Tuesday 11 February 2014

Interview with ParquitaBonita

Monika: Today’s interview will be with ParquitaBonita, a video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello ParquitaBonita!
ParquitaBonita: Hi Monika! Thank you for taking the time to interview with me! I'm honored.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
ParquitaBonita: My first name is Parkersatinka, but most know me as ParquitaBonita on YouTube. I am 23 years old and an avid blogger and music enthusiast.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
ParquitaBonita: I decided to help those who had the same questions I did. I was fortunate enough to talk to a lot of doctors, dermatologists and mental health specialists so I got wonderful and useful information for women going through the same transition as I am.
Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
ParquitaBonita: I have been out for a little over two years and have been going through HRT for one year and seven months.
Monika: Are you satisfied with the results of the hormone therapy?
ParquitaBonita: Extremely! It's the best decision I've ever made.
Monika: Could you describe your childhood? When did you feel for the first time that you should not be a boy or man?
ParquitaBonita: I was lucky to have very supportive parents, so I practically grew up as your typical feminine girl would: I wore dresses all throughout school and played with Barbies. I first realized when I was around nine or ten that I wanted to 'be a girl' after I understood what trans meant.

Parker modeling for mama-t.com.

Monika: For most of 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?
ParquitaBonita: I faced a lot of bullying in school, and it was because I wore dresses and wore make up, but I didn't go by feminine pronouns until after college.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow?
ParquitaBonita: Carmen Carrera is my number one role model, mainly because we're in the same industry of entertainment.
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
ParquitaBonita: Sadly, both my parents died in late 2010. The hardest part of coming out wasn't the discrimination I encountered, but the fact that my parents won't ever know the true woman I am now and that they have a more self-aware daughter.
Monika: What is your general view on the present situation of transgender women in the American society?
ParquitaBonita: Ugh, I think it's messed up really. I'm proud that we're becoming more visible, however slow, and I hope to get bigger. Right now, I find it alarming that people are still arguing over bathroom usage, identification and even our basic rights as humans. But soon we will be on top, ha ha!
Monika: We are witnessing more and more transgender ladies coming out. Unlike in the previous years some of them have 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?
ParquitaBonita: Don't forget about Laverne Cox! I definitely think that our age-long climb to mainstream attention is finally being noted in some way, at least. I give praise to such women as those listed because they're paving the arduous road of recognition.

Parker's "Before and After" one year HRT picture.

Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
ParquitaBonita: YES! I have spent many, many hours, days and years volunteering for LGBT rights and equality campaigns and making sure I'm doing my part for my people. We can make a difference, we have, and we will continue until we have what we deserve.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colours or trends?
ParquitaBonita: My favorite subject, ha ha! I love fashion. I feel like I have such variety in my closet… If I'm out and about, I'm usually in short-shorts, tanks and sneakers getting my tan on! I tend to lean towards either vibrant, bright and neon colors or black and dark colors for one outfit. And plaid. I love plaid.
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
ParquitaBonita: I think they're alright. Like any beauty pageant, it's subjective and kind of silly. But who am I to judge?
Monika: Are you involved in the life of your local LGBT community?
ParquitaBonita: Of course! I've been a queer youth counselor for a couple years now, volunteer for my local queer center and founded an all-inclusive Burlesque dance troupe. 
Monika: Do you intend to get married and have a family? Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
ParquitaBonita: Ah, marriage. It's a dream, it may be nice one day, but I'm not worrying about it now. I would however love to be a mother someday for sure. Love is immensely important in my life because love is what drives me to be a good person and is the life force behind the passion that I put into everything I do.

Monika: What would you recommend to transgender women that are afraid of early transition, discrimination and hatred?
ParquitaBonita: I would say screw everyone else and do it only if discrimination and hatred is what they fear in transitioning regardless. The best thing you can do for yourself is move away from your current town if you don't feel safe there. Do research and take a train if you have to to get somewhere you feel safe to go through with being your ultimate self!
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
ParquitaBonita: My next step is to save up for FFS and SRS. It's so expensive! I'm hoping to be done with all surgeries and developments within the next five to seven years and hopefully have a man too, ha ha!
Monika: Could you say that you are a happy woman now?
ParquitaBonita: Absolutely. Things in life can still be hard, and always will be, but because I feel my body is mostly where it should be, I can look in a mirror and honestly say "I am happy with what I have."
Monika: ParquitaBonita, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!

All the photos: courtesy of ParquitaBonita.
© 2014 - Monika Kowalska

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