Monday, 21 March 2016

Interview with Jamie Haze

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Jamie Haze, a young video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Jamie!
Jamie: Hello!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Jamie: Well, where to start, I am 23 years old, just graduated from college currently looking for a real big person job, I am huge into sports and love to play all sorts of sports, definite athlete. I am the head coach for a college hockey team in the US, and oh yeah, I am a trans woman.

Courtesy of Jamie Haze.

Monika: Your vlog is very popular. You answer many questions about your transition. What has been the strangest question that you have ever answered?
Jamie: Well, there are definitely a lot of creepy people out there so I am not sure if it is a good idea to get into strange questions. But overall throughout my transition, the strangest question was from my sister right after I told her I was trans. The first thing out of her mouth was “are you going to breastfeed.” It really caught me off-guard.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Jamie: One thing that helped me out and got through each day was watching other people’s transitions on YouTube. It really did help me in my darkest times, and I always said that when I am there I am going to make videos for people to educate and show them that you can succeed in transition and it is possible to be a happy successful person.
Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
Jamie: Hopefully almost done, I have a certain surgery in mind then I feel I will be complete once that is over.

Courtesy of Jamie Haze.

Monika: Are you satisfied with the results of the hormone therapy?
Jamie: Yes, for the most part, I am very satisfied with HRT, still lack in the boobs department though, but eh I am an athlete I don’t want them to get in the way anyway.
Monika: Which aspects of your experience could be used by other transgender women planning their transitions?
Jamie: To be educated, I was very educated and I think it helped me out tremendously.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Jamie: I think it is vastly improving but has a long way to go, most people now can name at least one trans person, although some of them may not be the most credible or educated it is at least visibility, and that is what I think trans people need.
Monika: At what age did you transition into a woman yourself? Was it a difficult process? 
Jamie: I transitioned at 21, almost at my 3-year mark. It was the most difficult thing I have done in my life, but I am very thankful I did it because it is so worth the happiness.

Monika: At that time of your transition, did you have any transgender role models that you followed?
Jamie: I really love Jamie Clayton and Janet Mock; they just seem so happy and content with their life, plus they are both extremely successful, and most of that isn’t known for being trans, it is by being just awesome hard working people! 
Monika: Are there are any transgender ladies that you admire and respect now?
Jamie: Everyone that has the courage to live their true authentic self.
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Jamie: Feeling rejected and losing friends. Some days it is still hard to get over but in the grand scheme of things, I am still happy I transitioned.

Courtesy of Jamie Haze.

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?
Jamie: I am torn about this, I think there is strength in numbers, yet again I think our agenda is overshadowed. One thing that bothers me too is the first three letters are sexual orientations while the last is gender identity.
Most people within the trans community especially know the difference, it is obvious, but this confuses most people outside of the community and they aren’t sure if trans is a sexual orientation or what it really is.
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Jamie: No, I am not huge into lobbying or any activism. I know it needs to be done but I just simply don’t want to do it. I try to advocate in different ways by educating on a one-on-one basis with people who may be less familiar or less open to the trans community. Such as the rednecks from my hometown or close-minded athletes.
I think the best way I can be an activist is by pursuing what I want most in life, doing that will show others that it is acceptable and okay to be trans.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Jamie: I love fashion, but I am not always the most fashionable, most days I wear an athletic quarter zip and leggings. However, recently I have been going through an extreme girly phase where I love to wear dresses, modern business casual looks, and make-up! 
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Jamie: Love is so important, and I think finding that someone to share your life with is extremely important to live truly happy. I look forward to having a husband and kids one day, but unfortunately, I am super guarded and I am scared to open up to any guys because of the fear of being injured or murdered due to the reaction of “You were a guy”. I know I will find love one day, it will just have to be the right guy.

Courtesy of Jamie Haze.

Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Jamie: I love to write, and maybe when I am much older, but I have too much life to live until I do so.
Monika: Are you working on any new projects now?
Jamie: A pretty major one that I am keeping secret.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender girls struggling with gender dysphoria?
Jamie: Keep strong and try not to do it yourself, although you hear all the horror stories and such there are so many incredible people out there willing to help whether they are trans or cis.
Transition is a huge long process and can be emotionally and mentally draining, making sure you have a strong support system, and those to help you will make it that much better! 
Just be you and keep pushing through the pain, because there is that light at the end of the tunnel and it does get better!
Monika: Jamie, thank you for the interview!

All the photos: courtesy of Jamie Haze.
© 2016 - Monika Kowalska

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