Thursday, 15 August 2013

Interview with Birdy Reene

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Birdy Reene, a young American video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Birdy!
Birdy: Hi, hi, Thanks for wanting to interview me.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Birdy: Well, I'm 26, I'm a home health aid who looks after the mentally handicapped. Outside of work I play video games, run my own anime art website and play around with the concept of doing my own manga.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Birdy: My friend Sour Skiddlez has been doing video blogs for a long time, and exposed me to the process in one of her videos so I started doing it myself. I more or less wanted to show transition isn't the nightmare people make it out to be, its rough I won't lie, but I feel like if more of us were to educate the future trans community, maybe they can take from us and help themselves better.

Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
Birdy: I'm 14 months into my transition. I have been living as a female since the 11th month. Also, I just applied for my legal name change so soon I'll officially be counting down the days of the real-life experience, and on my way to having GRS.
Monika: Are you satisfied with the results of the hormone therapy?
Birdy: Yes, I've calmed down, settled into a career, made lasting friendships all thanks to it. 
Monika: Could you describe your childhood? When did you feel for the first time that you should not be a boy or man?
Birdy: I started to feel off? If that's the word for it around 9 or 10. By the time I was 14 I came out to my family and that ended badly.

Cruising around town.

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?
Birdy: No, I presented as a female in high school. But I was very androgynous from the start. I also got along with most of the different cliches/groups.
So usually if someone started in on me, someone from their circle was cool with me and would put the person being rude in their place. Also, our school had very supportive staff that followed rules to the T.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow?
Birdy: Serena Lynn, Jordan (Minorqback), Sour Skiddlez (my roomie and best friend).
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Birdy: The fact my father didn't accept it one bit. He demonized it and made me so afraid to be myself I tried to bury my feelings deep inside for years.
Monika: What is your general view on the present situation of transgender women in American society?
Birdy: That we are still seen as abnormalities that people mock and feel disdain for.

Preparing to spend the day in Chicago.

Monika: 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 think we will have more and more such women?
Birdy: Most Definitely.
Monika: Do you think that in our lifetime we could live until the day when a transgender lady could become the President of the USA?
Birdy: With this nation's current regime, I don't ever see that happening in this nation's existence.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Birdy: Usually I prefer the urban, punk, and pop looks. I usually just wear skater skirts, flip-flops, form-fitting printed T's or long sleeve shirts, and rock all the different hats I own. Trying to get me to dress formal would be like asking me to be male for a day not happening.
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Birdy: They are cool, but they also offend me because I think they give the general populace of trans people the wrong idea on how their transitions will turn out.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of your local LGBT community?
Birdy: No, I promote it over the net, but I don't usually go to inter-personal functions.

Before transitioning.

Monika: Do you intend to get married and have a family? Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Birdy: Love is a fallacy to me. To me, it's a meaningless word. To me what people call love, translates to, A person you can tolerate for life. But no, I might share my life with someone but hate kids.
Monika: What would you recommend to transgender women that are afraid of early transition, discrimination and hatred?
Birdy: To just go for it. I was fairly anti-social, so discrimination from the general public never phased me. Once I turned 18 and my parents couldn't stop me it was game on. 
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Birdy: To be honest, My life is so chaotic I don't even plan my days more than a week in advance. The only long-term goal I have is to get GRS and finish my manga.
Monika: Could you say that you are a happy woman now?
Birdy: Yes and no, I'm naturally a pessimist so I'd rate my happiness at a 7/10.
Monika: Birdy, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!

All the photos: courtesy of Birdy Reene.
© 2013 - Monika Kowalska

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