Shivanya Mrityunjay

Shivanya Mrityunjay – A Terrific Tale of Courage

“A proud trilingual trans woman” is how Shivanya Mrityunjay introduces herself!

From a 13-year-old-girl who came out to her mother by slipping a letter under her door; to now when she boldly wears the badge of her gender in front of the world, Shivanya has indeed come a long way.

 

Be it fighting bullies at school or rising from the trauma of sexual abuse and dragging her abuser to court, she fought her battles like a true Hero. Her story will move you, shock you, tear you up, but in the end it will surely assure you that ‘Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.’

We at Storiyaan are proud to present her tale to the world. Head onto our website to read more.

Shivanya Mrityunjay

Shivanya Mrityunjay - A Terrific Tale of Courage t Here

Interview

Questions and answers

You were bullied in your school for your weight. How did you gradually learn to tackle all those behaviours and what was your refuge?

A lot of my strength came from ignoring the bullies and being quite introverted. I would do a lot of solo activities like reading, jewellery making and fashion designing. My refuge is still watching Bollywood and Punjabi movies. I love to imagine I am the heroine just living out her life through song and dance!

Small steps in life are always necessary for big changes. What was your first small step in your life where you stood for yourself and raised your voice?

The smallest step I ever took regarding my gender identity was posting a headless picture of me wearing a white two-piece outfit I made from a medical vest. I released it on New Year’s Day 2016 on Instagram.

The night your GCSE result came out was quite emotional for you. Could you share with us the story?

I had a letter come through regarding my referral to the Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) in London. This letter was meant to be addressed to me and not my mum which caused some drama! My mum wasn’t as educated as she is now about the subject, and we stayed up the whole night talking and crying.

 

Often people who are victims of sexual abuse do not gather enough courage to raise their voice against it or take some legal step. What would be your motivating message to them?

My advice would be to contact your doctor and ask for therapy/counselling. A lot of survivors suffer mentally, often leading them on a downward spiral into drugs and depression. Speak out because you might not be the only one being abused by the same perpetrator.

You went on a trip to Portugal. Share with us one of the best memories you have made there.

This trip was a celebration for my mum and I. We had just finished a court case against my uncle-in-law who sexually abused me. I am a real foodie so one of the best memories had to be trying an octopus hotdog in Lisbon. I also enjoyed going clubbing with my ex au-pair and family friend.

Artists are always free from all the bondage and mundane shackles of life. How does your work of art liberate you and what is the most satisfactory part?

Being a big woman, I am self-conscious with how I look on camera. But when I dance, I feel free and happy just being in the moment. Picking an outfit with matching jewellery is fun, but the most satisfactory bit is when I have finished editing the audio and layering it on top of the video.

Since you are an artist, what is your best work according to you?

My best work is my dance performance on “Aaj Ko Junli Raat Ma” which I have uploaded on TikTok. It’s the first time I have ever danced and felt secure whilst wearing a sari. I am also proud of a bridal nathni I made out of a kundan earring.

You are a strong person who has dealt with every ups and downs of life with a smiling face. Where have you learnt this biggest mantra of your life?

I have a lot of my mum to thank. She has always encouraged me to read books to learn and gain knowledge. She has always done her best to help me and teach me how to navigate life as best as she knows. It’s true when people say life is a journey.

You had a cultural identity crisis. Share with us what made others ostracize you and what was your mode of protest?

A lot of it was wearing traditional clothes and wanting to wear bindis during my adolescence. A lot of desi students at my secondary school had the notion that I should be more westernized as I was born in the UK. Instead, I used to draw henna designs on my hand using a biro whilst I was bored during a lesson.

Life is a bittersweet play. There are golden mornings after stormy nights and you are living to see it. What would you say in this and how would you like to motivate our readers who are facing enormous turmoil in their life?

Speak to friends, get involved with people around you and don’t isolate yourself (unless you have Corona). Talking is always helpful and the more you are alone, the more you ruminate on sad things and make yourself feel anxious. Take a break from whatever is causing you stress and indulge in your hobbies.

 

Quick 5

1. Your go to person? My mum

2. One goal you want to achieve Have my Sex Reassignment Surgery

3. What is your biggest fear Fear itself

4. The country you want to visit one day India

5. What makes you passionate about everything you do Loving to create and style different pieces

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