Tuesday 4 March 2014

Interview with Mana Weindel

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Mana Weindel, a young video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Mana!
Mana: Hello, Monika! Thank you for the interview, it is an honor to be able to participate. 
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Mana: Sure. I live in Denmark by myself in an apartment, and I have a lot of friends, which I love very much. I am not exactly big on words but I will do my best. 
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Mana: I have seen a lot of transition videos myself, so maybe I got the idea from there. I have always loved attention, though I'm very critical about myself.
Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
Mana: At this point I have been on HRT for about 5 months, and even though it might seem longer I can only say I know my makeup.
Monika: Are you satisfied with the results of the hormone therapy and GRS?
Mana: Yes I am, very. GRS is not until later though, but I am getting 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?
Mana: I think that my first thoughts about it was around the age of 5, I have been living in a very gender binary culture, so my parents later got me to see a psychologist. Since then my life has been a chaos, until recently at the age of 28. most of my life is clouded in a gray mist in a way, I can not seem to remember it clearly, but at the age of 17 I moved out alone.
I did not even consider my sexual orientation, back then I was too confused and acting on instincts most of the time. At age 18 I fell in love with a boy, him rejecting me set of many years of denial and depression, which has resulted in me not really going forward with an education or a job, it has been a big mess.


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?
Mana: I was 27 I remember, when I started the school. I think it was the 7th one I have attended, dropping out of all the others. Anyway, when I was attending that school I came to realize my situation through a lot of smaller events. They were very nice, and it helps that the school by default has unisex toilets.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow?
Mana: There are a few that I think are good role models, but I would like to stress that I do not follow anyone, I choose my own path in life.
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Mana: Telling my mother, I did not sleep for, I think it was about 3 days. You see, I realized that I had known from a very early age. So telling my mom who has known me my entire life, would but her severely off balance.
I actually never told her, I could not, I got her to take a walk with me where I found the term: Gender Dysphoria. On my smartphone and gave it to her for reading. Then I sat down, crying my heart out.
Monika: What is your general view on the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Mana: We are in a little precarious situation right now with a few reforms coming up. Until now we have been treated by rules which date back to the 30' where castration was a proper way to treat homosexuality and sex offenders.
The situation is a little unstable due to politicians being swapped out and maybe even a new election. If the election happens we go back to square one almost, and have to fight all over again.
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?
Mana: True, I do see it more often. Not here in Denmark though, we only have a few gay celebrities.
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Mana: I am not directly involved, but I speak with the ones who are. And yes, they do make a difference.

Having a rest.

Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colours or trends?
Mana: I am a metal head, so its mostly black, I like it stylish though.
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Mana: Haha, I think they are good fun.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of your local LGBT community?
Mana: Yes, well it tends to be mostly online.
Monika: What would you recommend to transgender women that are afraid of early transition, discrimination and hatred?
Mana: What I did was to starting the change slowly by dressing more androgynous, and keeping it that way then gradually change, by adding low heels and such. People usually have an easier time accepting small changes at a time.
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Mana: next step is to get a job, I am planning to invest and live of that, you need a plan in life and mine is Financial Freedom. Of course, the GRS comes into it, if I can get it done before I turn 30 I would.
Monika: Could you say that you are a happy woman now?
Mana: Yes, happiness comes from within. You cannot become happy from anything else, you can be distracted, but not happy.
Monika: Mana, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!

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

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