Saturday, 2 February 2013

Interview with Kirsty Scarlet Cass

Monika: Today I would like you to meet Kirsty Scarlet Cass, a lovely lady from West Sussex in England. Her gender dysphoria was covered by the British media in 2010, following her suicide attempt. Hello Kirsty! It is my sheer pleasure to welcome you to “The Heroines of My Life”!
Kirsty: Thank you It is a pleasure to be interviewed by you.
Monika: How are you doing these days?
Kirsty: I have never felt better, thank you. Now I’m living my life how it should be.
Monika: Where did you grow up?
Kirsty: I was born in Crawley, West Sussex in England, and I have been here ever since.
Monika: Could you describe your childhood? When did you feel for the first time that you should not be a boy or man?
Kirsty: I had a happy childhood but from a very early age I preferred the company of females rather than boys, and as I got older I knew that I was different but did not know why.
Monika: For most transgender girls, the most traumatic time is the time spent at school, college, or university when they had to face lots of discrimination. Was it the same in your case?
Kirsty: I found things very hard at secondary school with getting changed for P.E. and felt very embarrassed and nervous, not wanting to be there, and I got a nickname of "Faye", as I was effeminate.
Monika: At what age did you transition into a woman? Was it a difficult process? Did you have any support from your family or friends?
Kirsty: I went full time when I was 47 on 6 April 2010, before that I was living as a woman for 50%, hiding this from my family and work. My family has been very supportive, apart from my eldest brother who has not spoken to me since I went full time; that’s his problem and not mine.

With Gabby Logan before her live tv show
on 12 Oct. 2010.

Monika: Did you have any problems with passing as a woman? Did you undergo any cosmetic surgeries?
Kirsty: At first when I was learning to apply my make-up I had people staring at me, but once I got that sorted out, I have had no real problems, I can count myself very lucky.
Monika: We are living in times of modern cosmetic surgery that might allow transitioning even in the late 50s or 60s. Do you think it is really possible? What kind of advice do you have for transgender ladies at such an age?
Kirsty: I believe, that as long as you are healthy, and you are happy with yourself, then age should not be an issue, if it makes you feel happy and contented that that’s all the better.
Monika: At that time of your transition did you have any transgender role models that you could follow? What was your knowledge about transgenderism?
Kirsty: I used to look at a lot of the transgender sites with many attractive girls longing to be like them, but I cannot say I had a particular role model.
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Kirsty: It has to be telling your family without a doubt, I don’t think I have ever been so scared and worried in my entire life, but love prevails, doesn’t it?
Monika: What did you feel when you were finally a woman?
Kirsty: Relief, it felt so natural, and right I have never felt as good as I do now. I’m happy, contented. I love life, where once I just wanted to kill myself, which I tried to on two occasions.
Monika: What do you enjoy most in being a woman?
Kirsty: Getting up in the morning, sitting at my dressing table, applying my make-up, choosing what I’m going to wear, looking in the mirror and seeing my reflection of a woman called Kirsty, a very happy one at that, and feeling grateful that I made the decision to be my true self.
Monika: Once, as a man, you were married with one child. What was the reaction of your spouse to the fact that you were transgender?
Kirsty: She was fantastic, and used to help me with my make-up and clothing; she knew I was different and when it came to the bedroom I was always nervous and needed a lot of coxing, it was not me.
Monika: Do you sometimes think about marriage as a woman?
Kirsty: I would love to do that one day. I dream about meeting Mr. Right and wearing a lovely wedding dress and lots of flowers on a lovely summer day. We can dream, can’t we?

Alison Ferns show on BBC Radio Sussex on 22 July 2011.

Monika: What is your general view on the present situation of transgender women in the United Kingdom?
Kirsty: It is a lot better than it used to be. There is a lot more publicity these days, if this was the case years ago I would have transitioned a long time ago.
Monika: In America, we are witnessing more and more transgender ladies coming out. Unlike in the previous years, some of them have the status of celebrities or are really well-known, just to mention Lana Wachowski in film-directing, Jenna Talackova in modeling, Kate Bornstein in academic life, Laura Jane Grace in music or Candis Cayne in acting. Do you have similar transgender celebrities in the United Kingdom?
Kirsty: No, not really, but I am sure, as time goes by, this will change as more and more gay celebrities are coming out. I think if one does do it then a lot will follow.
Monika: Do you think that in our lifetime we could live to the day when a transgender lady could become the British Prime Minister?
Kirsty: Why not! 30 years ago no one believed that a woman would ever be Prime Minister, then along comes Margaret Thatcher, so who’s to say in the future this could become reality.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Kirsty: Yes, I have and one day I do hope to do this, as what I have to say could help a lot of transsexuals to transition themselves.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Kirsty: I always like to dress smart, and make an effort even if it is just going to the supermarket. In England, we have top brands such as Jane Norman, Next, Marks and Spencer which I like to shop for all my clothes.

Kirsty's new birth certificate.

Monika: One of many advantages of being a woman is the possibility of different hairstyles, colors. Do you like going to the hairdresser?
Kirsty: I have a very good friend who was a hairdresser. She now works for the same company as me and does most of the ladies' hair who work there but I do love going to the nail salon and getting pampered and having my nails done.
Monika: What do you do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?
Kirsty: I like to keep fit and like to read. I love going to clubs and dancing the night away and making new friends. I have so much to catch up on as I missed out so much in my earlier life.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of your local LGBTQ community?
Kirsty: Yes, at work I’m one of the LGBTQ representatives, and also belong to a lovely club in Crawley called "Bar 7", which is an LGBTQ club. I also work some shifts behind the bar in the evening.
Monika: Could you say that you are a happy woman now?
Kirsty: Very happy, never felt this happy and contented in my entire life long may it continue!
Monika: Kirsty, thank you very much for the interview!

All the photos: courtesy of Kirsty Scarlet Cass.
© 2013 - Monika Kowalska  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog