Sunday, 21 June 2015

Interview with Yuni Carey

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Yuni Carey, an American model of Cuban descent, dancer, and beauty pageant queen. Hello Yuni!
Yuni: Hello!
Monika: Yuni, you look absolutely beautiful! What is the secret of your everlasting beauty?
Yuni: Aww thank you my love that's very sweet of you. Well I like to stay on top of my self by always taking good care of my diet and eating well balanced food as also maintaining a straight forward nutrition. Few secrets would be hormones, which are very important, as well as dancing to stay in shape... And always on top of all, fashion and the best products for beauty. A trans woman has to always stay on top of things to be stunning.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Yuni: I was born in Cuba 20 years ago lol lol just kidding. I was born in 1981 in the most beautiful island of the Caribbean Santa Clara, Cuba. I moved to the United States with my grandparents; but in reality in my eyes they are my parents because they spent their years raising me always with love and support.
Here in America I had the opportunity to become the woman I always dreamed of being. I am very passionate about beauty and fashion and all the beautiful things God has put on this earth for us to enjoy.
Courtesy of Yuni Carey.
I enjoy beauty pageants, modelling, travelling, music, dancing and learning about the history of other cultures from the world. I'm very strong because life has made me tough that way! I'm loving because my parents taught me to love everyone equally and respect. 
I'm very funny and enjoy making my friends laugh and just live life as it comes and not regret anything... I have learnt that things happen for a reason and we can't change that but I'm a person that likes making history so that one day when I'm gone, people from around the world can look at my life and hopefully I can give them a little hope and smile so that they somehow feel inspired and never give up. 
Monika: How does it feel to be a beautiful model?
Yuni: Well, I don't feel that way since I don't feel that my transformation is complete. But it does feel amazing to know that I'm living the life I always wanted to live.
Everyday I look in the mirror and I feel proud to have achieved all my dreams of becoming the woman I always wanted to be. I feel accomplished but not finished since I feel like we "Trans" women are never done growing and becoming the best woman we can be.
I feel like the older we get the more beautiful we get because we learn to love everything from the inside to the outside... The older the more wise and more confident. And that makes any woman just beautiful.
Monika: How did you start your modelling career?
Yuni: I started back in 2004 when I was asked to model for a local fashion show here in Los Angeles and I just got addicted!!! And I had to do it more lol lol. I enjoy pageants more; it has become my passion in life.
Monika: Who is your favourite fashion designer?
Yuni: I have many!!! It always depends on the mood I'm in!! I love the out of the world couture these days, so I would say Alexander Mcqueen.

Queen of the Universe 2006. Courtesy of Yuni Carey.

Monika: The fashion industry is full of beautiful transgender models: Roberta Close in the past, now you, Lea T, Felipa Tavares, Andreja Pejić, Valentijn de Hingh, and many more. How could you explain such a great interest of the fashion industry in transgender ladies? 
Yuni: We "Trans" women just love fashion and always like to be wearing what's hot!!! We like the best of the best!!! So we always look for the best fashions to rock the world.
We have great interest in fashion, because through fashion we always show the world who we are inside. So we trans women just are born to be different and to make a statement in life! Fashion is the same way!
So to me fashion comes naturally to a Trans woman! We enjoy runways and just showing the world that anything is possible. I think a Transgender woman should be next to fashion in the dictionary.
Courtesy of Yuni Carey.
Monika: What kind of outfits do you usually wear when you do not do modeling? Any special fashion designs or colours?
Yuni: I feel like I'm always modeling because I never leave the house without looking amazing!!! I always say a girl should never stop looking the best she can look because you never know who you might run into!!! :)
So I always dress up!!! I love all colors but I somehow I always end up wearing black or black and white because it looks so elegant... But I do enjoy all colors... I love all seasons and colors that come with it. I love showing of my woman curves, love jewellery and shoes! A girl's best friends.
Monika: With your talent, beauty and intelligence, you would be a great actress. Have you ever thought about acting?
Yuni: Sometimes... Sometimes I want to be a famous transgender actress but then I see what famous people go through and I rather stay private in my little world. Maybe in the future you just never know what life will bring... But for right now I just enjoy the little things life has to offer.
Monika: In 2011 you participated in the Miss International Queen pageant, organized in Thailand for the most beautiful transgender women in the world. You reached the top 10 and got the title of the Miss Photogenic. How do you recollect that event?
Yuni: Oh Lord what can I say ... boot camp anyone?! Lol lol lol All I can say is well... I was a whole day late! 24 hours at that so once there it felt awkward like I didn't belong there ... 
But some of the girls were really nice and made me feel better...
Takes a lot of hard work! It's full of stress!!! That year the girls were very catty!!! And very competitive!!! I really didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to.... I cried every night in the shower!!! Because I was all by myself!!! And I had no one just to hold me and tell me that everything is going to be OK!!! Or you are doing great!!! No team there supporting me!!!
The language barrier was crazy at times!!! Everything went by so quickly and we didn't enjoy each other's company. It was very political! That I can say because sometimes they didn't know how to hide who their favorite was!!! And to me that wasn't fair... for the rest of the girls! Because it just made you give up and not try your best. I think everyone should be treated equally... But the staff sometimes showed favoritism and that to me was a little unprofessional.
Courtesy of Yuni Carey.
But I did enjoy the friends I made... And the few laughs I had... I enjoy the experience knowing though I was not going to win! I just smiled... and put on a show but I really just wanted to be over.
I feel that when you go to things like this across the world, miles away from home, it is good to have support and love around you and when you have that it will help you with the stress, and you will want to be your best and give your best.
Monika: What was the atmosphere among the pageant contestants? Did you have a chance to make friends with some of them?
Yuni: Yes, I made a few friends that I still till today keep in contact with, so that's beautiful! But the atmosphere was very competitive at all times!!!! Just imagine a bunch of cats in a cage. Lol lol But for the friends I made I'm thankful.
Monika: In 2014 you went back to Thailand to take part again in the Miss International Queen pageant, claiming the titles of 2nd Runner-up Best Talent and Miss Congeniality. Was this event different for you in comparison with the 2011 pageant?
Yuni: 2014? What can I say without getting controversial or starting an earthquake lol lol. 2014 was very different... The girls were a lot nicer... The pageant got a lot harder! Lol lol. I was so prepared this time around but once there it all felt apart...
I don't wanna get into details but once again! I should have brought a team to support me and help me stay in my A game! And a make-up artist and hair stylist that knew my face and understood the look I was going for. Lesson learned but again things happen for a reason.
Monika: You can also boast many other beauty pageant titles…
Yuni: Aw thank you dear ... But the only tittle I dream of now is Miss Continental. I'm getting ready for that these days. The pageant takes place Chicago and they don't need any boast or introduction since they are the most prestigious pageant in the world.
Today besides that tittle, I think I am done with pageants for now! But I do enjoy helping upcoming young girls get ready for competition and I really enjoy that, too.
Monika: At the time of your transition, did you have any transgender role models that you could follow?
Yuni: Not really. I did my whole transition following my heart and staying true to who I was inside... And not giving up no matter what. When I first started I felt very lonely but somehow while listening to Mariah Carey's songs and believing in my dream I just didn't give up. I knew someday somehow I would accomplish everything I ever dreamed of. The power of hope and belief. I can say Dreams are real today.
Courtesy of Yuni Carey.
