of rejection from her family and society had dragged Sonya to a world she never had thought before. She withdrew herself and turned to be introvert.

She continued her study in Yogyakarta. As a designer in vocational school, Sonya kept looking for her real identity. Who was she? Male? But felt like female inside. She was like being trapped in wrong body. Her career started as a volunteer in PKBI (Indonesian Family Planning Association). There, she found herself enjoying the new identity, as a woman. Her help for people, especially the victim of earthquake in Bantul, grew her confidences. "They often invited me to help them cooking for Pengajian or syukuran," she told us.
Sonya was economically independent. Her career as freelance bridal makeup and makeup consultant helped fulfilling her needs. Yet, she never stopped helping people; giving information about HIV AIDS, sharing about the importance of keeping the reproductive health, and even she gave me advice about makeup.

Her confidence, her support, and her ardor are inspiring me. Your weirdness might be rejected from the society, but your help and warm hearth will always be needed. 


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