Sunday, 11 August 2013

Interview with Fiona Corwin

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Fiona Corwin, a young video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Fiona!
Fiona: Hello! Young! You’re sweet to say so. I’ll be 42 this year!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Fiona: I am a 41yr old trans woman. I started my transition in October of 2012, HRT in January of 2013, and living full time as a woman in May of 2013. It’s a complicated question because I am a lot of things depending on where you look from.
I am a Web Developer, an IT consultant, a manager, a business owner, a carpenter, a machinist, a musician, a writer, a lover, a poet, a martial artist, a fencer, and a bit of a pacifist who likes her guns. I am both fiercely independent and serially monogamous. I fall in love with people often – they fascinate me.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Fiona: When I was exploring whether or not I would transition. I started looking around for examples of what was possible and posted by girls in my age group. Unfortunately, there weren’t very many to choose from. I decided that I would do what I could to address that need – to provide as good an example as possible for girls my age and really, girls of any age. I think it is important to give back and that it’s worth my discomfort and the risk to do so.

Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
Fiona: I live full-time as a woman. I shave every day. I’m continuing to have both laser and soon electrolysis in an effort to get rid of the excess hair on my face and body. I am pre-operative and may never seek the surgery. It’s dependent on how things go. For as long as my genitals work mentally and physically for me, I see little reason to change them. At such time as they don’t, I see no reason to keep them. At 6 months of HRT, I’ve been blessed with ample breast growth. I’m a 38C in US sizes. It’s my hope that I will not need breast implants to feel complete.
Monika: Are you satisfied with the results of the hormone therapy?
Fiona: So far, the results have been simply stunning. I would have a difficult time passing as a man now if I even wanted to try, which I don’t. I love the hair, the soft skin, the breasts, the hips, and the way my body shape is changing. It’s all simply marvelous! Add on the mental changes, which have been subtle, and yet, profound and I wouldn’t want to go back to living in hopeless misery as a man.
Monika: Could you describe your childhood? When did you feel for the first time that you should not be a boy or man?
Fiona: I was perhaps three years old when I noticed I wasn’t properly equipped. I hoped and prayed, and begged, and wished to wake up as a girl on a nightly basis. I was a fairly happy kid. An average student with great parents until puberty, which was when my dysphoria and depression really began.

24 weeks on HRT and 8 weeks of living
full time as a woman.

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?
Fiona: I graduated high school at 135lbs and 6’1” tall. I had little to no muscle development or body hair to speak of. I was picked on to some degree for being skinny and geeky but my height intimidated many so I never really had to fight in high school. I was a beautiful charming boy and had the favor of the ladies which so many boys envied. I figured out how to get by.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow?
Fiona: There are several. Lana Wachowski comes to mind first. Then perhaps Laura Jane Grace… There are several YouTube girls I admire greatly.
Unfortunately, most are no longer making videos and many have removed their videos. Lady Vixion, Minorqback, Jesslyngirl87, Meghan’s Life, etc…
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Fiona: Getting over the fear, and getting on with it. Once I saw there was little or nothing to be afraid of, things went both quickly and smoothly.
Monika: What is your general view on the present situation of transgender women in American society?
Fiona: Like any minority, we’re struggling for our piece of the pie. I’ve lived long enough to know that things have come a long, long way from the 70s and 80s when I grew up. Trans people are no longer caricatures to be made fun of and used as cautionary tales – we are becoming mainstream. The passage of laws protecting our rights, and the general visibility of our subset is changing the way people view trans folk. We live in exciting times! 
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?
Fiona: I do hope so. I would love to be one of them.

In the black dress.

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?
Fiona: Oh my, that’s thought isn’t it…? We’ve yet to see even a CIS woman sit in the chair. What a victory it would be for a trans woman! I wonder if she would be more or less accepted because she was once considered to be a man? I can tell you, I don’t think I’d want the job. I do think it’s possible though. I believe in the innate kindness of the human soul and I believe we can overcome any obstacle with faith and love.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Fiona: I LOVE fashion! It’s one of my favorite parts of being a girl. I wear business casual outfits for the most part. I like blues, purples, and reds and despise pastels. I like brocades and silks, and lace.
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Fiona: I’m put off by them. I’m a woman, let me compete with the women.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of your local LGBT community?
Fiona: Until fairly recently I would have said no but, now I have to say yes. I’ve committed myself to being publicly out as a trans woman. I have chosen to stand for the rights of all people. I recently attended my first PRIDE event and had a wonderful time. What a wonderful group of people to be a part of!
Monika: Do you intend to get married and have a family? Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Fiona: I am married for 8yrs now. I intend to stay married. We have among us 6 kids currently ranging in age from 13-21. Family matters. Without the love and support of my sweet wife, this would be MUCH harder. With it though, I feel insulated in the safe and loving arms of my wife.

The little red dress.

Monika: What would you recommend to transgender women that are afraid of early transition, discrimination and hatred?
Fiona: You must face it. You must stand up and go through the experience. You must not lose heart. You must find your strength, your power, your grace, and step forward into a future you cannot possibly comprehend or anticipate. Only in doing so can you live fully. Only in facing your fears can you emerge complete.
Transition is not going to give you qualities you didn’t have before transition. You’re not going to become brave or confident, smart or dumb, etc… You have on the other side what you had going in so remember to love yourself first. Be proud rather than ashamed. You are magnificent and unique! 
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Fiona: I’m working on getting my name change complete. I’m applying and interviewing for work as a woman. I don’t want to transition at work again.
I’d imagine that in another 5-7 years I’ll be living in another city. My kids will be grown and gone and my wife and I will be sorting out what to do with our time and excess income. I hope to have finished a novel or two and maybe a film or two.
Monika: Could you say that you are a happy woman now?
Fiona: I can say with clarity that I am happy as a woman now.
Monika: Fiona, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Fiona: The pleasure was mine. Thank you for the opportunity to share my story!

All the photos: courtesy of Fiona Corwin.
© 2013 - Monika Kowalska

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