Saturday, 26 March 2016

Interview with Mireya Milan

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Mireya Milan, a young video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Mireya!
Mireya: Hello Monika! First of all let me say that it is a HUGE honor for me to be interviewed by you and I am super excited about it. I love what you are doing for the transgender community!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Mireya: Well, my name's Mireya, I am 27 years old I was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. I came to the US when I was about 8 years old, and I grew up in Dallas, Texas. I moved to Los Angeles, CA about a year and 5 months ago.
Monika: Your vlog is very popular. You answer many questions about your transition. What has been the strangest question that you have ever answered?
Mireya: Thank you I think it’s getting there ha-ha. Hmm I would probably have to say “what’s between your legs” which is so stupid because I just feel like it shouldn’t matter, and as someone who is transgender, people will throw that question at you A LOT and it gets annoying because it’s really NO ONE'S business what’s between my legs.
So I always tell other trans girls when people put you on the spot and ask you questions like that just 1 UP them and say something sarcastic. You’re not forced to answer any questions that would make you feel uncomfortable.

In Dallas for Christmas visiting family.

Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Mireya: I first started YouTube about 3 years ago in 2013. When I first started I would just upload silly and funny videos of just me and my friends either partying, dancing taking shot at bars or clubs.
I just started doing it for shits and giggles I suppose and it kinda just took off and people actually started subscribing and leaving comments and interacting with me so then I got more involved with it and then I started transitioning and I was like “hey I should totally talk about my transition on YouTube”. And so I did and that’s when even more people started subscribing and writing me letters for advice and stuff like that, so I felt really good about spreading the word out and giving people advice.
I actually feel very blessed because I got the chance to transition on YouTube. If you go back to the VERY first video I uploaded you would see that I have changed sooooo much and that to me in itself is a huge reward because I can always go back and see how far I have actually came and I am very proud of that.
And since I did transition on YouTube I think it’s amazing for other people that are in the beginning of their transitions to see my before and after pictures because it gives them hope.
I remember when I was first starting my transition I would ALWAYS go look at before and after pictures of other girls and it would give me hope that maybe just maybe one day I could be as beautiful as they are.
Before hormones and 2 years on hormones.
Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
Mireya: Umm it’s kinda hard to classify transitioning into stages. I really don’t know. I mean I know I’m not at the beginning of my transition but the way I see it, it’s kinda like growing up, you learn something new every day, I know I do especially about myself and being a young adult woman in America.
Monika: Are you satisfied with the results of the hormone therapy?
Mireya: I am yeah! Before I even began my transition I NEVER in a million years thought I would ever be beautiful if I did transition, and now that it’s been 2 year, and I look back at myself and see how far I have actually come, that’s why I am very proud of being transgender.
My whole body has changed because of the hormones and so has my face. That’s why when other girls ask me if I think they will be beautiful if they transition I always say FUCK YEAH! Because I am a witness to that.
Monika: Which aspects of your experience could be used by other transgender women planning their transitions?
Mireya: I think everything honestly. I didn’t come from a family with money and transitioning is very expensive if you plan on having any surgeries. So I had to work my ass off for everything! Nothing was handed to me.
I always say if you are determined and it’s what you really want then you should go for it and not just talking about transitioning I mean just in general, in life.
You should be your top priority and just make sure that at the end of the day you, yourself are happy.
And also know that it’s not going to be easy, you sometimes have to fight for what you want but all I know is that IT WILL ALWAYS BE WORTH IT.
Having drinks in West Hollywood.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Mireya: I honestly think it’s getting a little better but, of course, there are still a lot of trans people all over the world going through hell just for being themselves. We honestly have to all unite as one and stand up for ourselves because if not, people will keep treating you bad.
I also think the Internet has helped A LOT to spread the word that people like us exist. Also I believe that we as individuals have the power to change the people that we come in contact with or at least to educate every single person that we meet.
For example, if I go to the grocery store and I come in contact with let’s say 50 people, those 50 people now have been exposed to someone transgender and can start to see us as regular people that work, shop, eat, drink etc. and do normal things like them.
So I just feel like every transgender person has that power to kinda educate people about us just by living your normal day to day life. So hopefully ONE DAY every single person will have met, worked, talked, dated, or come in contact with someone who is transgender, and I feel like that’s how the world will change by educating and interacting with other people.
