Luka – the man
+ 1 man, – 1 woman in Macedonia
edited by Kristina Ozimec
Luka was born as a girl but always felt like a boy trapped in a girl’s body. For most people, the line between male and female is obvious, strict and chrystal clear. But not for Luca. Anonymously, for FACE THE BALKANS, this young man shares his story about sex change, discrimination and the transition he went through.
It all started when I was four years old, and asked my mother why the doctor, who delivered me, cut off my penis. She was very surprised, but thought that it was only a period and will stop…Then, when I was five, I told her that if by next year I don’t have a penis, I will kill myself.
There were periods in my life when I was just a normal child, playing basketball or football with the guys, fighting… this was normal to me, but later I realized it was not very normal for society. Then when I was 11 I fell in love with a girl. I started to ask myself how can I love a girl, but have a girl’s body? My name used to be Kristina, but even then I think I felt like my name is Luka.
I began to search on the internet. I met a transgender person, who opened my eyes about what I am. I got even more confused, because I didn’t know how to tell my parents, that I feel like a man. Then I made a stupid mistake and ran away from home. My parents caught me. That’s the moment when I told them that I don‘t feel like a girl, and I’m a boy trapped in a girl’s body, and that I will commit a suicide if I don’t change my body in some way…
My father supported me from the beginning. For my mother it was harder than for him, but she began to accepted me the way I am after my transition. My father was also the one who told me we should see a doctor. I went to a psychiatrist in Macedonia but I only saw him once. He tried to find the hidden girl inside me. I never came back.
In Macedonia, there are no trained doctors for sex change. So I went to Belgrade and started my transition there. After seven months of hormone therapy I made the surgery to remove my breasts. Six months later, I made another surgery…I came back to Macedonia and tried to change my sex marker in my ID but I couldn‘t. Macedonia has no law that regulates sex change. So they asked a document where three different doctors had to confirm I‘m a male…It was very funny when I went to a gynecologist. She was surprised to see a man in her office.
People from my hometown used to tell me that I’m an idiot or mentally sick. I always looked like a boy, dressed like one, wore my hair short. After the transition a lot of changes happened to my face, it started to look masculine, my voice turned male. When I showed up for the first time in my hometown Delchevo, people were negative, but that changed. I spent a lot of time explaining what is transgender, and the way I felt, over and over again. I believe that really changed their mind.
The whole journey of my transition I tattooed on different part of my arms. There’s a line from my home country to Belgrade: the place where I found myself. This tattoo represents an ending of a period that I lived, and the start of a new period – ME.
These days I’m like every other person…I go out with friends, I go shopping, I study, I sleep…I am also very much in love and have a girlfriend. I hated mirrors, but now I am in love with them (laughs). I love my body now.
I finally found the peace inside me…I am calm, I feel a lot better, I’m not aggressive anymore and I used to be very aggressive. I used to hurt myself. I tried more than twenty times to kill myself. I even tried jumping of a bridge. Still the inner spirit inside me was always begging me for a chance to live, so I’m happy that I gave it a chance to live.
Hard Facts: LGBT in Macedonia
- The negative trend about LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community) continues in Macedonia, which finds itself on the bottom of the list of European countries when it comes to respecting rights of LGBT people.
- In Macedonia there are still many high school and college books that define homosexuality as a ‘disease, mental illness, sin’ or a ‘negative occurrence in the sexual life of human’.
- Macedonia´s law of anti-discrimination does not include sexual orientation as a cause for discrimination. The Government keeps defending this.
- The City of Skopje for the second time supported a Biker Festival where so called ‘fags’ (offensive word for homosexuals) were not allowed to enter.
- Macedonia still has no medical conditions for people who want to change their sex, so they are forced to travel to other countries, mostly to Serbia. There is no law that regulates sex change either.
- Many media close to the government constantly publish homophobic, offensive and discriminatory articles for LGBT people. Recently one newspaper published a front page article: `Gay marriage will not be allowed in Macedonia` and illustrated it with a scene from gay porn.
- In October 2012 the first support center for LGBT people was opened in the Old Bazar in Skopje. Eight hours later it was stoned by unidentified attackers.
Source: ‘’Coalition of sexual and health rights of marginalized groups’’