Saturday, 22 May 2021

Interview with Chloe Pickard

Monika: Today I am going to take you to Melbourne in Australia where our guest Chloe Pickard lives. Chloe is one of my favorite YouTube vloggers. In her videos, she covers all aspects of her transition, providing inspiration to thousands of her followers. So I am going to chat with her about all that trans girls and women are curious about. Hello Chloe!
Chloe: Hi Monika, I love your blog!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Chloe: Sure, I'm a Trans woman who lived a pretty stealth life (I still do in Australia) and has gone through some rough patches to become the woman I am today.
Monika: Chloe is such a nice name. Why did you choose it?
Chloe: Honestly, it wasn't difficult. In the very early stages of my transition, the name just came to me and I was like: Yeah I feel like Chloe, haha!
Monika: What inspired you to share your intimate life moments on social media?
Chloe: When I began my YouTube channel, it was when I lost my job after coming out as Trans. I began sharing as I felt like I was living this double life. In my day to day, I went to work (at my new job) and could never talk about being Transgender, in case I became unemployable.
This was fine at the beginning, but I began to feel ashamed of who I am as a result of it being necessary for me to keep who I am a secret. While being Trans is not my entire identity, I don't believe it's healthy for anyone to keep things completely secret like that. You start to walk on eggshells out of fear of being outed.
Monika: Do you get many questions from your followers? What do they ask for?
Chloe: Yes, I get a very wide range of questions. From my Trans girls, it can be surgical questions, such as where I got my SRS done, or it can be dating-related. I also get questions from men, but for the most part, my subscribers like to weigh in and give me their opinion on different subjects I discuss (this is something I encourage).

"When I began my YouTube channel, it was
when I lost my job after coming out as Trans."

Monika: Your vlog is very unique, as there are only few trans girls that are so open about sex. For some reason, we are not supposed to talk about it, though we have the same needs as ciswomen.
Chloe: Yeah you're right, and I have had some pushback on it. I don't understand why, as I am talking about things that are completely natural. I try to talk about topics that I wish another trans woman spoke about while I was transitioning. I don't feel embarrassed being so open about sex, I think because when I get in front of the camera; I imagine I'm speaking with another trans woman (or a man who is into trans women).
In my opinion, talking openly about these topics makes us more prepared and safer. I have made a lot of mistakes because I was too embarrassed to ask my friends sexual questions or even just general questions about dating (and knowing when I can say "no" to a guy).
Monika: Did you notice how our sex satisfaction changes depending on how long time ago we had SRS? First, we are euphoric and with the passage of time, we start having the same problems with orgasm as cis women.
Chloe: I think it's the same with anything, to be honest. Things are incredibly exciting the first few times we try them. I don't often have sex these days and feel that same euphoric feeling. But sex isn't something that just gets boring either. I noticed that my sexual appetite has peaks and lows, and depending on how in the mood I am, can define how much enjoyment I will have... If that makes any sense at all haha.
I know of other trans women who don't enjoy sex straight after their SRS, and then later down the road they begin to have fun. So, I've found that everyone has a unique experience regarding sex.
Monika: What do you recommend to girls that are about to have their first vaginal intercourse? When we discussed it with my post-op friends, we discovered that all of us were afraid either about whether we would be too tight or our partner would be too well-endowed.
Chloe: Oh, I have so many recommendations lol. I feel like this is my specialty as I made a lot of mistakes and have learned from them.
The most important thing to do is find someone they trust. If they are interested in hooking up with a man, and they do not know of anyone: It's fine to look for them online. But I'd recommend having a few catch-ups with the guy first, to make sure he is understanding and will be gentle. If they find someone online, meet the person in a public space like a mall. This is still something I think any trans woman should do always.

The Pickard Chloe Vlog on YouTube.

