GEORGE TOWN: Mohd Khariri Mohamad Ramli had always been effeminate as a child and as he grew up, nothing made him happier than to parade around in his mother’s heels and skimpy clothes.
It was therefore not surprising that he decided to embrace his feminine side and became a transgender person when he turned 18.
He assumed the name “Erin” and consumed all sorts of hormones to make him look like a woman, growing breasts and injecting his buttocks with collagen.
Erin was often propositioned by men as he was as “beautiful as a model” and he preferred to have a good time with Caucasian men.
However, at the age of 33, he had a change of heart after seeing many of his transgender friends getting hooked on drugs and hormones while others, who were sex workers, were infected with HIV.
He then decided to revert to being a man. But that itself was another struggle.
He quit the hormone pills which had been his steady diet for decades. But as a result, he rapidly put on weight, reaching 120kg at one point.
He also resorted to surgically removing his breasts.
Today, the 41-year-old teacher at a school in Port Klang, Selangor, is thankful that he has found religion.
Cikgu Erin, as he is popularly known, has gone on a pilgrimage to Mecca and hopes to marry by 2020.
“I have gone through a lot. I have become more positive after following the Islamic path. I have prayed a lot.
“I must admit that it had been hard to suppress my feelings for men, but I have banished them and my faith in Allah has kept me on the right path,” he said at a talk organised by the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) here.
Erin said he longed to be married but had yet to find someone suitable.
However, he said before that could happen, he has another problem to tackle – he is impotent which he blamed on the hormone pills he used to take.
“I am not doing this to shut everyone up, but I really want to marry someone,” he said.
Erin said society has a major role to play in removing the stigma attached to the transgender people.
He said instead of name calling, transgender people should be given assistance so that they would stay away from the flesh trade.
Erin was one of the speakers at Jakim’s talk titled “Civilisation and the Disorders of the Contemporary Lifestyle” attended by some 300 civil servants today.