Kampala, Uganda | By Kampire Bahana | Most women, when imagining themselves as a man (and most women have at some point imagined what it would be like to be male) envisage themselves as buff and chiseled; a Shemar Moore or Tyrese of sorts. After all, men build muscles more easily and find working out more rewarding than most women.
However, while it may be possible to wake up magically endowed with male sex characteristics, suddenly having the dedication it takes to maintain abs you can scrub clothing on it simply too fantastical a possibility to imagine.
No. I can’t be bothered. If I were a man I would be similarly built and similarly lax about physical exercise, resulting in an unremarkable body, want of a bit of toning. Perhaps I would carry a bit of extra fat in my legs rather than my lower abdomen, hips and behind.
As I wake up this fine male morning, I would not beat myself up about this excess baggage, as the world is now more forgiving of my failure to meet a physical ideal.
So it is with a smile on my face that I stretch in my bed, feel for the package between my legs that ensures my position of prominence in society and, reassured of its vitality, get up to start my day. Interesting thing, this ‘package.’ Most odd. Hmm. Anyway.
Deciding what to wear is easy. No worries about skirts too short, peeking bra straps and whether or not sleeveless blouses are appropriate for office but not for the meeting at parliament later in the day.
No concerns about whether or not the extra bangle is a distraction or that I shall need a pair of flat shoes to change into when my heels wear too tight or considering the calories in my breakfast.
What freedom! In fact make that TWO Rolexes, I tell my guy. I will need the extra protein for…something. A lingering look from the lady next to me in the traffic jam assures me that the five minutes spent matching my shirt and tie was well-spent.
Work is a breeze… fun, in fact. Friendly competition over who will be the first to get a date with the cute new secretary Diana continues. I must be careful not to say too much as I would not want to be accused of sexual harassment. KIDDING! This is Uganda. I even make a joke about Diana putting the “her arse” in sexual herASSment.
The boss and I bond over Benzema’s blunders and cold beers at a business lunch (my colleague Abigail is not invited to this lunch; she would only make things uncomfortable in the way that women do). Before I know it, it is 6pm and time for drinks with the boys.
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We are quite the sight. A group of young, professional, successful Ugandan men laughing loudly in one of Kampala’s more pricey establishments. We make jokes too dirty to be repeated in mixed company and laugh uproariously with no reservations about showing the fillings in one’s wisdom teeth.
A Kanye West ringtone goes off and three of us reach for our smartphones. The word “swag” was invented for situations just such as this.
Good news; the call is mine. Bad news; it is Rachel, the girl I have been seeing off and on for the past year and a half. Between you and me, I love her, I do. But there is too much loving to be lived before I can tie myself down to just one woman. I justify this to myself, my mother and others using evolutionary psychology; a man has to slow his seed, you know?
So I keep Rachel buttered up just enough to ensure that she will wait for my genitalia to catch up to my head. But for now, I press ignore.
My boys have invited a trio of pretty girls to join our table and I quickly classify them: Great body but no brain, pretty, smart and a third who is icy, irritable and insisting on drinking only soda even though I am paying for it.
I focus on the pretty, smart one because I like a bit of a challenge. Since I was a woman in my past life I know just what to say to impress her; seductive but not creepy, confident but not arrogant, sincere but not too honest. Make sure she feels safe and two hours and several drinks later she agreed to let me take her home.
My past life also ensures that I am an excellent… dance partner. For those men who have not had the benefit of transgender reincarnation, I would recommend the book “She Comes First,” by Ian Kerner.
Seriously. So that the world may be a better place when I change back.