Meet 24-year old Patricia and 31-year old transman Sham… one of the most inspirational couples you’ll ever read about.
Relationships are never easy. And every couple would have had their fair share of obstacles to contend with. But the challenges that Patricia and Sham have had to face are not your typical Elite Daily kind of couple problems. They literally went through hell together.
Both of them have been nearly beaten to death for their love. They’ve been thrown out of their homes, and have had some pretty serious threats made against them. In a shocking move that you wouldn’t expect to occur in Singapore, Patricia and her transman fiance Sham have been violently abused and threatened with corrective rape by their own family members!
My mum said that Sham never had a taste of men before so she would ask her husband to f*** Sham and thereafter, Sham will change his gender back to female
This is the sort of love story that the #LoveWins movement is all about. And thankfully, their love story has a happy ending. But before we get to the happily ever after part, lets start from the beginning first…
Currently working as a nurse, Patricia first experienced same-sex attraction during her secondary school days. She managed to hide her sexuality from her conservative parents for a few years. But everything came spilling out of the closet on the fateful night of 8th August 2012.
After a heated argument with her two sisters, they decided to expose her relationship with Sham and tell her mother and father that Patricia was a lesbian. Unable to accept their daughter’s relationship, her furious and drunk father beat Patricia up for 3 whole hours while her mother and sisters stood by and encouraged him.
He kicked my private area until i pee-ed. He punched my face, pulled my hair and banged the back of my head against the window until i concussed on the floor.
All I could hear was that I deserve to die while I was passed out on the floor. My dad threw my phone out of the window as he didn’t want me to contact Sham at all.
Just like Patricia, Sham too faced a lot of difficulties in his coming out journey.
Born as a female, Sham realised he was trapped in the wrong body for as long as he could remember. As a result of his differences, growing up wasn’t easy for Sham.
When i first transitioned to butch, a common difficulty was using the restroom.
Also, my then girlfriends usually dumped me for reasons like we can’t get married or have children.
After conducting a ton of research, Sham finally plucked up the courage to begin his transition into a male on 28th April 2014, when he received his first testosterone shot.
Transitioning from female to male was my childhood dream. A dream that I wish to make come true.
Sham finally achieved his lifelong dream in June of this year, when he underwent a full sex-change operation. Not too long after, Sham succeeded in getting the gender on his IC changed from being an ‘F’ to an ‘M’.
But the greatest thing to have happened to Sham was finding his soulmate in Patricia.
Sham and Patricia first met one another online in 2011, while Patricia was still dating her ex-boyfriend of 3 years. As Patricia’s ex-boyfriend regularly cheated on her throughout the time they were together, her then relationship was already going through a rough patch.
Sham and Patricia regularly exchanged text messages and calls at first. Then one day out of the blue, Sham decided to surprise Patricia by turning up unexpectedly at her workplace.
Since we already know each other well through texts and calls, our first meet up wasn’t awkward. We were very comfortable.
Patricia broke up with her ex-boyfriend soon after and started seeing Sham instead. But their relationship was never a smooth ride.
Unable to handle the fact that he ‘lost’ his girlfriend to a butch, Patricia’s ex-boyfriend constantly verbally abused Sham. But the greatest obstacle to their relationship came in the form of Patricia’s parents.
After getting beaten up by her father when her family found out about her relationship with Sham, Patricia ran away from home. Thereafter, her family members would harass Patricia at work, and eventually caused her to lose her job. Her father even resorted to getting people from their church to ‘cleanse’ Patricia.
But the final straw came when they beat Sham up in public.
Patricia’s mother and sisters cornered Sham one afternoon at his workplace, demanding to find out Patricia’s whereabouts. A heated argument soon followed, during which Patricia’s mother repeatedly mocked Sham in front of a large crowd.
The mother shouted “Hey you boy or girl? You wearing bra, panties or underwear?”
The mother told the crowd that I’m a girl, bapok, tomboy, who stole her daughter, broke up the family and destroyed their happiness… She even asked me how come I’m not ashamed to be an “in-between”.
But it was when Patricia’s mother threatened Sham with sex with her husband to ‘straighten’ him that Sham lost it. He angrily retorted that if she wanted to find out what undergarments he wore, maybe she should have sex with him. That was when Patricia’s mother and sisters started beating him up.
The beating was so severe that Sham ended up in the hospital with a fractured thumb and got a 3-month long MC.
When Patricia called her father after the beating, her family remained unrepentant.
He said this ‘ Come home! There is a lorry full of men to f*** you and Sham.’
I just died after hearing those words.
Frightened by her family’s behaviour, Patricia applied and succeeded in getting a Personal Protection Order (PPO) for herself against them.
I pray everyday for Sham and my safety. We only want to be safe and not to be harmed for being LGBT.
Unfortunately, Sham is not eligible for a PPO as he is not directly related to Patricia’s family and thus, remains in constant danger from them. Furthermore, Sham lost his job as a result of the altercation.
Despite the multitude of challenges facing the couple, they’ve never once given up on one another.
They will be celebrating their 5th year anniversary this October, and will be officially getting married on the day of their anniversary.
Brimming with positivity despite the many hardships they’ve had to overcome, the soon-to-be newlyweds have happily agreed to answer our Q&A!
1. What drives you two to stay together despite the many challenges?
Sham: Love and trust!
Patricia: This is what we always say to one another – ‘We started this journey together, lets fight this through together till the end.’ And look where are we now. I should thank all his ex-girlfriends who gave up on him.
2. What is your favourite thing about one another?
Patricia: My favourite thing about Sham is that he’s humble and he is a man who keeps his word and surprises me. He promised me that he will give me roses everyday and until now, I’m receiving roses everyday without fail. My room feels like a garden!
Sham: I love Pat for being very compassionate towards humans and animals. She’s an animal lover. I remember this incident whereby one of our clients dog’s nail dropped off. She took the trouble to bandage the dog’s leg, hugged it and cried.
Patricia: He gives up his seat to nurses and says ‘you all work so hard, please, you deserve so much more‘. The nurses will just smile at him. and he will say, ‘my girlfriend is also a nurse’. This is really beautiful.
Sham: During raining seasons we see lots of snails. I don’t know how many of us have the time to stop and help the poor snail cross over to the other side. But Pat does it every single time she sees one.
3. Tell us about your upcoming plans to get married!
Sham: Our ROM has been finalised. We are getting married this year in October. Our traditional Indian marriage will be in another 1 to 2 years. Preparations are ongoing. First time ever and we both are equally excited!!!
Patricia: We can’t wait to say WE DID IT!’ instead of ‘I DO!’
4. What’s your advice to other couples who are also facing a lot of opposition to their relationship?
Sham: A strong foundation is very important in a relationship. Both must help to motivate each other. My girlfriend believed and trusted in me and here I am telling my story to the world.
5. Is there anything else you like to add?
Sham: We went through at lot in our life. Especially me. I’ve been looked down at, abused physically and verbally for being who I want to be.
Those who thought this is impossible, especially my Indian community, I want to let them know that it is possible. Transmen are not as readily accepted as compared to transwomen in my community and I wish to break that stigma.
I definitely want to help my fellow people who are facing gender issues.I embrace my past, my present and my future.
I do not feel shy to let others know that I was once a female. I wish to be the voice for my Indian community.
Once again, Dear Straight People would like to thank Patricia and Sham for sharing their story with us.
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