Friday, 14 March 2014

Interview with Mayra Viamonte

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Mayra Viamonte, a young Brazilian video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Mayra!
Mayra: Hello, Monika. Interesting proposition, to list trans personalities as possibility models. Glad to be one of them.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Mayra: More than a few, like ‘narcissistic’ and ‘gorgeous’. Jokes aside, I’m a lesbian trans, which confuses a lot of people. I’m a professional translator, working from my home PC, and I’m engaged to a ciswoman that is wonderful in many ways.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Mayra: Actually, the YouTube profile is just a part of my personal blog. Both, however, are a twofold tool. Through them I aim to inspire other trans people, and educate everyone else about us.
Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
Mayra: At “mission complete”. I’ve done a Facial Surgery and Breast Implant, I have no desire for the SRS, and my social life is fully feminine. Documents aren’t changed, but I also don’t plan them to be.

Monika: Are you satisfied with the results of the hormone therapy?
Mayra: Up to an extent. A generous extent, mind you, as I gained a butt and pair of thighs of which I am proud of and still kept a good dosage of muscles. It has a negative impact on erection, however, but it’s hard to eat and whistle at the same time, for anyone.
Monika: Could you describe your childhood? When did you feel for the first time that you should not be a boy or man?
Mayra: My childhood, like my adolescence, were very solitary. I’ve always preferred the company of computer games and animals to that of people. However, that’s a part of me independently from the dysphoria. I began to desire a female build by about 10 years of age, and put that desire into words at 15, after some internet research.
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?
Mayra: Not really, no. School wasn’t a problem since I was your run-of-the-mill introverted boy. I transitioned during my university course, though, and could have had problems there. Maybe due to some dose of personal charisma, maybe due to the fact I live in Rio – a reasonably cosmopolitan city – or something else, I faced little opposition. However, I did get constantly called by my male name, so if that was something that hurt me more deeply, I would have felt worse about that time.

The girl without whom she would be nothing, her fiancée.

Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow?
Mayra: Not really. The fact I know many trans people have professional success inspires me, but no one specifically.
On the fiction side, I love the character Poison, from Capcom. A trans girl, sexy as fuck, with a great attitude and kicking asses left and right. What is not to love?
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Mayra: Being seen as a woman. Ironically enough, what gives me more trouble is being passable.
In an extremely misogynistic society, I have to face dozens of daily oppressions, offenses, and sexual propositions just by walking down the street. Hence the choice of a career path I can follow from my home.
Monika: What is your general view on the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Mayra: Fucked up. Brazil is internationally known for its large portfolio of prostitution. The sum of that with the sexism present here, which causes that many children are thrown out of their houses still very young when they reveal themselves as transsexuals, forces them to find a way to fend for themselves. Wanna guess how?
Monika: Nope. 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 in your country?
Mayra: Despite what I said in the previous question, we are on a slow ascent. People have begun to recognize professional capabilities in us, and there are people popping in different fields. Recently, even a police officer of very high rank transitioned, and now is responsible for the Woman’s Police. Who would have thought?
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Mayra: I think they can but I don’t. Politics in this country is corrupt and violent. My first desire is to leave.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colours or trends?
Mayra: Reasonably so, yeah. I’m commonly seen with a pair of jeans pants – flare-like, so as to disguise a pair of feet slightly longer than usual for women – and a short top. Short as, right below the fucking boobs.
Indeed, I’m proud of my shape and don’t mind publicizing it. If feeling a little more female-like that specific day, I go for a t-shirt and short… shorts. I know, weird phrasal construction. Black and other dark colors. I’m not much into accessories and make up, though, just the basics.

In the sun.

Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Mayra: They are usually bullshit. Firstly, I’ve personally witnessed a few, and most runners are very poor on the formal educational aspect. Second, it’s based on the wrong principles. In most of them, the girls purposely hide their penises, when I know for a fact not all of them plan on removing it. We aren’t here to fit into the man-woman binary, we’re here to challenge it.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of your local LGBT community?
Mayra: I’m somewhat known on the national web side of things, and I talk to and inspire a lot of people before and during transition. Not more than that, though.
Monika: What would you recommend to transgender women that are afraid of early transition, discrimination and hatred?
Mayra: Having a steady income is a good priority to aim. Doesn’t have to be personal, a relative that you know will support you through your earlier years will do.
Usually, a good deal of previous research, to show people you know what you are talking about, is useful. And be aware of your surroundings. Don’t try doing that shit on Moscow, where people are being murdered for being gay. Try being somewhere more accepting, if possible.
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Mayra: My next step is moving in with my fiancée. She and I are planning our careers for this year and intend to be living under the same roof before 2015. In 5-7 years we’ll probably be having our kid, if things go well on the financial aspect.
Monika: Could you say that you are a happy woman now?
Mayra: I wouldn’t say I’m a woman (I’m bigender), but I’d say I’m happy. I love my girl, I like my job, and I like myself. Not much else one can desire.
Monika: Mayra, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Mayra: Thank you for giving me the opportunity.

Links to Mayra's Pages:

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

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