Monday 10 February 2014

Interview with TreasureThaDiva

Monika: Today’s interview will be with TreasureThaDiva, a video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello TreasureThaDiva!
TreasureThaDiva: Hi Monika! I’m so thrilled to be apart of your amazing blog!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
TreasureThaDiva: I am a 21 year old Transgender YouTuber, model, drag performer, and all around Diva! Haha
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
TreasureThaDiva: I decided to share my transition and life on YouTube mainly for educational purposes. There are a lot of people who still are very clueless about transgender people and issues, so I really wanted to share my own unique story with the world.
I would say two of my main audiences I’ve been trying to reach is young Transpeople who are just starting out in their transition, so they know they’re not alone and Trans attracted men. I think it’s important that men who are interested in Transwomen are educated on Trans subjects, and don’t see us as simply sexual objects. I often get messages from men telling me they feel more comfortable about their attraction to Transwomen because of my videos, and that always means a lot to me.
Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
TreasureThaDiva: It’s hard to say because I don’t really consider transition to have stages necessarily. After full SRS I’ll still feel as much as a Transgender woman as I do now. However, I would say I’m working on more of the surgical side of transition now such as breast augmentation, etc.
Monika: Are you satisfied with the results of the hormone therapy?
TreasureThaDiva: Physically speaking hormone therapy wasn’t that big of a deal to me. I started my transition around 16 roughly and began hormones at 18. I already looked and sounded very feminine, so I can’t say the changes were too major for me. However, the mental changes were amazing. When I began hormones it was an immense feeling of calmness I felt. It almost felt as if my body was getting what it needed for the first time in my life.
At age 18.
Monika: Could you describe your childhood? When did you feel for the first time that you should not be a boy or man?
TreasureThaDiva: I was raised by a single mother in a small Texas town. We were very poor, and although I had and still have a very loving mother she was often times confused when it came to me. Growing up I always felt I was a girl. I remember asking my Grandmother to get me a Barbie for my birthday one year, and she did.
At that time Barbie seemed like such a natural thing for me to gravitate towards. I began school and always had a very feminine aura about me even as a young child. It wasn’t until 1st grade around lunch time that I discovered I wasn’t the girl I thought I was. I remember very clearly a little boy saying, “Why does he sound like a girl”? That was the heartbreaking day I realized I was not a girl in other people’s eyes. 
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?
TreasureThaDiva: Yes! In elementary it wasn’t difficult because I was so unafraid of being who I naturally was, and often times kids never said anything.
Once middle school came, however, is when I learned to really hide my femininity and overall personality. In high school I was either getting detention or just extremely anti-social, so I was eventually put in home school.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow?
TreasureThaDiva: Absolutely! I’m lucky enough to have grown up in an age where I could turn my television on and see Transgender people. There are many Transwomen I looked up to growing up. Two that you’ve actually interviewed; Diamond Stylz and Calpernia Addams meant everything to me in my teenage years. I remember watching them and thinking, “wow! I can’t wait to be that happy”.
Another woman I looked up to was Erica Andrews. May she rest in peace. Growing up in a traditional Mexican family could at times be very difficult, so to see a wonderfully successful and happy Latina Transwoman was so wonderful to me.

With her Mother and older brother.

Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
TreasureThaDiva: Disappointing my Mother. I had these big dreams growing up of making my Mother proud of me, and I was so afraid if I came out to her she would be disappointed. I’m happy to say that today she is my biggest supporter, friend, and hero. With my Mother and older brother.
Monika: What is your general view on the present situation of transgender women in your country?
TreasureThaDiva: I would say Trans issues and rights is a slow but prominent change in America. Nothing happens over night, but we are all fighting and making a change in our own way I believe.
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 modelling, Kate Bornstein in academic life, Laura Jane Grace in music or Candis Cayne in acting. Do you witness the same trend?
TreasureThaDiva: Absolutely! There seems to be more and more Transwomen in the media in recent years. Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Isis King, and Carmen Carerra just to name a few.

After 2 years of hormone replacement therapy.

Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
TreasureThaDiva: Absolutely! If we can be Transgender and live the lives we do and wake up with our shoulders back and head held high, we can do anything!
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colours or trends?
TreasureThaDiva: I adore fashion. I love Louis Vuitton. One of my favorite designers since I was a teen is Betsey Johnson. Her whimsical and girly designs have always been amazing to me. I remember being 16 and being obsessed with watching her fashion shows where she does her signature cartwheel at the end of each show.
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
TreasureThaDiva: I don’t see anything wrong with them. I think being a Transgender woman is something to be proud of. I think often times a lot of Transwomen are too busy trying to “be a woman”. Instead of being them self and finding the blessing in the Transgender woman you were meant to be.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of your local LGBT community?
TreasureThaDiva: Absolutely! I’ve done many charity drag performances for the LGBT community and can’t wait to do more!

Treasure in 2014.

Monika: What would you recommend to transgender women that are afraid of early transition, discrimination and hatred? 
TreasureThaDiva: I would say the only enemy you have in life is fear. Once you conquer fear you can conquer anything. Be true to yourself because I would hate to see anybody spending their lives pleasing others idea of who they think you should be.
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
TreasureThaDiva: My next step is to continue to expand my YouTube channel to a wider audience. In the future I would love to branch out into more commercial modeling, television, and maybe someday a book. I remember growing up my Mother always said, “You can do anything you want in this world”. So, in my eyes, the sky is really the limit! 
Monika: Could you say that you are a happy woman now?
TreasureThaDiva: More happy than I could ever express in words.
Monika: TreasureThaDiva, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!

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

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