When I came to this life when I met the first transgender that was in Bugis Street. One of the mummies said, “Hey. You are so young. You are only around 18 years old, and you come here.” I said, “I want to be what you are.” The mummy said, “Okay, if you want to be like that, I’ll give you a name. What name do you want?” I said, “I want to be named ‘Ida’.” “No, no, no, that’s a kampung (village) name. I’ll name you ‘Kristin’.” I’m a transgender, you see. I was born a transgender. I was known as a transgender since I was very young. Most of my friends call me “Mummy Kris”. Some of them call me “Kak (Older Sister) Kris”. I used to be a mummy for them when I was in the sex worker life when I met all these youngsters who wanted to get into this lifestyle. This is me, in Bugis Street. These are my Bugis Street friends. This is Suhaina. This is Jamie. And then we have those Bugis Street movies that they made. It was around 1979 when I went to Bugis Street. A real… nightlife. You felt like you were somebody. You felt like you were a Hollywood actress. You didn’t feel like you were a sex worker. When the American ships the American sailors or the French sailors came Bugis Street would be packed. They wanted to watch all these ladyboys. Last time, a majority of Singaporeans were suaku (ignorant). (They said,) “You walk this way, you sway and move like that. Why are you here?” I just said I ran away from home. “Ah Gua (Transsexual),” they would call you. “Pondan, bapok (sissy).” So sometimes, yeah, you’ll be humiliated by the public. I’m a tough woman, an iron woman, you know? I can beat up even guys on the street. But I don’t fight because I’m a crazy or mad person. I fight for my rights. I fight when I’m provoked. You fight for your own, you fight for others. You help them out. But, in 2004 I was a victim of the tsunami. [Screaming] I was in Aceh. “This country is shaking!” I said. The hotel I was staying in also collapsed. The wave is around you. The wave just takes you! Then you tumble. And then “Boom!” I was in a coma for a few months, you know? During my coma, I think I heard prayers from the Qur’an come into my mind. My grandfather came to me and said “You’re given a chance. God wants you to do something better for your life to do something for yourself.” [Muslim prayer call] The Qur’an says, “You are from dead things. But God gave you life.” And since you’re alive, why don’t you find out who made you? It’s true. I was dead already, but God made me live. So that’s when I said I’d like to be more pious and religious and think of God more. You see? A person who was very violent became a person who is very soft who can accept who can say sorry who can say, “I lose.” I used to be like that but God didn’t want me to be like that. God asked me to stand up choose another life don’t die that way. As a Muslim, I am what I am. God created what I am, and God knows who I am. I’m a transgender. God created me. So I present myself such that I, myself, am a man. A man who was not perfect. My parents know who I am because they brought me up. And they know that since young I already behaved more like a woman. Actually, I was adopted, you know? They are my foster parents. But these people who brought me up said “Even though my blood doesn’t flow in you, I take you as my child.” They are willing to accept who I am and I am willing to accept who they are That’s always what I know. They are my parents. Women and transgenders, we feel like women but we can’t be real women. We don’t have the woman’s body. But we are deeper than women in our feelings. The woman inside us is much greater than woman itself. So that’s why, until now I’m still grateful I’m still moving on healthily, happily. And my life is fulfilled.