Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Interview with Victoria Rubio

Monika: Today I have the pleasure and honor of interviewing Victoria Rubio, who works in the field of recovery, and a proud transgender American woman that shares her transition story on social media. Hello Victoria!
Victoria: Hi Monika! It’s such a pleasure to speak with you today.
Monika: I am so happy that you have accepted my invitation. You are such an inspirational woman. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Victoria: I was born in Kansas City to a military family in 1976. There are eight siblings in my family. My father passed when I was only five years old. My beautiful mother became my heroine.
I came out as transgender in the very early 90s. I come from a mostly Latin background so my family had no idea what it meant to be transgender. I have an identical twin sister that is also transgender.
I was on a talk show called Montel Williams. I used the show to help educate my family and the world about what it means to be transgender. I found all these talk shows just made fun of trans women, so I wanted my participation in the show to educate others. I was only 16 at the time. In addition, I was able to speak at colleges and universities after the show aired to bring education to future teachers and professors as regards transgender individuals.
Monika: Why did you choose Victoria for your name?
Victoria: I did not choose my name, my mother actually did. After learning more about the transgender community, my mother became more accepting. I was her child and if I was going to have a name, it would be the one she gave me.

My glamor shot picture hanging at my mother's
house. I was only sixteen.

Monika: What inspired you to share your intimate life moments via social media?
Victoria: Well, I didn’t at first. I became a well-known porn star and was heavy into addiction. After that career ended and all surgeries were done, I lived in the closet for twenty years. It wasn’t until I became sober and started school for drug abuse counseling that I was tired of hiding. On the trans visibility day, I came out again, this time on all social media platforms.
Monika: Who decided to come out first, you or your twin sister?
Victoria: I came out first at sixteen years old. I was a junior in high school. I came back to school as a senior when I was a woman and most of the school parents started picketing against my arrival. However, I did not care, I was just excited to finally be me.
Monika: How do you recall your appearance in the Montel Williams show?
Victoria: It was very educational. The show staff made sure it was centered and well-balanced around the transgender challenges.
Monika: Did the show change your life afterwards?
Victoria: Yes! My family became more supportive, especially my mother. I was also able to speak and advocate for trans rights in schools.
Monika: How did you get involved with the adult movie industry?
Victoria: When I first moved to Hollywood, I became a prostitute and drug addict. I was arrested several times. A porn producer recognized me in one of my escort ads, and he asked if I wanted to perform in a movie. I figured it was a great way to get me off the streets. I won an AVN award for that movie and became pretty famous after that going on to do more than 180 movies.

"We are identical twins one minute apart!
My sister is my heart and soul."

Monika: I did an interview with Yasmin Lee six years ago and she said that there is nothing wrong with doing porn but it closes many other doors, as the world wrongfully judges such behavior. Were you not afraid of this?
Victoria: During the time I was doing porn, to be frank, I didn’t care. I was an escort. I figured there would be no opportunities for a young trans girl on drugs in the 90s. So I did what I had to do. Today twenty years later, as a sober woman in the recovery field, and attending university... All doors are open.
Monika: How do you recall the trans community in your 20s?
Victoria: Afraid is the best word I can find. We hid in the shadows, afraid of violence. We ran from the police brutality but made a living selling ourselves.
Monika: How did the girls get hold of hormones in those days?
Victoria: We took black market hormones bought from Mexico. There was a woman who used to supply them, we called her Aunt A. She used to our home with needles and hormone viles.
Monika: Do you remember the first time when you saw a transgender woman on TV or met anyone transgender in person?
Victoria: Yes! I was watching a talk show and I started to cry. She was beautiful and I wanted to be her, as  I finally realized who I was!
The first trans person I met in person was the one on Montel Williams. She was a therapist on the show, and she was very put together, beautiful and professional.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow or followed?
Victoria: Growing up I followed many beautiful trans women in Los Angeles. Today there are some trans women on television that inspire me. Unfortunately, not all of them use their public platform for advocacy, it’s more a kind of show.

"My beautiful mother became my heroine."

