There are all these early photographs of me ......... especially this one looking like a cool dude in my dad's shades, at the Singapore Botanical Garden when I was 4/5.
According to LGBT ideology this is most likely an indication of a non-female sexuality trying to 'come out' of the oppressed female/feminine Muslim's sexual ethics.
Should my parents be hauled over the coals for repressing my 'true sexuality'? I think this is probably what they will say.
PARENTS: Sometimes, in our culture .........
VICTIM-FEMINISTS' WATCHDOG (VFW): You mean the oppressive Patriarchal Culture !!!
PARENTS: ....... in the hope that it will catch, parents will dress up their daughter in boys' togs (mind you, not for all of the time) so that the next baby might turn out to be a boy.
And hey presto, it worked! Mustakim was born giving them an ideal number of two girls and two boys. Of course it's not as certain as going for a scan and then aborting the foetus if it's not the desired type. After all, abortion is another much-vaunted human right like the right to happiness and freedom. It has even been resorted to as a form of birth control for some busy women in Britain.
VFW: What about this then?
The scruffy kid on the right (front row) looks like a Hari Raya 1948/1949 version of Richmal Crompton's 'William'.
PARENTS: Well, we can't stop her as she loves her boy's outfit. We know she feels a little left out being the second child, stuck between the special first-born sister and the first son and the youngest one, you know, the second child syndrome.
But she seems comfortable and happy - we think she will grow out of it. Children do go through such phases of wanting to be different, to demonstrate their distinct identity.
VFW: What do you mean by that? So you think that her dressing like a macho-male female is only a phase. You believe that she could or would grow out of becoming a feminist/lesbian/transgender - that she will recover from this - like getting over a nasty flu?
PARENT (ABAH): Hey, hold on a minute. Where did you get the idea that a girl who likes to dress up as a boy is a budding lesbian?
PARENT ('MAK): Abah, lesbian 'tu apa?
ABAH: Nanti Chah. Nanti abah terangkan.
VFW: How about this picture then? She's now 15 and she's still trying to express her true sexual identity - to escape this patriarchal cultural agenda.
Above is the Kampung Abu Kassim 'samseng' at Jardine Steps sporting her butch hairstyle.
15 YEAR OLD TEENAGER (pleading) : Stop it everybody! Let me have my say. I was born a girl and I'm happy to be one. I love wearing those comfortable 'boy outfit' because I lead an active life riding bicycles, running around the backyard chasing the chickens in the evening to get them into the hen-house, wandering around the kampung with Mus cutting grass to feed the geese, cleaning the goose-house and uncovering their eggs as well as cleaning the rabbit-hutch. Also I love climbing up the hills along South Buona Vista Road (or The Gap) with my brothers - you can't do that wearing a frock or a baju kurung, can you?
Sometimes I dress up in the same girly attire as my sister which my dear ole mum had sewn for us.
Admittedly till today, my sister Maznah always, always looks prettier than me. And she's a better cook too!
By the way Abah, what is a lesbian?
ABAH: It's ... it's a girl who ....likes girls ...ummhh ... prefers girls to boys. And don't tell your mother. She might throw away all your shirts and shorts!
But Abah, I like boys too. Did I tell you about my boyfriends when I was in Primary One?
FRONT ROW: Au Guat Eng (2nd from left), AsH (5th from left)
BACK ROW: My boyfriends, Tan Aik Chuan (5th from left) and Ang Hock Kee (8th from left)
When I was thirteen, I fell in love with Ng Kian Ann. It was a love that dared not speak its name because he was Guat Eng's paramour. Guat Eng and I were always placed in the same team whenever we played netball. You see, one day she fainted during PE. When our teacher lifted her up, I had to tell the other kids to keep quiet (in those days, us demure girls never use the word 'Shaddup') and behave themselves - because they were all yelling, 'her knickers .... see her knickers!"
And then in 1957, on our last day in Pasir Panjang English School, before we all went to separate Secondary Schools, Kian Ann waited for me at the bicycle shed ......
ABAH: All right, all right. That's enough!
31 August 1957, Tengku Abdul Rahman called out "Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka" and I saw my father's tears.
Now, if I had been born in 1997, I would have to ask these questions.
Abah, what's this "Seksualiti Merdeka"? Has Merdeka got a gender? Is it because freedom must be made more sexy? Or is being sexy and doing all kinds of sexy stuff, freedom? You said Merdeka has to do with seeing our country free from British Colonialism, of working hard and being responsible for our country's safety, well-being and freedom?
I know now that 'L' refers to Lesbians. What is the meaning of Gay (G), Bisexual (B) and Transgender (T)?
ABAH: Look, I've got a headache. Please get on with your homework and then help your mother with the laundry and the gardening.
That's yucky work. Can I wash the car instead and Mus can do the laundry?
ABAH : Just go!!!
Am I glad I was born in 1944. Life was so much simpler for tomboys then, with no worries about being deconstructed by the Post-Modernist brigade.
Of course, Hamid's daughter Number Two had many girlfriends like Tai Ann, Geetha, Sumijah, Soh Khim, Maimunah, Asmah, Yvonne, Jeya, Dorothy, Ann, Aysha Bevee and a string of boyfriends stretching from Singapore to Brunei, Leicester and Penang.
When Hamid's daughter Number Two had enough of her wonderings and wanderings, Iain Buchanan managed to clip her wings (only with her permission of course) and got her started on wifely duties like cooking and marketing and sewing. Strangely enough, she likes it.
But she still wears the trousers. Here's the middle-aged Dominatrix, boots and all, happily married to the unflappable cameraMAN.