Monday, 1 June 2020

Interview with Madi (ChutDillio)

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Madi, an American transgender woman that documents her transition on as ChutDillio. Hello Madi!
Madi: Hi Monika! Thank you so much for interviewing me. I've never been interviewed by anyone!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Madi: I'm a sarcastic, extroverted, super proud trans woman born and raised in New York City. I love to sing, skate, and be my crazy Aries self (unabashedly). I also never stop talking. It's a problem.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on Reddit?
Madi: Honestly, as a way to give back. I followed every trans subreddit for YEARS before I could even admit to myself I was trans. The trans community on Reddit are some of the most amazing, strong-willed people I know of. Once I started HRT, I started counting down the days until I could post about my progress, simply just so I could finally be part of the community. I've made a bunch of really great friends on there.
Monika: I am sure you get many questions from your Reddit fans. What do they ask for? 
Madi: I get a lot of questions relating to my hair (I was balder than an eagle prior to transitioning). Also, makeup questions too, which are fun to answer. Then, of course, there are the men who ask... the wrong questions haha.
Monika: What was the strangest question that you answered?
Madi: I think I've been asked to marry someone around 50 times? Maybe I give off wife vibes? Or do just look lonely? We may never know!
Monika: By the way, would you ever consider being a bride? :)
Madi: Absolutely! I never ever thought about weddings pre-transition. I never thought I would ever be married. But now I'm super open to it. I would want a small wedding though. And a kickass dress!
Monika: Are you satisfied with the effects of the hormone treatment?
Madi: BIG time. The physical changes have been truly incredible: my body finally looks and feels like I wanted it to. The mental aspects are astounding. I'm not angry and sad anymore. All of my personal relationships got better because of this. So yes, beyond satisfied.

Courtesy of Madi (ChutDillio).

Monika: We all pay the highest price for the fulfillment of our dreams to be ourselves. As a result, many trans women lose their families, friends, jobs, and social positions. Did you pay such a high price as well? What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Madi: I was extremely lucky that I was accepted with open arms basically everywhere. The hardest thing about coming out was how much pressure and negativity I put on myself before actually doing it. I thought I was going to lose everyone and everything. I'm really happy that wasn't the case!
Monika: We are said to be prisoners of passing or non-passing syndrome. Although cosmetic surgeries help to overcome it, we will be always judged accordingly. How can we cope with this?
Madi: That is definitely the case for me, where I judge my passability pretty hard. I don't plan on having any cosmetic surgeries, so for me, my passability feels very finite, if that makes sense? But I cope with lotsss of self-love. I think self-love is the answer to a lot of problems, honestly.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow?
Madi: Oh my gosh, so many! The three who have inspired me the most are: Carolina Gutierrez (@caroland14), Corey Rae (@imcoreyrae), and Lauren Sundstrom (@laurengsundstrom). Three amazing women who all have made a big impact on my transition.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Madi: Well, I live in the USA which has... varying degrees of acceptance towards transgender women. In generally liberal areas we tend to be a bit more accepted, which leads to a better quality of life for us. But in the rest of the country, we're still outcasts in a lot of ways. We're attacked and murdered at alarming rates. We're cripplingly marginalized. At best we are tolerated.
Living in NYC does help with a lot of these issues but it's a problem everywhere we dwell. Media seems to be shifting the tide for us a little with solid representation, so there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Still, so much work to be done.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Madi: I'm a huge fashionista. I lean heavily towards 90s styles. I love crop tops, chokers, fun colors. I'm pretty happy with my body (most days) and I'm always into trying new stuff. I have this army green jumpsuit that makes me feel like I'm in a Destiny's Child video that never existed, but I love that piece most.
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Madi: I haven't delved too much into that world. I have positive feelings towards anything that celebrates transgender women! With that said, I would like to see beauty pageants (as a whole) focus more on our personalities and less on our collective perceived notions of beauty. The beauty within is the best kind.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of the local LGBTQ community?
Madi: I was really involved prior to quarantine. Since then, I've donated to local trans folk who fell on hard times. I still talk to many local LGBTQ folk nearby and plan to be part of any activism needs the community requires! I've also expanded my scope greatly with Instagram (@madiii_jo) to help others in places where being trans is still just as tough as ever.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Madi: Love is extremely important to me. Pre-transition I was in a long, committed relationship that got me through the hardest times of my life. Now, I'm single and in a committed relationship with myself. It's a healthy relationship! It would be nice to eventually be in a relationship with someone again, until then I'll be patient and continue to love myself as best as I can.

Courtesy of Madi (ChutDillio).

Monika: I might be mistaken but I have detected a touch of sadness or loneliness ... Have you dated as a woman before?
Madi: Ah... I guess my poker face is pretty bad! Correct, I have yet to officially date as a woman. I am certainly open to it! But dating as a trans woman is so very hard. Sometimes it seems a bit insurmountable, especially in the social distancing era!
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Madi: Yes! I'm actually already writing it! My story is weird and banal and insane. It's going to be a comedic take for sure. I feel like the trans media could always use more of that. 
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Madi: My next step from here is just letting hormones continue to work their magic on me. Within the next 5-7 years I plan on having a breast augmentation, and that's basically it. On the life side, I would love to be in a bigger role in my community, helping young trans/non-binary kids. That didn't exist on a public level when I was growing up and it's something I hope young people in the future have. Guidance and information lead to more acceptance!
Monika: What would you recommend to transgender women that are afraid of transition?
Madi: Internalized transphobia from society and the media historically paints trans women in a less than savory light. Talk to us! Ask every question under the sun. When I was teetering on the thought of finally transitioning, I went to a trans resource group and listened to every single story spoken in that room. It gave me the push I was looking for. 
Monika: My pen friend Gina Grahame wrote to me once that we should not limit our potential because of how we were born or by what we see other transsexuals and transgender people doing. Our dreams should not end on an operating table; that’s where they begin. Do you agree with this?
Madi: I absolutely agree with not limiting our potential. My transition was a long time coming, and when it finally was in full swing I started to want to live my life. Goals and possibilities suddenly became attainable. I do not plan on having gender-confirming surgery, but the sentiment remains the same: transitioning means the beginning of a beautiful new life. Dreams really do come true.
Monika: Madi, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Madi: Thank you so much, Monika! Your candor is delightful. And thank you for what you're doing. It's important that we all keep talking openly about the trans experience. It paves the way for our future! 

All the photos: courtesy of Madi (ChutDillio).
© 2020 - Monika Kowalska

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