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: The hardest part was my mother not understanding and leaving my twin sister behind at first. Sometimes patience and education are all that family needs. So it’s sad to see when many trans women cannot rely on their families. As a result, many girls turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. That is why I’m working in this field today. I teach the young ones to love themselves without a substance. Your family can be anyone who supports you! I’ll be your mom, and I’ll support you!
Monika: Were your parents and family surprised by your transition? Did they accept it easily?
Victoria: My family was shocked, to say the least. I have three older brothers and four sisters. Today, only three of them support me.
Monika: Are you satisfied with the effects of the hormone treatment?
Victoria: I started hormone treatment very young when I was sixteen. Lucky for me that slowed the male puberty process. My advice to trans people starting off is to be patient. And believe me, I hated hearing that! But it’s so true.
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?
Victoria: BE yourself! Remember whether you pass or you are trying to, no one’s journey is the same! When I was younger that passing and non-passing bullying was such crap! We are already marginalized by society, so knock it off. It is unfortunate some trans people are marginalized within our own community! We are a diverse, beautiful, and strong community.

"We are a diverse, beautiful, and strong community."

Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Victoria: I’m glad that we are more seen today, especially on television. Unfortunately being seen can bring more violence. We are being killed at an alarming rate, especially our trans women of color. Each year the number gets higher and higher. Trans women and men break barriers on the big screen, however, on the ground level, it’s not much different than when I was growing up. Until society realizes that trans rights are human rights, and until they learn to just accept us as people, we will continue to be hated but we will no longer be silent. I say, be loud, and be proud!
Monika: Your twin sister Vivian came out as a transgender woman at the same as yourself. Did you support each other?
Victoria: Vivian came out at nineteen. She saw all the backlash I got in school. I was forced to finish my senior year in continuation school under one condition. I was able to walk in cap and gown with my class as Victoria, and I did it. After I left school she took the brunt of bullying by other students at school. When she came out, I supported her 100 percent. We are identical twins one minute apart! She is my heart and soul. We are so blessed to have each other.
Monika: How do you get on with her today?
Victoria: We live together, it’s hard to explain to someone who is not a twin. Our bond is something very special.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Victoria: I never used to like fashion. I was too wrapped up in feeling sorry for myself staring at the end of a bottle. Being sober for almost 2 years brought back self-love. I love handbags, Michael Kors is my favorite. At 45 years old, I have gotten a little plastic surgery. Doctors are more advanced today when it comes to trans affirming surgeries. It’s nice to feel good about myself again.

"Today twenty years later, as a sober woman
in the recovery field, and attending
university... All doors are open."

Monika: Do you often experiment with your makeup?
Victoria: Honey, makeup is my life! I’ve been applying makeup since I was 16. I went through different times and I have learned now that less is more. However, I sometimes try a dramatic makeup look for special occasions too. I’m very blessed to have natural beauty. 
Monika: By the way, do you like being complimented on your looks?
Victoria: What woman does not like being complimented. It makes us feel good about ourselves. I also love to complement other women because I know it’s hard work, honey. Monika: Are you involved in the life of the local LGBTQ community?
Victoria: Absolutely! I work in an LGBTQ-specific treatment center. We help people to get sober. I am studying to be a drug and alcohol counselor, and I will specialize in my community.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Victoria: When I was younger I used to think love was life. I thought it would be so affirming I have a man in my arms all the time. I learned that loving yourself is the most important thing in life. I am single today but I am available, haha.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Victoria: Oh yes, I was a famous porn star in the very early 90s. My twin sister and I went by the names of Gina and Geneva. There are many stories to tell and a few books to write. I will get to it for sure.
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Victoria: My next step is to finish school and become a drug and alcohol counselor. I have learned that I am not my past mistakes. I am very lucky that I made it out of drug and alcohol abuse and I can work in recovery. It plagues our community because of the pain we go through. In five years I see my own practice and those books, you are ensuring me, Monika.

"We are people, we are souls, and we have dreams."

Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender women that are afraid of transition?
Victoria: Don’t ever be afraid to be you. Be patient and gentle with yourself. Most of all, enjoy your transition.
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: Absolutely! We are people, we are souls, and we have dreams. Don’t let anything or anyone ever get in the way of them. I usually say to transgender youth that the sky is the limit.
Monika: Victoria, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Victoria: Thank you very much Monika for interviewing me. The pleasure is all mine.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog