Saturday, 12 December 2020

Interview with Hailey


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Hailey, a young American transgender woman that documents her transition on Reddit.com. Hello Hailey!
Hailey: Hi Monika, thanks for taking the time to reach out to me, and I’m really happy to be doing this interview with you today.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Hailey: Absolutely! I’m a 28-year-old trans woman who has been on Hormone Replacement Therapy for 21 months as of now. I love meeting new people, working on my social media, and playing video games. Although it hasn’t happened much in 2020, I do generally enjoy going out and doing stuff too.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on social media?
Hailey: It was actually a big deal for me to decide to publicly share my story as I wasn’t sure if I wanted everyone to know I was trans at the time. I decided to share me with everyone because pre-transition there were so many women who were there for me when they transitioned before me.

Courtesy of Hailey.

They were patient, answered all of my questions and overall stood as role models to me. I’m happy to fill a similar role to that now and my goal has always been to show what transitioning can do for you and how positive of an experience it is.
Monika: Do you get many questions from your Reddit readers? What do they ask for? 
Hailey: Hmm, I get questions on all platforms and about a million different topics. I get a lot of questions about the effects of hormones replacement therapy, how to talk to friends and family about coming out, and overall giving advice. I’m happy to help because this community is important to me. So if you ever see me on Reddit or Instagram, or wherever; don’t be shy to reach out to me.
Monika: What was the strangest question that you answered?
Hailey: Oh my, I get a lot of strange questions, but the oddest ones are when people ask me to meet them in real life when I don’t know them at all. As a trans woman, I’m pretty cautious so it’s really strange that people think I’m going to meet up without even getting to know me first.
Monika: Are you satisfied with the effects of the hormone treatment?
Hailey: I would say overall yes, I’ve been very fortunate with the effects I’ve received as a whole. That isn’t to say it’s perfect because no one is but what’s most important is when I look into the mirror, I see me... a woman standing there. And that might not seem like a big deal to your average person but it’s huge. I have a long way to go still but I’m very happy with my progress so far.

Courtesy of Hailey.

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?
Hailey: Unfortunately it’s true, many of us are so afraid to “come out” and live our truest life because we know there’s a risk people will reject us. My partner's family was not accepting of me when they found out unfortunately but I don’t regret coming out. I’ve lost a couple friends as well, but honestly being happy in my own skin is absolutely worth the pain.
Monika: We are said to be prisoners of passing or non-passing syndrome. Although cosmetic surgeries help to overcome it, we will always be judged accordingly. How can we cope with this?
Hailey: Passing culture is a syndrome of the Cis normative/patriarch dominated world we live in, and unfortunately as trans women specifically were affected significantly. The important thing that I would like to note is that every trans person I’ve ever met was absolutely stunning inside and out, even if they didn’t see it. Living your life authentically is beautiful and that shines. As far as coping, connect with others in the community, we are here for you.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow?
Hailey: My role models were the girls who transitioned before me; I was always inspired by their transitions and wanted to be like them. I get taken aback when people tell me that I’m “that” for them because it’s so important. Visibility is soo soo important, so if you’re reading this and unsure if you should share your transition, just know it could help someone else. 
Monika: Do you remember your first job interview as a woman?
Hailey: Oddly enough, the last job that I had was where I worked for someone else; I applied in “boy mode” and then showed up as myself on day 1. It was quite different but it worked out for me and everyone at that job was awesome.
Monika: What would you advise to all transwomen looking for employment?
Hailey: Do some research on the company you’re applying to, we have to be very strategic in comparison to our cis sisters. Also, be prepared for some rejection, unfortunately, it’s part of our struggle. But if you’re persistent and put together; you’ll be okay.

Before and after.

Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Hailey: We have a long way to go in regards to how trans women are seen and treated in the US. Visibility is the number 1 solution for people treating us as people one day.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Hailey: I love fashion!! My Instagram initially started as a place for me to show off new stuff I got and tried!! I love a huge variety of clothes and I’m constantly buying more. If you want to see it, check out my Instagram, which is under sassy.Hailey.
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Hailey: This is a topic that I’m not super familiar with so I can’t say too much on it. As long as it’s bringing positive awareness to trans women; I’m for it.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of the local LGBTQ community?
Hailey: With the pandemic going on this year I’m not locally involved with anything this year but I’d love to change that once it’s a bit safer again.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Hailey: Sure! I’m in a very happy relationship with the love of my life. She’s also a Gemini like me and we have been together for 7+ years.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Hailey: I’ve thought about writing a book over the years but I don’t know if I have the patience to fully commit to it, but possibly one day.

Courtesy of Hailey.

Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Hailey: For me, I’m just going to continue finding myself, learning more, and loving myself. I want to be a beacon of hope for my trans sisters out there, that’s my goal.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender women that are afraid of transition?
Hailey: I would recommend making some friends in our community because it makes it so much easier if you aren’t alone. Please please please open your hearts to other trans folks, we need each other to survive and thrive.
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?
Hailey: I agree with not limiting yourself. If you have a dream or a goal, go for it!! I believe in you, now you need to believe in yourself and make it happen.
Monika: Hailey, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Hailey: Thank you so much for your time, Monika. You’ve been so patient and sweet!!!!

All the photos: courtesy of Hailey.
© 2020 - Monika Kowalska

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