Wednesday 30 March 2022

Interview with Luna

Monika: Today I am talking to Luna, a German transgender woman that documents her transition on social media. Hello Luna!
Luna: Hi Monika, nice to have a talk with you and I am glad to be able to share a little bit of myself here.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Luna: Of course, so my name is Luna, and I am 27 years old and I started being my true self only like 2 years ago. I live in Schwerin, the capital of Mecklenburg-Western Pommerania.
Monika: What inspired you to share your intimate life moments on social media?
Luna: I wanted to be visible, to be out there, to show what is possible and how. Also, it grew more over time and it wasn't really that much planned in the beginning, but after seeing that there is soo little information about the processes and what will change I decided to show how my transition is.
Monika: Why did you choose Luna for your name?
Luna: Back at the time I decided Luna was the best fitting name for me I was really into the night and the moon and there also was a fictional character that played a huge role in the choice of my name and given the fact that I don't want to have any connection to my deadname it is Luna now.
Monika: Do you get many questions from your social media followers? What do they ask for?
Luna: I've gotten a few questions on Twitter and Reddit, and it was mostly about the process of GRS, the healing afterwards, and the starting process on how to get it covered by insurance.
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?
Luna: It went mostly well, I would say. My dad and brother are supportive, even if my dad still can't call me his daughter and he uses 'kid' instead. But I've lost my mother over it. She said she supported me but changing my legal stuff was apparently too far, so I cut her out after I tried to explain it to her one last time.
Luna at the age of 12.
Also, I've lost some friends over it because they still can't handle not to misgender me and so I decided to cut them out too. It's hard but it's also better now.
Monika: Was your family surprised by your transition?
Luna: Since I had my first outing as trans at age 16 and 17 before my second outing, and the start of the transition at 25, I would say that they weren't so much surprised.
Monika: Are you satisfied with the effects of the hormone treatment?
Luna: Definitely. I am 28 months in now and it's just wonderful to observe all the effects. Especially the ones to the upper body though.
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?
Luna: I mean I would say I am a passing trans woman (also according to other people) and I still have dysphoria in some regards (like face and neck). I would say that's where we should focus on, doing stuff and getting surgeries because we need them and not because of society, but that's a long way to achieve that. About coping, sadly I have n0 clue. Right now I try to be in a more wholesome environment with some lovely women.
Monika: Do you remember the first time you saw a transgender woman on TV or met anyone transgender in person?
Luna: The first time should have been in 2010. It was a documentary that I found on YouTube about Kim Petras, and it was just eye-opening. The prior years were like "whoa no way, trans people are suffering so much, I can't be trans." After I saw that, it was obvious to me that I am indeed trans. That's also one reason for me being out there (online) for the representation.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow or followed?
Luna: Not really. I am not so much into role models at all, just trying to be myself.
Monika: Kim Petras must have inspired many German trans girls...
Luna: Oh yes, I would say so too. It might be due to the fact that she was able to transition extremely young and she became popular.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Luna: I would consider Germany to be a safer country than many other countries but there is also a lot of work to do, not only in relation to trans women alone but also trans men and nonbinary people. The new government hopefully will release the Self ID law that makes it easier for us to change our documents and hopefully our medical guidelines would at least try to enter the 21st century. Also when ICD-11 is passed in Germany it should already make medical things easier for us.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Luna: I wouldn't really say I like fashion. I like certain outfits and stuff but I am not deep into fashion. In the beginning, I definitely tried to overcompensate and was on the higher femme end, nowadays I am back to being a nerdy gamer girl style. So nerd designs and game designs on T-shirts and a skirt or pants are my go-to now, also again mostly black again.
Monika: Do you often experiment with your makeup?
Luna: I did in the beginning, I had to try it because I needed to hide the 5'o clock shadow somehow and also tried to make stuff easier. After reflecting now I would say it might have done something kinda harder because I was really really bad at makeup and especially in the first 1-2 months. But I stopped using makeup like 6 months into HRT and didn't want to start again because it's too hard to learn for me.

"I wanted to be visible, to be out there,
to show what is possible and how."

Monika: By the way, do you like being complimented on your looks?
Luna: Of course, I do. Still might have problems accepting compliments because even after like over 2 years of being myself I still have problems with accepting them.
Monika: At the same time, I hear some complaints about some aspects of the German national health system. Although it is one of the best in the world, transgender women still face many problems with "Alltagstest” (a real-life test during which transgender women are supposed to “experience” life in their gender) and a lack of experienced GRS and FFS surgeons.
Luna: Oh yes definitely. We still have flaws like 1 year RLE (real-life experience) and the obligation to be pathologized and go through therapy. But for the GRS surgeons, I would say we also have some better ones, mostly in Munich, though not too many. As for FFS, on the other hand, we only really have Spain as an option, in my opinion.
It would be better also to have good FFS surgeons and newer methods for GRS, but I guess the problem is about the German approach because we like stuff that works and aren't that creative in this regard. But I really hope the ICD-11 will change and we finally get rid of the RLE and forced therapy.
Monika: Do you remember your first job interview as a woman?
Luna: Yes, it wasn't even that long ago like 1 month. It was kinda normal I guess. I would say that because I pass my being trans was completely irrelevant. Getting into IT as a woman on the other hand was a little bit confusing for them.
Monika: What would you advise all trans women looking for employment?
Luna: Try to be yourself. I don't know what other thing I would recommend. Maybe if your name doesn't match and you are earlier in transition, use your real name and not your legal name and then explain it within a sentence in your curriculum vitae.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of the local LGBTQ community?
Luna: I am active in a local support group and an association that is still in the making. I'll try to do the same online, educate, and be there and be visible, despite trying to be stealthy in the other places.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Luna: For me, love is really important and I am really glad to have my loving boyfriend and his family. They are really important to me, and my boyfriend is a really strong anchor in my life.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Luna: I never thought about it and I wouldn't think that people are interested to read such a book, full of stuff that needs trigger warnings and all that. There are already really nice books out there and I doubt that my memoirs would be a good addition to them.
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Luna: Regarding my transition, the next step is the revision or 2nd stage of my GRS and hopefully later this year the tracheal shave. I only need a few surgeries to be done, I guess. In addition, I really hope to find a job finally so I can get out of the welfare state.
Trans Day of Visibility,
March 2021.
In 5-7 years, I hope to be stealthy (because I still want to complete education, which might be difficult if I am openly trans) but hopefully with being completely good with me and my appearance, and dysphoria totally gone.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender women that are afraid of transition?
Luna: Talk to people, talk especially to other trans women that have gone through transition and want to educate others. Try to connect yourself via social media (Reddit, Twitter, Discord) and/or in real life with trans people. We can help and support each other and other sisters.
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?
Luna: I would say that for me getting surgeries is 100% essential but my life started earlier again and my dreams aren't limited to my transition anymore. I am working on my relationships (in between writing with you I found out to be polyamorous and working on another good relationship with a girl).
But I know the other side too. I also had a problem with finding a new dream or new goal. I have been myself for over 2 years now, have had the right genitals, only a few things remain to be done. I am close to being finished in terms of medical transition, so finding other dreams and goals can be hard, but one should prepare themselves already.
Monika: Luna, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Luna: Thank you too, Monika. It was a pleasure to meet you and do this interview with you. I really liked it!

All the photos: courtesy of Luna.
© 2022 - Monika Kowalska

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog