‘Girl in Boy’s Skin’ #LoyarBerkasih

Girl in Boy’s Skin‘ is a play written and performed by Green Leaf Theatre House; an NGO from Sabah, where it was created especially towards bringing awareness about LGBT issues in Sabah. This play is a joint event by the Green Leaf Theatre House and Borneo Youth Revolution.


—————————————————————————————–

Lights dim. Stage is empty with only Suzy in the centre, standing, looking at the audience. Numb.

SUZY:

They told me that I was a boy but I didn’t believe them. They forced me to wear boy clothes and play with boy toys because that is what I am, a boy. They gave me things that are blue; blue teddy bear, blue clothes… They forced me to play football and go fishing… *beat* But all I wanted to do was to be left alone. I didn’t like the clothes that they bought for me because that is not me. *beat* I prefer dresses, like the ones that my sister wear all the time. I prefer playing with dolls, putting on make-up and cooking with my mother. *beat* But… they laughed at me when I told them that. They said that I am in a phase, that this will all wear out. If this is a phase, how come it feels so real to me? How come it never ends? Not in a year nor 10 years. It kept on going; through kindergarten, primary and all through secondary school. *beat* My parents fight all the time because of me. I am the cause of all this anger. Me.

Suzy breaks down to the floor and starts acting to the voices of her parents. She starts crying.

FATHER (voice):

It’s all your fault! If you didn’t stop him from wearing all those make-up, he would have been normal! I told you not to treat him like a girl, or he will act like one! See what he is now!

MOTHER (voice):

Don’t put me at blame for this! He is our son! Our only son! I just wanted him to be happy. I never knew that he would turn this way. I told you to bring him to your outings with your friends, but you don’t want to. How is this my fault?

FATHER (voice):

Him? How can I bring HIM out when he’s like that? My only son and all he wants to be is a girl! What a disgrace! What would my friends say? That I’m a good for nothing father who can’t even bring his son up as a man. Another humiliating story to add on to our family. Is that what you want? Huh?

Suzy can’t take it anymore and starts to scream.

SUZY:

Arrghhhh!!! Stop it! Stop fighting!!!! *beat* (starts to sob) Please… Stop… Just stop. *beat* And that is why I ran away. I couldn’t take it any more. I couldn’t take all these sadness, all these… hatred. I tried to be normal. Believe me, I did. I try to do the things that they told me to do, but… I just couldn’t. It’s too much for me. I felt miserable. It was just not me.  *beat* All I want right now is a normal life. A life where I would meet the man of my dreams and we would get married and have children of our own. All I want to be is a woman and perhaps, then, I will be happy and everyone would stop being angry.

Suzy’s thoughts are interrupted when Gina walks in.

GINA:

Suzy! Mr. Chow wants to see you! Suzyyy!! Did you hear me? Let’s go.

Suzy wipes off tears and walks away…

Mr. Chow enters centre stage and sits down. Suzy enters.

SUZY:

Yes, Mr. Chow. You want to see me?

MR. CHOW:

Your numbers are down this week, Suzy. What happened to you?

SUZY:

(smiles)

I’m sorry, Mr. Chow. I’ve been sick this week.

MR. CHOW:

Excuses! Sick or not, work is work! You’re my favourite, you know that right? You’re good with your craft. You’re an asset to this brothel.

SUZY:

I know Mr. Chow. It won’t happen again, I promise.

MR. CHOW:

Good, that’s my girl. Now, come here, Suzy. There are some people here who wants to have a little bit of fun with you. Show them what you got (smacks Suzy’s butt while walking off stage).

Lights slowly dim to off.

Lights slowly brightens and Suzy slowly walks to the stage while saying her lines.

SUZY:

This is my life now. This is the only way I know I will survive in this world; a world where people like me have no place. *beat* I did try to crawl my way out of it. Especially when I’m sick with all the pain and humiliation that I have to face. I try to search for work. Normal work.

(Suzy approaches shadows and ask for work)

Hello, sir… My name is Suzy, do you have a job opening here.

MALE (voice):

No. Go away.

SUZY:

(saddens)

Good evening, Madam. I see that there is a job being offered here. Is it still available?

FEMALE (voice):

Finish already. Don’t have. Don’t have.

SUZY:

Excuse me, I see that you’re searching for someone to work here. I’m interested.

MALE (voice):

No, it’s okay. Maybe next time.

SUZY:

Everywhere I go, it’s the same thing. They have jobs, but they don’t want me. These people don’t fool me. Their eyes tell me what their mouths could not. They’re afraid of me. They do not want people like me. *beat* So, I’m stuck here. Again. In this rut. It’s painful, but I’m okay with it. At least now, I have a purpose.

Suzy walks off stage. Lights out.

Gina walks in stage and sits down. She appears to be counting her money.

GINA:

1, 2, 3… 5 x RM50 = RM250. Hmm… Not bad for a hard night’s work. (takes jar and slowly puts money in it)

Suzy is seen creeping in.

SUZY:

Gina!!

GINA:

Eh mati kau bitch, witch, shit…! Suzy!!! How many times have I told you! Don’t do that! Do you want me to die?

SUZY:

Well, come to think of it… If you do, then I’d get all your clients and I will be rich!!

GINA:

Hah! Very funny! What do you want?

SUZY:

Uhm… There’s this guy that I met. I think I like him. He’s so cute! Such a nice guy! Maybe one day, we’ll get married and have kids together!

GINA:

Well, well, how nice. Does he know that just like him, you have a penis too?

SUZY:

Uhm…

GINA:

Oh my god! You didn’t tell him did you? This is probably something you might want to tell someone who you’re going to ‘spend the rest of your lives with.’ Like, “honey, I hope you don’t mind. But I like it from the back and oh yeah, can you suck my dick too while you’re at it because I’m a fucking tranny!”

SUZY:

Gina!! Don’t be so mean! I’ll settle that soon. You know I’m saving money to get the sex change right? I hate living this lie! I want to live a normal life. I want to get out of this life and have a family with the man I love. You know how it feels like.

GINA:

Yes, yes. I know… We all want a life like that. But how sure are you that you will be accepted after you change your gender; by him… by society? Just because you’re taken out from a box, doesn’t mean they won’t throw you into another one!

SUZY:

Well, it’s either this or me killing myself. I don’t care if they put me into another box, as long as I am a complete woman and not stuck in this male body, I’m happy. I’ll get big boobs! Just like Pamela Anderson. No need to use those padded bras anymore! And I will get a vagina! I won’t have to tie my dreadful penis anymore ever again!

GINA:

Good for you! I just hope you know what you’re doing. Once you do it, you can never get it back again.

Lights off. Lights on slowly. Gina is seen leaning on the wall, waiting for customers.

GINA:

Hi bang… Mau main? 25 Ringgit for one night. Hi, sexy… Want to have some fun? *beat* Damn! Why is it so dry tonight?! Where are all these men? Fuck! Tonight is not my night!

Suzy walks in with a guy but says goodbye half way in the stage. Gina looks at Suzy, curious.

SUZY:

Bye sayang… (walks towards Gina. Smiling to herself)

GINA:

Wah wah! Is that the guy that you were talking about. I always see him with you. *beat* (checking the guy out) He’s not your client is he? Maybe I could get him to be mine. It’s so dry tonight. I’ve been standing here for 2 hours and nobody has approached me.

SUZY:

Gina! Don’t you dare say that. I really like the guy! I think he might be the one.

GINA:

Oh wow. If you really like him, did you tell him that you’re a hooker? A cheap street hooker who would fuck anyone for money?

SUZY:

Oh shut up! And yes, he does know that about me. And he accepts me, just the way I am.

GINA:

Hah! Just the way you are? I bet you didn’t tell him that you got a penis now did you, little miss ding dong! Haha!

SUZY:

Well, I think it’s a bit too early for that. Let him know me well first and then I’ll tell him. Once he knows how I am deep inside, I’m sure he would accept me fully. Inside and out.

GINA:

Suit yourself! Now, if you can excuse me… I’m going to attend to that hot guy.

Sound of car pulling up. A guy starts to cross go out from the ‘car’ and walks past the stage.

Hi bang, want to play? RM25 for one night only. You want air-con or not air-con? I can do all. You want, darling?

MAN:

(Looks disgusted)

Eeee! Pondan! Go away! I’m not interested. Yuck!

GINA:

Pukima punya jantan! You think you’re so handsome is it? Fuck you! Tontolou kecil!

Lights off.

SUZY (voice):

We went out for a few months after that. We never slept together and that is why I loved him. He respects me as a woman and doesn’t treat me as a thing. He told me that he is willing to wait. That is when I knew he was the one that I will marry. I knew that with him around, my life will be secured, so I decided to leave the brothel and finally, FINALLY, have a normal life.

Lights on.

Mr. Chow goes centre stage and sits on chair. Suzy is with him.

MR. CHOW:

Hah! YOU? Want to leave this brothel???? For what? A BOY! HAH! You of all people should know that nobody wants people like you! A tranny!

SUZY:

But he loves me! Do you know what love is, hah?! You use people as sex slaves and throw us around like things. We’re human beings too!

MR. CHOW:

I know what you are! Human being or not, I am the only person who would take you in. Don’t you forget that! I was there when no one else wanted you! I was there when everyone made fun of you!

SUZY:

I’m done with this place! You hear me, I’m done! I’m finally going out there and live my life as a normal person, a human being and you are not going to stop me, you good for nothing piece of shit!

MR. CHOW:

What did you call me?

(takes off his scarf and starts to choke Suzy with it)

You son of a bitch! You have no right to call me that! Die you piece of shit! Die!

SUZY:

(Tries to untangle herself and runs away screaming)

You sick bastard! You’re fucking sick!

MR. CHOW:

Suzy! You come back here, you piece of shit! SUZY!!! *beat* Fine! Go! GO! You know where to find me when you come crawling back to me and begging me to take you back when he realizes that you are nothing but a man in woman’s clothes!

Lights off.

SUZY (voice):

Am I terrified? Of course I am! After that day with Mr. Chow, millions of things went through my head. What if he doesn’t accept me for who I really am? What if he hates me? What if I would never get the fairy tale life that I have always imagined? I have nowhere to go now; the brothel is not my home any more. *beat* So, I had to tell him, now. I had to tell him what I really am. If he loves me enough to take my flaws, why is this any different?

Lights on. Suzy and Mior is seen walking on centre stage.

MIOR:

Sayang, I’m so happy that you left the brothel! It’s such a big thing you have done for yourself, for us, and I love you for that. You are the most brave woman I have ever met.

SUZY:

I didn’t want you to marry a sex worker. I didn’t want you to get humiliated. And besides, I’m done with that part of me.

MIOR:

Syukur Alhamdulillah. Praise to God. I’m so happy, Sayang. Now, you can be the woman you have always wanted to be.

SUZY:

I hope so too. Sayang, I have something to tell you…

MIOR:

What is it?

SUZY:

Erm… I want to ask you something.

MIOR:

What is it, Sayang?

SUZY:

(Hesitant)

Do you… Do you love me? Do you accept me for who I am, past and present?

MIOR:

Of course, Sayang. Of course I love you for who you are, regardless of your past and present and current… All of you.

SUZY:

So it doesn’t bother you that I was a sex worker? That I have sinned and slept with various men? Or that, I don’t have a family?

MIOR:

Why are you asking me these things? Are you okay?

SUZY:

Just answer me, Sayang. I don’t want you to regret having me in your life. We still have time to walk away from this relationship. Just tell me and I will walk away.

MIOR:

What are you talking about??

SUZY:

Just answer me.

MIOR:

(Breathes in and looks into Suzy’s eyes)

I love you, Suzy, with all my heart. I have accepted you the way you are, who you were and I will embrace and look forward to the person whom you will become. You are perfect in my eyes. Now, can we please drop this now? You’re worrying me.

SUZY:

I’m sorry, Sayang. I don’t want to worry you. It’s just that, I think it’s time for me to tell you something about myself.

MIOR:

What is it, sayang?

