LaSkin Clinic's General Manager, Radha Wadha, lets us in on her life post hormonal replacement therapy (HRT).
An important step in the process of self-affirmation for many who undergo hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) is to adapt their physical appearance to align with their gender identity. After decades of battling clinical depression, Radha Wadhwa, general manager at LaSkin Clinic, completed her gender transition, something she had been dreaming of since the age of 12. Born biologically a boy, Wadhwa tells us that she felt trapped in the wrong body right from the start, recalling how she secretly tried to cross-dress after coming home from school. Bullied and mocked during her childhood, her experience of growing up wasn’t quite that pleasant. “Growing up, at the age of six, I was extremely feminine. I struggled with my sexuality and that would give me pangs of anxiety,” she tells us, opening up about how she fought with her internal feelings and camouflaged them with her masculinity. “I was more comfortable hanging out with girls instead of boys,” she adds. With her schooling having been mediocre, Wadhwa decided to move to Chandigarh, where the confluence of different cultures and the city’s unorthodox nature brought about a tumultuous change in her life. “I started being more expressive and made friends who never judged me,” she tells us. Having had exposure to social media, it took Wadhwa three years of online research, an injurious fall from her two-wheeler, and the self-realisation of having to let go of bearing children, before she decided to undertake HRT. “My transformation has been very organic,” she tells us. “Though I didn’t have surgery, it was a clinical process of transitioning. I had to go through a psychiatric analysis and needed to take a lot of medical approvals,” she adds.
And though this entire process has been quite arduous and complicated, Wadhwa’s parents have never been there to support her. In fact, she hasn’t been in touch with them for quite some time. “When I came out to my father, he couldn’t even look me in the eye while talking to me and I started to feel extremely guilty,” she tells us. Her voice softens, “It was that very moment when I decided to leave and since then, I do not like to mention my biological parents in any of my conversations.” On bringing up the topic of marriage, it seems that Wadhwa is quite excited by the idea of two people spending their lives together. Expressing her views on marriage, she says, “I see marriage as an entirely different feeling or emotion, as opposed to the societal norms generally governing the institution. Acceptance and legal identity are completely different but for a soul to be with another soul is quite beautiful.” She adds, “In the end, no matter whether you are LGBTQ+ or straight, we all want to be loved and I think marriage is that place where people can live happily ever after.” We ask her for some tips for modern couples planning to get married, and she quickly responds, “Coming from small towns, I think a lot of couples want to just get married as they haven’t had enough sex.” She laughs and adds, “My suggestion to them will be to see whether that person is one with whom they would want to spend the rest of their lives with.” More than now, we need people to look up to, heroes to get inspired by, and Wadhwa already has three in her mind. She beams and tells us, “When I see people like Shashi Tharoor voicing his support towards the gay community and Ricky Martin publicly acknowledging his homosexuality, I feel extremely motivated as these are trailblazers I have grown up admiring.” We ask Wadhwa to give one final piece of advice to all the young guns out there who feel “different”, and she affirms, “Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Learn from your mistakes and strive to do better.”
Fashion Stylist: Shaurya Athley.
Hair and Makeup: Geet Sukhani.
Location: Whisky Samba.
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