Thursday, 29 January 2015

Interview with Kamilla A

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Kamilla A, an American young video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube, and an aspiring opera/Pop singer and actress. Hello Kamilla!
Kamilla: Hello!! How are you doing today darling?! I hope life has been treating you well, my dear.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kamilla: I'm 22 yrs old, Hispanic and, you know; a YouTube vlogger! I also am a Pop/R&B and classically trained Opera singer. I live in a small town in the panhandle of Florida currently and plan to move to LA soon to pursue my dream of singing and acting. I'm outgoing, fun, energetic, outspoken, kind yet firm, and believe in “treating others as you would treat yourself”.

Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Kamilla: I live in a small “redneck” country town filled with closed minds and negative people and “Bible thumpers”. I was scared at first but growing as a Trans woman I became more and more self-aware and shameless in myself and wanted to spread that love and positivity and let others know they are not alone. My parents rejected me and now my only family is on social media. YouTube is my family and my friends in life are my family to me as well.
Also, I honestly felt like there just weren't any really good detailed transition videos on YouTube. I talk extensively about everything and anything. I live a Shameless life and that's really the only way to live and love. No regrets and a head held high knowing that I am helping others like me and empowering ourselves as Trans women.
Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
Kamilla: I'm currently a pre-op Transsexual woman and trying to save up for the surgeries. I haven't had any facial reconstruction or breast implants or vaginoplasty/SRS/GRS. I have though, gotten everything changed legally to be recognized as a female and it really has helped with getting jobs and confidence.
In my last job, I got FIRED because I was “not training fast enough” was their excuse but long story short I found out it was because I was Trans and had not gotten my sex on my license changed at the time and I was let go after only two weeks of working there. I wanted to sue for discrimination but nobody wanted to work for pro bono and living in the south I just don't feel anybody really cared. It hurt me deeply but I grow and learn from my struggles. I'm not bitter, if anything I'm thankful.❤️

Screenshot from one of my "T girl talks" series
on YouTube.

Monika: Are you satisfied with the results of the hormone therapy?
Kamilla: Yes. I started young and if you look at my videos (especially, my transition video) you can tell the large difference. Of course, laser hair removal helped because I could grow a 5’o clock shadow like nobody's business!!!
Haha, the only thing I'm not satisfied with is my tits. Damn, things won't grow much, but my nipples have! Hormones work like this: genetic/cis sisters/mother is a B so I will be 1-2 cup sizes less than them. That rule applies to EVERY Trans woman.
So hormones have done a great job on everything except the Ta tas. Luckily, there are implants for that little dilemma!! Haha
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow?
Kamilla: Oh yes of course. My favorite and most stand-out role model is “Laverne Cox”. She is so beautiful and well-spoken!! I watch her interviews and I am always speechless at how eloquent and classy she is. Laverne deserves all the success coming towards her and I wish her nothing but love and support and I dream of one day meeting her!
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Kamilla: My parents. I'm adopted since birth and I feel my parents have always known I was “different”. They tried to give me the most “normal” upbringing possible and forcing me to do sports and things I just was never really comfortable with.
Once puberty hit, everything went downhill including the “relationship” with my parents. I suffered abuse, verbally and physically, and my own parents even “bullied” me, which they thought was helping, but it pushed me further and further from them.
When school sucked I would hate coming home because I knew it was going to make my day even worse. I even called the child services on them before. They thought I wasn't smart enough to look up numbers and dial it myself and so they blamed my friends. I love my parents but I love them more from far away. When I had nothing, there was someone I could always turn to… God.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Kamilla: I think it's getting a LOT better. More and more people are starting to be exposed to it and see that Trans women are not like “Jerry Springer” and that we are indeed just people looking for love and acceptance as anyone else in this world. We are all connected and to hate someone else just for being who they are, is to hate yourself in my opinion.

Everyone has a story, this is MINE.

Monika: What do you think about transgender stories or characters which have been featured in films, newspapers, or books so far?
Kamilla: It's great!!! I don't really like that most of the Trans women featured in the films or shows come off as more of the “typical” masculine sounding and eccentric type because there are all sorts of Trans women out there and it's a shame Hollywood likes to mainly just focus on that type. It's like they are afraid to break the stereotype of Trans woman that we all sound the same or act the same when in reality we don't.
I will say that I think it's awesome we are getting more exposure and changing people's minds about us. My dream is to become the FIRST mainstream Trans singer out there and inspire others to not give up and that no matter who you are, you are worthy of greatness if you just believe and don't give up.
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Kamilla: I'm not all that active in politics. I feel like most younger generations like me aren't really. I do think and feel that anyone can make a difference in politics and trans women should be no exception. We are all equals and deserve to be treated as such. 
Monika: Are you involved in the life of your local LGBT community?
Kamilla: Sadly, where I live there is no LGBT community. Everyone is very closed-minded for the most part and Bible-thumping backward walking hypocrites, and it really bothers me.
I do know a few other Trans women and men in the area And they do message me privately and I help them through whatever they may need. Particularly in giving them information on how to do things. I feel responsible for them in a way, like a parent. I did everything on my own and I am younger than most of the Trans people men/women that message me, yet I pushed through and I'm just returning the favor. Good karma!