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Yuni: Not knowing who I was inside. Not having any knowledge or information on how to pursue my dream... How to start or explain to people that I was dying inside because I felt lost and alone and misunderstood... But thank God for my loving parents! Otherwise I would not be here today to tell you my story. They are my true role Models.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in the American and Cuban societies?
Yuni: We have come a long way... But still need a long way to go!!! In America we still till today have been subject to discrimination and hate crimes towards our Community... People are not educated enough in order to understand who we are!
Everything is about labels, and no matter what we are still men to society! And that breaks my heart. We need more education for our community as well! We are not together, and we are not supporting each other the way we should! Everything is a competition! And we just don't seem to get alone.
It's time to get together and leave all the bullshit aside and fight for our rights and what we believe in! Our dreams! At the end of the day we are all Humans with a purpose and Dreams! We deserve respect and the right to live the lives we wanna live. I can't answer about what's going on in Cuba with our community because I haven't been there for a few years...
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Yuni: Politics is an ugly thing!!! I don't like having to prove to people who I'm! Or having to convince anyone about why we are Transgender women! I think society needs to wake up! And educate themselves! And stop the hate and just let us live!
We breath and bleed the same! Yes we are different but we are humans like everyone else! So the world needs to stop acting like they know everything! And truly educate themselves and their children! All it takes is respect! Love! And understand that we are not all the same! But we all want to live! Dream! And be someone in this world.
At the end of everything when we are all gone! We all go the same way!! We just need to educate! Respect! And begin to love one and other as one human race and stop separating people with labels!!!! We all are here for a reason and a purpose! To grow! Learn! Love as we get ready for a bigger after life where the universe has bigger and better plans for all of us. 
Courtesy of Yuni Carey.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Yuni: Love is everything! Without love! I would not be living! My parents give me love! Teach me to love! Love is very important cause is a feeling greater then us! A feeling that take us to places further then life itself! Love is what the Universe needs to survive. 
Monika: You have a perfect figure. What do you do to stay so slim?
Yuni: Eat all kinds of junk food! Lol lol lol Just kidding I enjoy food! My favorite, of course, is my homeland Cuban food!
But I do enjoy every culture's food! I love tasting and trying it all! I'm a big eater! But when I need to get fit or watch my weight I simply watch what I eat... Eat small portions... Lots of fiber!!! It's very important!!!!
And stay active by staying busy and of course my favorite dancing! I dance a lot and I use my shows as a workout. You only live once so you got to enjoy it all but just watch the portions and you will be fine.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Yuni: I have been asked to write a book, even a novel because when I talk to people about my life and the experiences I have gone through or my challenges people just can't believe that I am still standing! And to see me today as a strong warrior that just never gives up! Life is full of ups and downs! And lessons!
We at times wanna give up! Or feel like we are just not getting anywhere but when in reality you are growing and becoming everything the universe wanted to be. We are here to learn and be the best we can be! Become the best human beings we can be! And just take life as a lesson an experience full of memories that will live with you for eternity.
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Yuni: I see my self winning Miss Continental in Chicago. Married with a happy home! Hopefully in Cuba since that's where I would want to spend the last days of my life... Not rich but with no worries or stress!
I would want to be a role model to the next generation of transgenders ... To show them that no matter where you come from or what you go through in life, we make it and we survive! We just have to be strong and believe in a better tomorrow. The key is staying true to who you are! Believe always no matter how hard life gets! And follow your heart and let it take you to that destination your meant to find.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender girls, dreaming about such a career like yours? 
Yuni: You have to really love what you wanna do in life, whatever you choose to be a show girl, model, actress, lawyer, teacher, doctor, mentor, advocate or athlete, and the list goes on... You have to really love it! Enjoy it! And do not regret it ever because this life is once, and time flies! And suddenly your time is up! So enjoy everything and anything, and live everyday to the fullest, and just enjoy the air your breath and the nature that the world gives us...

Courtesy of Yuni Carey.

Be your self no matter what! And remember love! Learn! Grow! Respect and educate so that tomorrow is a better day for all of us.
Be a hero to someone and a friend to the world! We need more love! The world is dying and we are letting it die! We humans are losing the most important thing in life!!! To care for one an other and respect each other!
To everyone who reads this You are here for a reason. Find that reason and be the best you can be! Enjoy the little things life has to offer and Imagine what you did today can be the key for a better tomorrow. I love you all, Yuni Carey!
Monika: Yuni, thank you for the interview!

All the photos: Courtesy of Yuni Carey.
Done on 21 June 2015
© 2015 - Monika Kowalska  

Ms Yuni Carey has passed to the other side. May she find the happiness and love she gave to others. Thank you for all you have done ... Rest in Peace, Our Beautiful Queen.

24 Nov 2020

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