Monday, 3 November 2014

Interview with Jessica Vorster

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Jessica Vorster, a young video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Jessica!
Jessica: Hi Monika! Thanks for inviting me to do this interview!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Jessica: I’m a transgender woman, 22 years of age. I’m just trying to find my place on this world. I’ve been living full time since December 2013 and have been on HRT for a year and 10 moths now. I’m a happy go lucky kind of person that likes to talk and help people. 
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Jessica: At first I wanted to raise money in order to go for surgeries, but people wanted to hear the story behind the story so I have been working on a few new videos that will be up on YouTube soon.
Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
Jessica: At the moment I’m waiting for my name and gender change documents. The new hormone therapy I’m on is doing great I can say for the first time I’m happy with the results lol.
Monika: Are you satisfied with the results of the hormone therapy?
Jessica: I’m satisfied with my results. I started at a young age so my skin got a lot softer, hair growth slowed down, breast got bigger and facial features got a lot softer. Most people can't say that I was a “Boy”. I’m very happy at the stage I’m now. The next stage will obviously be surgeries.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow?
Jessica: Yes, I like Lisa Du Preez, Gigi Gorgeous and Princess Joules.

19 year old Jessica.

Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Jessica: Coming out to my parents was very hard. My dad is very old school so he has a problem excepting me as his daughter.
My mom is OK with it, she wants me to be happy. My other family don’t talk to me anymore but its their loss not mine lol. My friends is very happy for me as they knew I wasn’t myself.
Monika: What is your general view on the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Jessica: More and more people are excepting it, but transgender woman still face discrimination in my opinion. Some transgender women get fired from their jobs and then have to resort to other means in order to generate income.
There is also the problem at Home Affairs, the place we need to get our gender and name changed, the people working with the gender change doesn’t understand and or don’t know what to do with our applications.
Monika: What do you think about transgender stories or characters, which have been featured in films, newspapers or books so far?
Jessica: I think it’s a good thing! Cis people can then see that we are normal just like they are and that we aren’t out there to “catch them out”. It also helps children that are trans know that they aren’t freaks and then there are other people like them and that they shouldn’t be ashamed to be who they are.
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Jessica: No I’m not active in any politics because I feel like no one is actually doing something for the transgender community. I really think Transgender women can make a difference in politics. In my opinion I think things in South Africa will change for the best is a transgender women gets into politics.

Before and After.

Monika: Are you involved in the life of your local LGBT community?
Jessica: I’m involved online most of the time, because there aren’t a lot of transgender people in my local area.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colours or trends?
Jessica: Yes I do like fashion!! I love anything that’s is bright and feminine. It helps me a lot by boosting my confidence.
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Jessica: I think its great because it’s a platform most transgender ladies want to be in. It shows people that transgender ladies can do well in beauty pageants and make a name for themselves in the modeling community.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Jessica: Well I’m engaged to a wonderful man and he supports me 110%. Its important to me because he helps me through the tough times and shows me that I’m beautiful no matter what anyone says. With a lot of love you can feel wonderful and sexy no matter what anyone thinks of you.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Jessica: Yes I would write a memoir because my life wasn’t easy like everyone think it is. I had my struggles in life and it made me a stronger person. It will show people that no matter how difficult your live is, you can use that sadness and anger and learn how to use that feeling to make your life better.

Her fiancé and Jessica. She doesn't have
makeup on lol.

Monika: What would you recommend to transgender women that are afraid of early transition, discrimination and hatred?
Jessica: I would recommend them to transition as early as possible because it will make their life so much better. I think that you shouldn’t hide for so long because there are a lot of other problems that arise when you are a bit older. Just go for it don’t hide, there is going to be some loss but you will gain a lot as well. Be happy!
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Jessica: I see myself done with my surgeries and owning my own business. Then I would also like to start a Non-profit organization to help transgender people that can’t pay for their surgeries. I really think that is what is needed in South Africa as our medical aids don’t cover it.
Monika: Jessica, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!

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

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