Monika: At what age did you transition into woman yourself? Was it a difficult process?
Mireya: I began my transition when I was about to turn 25. At first I felt like I had waited too long and that I was a little old to be transitioning but I was still very determined to just be happy. It was kinda difficult at first especially telling my family but I had reached a point where I just wasn’t happy and the only thing that could make me happy was to transition. So I thought to myself hmm if my family doesn’t accept me what I am going to do? So I debated it for maybe a whole month and then I said to myself “I'd rather be happy and alone then miserable and surrounded by family”.
Los Angeles photoshoots.
The reason I think I waited so long to transition was because I was scared of being rejected by my family, so I waited until I was financially stable and had my own place, so that way who ever didn’t agree with MY LIFE decisions didn’t have to be involved in my life.
The first person that I told about ti was my Mom since I am very close to her and I basically told her “Hey I want to be a girl, and if you don’t like it then I can let you out?” I know I came off a bit harsh and strong but sometimes you have to, that way people take you seriously.
I’ve had friends who told there family “oh hey umm I think I want to be a girl but yet I’m confused” and they ALWAYS get rejected by their family. So I think it’s all about how you come off.
So since I came off very harsh and strong with my Mom I felt like she saw that I was very passionate and dead serious about my decision. So her response was “I’m not going anywhere, you are my son and I love you, and we will get through this together”. Now 2 years later we are closer than EVER! And now I know why god didn’t want me to transition until I was a little older, stronger and more mature because IT IS HARD especially when you are just starting out. People can sometimes be mean and you really do have to have a strong backbone when you make the decision to transition. It’s not easy but it’s worth it!
Monika: At that time of your transition, did you have any transgender role models that you followed?
Mireya: I did actually. I would always jump on the Internet and see before and after pictures of other trans girls because I wanted to know if I could one day be as beautiful as them.
In or around 2014, which was when I was really debating about my transition, I really looked up to trans girls that I met in Dallas. I would see out and about at clubs or bars they really inspired me because they weren’t celebrities and I could actually talk to them and ask them question.
They were also the ones that helped me get hormones and start my journey.
Photoshoot for a good friend of mine.
Monika: Are there are any transgender ladies that you admire and respect now?
Mireya: Now that I am further in my transition and I have come to find out about other trans girls through social media, yeah I always looked up to: Jenna Talackova, Amanda Lepore, Carmen Carrera, Gigi Gorgeous, Caitlyn Jenner, basically every girl that is in the media.
I just think they are doing an amazing job getting the word out that trans girl can be beautiful and sexy.
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Mireya: I would have to say telling my family, just because I am very family oriented and if they wouldn’t have accepted me that would have hurt me a lot and I also come from a very catholic conservative family so for me to be the crazy wild I don’t give a F@#% kind it's weird to have us all mixed but I know that at the end of the day they still love me because anyone who truly loves you just wants to see you happy!
Monika: What do you think about transgender stories or characters which have been featured in films, newspapers or books so far?
Mireya: I LOVE IT! I think it’s amazing I would love to keep seeing more of it. Because it's shinning a good light on what a lot of people would call this the “grey area” and like I said it’s all about educating people. People fear what they don’t know or understand so let let them know and understand.
I watch a lot of anime and I find it sooooo amazing when, though the shows were created like 10 years ago, they have transgender and LGBT characters in them. That to me is mind blowing because they are just so open minded that they even put them in anime which is sometimes meant for kids. They are exposing the kids to it early on, and what I have learned from my experience and my transition is that all my young nieces and nephews took my transition so smooth I think it’s because kids don’t have predetermined judgements.
A sexy photoshoot.
So I think whoever is making these anime is doing a very good job about educating their kids that there are different types of people out there in this world but they are still human beings.
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?
Mireya: I think we do hold our own but sometimes it’s very easy to get lost within all the acronyms. Especially when sometimes people even within our own community or the LGBT don’t really like us. I have had my share of experiences with either gay males, lesbians or other trans girls who really dislike trans girls. I find it kinda sad that even the people in our own organizations feel that way.
I think in order for all of us to be accepted we have to come together as a whole and stop putting labels on each other. Sometimes we are so busy fighting each other when we should really be focused on working together and succeeding as a community.
