Friday 2 April 2021

Interview with Victoria Karppinen

Monika: Today I am taking you to Finland where my lovely guest Victoria Karppinen lives. She is a model and social media enthusiast. We are going to touch upon her transition, inspirations, and challenges that she has faced as a transgender woman. Hello Victoria! 
Victoria: Hi Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Victoria: I'm a transgender woman from Finland. I love socializing and meeting with other people. I'm 33 years old and I have lived now about 6 years fully as a girl. I have been on HRT for around 4months now.
Monika: Wooow! You lived as a woman for almost 6 years without being on HRT? 
Victoria: Yeah almost. I used to order meds from the Internet, which were not like prescription ones. And I took only female hormones, not any androgen blockers. I had no idea whether they were harmful or not, which was quite stupid.
Anyway, I had used them before I started the correct treatment. So I lived as a woman without any meds for around 5 years, and then I started to order them via the Internet. Obviously, I could not see any results because I did not take testosterone blockers.

"I love to show how I look like; maybe it
will inspire other girls too."

Monika: Victoria is a nice name. Why did you choose it?
Victoria: I have always adored Victoria Beckham, haha. Well, I just like it, it's so girly! 
Monika: Victoria Beckham? Do you mean her style?
Victoria: Yes, her style.
Monika: What inspired you to share your intimate life moments on social media?
Victoria: I love to show how I look; maybe it will inspire other girls too. You should be what you want to be, so that's most likely the reason. And of course, I love a bit of attention, haha.
Monika: Are you an ambassador of Diamond Clinic? I have noticed their link on your Instagram profile.
Victoria: Actually no, I'm not; just I got so wonderful treatment from them so I thought to advertise their services.
Monika: Do you get many questions from your followers? What do they ask for?
Victoria: In most cases, men say “Hi” or you know they send something stupid, nude photos or something like this. But of course, not all guys are like this. However, it depends on how active I have been on IG, sometimes just a few per week and sometimes like 10-20 people per day.
Monika: We all pay the highest price for the fulfillment of our dreams to be ourselves. As a result, we lose our families, friends, jobs, and social positions. Did you pay such a high price as well? What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Victoria: Hmm when I came out it wasn't actually very easy because I felt like I didn't even want it myself. It was just a coincidence when I ended up in a bad relationship. I had many many friends who dumped me because I was trans. There were only few "real" friends left.

"My girly side started when
I was 11 years old."

However, luckily I have had a wonderful job for 8 years now (home office), and from the very beginning, everybody has taken it quite well.
As for my family, well... I have a lovely Grandma. Mom doesn't bother to admit that I'm a girl, not a boy, and my dad died a few years ago.
The hardest thing was losing my friends because I'm such an outgoing person and I was always in a good relationship with everyone. But life is life, and of course, I needed some therapy to keep myself together.
Monika: Was your mother surprised by your transition?
Victoria: Yes, and she still is. I don't like her at all.
Monika: Because she cannot accept you as a woman?
Victoria: Yes, I don’t know whether it is the only reason but mainly because of this.
Monika: Are you satisfied with the effects of the hormone treatment?
Victoria: Well not sure. The main changes are mainly mental ones. Not physical.
Monika: Do not worry physical changes will come too. Hormones need time.
Victoria: Great, I’m just like a person who would like to see the results immediately! 
Monika: Haha, you are not the only one. I was the same!
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?
Victoria: I'm not sure; I used to cope with this by not thinking about what everyone else might think about me. I know it's impossible for some people, but most likely I don't just care about other people's opinions. But indeed, surgeries help.
I haven't done anything else than boobs. They actually improved my self-esteem, and of course, boosted up the girl in me. I may have been lucky because I look like a girl, but my body of course could always be more girly. Everyone should think about themselves, what they should be or what makes them happy. I'm happy with how I feel and look.
My girly side started when I was 11 years old, and when growing up I remember times when I felt like I was a prisoner within my own body or I should say I used to think that I was a sick person. And now it is over. Finally, I am me!

"People should know more
about real transpersons."

Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow or followed?
Victoria: Hmm well not really. I liked Ru Paul and Adore Delano but they are drag queens. :)
Monika: Nobody in Finland?
Victoria: Yeah, no one.
Monika: Are transgender women visible in the Finnish mass media? TV, art, books, or newspapers?
Victoria: Sometimes yes, but not so much as they should. People should know more about real transpersons, and I mean “real” individuals that are not showbusiness celebrities. On the other hand, maybe this subject is not so popular.
Monika: Do you remember the first time when you saw a transgender woman on TV or met anyone transgender in person?
Victoria: Unfortunately no, and I might be a bit different. I don't actually know personally trans people, or have any transgender friends, which might be surprising, but I don't know really. In addition, I have always been in relationships with girls.
Monika: And your transition did not change this?
Victoria: No actually, I have always liked girls :)
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Victoria: Quite good. Just the treatment process is very slow. Otherwise, people are very nice here, not all of them of course, because it is not possible, but in general, people are very understanding compared to how it was like 10 years ago. You must be just patient and everything goes on its own.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Victoria: Yes, of course, I love trying on new clothes. I usually buy just what looks good and nice on me. :) It does not have to be a certain fashion design, usually just a casual one. :)
Of course, I love dresses that look sexy, but due to the fact that I live in the North, it's possible to wear them mostly in summer. :)
My favorite color are black and, of course, pink too. :)
Monika: Do you often experiment with your makeup?
Victoria: Hmm, it depends on my mood and how busy I'm at my work but I do love makeup and I like following trends on Instagram. I should try more often new makeup tips and colors etc. But then I'm too lazy. :)

"I love trying on new clothes."

Monika: By the way, do you like being complimented on your looks?
Victoria: Of course it's always nice! My current girlfriend says every day how pretty I am etc. It feels so good. :)
Monika: Do you remember your first job interview as a woman?
Victoria: Actually I was actually still a man when I started my current job.
Monika: What would you advise to all transwomen looking for employment?
Victoria: When I came out as a woman, I remember everybody took it well. However, my co-workers are located around the world. :)
What I would suggest is don't be scared too much and don't panic about what they will think about you. Some people might have prejudices against you, but when you are yourself, everything goes just fine.
Don't try to be too "female'', just be yourself. I mean avoid trying to act. People love when you are "real". You should be proud of yourself.
As for me, the thing is that I don't even sound like a woman. I look like a woman, yes indeed. However, my voice is something else, even so, I don't think anyone is so interested in me. :)
Monika: Have you ever considered vocal feminization surgery?
Victoria: Yes, I have some appointments coming up.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of the local LGBTQ community?
Victoria: No, I might want to do it in the future but not at the moment.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Victoria: I love to be with someone, of course, someone who loves me and cares. The most important thing is that my partner should see me as a girl and not like I am one of the dudes. I don't know how to explain this. Maybe because I had such awful relationships earlier! But that's not the point.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Victoria: Actually yes, I have thought about that, but not sure how or where to start... Heh. 
Monika: Which story or stories would you highlight in your book?
Victoria: I assume that I would focus on my teenage years when I was thinking that I was ill because I wanted to be a girl. My journey has been full of ups and downs, but that’s life. The second main point would be the time when I came “out” as a girl.
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Victoria: Next step would be my voice surgery :) Within that timeline, actually, I have no idea. It makes me wonder sometimes. But I believe I will continue this journey, hopefully, I will still be in a nice relationship with the girl that I date now. :)

"I believe I will continue this journey."

Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender women that are afraid of transition?
Victoria: Everyone should be what they want to be, do not be afraid of people's thoughts. It's your opinion and you will need to dignify that because you're a gorgeous person and should be what you feel.
Oh and don't be alone with your thoughts! Everyone needs somebody to talk to, remember that. However, I feel more confident after all this and it's been just great.
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?
Victoria: Yes that's correct! When you're not like in jail in your own body and thoughts, you can enjoy your life more. It's your life; don't follow other people's dreams. :)
Monika: Victoria, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Victoria: Oh thanks to you Monika! It has been my pleasure and thank you for reaching out to me.

All the photos: courtesy of Victoria Karppinen.
© 2021 - Monika Kowalska

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