SUZY:

I… I… Please, don’t get angry at me… This is hard for me to say.

MIOR:

What? Tell me. Just tell me. Don’t be afraid, it’s just me. I won’t judge you. I love you too much to judge you.

SUZY:

Well, it’s just that… Ever since I was young, I always felt that I was a girl. Nobody believed me, but I did, I know who I am, who I was. But they forced me to believe that I wasn’t. I tried to tell them, I did, but they didn’t want to listen.

MIOR:

What are you talking about, Sayang? I don’t understand.

SUZY:

(Takes deep breath)

I was born a boy. *beat* But I never felt that way. I knew deep down that I was a girl. And I knew now, more than ever, that I am girl, your girl.

MIOR:

What are you talking about? You’re scaring me!

SUZY:

I didn’t know how to tell you at first, but I have to tell you now. Mior, I’m sorry, but I just didn’t have the courage to tell you in the beginning.

MIOR:

So what? Are you telling me that you’re a tranny? A pondan????

SUZY:

Don’t call me that! I’m still Suzy! I am! Inside, I still am. Mior, tell me you still love me.

Suzy tries to hold Mior’s hand.

MIOR:

Don’t touch me! You lied to me! You made me believe that I was in love with this woman and you lied to me! How could you!

SUZY:

I am still this woman, Mior! I’m still me! Sayang, listen to me!

MIOR:

Don’t call me that! Don’t you fucking dare call me that!

(Mior rubs his mouth and body)

Argghh! And I kissed you! And hugged you! Disgusting! You are disgusting! I cannot believe I did that! I’m gay!

SUZY:

It isn’t the same. That’s not what it is! I thought you loved me! You said you would accept me for who I am, who I was in the past! I’m getting a sex change soon, and I will become a full blown woman and we will be happy.

MIOR:

No, no… This is not happening! Get away from me! I don’t love you! Not you! You liar!

SUZY:

Sayang… (Suzy tries to go closer)

MIOR:

Go away! (Mior pushes Suzy and runs off)

Suzy starts crying and then screams.

Lights off.

Lights on. Suzy is sitting on stool on centre stage.

SUZY:

Nobody accepts people like me. We are nothing to them. We are disgusting to them. We are not meant to have true love or live our fantasy lives. Not us, never us. So I went back to the brothel, just as Mr. Chow expected. I was made fun of, but I didn’t care. I felt nothing, I was numb.

Today, I am the number 1 sex worker in whole of Kota Air, thanks to you! You! And you! Society! Hah! What a joke! You’re angry with us for spreading you these ‘diseases’? You’re angry with us for making society sick?

WHO SHOULD BE ANGRY AT WHO EXACTLY????? HAH? WHO???

We go to you to find proper jobs and YOU turn us down. When we seek out for your help, YOU shut the door on us. We gave you all the love that we have in us, but YOU took it away from us; crushing and stepping on it, tearing it apart to pieces.

Suzy looks left and right, and smiles at audience.

SUZY:

Excuse me, I have a client to attend to.

Suzy walks off while holding her client.

END

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Below are pictures taken during the performance.

A group picture; members of Green Leaf Theatre House and Borneo Youth Revolution.

 

Ed’s note: Girl in Boy’s Skin was performed in the Penampang Library, Donggongan, Sabah to a full-house (70 people). Green Leaf Theatre House received a standing ovation from the audience. Carrey Yubong of the Sunduvan Refugee Community and Borneo Youth Revolution, presented a short talk on LGBTiQ issues in Sabah after the play.


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Jasmine is currently surviving university while balancing work and sleep as well as juggling her non-existent social life in between. As a Social Science major, she is passionate in the development of women, children, refugees and things that are worth fighting for - pretty much everything! If she’s not talking to herself or fulfilling her fascination towards atlases and maps, you can probably find her lazing around on her sparkly blog.

Posted on 14 February 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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One Response to ‘Girl in Boy’s Skin’ #LoyarBerkasih

  1. Lisa Ng

    Nice to know that the people who fall through the cracks in society are getting some attention. Wish I could've been there to watch the play. Thank you for sharing it here.