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Mireya: Umm not really ha-ha! I hated politics and history and social studies in high school. But I absolutely think transgender women should be involved in politics so they can begin changing the world, one step at a time.
I believe trans women come from all different kinds of walks of life and we should be able to do anything and everything that we set our minds to.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colours or trends?
Mireya: I absolutely LOVE fashion, waaaay better than politics ha-ha!
To me fashion is a way of life and it’s an amazing way to express yourself. I love to wear clothes that make me feel sexy, confident, gorgeous and beautiful. If you talk to ANYONE of my friends they will tell you that I only own maybe about 3 pairs of jeans. I mean I like jeans but I have nice legs so I like to show them off. That’s the awesome thing about fashion is that you have the power to show off your best assets.
We all have something that we love about ourselves and also something that we don’t like very much about ourselves and with clothes you have the power to manipulate what assets to show off. I prefer skirts and dresses over jeans ANY DAY and also I don’t think I own very much flats either.
Ha-ha I love heels and I love dressing up. I always have. I love wearing color especially in my shoes, a lot of my clothes has recently been black, since I dyed my hair black it just looks really appealing. And the fact that I’m so fair it gives me this snow white kind of look and, of course I add my signature red lips.
I think I own about 28 pairs of heels as of right now ha-ha! I love shoes especially loud colors like red, pink, and blue, some with studs some with spikes. Shoes to me can make or break the outfit! You would be surprised what a good pair of heels can do to your outfit.
In Dallas with 2 of my 3 sisters, my nieces and my Mom.
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Mireya: I think they are amazing and a lot of the girls in them are drop dead gorgeous. I think they are doing an amazing job about proving to people that transgender girls are attractive, alluring, sexy, and confident.
And I also think they should be allowed to compete in regular beauty pageant with other genetic women.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Mireya: Love to me is very important whether it’s coming from family, friends or a significant other. We all as human beings need love.
Right now I am single but it’s definitely by choice I just really want to concentrate on my transition, work and where my life is going. I honestly can’t go ANYWHERE without guys hitting on me and trying to scoop me up, not the supermarket not the gym, not even to the park and it doesn’t even matter if I am wearing sweat pants.
Yeah it’s a nice stroke to my ego but sometimes it gets annoying. But yeah of course I do want to meet a guy, fall in love, get married, buy a house, and maybe even adopt some kids. In that order! Ha-ha!
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Mireya: I have thought about doing that maybe even starting like my own blog or something along those lines. I have started writing an autobiography but I have barely writing like 3 pages. I am trying to buckle down and finish it, I think it would make an amazing story, and I would love to have people walk in my shoes by reading it, and seeing all the crazy shit I put my mom through growing up.
Running errands in Beverly Hills.
I feel like my memoir is my YouTube channel. It’s always going to be there even after I die hopefully someone will be watching my videos and hopefully getting inspired by the way I lived my life. And of course laughing there ass off at the same time, and that to me means the world, that’s why whenever I do my YouTube videos I treat it like a diary and I don’t censor myself. I try to be the most authentic me there is and I love making people laugh.
Monika: Are you working on any new projects now?
Mireya: I am actually. As I said above I am writing an autobiography of just my life, how I grew up, my family, relationship, my transition, my abusive relationship. Basically everything and anything!
I am also working on a reality show, with my good friend David Moskowitz. It’s still in the process, we still have to finish the script, shoot a sizzle reel and then still pitch it to the networks but hopefully it takes off soon. I have a huge feeling it’s going to change the world, in a positive amazing way.
I have also started modeling and acting here in Los Angeles so I am very excited to see what can come out of that.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender girls struggling with gender dysphoria?
Mireya: I would recommend you sit down somewhere quiet, breath, relax, clear your mind and really think long and hard about what you really want.
Think about what you want to get out of this life.
Think about how you’re going to get it.
Think about what it’s going to take to get it, and then determine if it’s going to make you happy. Because like I said that should be the only that should matter. If you are happy. People around you will also be happy.
Make a list if you have to, weigh in your positives and your negatives and then make a plan. Because my mom always told me “a woman with a plan is unstoppable, water your own garden, and tend to your own lawn. And it shall attract everything you want”. I have been holding on to that quote for a very very long time and it has helped me get through a lot.
Monika: Mireya, thank you for the interview!

All the photos: courtesy of Mireya Milan.
Done on 26 March 2016
© 2016 - Monika Kowalska 

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