Dapo Adaralegbe, the first Nigerian transgender who was born a boy, but now lives in the Netherlands as a woman named Stephanie Rose. Below is something the former Law student of Obafemi Awolowo University who was expelled in 2001 said in an interview talking about his life, growing up and sexuality before he eventually left Nigeria
“I was studying Law at the Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU), Ife. I am of the 1995 set, but I had to leave school in 2001 because of pressures. People were too harsh on me; they did not understand me at all. When I was in school, the school authorities got to know that I slept with my fellow male students. There was also an incident when I had to be admitted in the hospital. I was bleeding from the anus and I had bad pile arising from sexual intercourse.
“When the school got to know the kind of person I was, they sent me to meet a Guidance Counselor, Professor Roger Makanjuola, who was the Vice Chancellor, who took care of me. You know he is a re-nowned Psychiatrist. He handled all issues relating to psychiatry with me.
He said I was okay and that nothing was wrong with my preferences, sexual-wise. He said it was just because I lived in an environment that did not tolerate that kind of behavior. He recommended that I should meet another Guidance Counselor but I did not follow up. Even at that, there seems to be very little assistance one can get medically in Nigeria.
“After a time, I tried going back to school but they told me I have stayed too long away from the system. I applied to change over to University of Lagos (UNILAG) and OAU authorities promised to assist with my transcripts, but they did not send it early, that was how I lost the chance of changing to UNILAG. I eventu-ally dropped out of school.”
“I know this will shock you but I started having sex at the age of six. I had this cousin of mine who used to bring his friend to our house. He was the first to make love to me.
“Since I was small, I realized that I had this feeling that I was a woman. I used to paint myself up and wear girls’ clothes. Nobody stopped or cautioned me. My mother later died when I was 11 years old. My father has other wives and no one particularly bothered about me. I am the last child of my mother, she had four of us”
“I started having sex at the age of six, but no one in my family noticed the problem until I was 14 years old. My father is a Professor of Education. My mother was also a Professor in the same discipline. When my dad got to know, I think he was among the people who made Professor Makanjuola to examine me.
“The truth is that I had gone too far, and I don’t want to talk about my family in this issue. I have slept with a lot of people but my problem is that they were not faithful to me. They were not committed; we just have sex and they go away. I wish to have a committed partner that is why I have been trying to get a real lover, one that will care about me. In the alternative, I will like to relocate abroad where my kind exist.
In the University, I had several lovers but they were not serious. I have several men that I sleep with, I won’t mention their names. They cut across the low and highly placed, just let’s leave it at that. What I want is a committed partner. If I had a choice between getting cured and go¬ing for a surgery that will change my sex to a woman, I will prefer becoming a full woman.
“I am already a trans-sexual, the difference between me and other homosexuals are that while they just have the preference for sleeping with fellow men, I feel that I am a woman; I feel that someone should be making love to me the way men do to women. Since I started having sex, I am usually the female, the dormant partner. But do you know that right now, I need two things; a lover that is committed to me or help me to relocate out of this country,” he said.
He left a few months later