Tuesday 31 December 2013

Interview with Kara Nicole Hays

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Kara Nicole Hays, an American talented woman, and celebrity, known for her emulation for Britney Spears. Kara comes from a small town in southeastern Ohio. She hit the headlines in 2012 when the media covered her transition, operations, and impersonation of Britney Spears. She is also known for her appearance in The Tyra Show with Isis King and Marci Bowers. Hello Kara!
Kara: Hello Monika! Thank you for reaching out to me to do this Interview. I’m excited to answer what you have in store for me. I’m also honored that you have taken the time to set up this interview to feature me on your site. I greatly appreciate it.
Monika: A year ago the media were full of information about your operations to get the look of Britney Spears. Were you satisfied with the way you were portrayed by the media?
Kara: The media twisted a lot of things around for the sake of a shocking headline. It worked in the sense that it caught people’s attention. I was hoping other people in the media with an above-average IQ would do enough research to see that most of what I said was misconstrued. It was a little disheartening when journalists and television producers would interview me, only to then drop my story when they realized the Britney angle was completely fabricated.
If anyone followed me on Twitter then, they would have seen that I was not going along with that story. I am Kara Nicole Hays, not Britney Jean Spears. I look nothing like her. So in short, I was not satisfied with how I was portrayed. It was honestly one of my biggest fears coming to life; being the Jerry Springer of the tabloids at that time. That’s life. Things don’t always work out to your benefit, so ya gotta move on!

High School photo of her after the transition.

Monika: What is so special about Britney Spears that you wanted to look like her?
Kara: Here’s the thing. Britney came out when I was in Jr. High. I will never forget the day I got home after school, turned on TRL, and Britney’s music video for Baby One More Time premiered.
It was something about her presence, the music video, her shock and awe at that time, and everything she possessed in the earlier stages of her career. She was living the “American Dream”; traveling the world, selling out stadiums worldwide, a majority of men’s fantasy, and so on.
I was also a little overweight at the time, and I would dance to her music videos. I lost A LOT of weight just doing that. There was a time I emulated her but never tried being her clone and/or impersonator.
Monika: What is your view on transgender stories or characters which have been featured in films, newspapers, or books so far?
Kara: I find the way Transgender people are portrayed in the media for the most part to be rather repugnant. People still have a hard time trying to fathom why anyone would want to go through the Hell that it is to switch one’s gender. I’m not going to say one has it worse than the other, but considering most people say it’s a “Man’s World”, most can’t understand why a biological male would want to give up their male status.
Most always when I see a Trans character in the news, it has to deal with violence and being denied their rights. Or, it’s about Transgender models/ Drag Queens, and how they’re too pretty bearing in mind that they have been men. Breaking barriers and being the FIRST this and the FIRST that like it’s some high school competition. Ugh. Always shock factor, stunt casting, and rating ploys. It’s part of the game, though.
In Film & Television, we’re still the punch line, hooker, and mistress; The dirty little secret. It’s getting better. I love Sophia in Orange Is the New Black.

She is a chameleon. She loves trying out every hair color.
Her hair usually aids her when it comes to
expressing herself. She has hair ADD.

Monika: What are you doing these days? Are you working on any new projects now?
Kara: I’m focusing on finishing my Bachelor's, working on the early stages of my memoir, auditioning, and I may reach out to people via camming. I was made to be involved in the arts in some way, shape, or form. It’s my calling, my destiny.
I don’t say that by meaning I want to be a “celebrity” that is constantly followed by paparazzi. I’m a realist, so I don’t have those delusions of grandeur.
I want to be more so a speaker, writer, and actress, and just be someone that is seen and heard. I’m too opinionated and larger than life to be put in the corner. Silence doesn’t bode well with me.
Monika: With your talents and beauty, have you ever thought about modeling?
Kara: Other than being model height, I really don’t consider myself to be a rare beauty; Unconventional, maybe. That’s not to say that I have low self-esteem and think that I’m ugly, as I feel beauty really IS in the eye of the beholder.
However, I would find posing for a camera 24/7 to be rather tedious and unstimulating. Plus I enjoy food, and I wouldn’t want to appear like death eating a soda cracker.
Monika: At the time of your transition did you have any transgender role models that you could follow?
Kara: No, not really. I didn’t have a blueprint to really follow when I first came out in 99/2000. When I went to therapy, seldom did I ever meet anyone close to my age beginning transition, nor did I hear of anyone beginning transition during their pre-pubescent/adolescent years. I do remember watching Boy’s Don’t Cry and Soldier’s Girl, and that only depressed me even more.
Then, there was the Gwen Araujo story. Though, I did learn of Calpernia Addams and Andrea James. Luckily, we have had a few other mainstream Transgender ladies and gentlemen that I enjoy watching/listening to such as Laverne Cox, Candis Cayne, Isis King, Chaz Bono, etc.

Here she is during a night out on
the town. Ready to paint it red!

Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Kara: I remember being paranoid as a child that if I died, that my parents would read the diary that I kept. And that it would hurt them even though I was dead. I was so fearful of being thrown out like yesterday’s trash. I even envisioned a life of transitioning into a female after their death while I would go through life miserably while making that sacrifice to please them.
I then realized that I was denying myself the right to live. Denying who I was meant to be was only causing tension and resentment between my parents and me. I tried to be more masculine, but it wasn’t working out so well. I kind of came out as Transgender and liking men at the same time.
After all that happened, nothing else would remain private in my life…EVER! It was rather freeing.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in American society?
Kara: It’s getting better. We still have a ways to go. Now that it’s becoming a more mainstream topic, I sometimes fear we’ll probably be experiencing more forks on the road, too. I sometimes fear there will one day be a Hitler of Transgender people, and we’ll be completely exposed, burnt at the stake, and whatnot.
Call me crazy, but stranger things have happened, and history usually always repeats itself. Every minority group has had its martyrs and those that sacrificed their lives fighting the great fight just so the future generation can stand a chance at a semi-happy normal life while having better opportunities.
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Kara: I’m not really into politics. I do vote and I do stay up to date with everything while keeping an open mind. I do believe Transgender women and men can make a difference in politics. Anything is possible.

Sporting a short red pixie in one of her favorite
Senior Photos. Probably one of her favorite hairstyles.

Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Kara: Love isn’t really that important to me. I’ve learned over the years to love myself, and that’s good enough for me at the moment. And my relationship with my family and close friends. I had my fair share of heartbreaks and my lonely darkest hours in the past. It’s not something I want to revisit or invest much energy into. When it happens, it will happen. I won’t go looking for it.
Never have I been the type of woman that depends on a man and a man’s validation to feel whole. I’m not the girl that bakes cakes while popping Xanax in the kitchen like some 50’s housewife that submits to a man’s requests. I refuse to be a Lifetime movie cliché. That’ll never be me.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Kara: I’m actually not THAT into fashion, but I have a respect for it. I follow trends and love a well-dressed person, but that really isn’t me. I find most of that stuff to be so banal, trivial, and any other synonym. You’ll never see me thumbing through VOGUE or ever having the desire to attend a fashion show.
But how about Charlize Theron in those Dior ads? She is very stunning and one of my favorite actresses to boot. I’m also looking forward to Jennifer Lawrence’s Dior ads. She, too, is one of my favorites. I’m a leggings, tank top, and a beanie kind of girl. Very laid back. When it’s time to be on point, I will set it off with a sexy, plunging dress and stilettos. I love all black with a bright colored handbag.

With Jenna Jameson in LA.

Monika: You have a fantastic figure. What is the secret of your diet?
Kara: I HAD a nice figure. I struggle with the same perils as any other woman. My weight has always fluctuated over the years. With getting older, I can’t enjoy some of the junk food I could eat in excess back in the day. I have to be very cautious of what I consume. It’s a good thing, though.
I’m now more health-conscious and aware of bad eating habits. When I am in shape, it’s from drinking a lot of water, eliminating all carbs, walking every night, at least three days at the gym, and I think that’s it.
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Kara: Why not? It’s not my thing, but it is for others. I’m not concerned with being the most beautiful woman or the most beautiful Transgender/Transsexual woman. I don’t feel the need to reach that level of perfection.
My past has humbled me. Beauty fades, but intelligence is forever… I hope. I won’t be in my 20’s, or my 30’s, or 40’s forever. Mother Nature and gravity take their toll. It’s important to have a beautiful soul.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Kara: I believe penning a memoir will be my next big venture. Writing has always been rather therapeutic for me. I’m very expressive, so I love to purge my thoughts whenever I can. Writing is so cathartic, so fun, so relaxing. And I feel I have a lot to get off my chest. Would people care to read it? I’m not so sure, because I’m not a big public figure.
I do know that most transgender youths don’t have a blueprint to follow in regards to transitioning and having GRS so early, going through public school in a small, rural town, moving to LA and seeing and experiencing what I did, studying acting in New York, my scandalous moments, my issues with depression and mental illness, etc.
I’m rather candid and I never hold back. It would be refreshing to some, I think. I’m nobody’s Angel, so I never put up some prima donna pretense like I’m Princess Grace. I am imperfect, a loose cannon at times, and I OWN IT! I believe there’s a niche market for it.

Appearing on The Tyra Show with Isis King and Marci Bowers.
Her coming out moment.

Monika: Having transitioned yourself, what would you recommend to all transgender women struggling with gender dysphoria?
Kara: Just really know in your heart that it’s something that you can live with forever. Once you start, there’s really no going back. Being a woman is more than wigs, designer clothes, high-heeled shoes, dating gorgeous, straight men, and living in a fantasy land. Get your head out of the sand. It’s real life. It’s morning to night, seven days a week, 24/7. There’s no back and forth and half-assing it.
One’s goal should be wanting to be an active member of society. I usually tell people that are in the beginning stages of transition to present themselves as to how they want to be perceived and to go to the local grocery store during a busy shopping hour. If they can deal with that, then they’re more than likely really sure about themselves.
I know some people that started transitioning who were only consumed with the glamour aspect, clothes, material things, and hopes of attracting straight men. Some of them were just into the fantasy dream world and caught up in their own delusions. They are the ones that I find are into flip-flopping, regret, and so on. 
Monika: Kara, thank you for the interview!
Kara: Thank You! Hugs! =)

All the photos: courtesy of Kara Nicole Hays.
© 2013 - Monika Kowalska

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