Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Interview with Lily (bamb00unicorn)

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Lily, an American transgender woman that documents her transition on Reddit.com and Instagram, transgender activist, and film enthusiast. Hello Lily!
Lily: Hi! I’m flattered that you asked to interview me.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Lily: Well, I’m a 24-year-old transgender woman who loves movies, is extremely sarcastic, and optimistic!
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on social media?
Lily: I started using Instagram and Reddit as online spaces where I could be myself. I grew up in a conservative town in Michigan where there wasn’t really much of an LGBTQ community. I couldn’t be out there, so Instagram became a safe space for me to express myself and document my transition.
Monika: Do you get many questions from your Instagram and Reddit readers? What do they ask for?
Lily: I often get questions from my cis friends and family who follow me on Instagram. Most of the questions I get are very general (i.e. “What does trans and cis mean? What do hormones do?” etc.). For many people I know, I’m the first trans person they’ve ever met. 
Monika: What was the strangest question that you answered?
Lily: Not many are strange, although one friend once asked, upon me coming out to some friends from high school if I was now going to become a dancing girl in Las Vegas. XD

"The hardest part of coming out was just
getting over the fear of being open and
doing it."

Monika: Are you satisfied with the effects of the hormone treatment?
Lily: I’m extremely satisfied! I’ve never loved myself more than I do right now.
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?
Lily: I was very fortunate to not have lost my family or friends. The hardest part of coming out was just getting over the fear of being open and doing it.
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?
Lily: I think this will require all of us to rethink the importance of passing. Passing is important for safety, yes, but the idea that someone's self-worth is tied to their ability to pass is something that we need to do away with.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow?
Lily: Yes! In terms of famous trans icons, I love Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Jenn Richards, Laura Jane Grace, Carmen Carrera, and Elliot Page.
There are also many trans people I've met through Instagram whom I follow such as, @madlymadiii and @breakthebinary.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Lily: That's definitely a loaded question. Trans women still face a lot of difficulties in the United States. Trans women of color are often murdered simply for being who they are. We still have a long way to go.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Lily: I like fashion. I have a very eclectic style, lol. I mostly just wear whatever makes me feel comfortable. Leggings, sweaters, dresses, anything that's not really constricting and feels cozy.
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Lily: I don't know much about them, but I would like to see more trans women given the opportunity to compete alongside cisgender women.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of the local LGBTQ community?
Lily: I am! I have many friends in the queer community.

"Passing is important for safety, yes, but the idea
that someone's self-worth is tied to their ability to
pass is something that we need to do away with."

Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Lily: Love is extremely important to me. I’m currently in a relationship (which I never thought would happen), and he’s made me feel so much better about myself.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Lily: I may one day!
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Lily: Right now, I’m taking everything one day at a time. I want to continue trying to find work in the film industry, grow my social media following, and potentially start my own blog talking about transition.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender women that are afraid of transition?
Lily: You just have to do it! Living as yourself is so freeing.
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 transgender people doing. Our dreams should not end on an operating table; that’s where they begin. Do you agree with this?
Lily: I agree 100%.
Monika: Lily, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Lily: Thank you so much!

All the photos: courtesy of Lily (bamb00unicorn).
© 2021 - Monika Kowalska

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