“When you walk out on the street you have to face the cold hard facts, the world, and the way people look at you…it’s hard. Home is supposed to be the safe place where you can go to for warmth and love, and at the end of the day it’s good to know that there’s somebody you can go home to, who doesn’t judge you, who loves you for who you are.” – Jamie Yee.
From the age of five, Jamie knew she wasn’t quite like the other boys. Rather than sharing in the rough-and-tumble activities with them, she found herself gravitating towards girls’ toys, like cooking sets and dolls. One of her earliest recollections was when she was asked to colour a cow, and she did so – in purple – and all the time insisting that such an animal existed, despite everyone telling her it wasn’t the norm.
Jamie’s Mother, Mrs Yee Yoke Lan, 58, had also known early on that her child was special. “As she grew up – I think it was mother’s intuition – you get to see that she was very different. Although she was born a boy, she was very gentle. And when her sister was born – Jamie was 6-plus at the time – she also played with her sister’s toys.”
Awareness did not lead to acceptance though. Mrs Yee spent years in denial, in the face of increasing evidence of her daughter’s identified gender. During her medical check-up at secondary four, Jamie’s school doctor had called Mrs Yee in to tell her that Jamie was “special” , and although she was taking her ‘O’ Levels at the time, she should not be stressed.
“The doctor didn’t tell me exactly why at the time, why she was special. But in my own heart, I knew.”
It was not a feeling that Mrs Yee was ready to acknowledge, however.
Here’s the video.