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 shots 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 come and I am very proud of that.
And since I did transition on YouTube I think it’s amazing for other people that are at 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 years, 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 us 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 a 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 than 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 whoever didn’t agree with MY LIFE decisions didn’t have to be involved in my life.
The first person that I told about it 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 their 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 deadly 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 a 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 girls 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 an 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!


All the photos: courtesy of Mireya Milan.
© 2016 - Monika Kowalska

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