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?
Kamilla: I feel like we are able to but it's more difficult for us. Sadly many gay men don't realize or want to accept that Trans women are not men nor are they gay as I myself identify as a heterosexual woman and believe it or not many gay men put me down because of it. I don't understand why although I do have a few assumptions but as I was taught “if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all”.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Kamilla: Oh, I loooooove fashion!!!! I love the art behind fashion and the creativity. Expressing yourself through fashion and makeup is just a gift really. I usually wear pants and a cute shirt but in the summer I wear shorts and a crop top here and there. I'm usually in flats but wedges and heels are fabulous as well. Love to show off those legs!! 
Haha at the beginning of my transition though I was overly feminine, as most Trans women are because we bottled up our true selves for so long. As we continue and age in the process then we can truly come into our own as women and feel more like the women we were meant to be all along.
My favorite designers are Zuhair Murad and Alexander McQueen. Zuhair is my favorite though hands down!! Such elegance and class in all his pieces and the details are out of this world. His designs embody my personality and inner heart.

A smile is HAPPINESS you'll find right under
your nose. Xoxo

Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Kamilla: I think they are wonderful! Beauty pageants are fun in general and very entertaining. The biggest Trans pageant is “Miss International Queen” held originally in Thailand or the Philippines I believe.
I love that pageant and think the grand prize of cash and the sexual reassignment surgery is just the BEST any transsexual woman could be given. A new chance at an authentic, beautiful life.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Kamilla: Oh gosh, I just love that word (“love”)!! It's such a powerful word with strong emotions involved in that complex word. Love is something every single human being on this PLANET can relate to and isn't that an amazing thing?!?!
I truly feel that we are ALL connected spiritually in some way and when we spread negativity and hate to others then we are also spreading those things back to ourselves. I call it the “I'm rubber you're glue” effect. Maya Angelou said it best “Hate, it has caused many problems in this world but has not solved one yet”. Such powerful words couldn't be more true.
If we each do our part as individuals no matter your color, race, sex, or identity and spread that thing we call “love”, then I truly feel this world would be in a much happier more peaceful state. I don't chase my dreams or make YouTube videos for fame or money. I do it because I believe in it and I believe in inspiration. Spreading a message of peace and knowledge and enlightening others through love. This is why I chase my goals and make my videos. Love. ❤️
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Kamilla: I have! I've always been a very expressive person and always had a “way with words”. The only problem is I'm quite lazy when it comes to writing so I would have a difficult time doing page after page after page of my biography investing countless hours towards it. You never know though, I may start doing a page here and a page there and before you know it I'll have a book!! The editing someone is going to have to do though after I finish… I shudder at the thought ha!
Monika: What would you recommend to transgender women that are afraid of early transition, discrimination and hatred?
Kamilla: I face so much discrimination on a daily basis. Given, I do “pass” pretty well for not having any surgeries yet but before hormones and finishing laser it was horrible. I would walk into stores dressed in female attire and I would hear people laughing and see them pointing. Worse memory is when I walked past a family and heard the little girl ask her father “daddy, is that a man?”. That really took me back and hurts till this day, though I no longer have that problem since finishing laser hair removal and being on hormones for almost two years now.
To any and all Trans woman, all I can say is be STRONG. Gandhi once said, “be the change you want to see in this world”. Be positive, stay hopeful, and know that you are NOT alone. Your life is precious and valuable and the first year of transition is DEFINITELY the hardest. But if I could make it through in this Bible Belt, redneck, sharpshooting, and closed-minded southern town then honey, so can you!! Also, if you ever do feel lonely do what I do. Watch other Trans woman on YouTube. Even me!! You'll find the support you need, it's out there if you just reach for it. Sending you so much love and positive vibes my friends. (Huge hugs!!!!)

Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Kamilla: My next step in my life is to move to LA and pursue my dream of singing and acting. The competition is fierce out there but I truly feel this is the path God has placed me on and as the famous Bible verses say: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and “when God is with you, who can be against you?”.
I am hoping in the next 5-7 years I'll be doing what I love and being successful, at the same time inspiring and letting others know that if I did it then so can you!! Dreams are too precious to give up. Hold on, remain strong and continue pushing and opening those doors. Don't take “No” for an answer. You get out there and you make a difference in this world one person at a time. Great things take time and you are worth greatness. Much love, my sisters.
Monika: Kamilla, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Kamilla: Oh no, the pleasure was all mine, darling. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to interview me. (Hold up a glass of champagne), cheers darling, to a new authentic life and spreading love and positivity everywhere we go. May our stories continue to raise awareness and break through walls of hate and ignorance. Love is stronger than anything and that is the “weapon” of choice!!

All the photos: courtesy of Kamilla A.
© 2015 - Monika Kowalska

Search This Blog