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I Am A Trans Sex Worker And A Proud Mum. This Is My Unique Motherhood Story.

I Am A Trans Sex Worker And A Proud Mum. This Is My Unique Motherhood Story.

I have been looking after my son since he was three weeks old.

I never thought I’d be a Mum as a Sex Worker because of the stereotypes society conditioned me to believe. I have been looking after my son since he was three weeks old. His birth parents were both working full time and when they had him, he was always falling ill. I offered to take him in as a babysitter as they were unable to afford his healthcare and did not have the time to raise him. He would spend the weekdays under my care and only the weekend with his birth parents. Over time, he became a part of my life and routine without me even consciously realizing it. To me, I was just playing the role of a caretaker. 

His first words uttered to me was ‘Mama’. That’s when it all changed for me.

That’s when the realization of it hit me. It was surreal but also a miraculous moment I will never forget. It felt like God had given me a chance to be a mother, despite everyone else telling me my whole life I would never be one. So I opened up my heart to him further. He’s four years old now and doing great in both school and health. We’ve grown so close to each other and I do see him as my own kid. I don’t think it’s easy raising a child, let alone a boy, on my own, given my lifestyle and circumstances. But I feel very proud that I have been successful at it. Everything I do now, I put him first. At the same time, having him around also motivates me to push through life. I’ve had episodes of depression and anxiety attacks but his presence helps me tide through them. Life has always been very rocky and unpredictable so in some sense he’s grown to be my anchor. 

As a Transwoman and a Sex Worker, I do get a lot of criticism from other Singaporeans who feel I don’t deserve to be a Mum.

I guess it’s because I’m very open about my life, my occupation, and my lifestyle on social media. Anyone who follows me will always know what I’m up to. I don’t see the need to keep any of it a secret because I am secure and confident. Initially, people did not comment much, but as I documented his growth and my lifestyle over the years, I’ve had a lot more negative reactions toward my capability as a Mum.

“How can you go drinking at a club and come back to a kid?”, 

“How can you provide him with support if you’re not a real woman?”

These are just some of the insensitive remarks I have had to deal with. Coming from two marginalized communities, that form my identity, I know it opens me up to a lot more invalidation. Especially so became I’m Muslim too. There are so many layers I’ve had to navigate but none of that has taken away from my Motherhood. Just because I club and have fun with my friends, people assume I come back home drunk and a mess. I always have a friend to look after me and make sure I’m still aware even if I want to have a ‘wild’ night.

We need to normalize all types of women and mums having the freedom to express themselves and have fun.

Why does being a good Mum in Asian society immediately have to be associated with prudence? Life should be a celebration and I celebrate both our lives every day. At the same time, I am very careful to discipline him and make sure he focuses on what is important for his age. He aces his tests in school and is doing great. If anything, I’m super proud that I am able to play hard, work hard and raise him up to be capable.

I have been blessed with the chance to be part of the growing number of unconventional yet beautiful families in Singapore.

Because I am openly Transgender and a Sex Worker, there are other women that threaten and harass me. I think it just stems from their discomfort with the unfamiliar. Especially since society has been so obsessed with gender norms and the traditional family unit idea. When people send me hate comments or DMs, I am firm and I tell them off. I’ve even had people threatening to report me to revoke my adoption status. It doesn’t make me upset or annoyed because I am confident in my identity and it’s not their business. His birth parents have trusted me to be his rightful Mum, and we have a beautiful relationship so nothing can take that away from me. 

Being a mother transcends your gender identity and societal norms: My son sees me as his Mum and I never fail to put him first. I have been blessed with the chance to be part of the growing number of unconventional families in Singapore. We are as valid as any other family unit.

Have you ever got criticism and hate for choosing to be a Mum because of your lifestyle? How do you deal with it?

Header Image Credits: Project X

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