If the guy is well endowed, be mentally prepared you may not achieve penetration (this did happen to me early on, and I did anal instead). Also, let the guy know if you feel comfortable, you may not be able to achieve penetration (this can make the trans girl feel a lot more relaxed as well, as the burden of feeling as though you need to please the guy is lifted).
Every trans girl should know she doesn't need to do anything she is not comfortable with. If a guy is pressuring her to do something she doesn't want to, it is not worth it. You can say "no" at any stage, even if you have already started to have fun in the sheets. if you feel uncomfortable and don't like it, don't do it. I cannot stress that enough.
Also, don't let anyone pressure you into having sex without a condom. A lot of guys will tell you they have no STIs, but you can never take their word for this.
Monika: Do most Australian girls go to Thailand to undergo surgery there? Why not in Australia?
Chloe: A lot tend to. I have met a few trans girls who had their surgery here. The main doctor, who does these surgeries in Australia, really shouldn't be. Both the girls I know who had SRS performed by him had massive complications. Neither of them received good results.
It is more expensive for us to have our surgery overseas, but the results are lifelong. I think most Australian girls are aware that our surgeon is sub-par at best, and choose to go to Thailand. But they may be going to other countries now, as there are new methods to perform SRS which have popped up within the last few years.
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?
Chloe: I don't think I paid a high price, especially when I hear of what other girls lose. The hardest thing for me is the fact I have to keep being trans a secret to be employable. I don't like this at all, but I had lost a previous job after they found out I was trans. They of course didn't admit this was the reason, but when I had come out as trans; all of the management stressed I couldn't tell anyone... Then shortly after I was out of a job.
I've only lost one close friend after coming out, so I see myself as fairly lucky. I think the hardest part of coming out is just trying to survive in society. The odds are so often stacked against us for being who we authentically are. It's totally not fair, but it's a fact of life. I think this was the hardest part for me, and it's definitely what drove me to want to pass as a female.
Monika: Are you satisfied with the effects of the hormone treatment?
Chloe: Yeah I couldn't really ask for more, especially when I know some trans women get so little from HRT. I got a fairly good fat distribution on my body and face, and a loss of body hair. It only does so much; it can't change the bone structure on anyone's face or body unless you start in your early teenage years.

"I don't think I paid a high price, especially
when I hear of what other girls lose."

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?
Chloe: You know, I'm not sure if it will always be this bad. I mean, a lot of trans girls think it will. But if you look at the history of being homosexual, that wasn't acceptable in most western countries not so long ago... I mean it wasn't even legal in Australia 40-50 years ago.
So I am hopeful. I do think it's become harder recently, just because we are getting a lot more coverage on TV, and on social media. So people who would usually be totally unaware of our existence, now have an opinion. I think we need to remember this is a normal setback to being more well known, we now have a lot more people who hate us, but also have a lot more support.
I hope in the future that Transphobia is reduced. I do think it's sad that we seem to be the last of the LGBTQ community to gain overall acceptance as if you read about Stonewall in the USA or even Mardi Gras (Australian version of pride) in Australia. Some of the most notable pioneers of the movement were Transgender. But for some odd reason, our rights are the ones that are forgotten about.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow or followed?
Chloe: Oh yes 100%.. When I first started my hormones, I stumbled across a TV series called Sense8. I didn't even realize that one of the characters (Jamie Clayton) was Trans at the beginning. She helped me a lot actually, it was one of the first times I'd really seen a so-called "normal trans woman" on TV. And it was refreshing to kind of see that representation, where the storyline wasn't heavily focused on her being trans - she was just another woman.
I did watch some other YouTubers such as Gigi Gorgeous. But I stopped following a lot of them, because they seemed to be so disconnected from what real life is like as a trans girl, trying to survive in real life. I just think some people lose relatability, especially when they are constantly showing off how many designer things they own and only talking about all the surgeries they have.
Another huge role model of mine is the Australians' own Transgender woman icon: Carlotta. I've even written to her and received a response. She broke a lot of barriers for Trans people back in the day when it was illegal for us to wear women's clothing. She has done a lot for the entire LGBTQ community if I'm being honest. I even have a canvas of her on my wall. :)

"I hope in the future that Transphobia
is reduced."

Monika: Do you remember the first time when you saw a transgender woman on TV or met anyone transgender in person?
Chloe: Hahaha, I think my response will be similar to most, in that the first time I saw a trans woman on TV was as a punch line for Jerry Springer. I'm pretty sure that TV show scarred an entire generation of Trans women.
The first time I saw a trans woman in real life was in a club when I was 18, and it was like seeing a reflection of myself that I had been trying to escape and hide from. I remember feeling so uncomfortable; being confronted by this. I couldn't stay within the same vicinity of her, let alone talk to her. I believe I had internalized transphobia, which isn't uncommon. But I never said anything nasty to anyone, I just kept it to myself. It was a sort of self-hatred I couldn't escape.


All the photos: courtesy of Chloe Pickard.
© 2021 - Monika Kowalska

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog