Monika: A couple of weeks ago you won the “Miss Congeniality” title at a beauty pageant philanthropy event hosted at Chapman. How did you feel when it was announced?
Monika: Did you have to spend a lot of time on preparations: gowns, hair, make-up etc. before the pageant?
|In black and red. Photo by Ana Venegas.|
Courtesy of Addie Vincent.
Monika: Are you planning to participate in any other pageants?
Addie: As of now, I am not planning on competing in other pageants. But I am open to doing more in the future. It’s just a matter of finding out if I’d be eligible for other pageants.
I also look up to other Trans* celebrities and trailblazers, such as Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Jenna Talackova, and Calpernia Addams.
If we free ourselves of the pressure and standards to look a certain way, we can focus on our health and well-being.
|At Huntington Beach, CA. Photo by Nathan|
Worden. Courtesy of Addie Vincent.
However, we still live in a society filled with hate and people willing to act on their hate. Trans* women are still subjected to vicious hate crimes in both public and private settings, unfair treatment and placement in prisons, homelessness due to unsupportive families and a lack of resources, and the inability to find work or healthy careers as a result of transphobia. These women face transmisogyny on a daily basis, and their identities and preferred gender pronouns are not respected.
Of course, I believe transgender women can make and are making political differences. With cases such as those of Cece McDonald and Monica Jones, we see Transwomen making tangible changes that affect local and national political systems and human rights.
|Photo by Nathan Worden. Courtesy of Addie Vincent.|
As a result, many cisgender and heterosexual people are not aware or informed about our communities, and some begin to make assumptions and judgments based on their ignorance or misinformation. Some argue that gender and sex minorities should not be clumped into the same category as sexual orientation minorities since they are separate identities, yet others argue for the T and other acronyms to remain.
As RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Before I can build a relationship, I need to create a solid foundation through myself. Plus, I’m still young, and I have so many things I was to accomplish before settling down with someone.
Besides romantic love, the love I receive from and give to my family and friends is so important to me. Their love and support are what keep me motivated and strong, and I am grateful to have such a wonderful community and force behind me every step of the way.
I am also looking into possibly founding a shelter for LGBT+ homeless people in Orange County. I need to do more research and networking, but it’s something that our area is definitely in need of.
I’ve also been looking into becoming a midwife and helping women and families across the nation. I love the idea of helping expecting parents bring healthy children into the world, and providing these families with natural and safe medicines and treatments.
Form your thoughts into words, and know that there are people out there that love and support you. It took me years to come to terms with my gender identity, but talking about it with friends and family really helped me become the confident and proud person I am today.
And just remember, you are a wonderful person and you are capable of anything!
Main photo taken by Nathan Worden.
All the photos: courtesy of Addie Vincent.