They said they would help me change and that I would not be a freak anymore.
Wires, belts, needles, whispers, hands, people touching me, holding me, waving pictures before my eyes, photos of boys, handsome boys… oh, yes, I like boys, I have always loved boys… I said – I am just an ordinary gay next door, there’s no woman under my skin, but they kept saying I would be happy, asking rhetorically who wants to be deviant anyway.
AAAAAH TREMBLING AND SHAKING AND CONVULSING AND OH PAIN EXCRUCIATING PAIN AND THEN IT GOT WHITE AND ALL I COULD HEAR WAS MUSIC BYE BYE LOVE, BYE BYE HAPPINESS, HELLO LONELINESS, I THINK I’M GONNA CRY and I cried and cried until my tears quit on me, or – was it Valium that made me not care?
Something was not working as it should, they told me that my deviance was a serious one and here I was lying surrounded by belts, even more needles, scalpels, whispers, hands, people touching me, holding me, no pictures before my eyes this time, but then I got sleepy and did not care much even before they put me on the table; a needle went into my sore veins and seconds later I was getting even calmer. They would cure me for sure and I would be pretty-as-a-girl when I wake up, one step further on my way to the penis-less and breast-full body.
The anesthetic was working, I was fading; all that I could register was the white light following me through what I back then did not know was my last crawl through the corridors of consciences and then the music started again BYE BYE LOVE, BYE BYE SWEET CARESS, HELLO EMPTINESS, I FEEL LIKE I COULD DIE, I FEEL I’M GONNA DIE, I FEEL and then I did not feel anything, anymore, ever again.
The piece I wrote was inspired by the Aversion Project.
A study called ‘The Aversion Project’ found that gay conscripts in the South African Defense Forces (SADF) during the apartheid era, during 1970s and 80s, had been forced to submit to ‘curing’ their homosexuality, both by electroshock therapies and by botched sex changes.
Sex-change operations, medical torture and chemical castration were perpetrated on national servicemen in a bizarre program to cure ‘deviants’ during the apartheid era.
To this day dozens of victims of the program are crippled and disfigured, stranded halfway between male and female by incomplete sex-change operations performed by the South African Defence Force (SADF).
Many more are sterile after being chemically castrated. A number of the victims have committed suicide. Surgeons who served under the SADF confirmed that a number of patients died on the operating table while having their sex changed; the actual causes of their death were never made public.