Monday, 26 January 2015

Interview with Emily Iannielli

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Emily Iannielli, an American blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Emily!
Emily: Hi, Monika, It’s my pleasure to be a part of your interview. Thank you for your kind consideration. It is greatly appreciated!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Emily: First I wish to thank you Monika for inviting me to share my story. I identify as a male-to-female transgender woman. I felt I should have been a girl since age 3. I fought my transgender feelings all throughout my life hoping desperately I would rise above it. I am very lucky to have a son I love. He is 16 years old and is my pride and joy.
I  am also still together with my wife. I will always be a father to my son despite the fact that I am transitioning from male to female. I was educated at Virginia Tech in Mechanical Engineering and Hofstra University in Accounting. Currently, I am on medical disability and seeing medical doctors for depression and gender dysphoria. I am also on HRT for 2 ½ years.

Emily Iannielli in her favorite pink dress
in 2015.

Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube and your blog? 
Emily: In all honesty Monika I became tired of living in the closet. The forums I chose; Facebook, YouTube, and my Blog were my means for announcing and addressing my transition from male to female to the world.
I wanted to liberate myself and start my transition towards womanhood. I shared my transition needs with my family first in private before I made my statement in public.
Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
Emily: I am almost 3 years now into my transition (2 years, 7 months). I am on female hormone, estradiol (2 mg 3x a day) and testosterone blocker, spironolactone (100 mg 2x a day). I am also in therapy for 2 years now and living full time as a pre-op transgender woman for the past 2 years. I wear women’s clothes 24/7 and my attire is mostly dresses.
Monika: Are you satisfied with the results of the hormone therapy?
Emily: Yes, Monika I am very satisfied. My skin is much softer. My face is more contoured in a feminine way. I am more at peace with my gender dysphoria. I am also experiencing some breast development. I wear a 34A cup bra size.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow?
Emily: Yes, I follow trans women on YouTube, and I am a fan of Kim Petras, Jenna Talackova, and Laura Jane Grace.
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Emily: The hardest part in coming out as a transgender woman was telling my wife and son who was 14 years old at the time. 

Monika: What is your general view on the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Emily: I believe that our country, the United States has some “growing pains” with regard to the treatment of transgender women but I think time and public sentiment will help improve and change how we are viewed and accepted in society as women.
Monika: What do you think about transgender stories or characters which have been featured in films, newspapers, or books so far?
Emily: I believe that it is very important to have media attention and artistic license help in promoting the cause for tolerance and acceptance of transgender individuals. Sadly there are much too many tragedies such as the tragic suicide of the transgender girl teenager, Leelah Alcorn. Transgender youth need a great deal of love and acceptance.
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics? 
Emily: I believe transgender women can make a difference in all walks of life including politics. I am trying to promote acceptance and tolerance for transgender women in my own creative outlets.

Emily Iannielli, pre-transition days as Edward D
Iannielli III in 2004.

Monika: Are you involved in the life of your local LGBT community? 
Emily: I am involved in the LGBT community but still feel I can do a lot more and I will try to do my best in any capacity I can. I also go to LGBT support group meetings and actively participate.
Monika: The transgender cause is usually manifested together with the other LGBT communities. Being the last letter in this abbreviation, is the transgender community able to promote its own cause within the LGBT group?
Emily: I believe that the “T” in LGBT is somewhat misrepresented and misunderstood but I also believe that the platform for transgender individuals is given recognition as being a part of the community as a whole.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Emily: I love fashion and only women’s fashion. I hated being a guy and dressing in those ugly suits and ties. It's dresses, dresses and more dresses for me, Monika. I love all colors of dresses and floral patterns are my favorite. Pink is my favorite color for clothes. 
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Emily: I am all for transgender beauty pageants and I also feel transgender women should be allowed to compete in all beauty pageants including competitions with natural-born women. I am very proud of Jenna Talackova.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Emily: I do still and always will love my wife even as I transition from male to female.

Emily Iannielli on her birthday;
January 18, 2015.

Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Emily: Yes, I would love to write my story to share my insights and experiences with gender dysphoria, transgender struggles, suicide ideation, education, career, marriage, family, and finally transition.
Monika: What would you recommend to transgender women that are afraid of early transition, discrimination and hatred?
Emily: I would advise that it is never too late to transition. I started at age 51. You just have to be prepared for the ramifications of transitioning. It will be one of the hardest decisions you will have to make in your life. I know from personal experience.
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Emily: My next step is to positively integrate my transition into my family life dynamic and to always remain a “father” to my son despite my transition from male to female. I hope to have gender reassignment surgery within the next 2 – 3 years and live life as a woman and still maintain my family life with my wife, son, and mother-in-law. I also plan to continue to advocate for transgender individuals and for my autistic son. I hope to write a book about my story.
Monika: Emily, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Emily: I enjoyed answering your questions and feel very honored. You did an awesome job putting this together. I was very impressed. Thank You, Monika!

All the photos: courtesy of Emily Iannielli.
© 2015 - Monika Kowalska

Search This Blog