Interview with Ashley Adamson - Part 2

Monika: Do you remember the first time you saw a transgender woman on TV or met anyone transgender in person?
Ashley: Weird answer but I think I really remember trans women through porn. The only other exposure was men dressed as women doing comedy skits that were about the "man in the dress" which is honestly very transphobic and created a lot of inner transphobia for me - I call this "man in a dress syndrome." But yeah, porn was how I say trans women first I think they were called "shemales" and honestly I thought it was REALLY hot. Even today I'm very into trans women cause I like women and I also like dick ahahah girl dick or guy dick it doesn't matter. Enby dick, not so much though. I think it's the feminine/masc vibes I like to work with.
Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow or followed?
Ashley: Role models were certainly a part of my early transition. The common narrative I had before digging into it is that trans people are weird on the side of disenfranchised people who are struggling. So it was nice to look out there on Instagram and find others who had shown that they can thrive in their transition. @SuddenlySamantha was that for me. Her gentle words of encouragement, and mom's energy really helped.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in your country?
Ashley: Well I was in Berlin, Germany until late. I actually left Germany because of the healthcare/tax system not really being helpful to me. They charged me 45% income tax and at the same time didn't pay a cent for my transgender healthcare. So I ended up flying to the USA every year to pay out of pocket for surgery and getting taxed on my capital gains by Germany to pay for my own healthcare. Which was really messed up. So yeah, BYE GERMANY. You lost a good one.
I also had to import from Ukraine estradiol enanthate cause injections are not possible in Germany unless you have an underground connection. I did surface research and on paper Germany is fine for trans people, but it's the nuances of navigating the healthcare system where it really turns into BS. Everything is gate kept by a therapist and the insurance industry purposefully has a low inventory of available therapists. AND most therapists don't know how to do trans healthcare, so it took me about 1.8 years and hiring a digital assistant to help me find someone.

"Get out of the shitty jobs by focussing on becoming great at doing work
that is not easily replaceable."

On a political level things are fine in Berlin though, everyone seems to be cool. There are a few bigots and violence now and then does happen but overall I'd say it was not much of an issue. I spoke at Trans Pride and an event around violence against Trans people - and while the police repeatedly misgendered this person there was no violence or death related like you hear in the USA or even more so in other countries like Brazil.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Ashley: I don't like fashion, I find it to be mostly a time and resource sink where you're constantly trying to obtain an image that fades before you can grasp it. I'm not super into supporting the fashion industry in that way. BUT I do like to look good, so I take what I can from second-hand stores and mix it in with random new bits. I try to go for a look that is less trendy and more "just looks good" - something you can't really pin to a style.
One universal truth in my style is I like it skin-tight because I have little curves and if it ain't tight then I can't show that off. I just love tight fitting it makes me feel more in my body and skin and I feel more attractive too. Right now I'm very into soft colors - pink, white, and blue. Also been starting to surprise myself with more 70s vibes - I just got bell bottoms!
Monika: By the way, do you like being complimented on your looks?
Ashley: HELL YES. thank you! :)
Monika: Do you remember your first job interview as a woman?
Ashley: Yup that was only a few years ago. It was all online cause it was a remote company. Not a big deal honestly, but I outed myself to one of the female interviewers and I think it helped as I used it to explain how it made me a stronger person.
Monika: What would you advise to all transwomen looking for employment?
Ashley: Be so fucking good that they come to you. Being trans gives you a special kinda brain and I've noticed that it can result in some freaking high-performing, incredibly thoughtful and thorough working and outside-of-the-box thinking. Be one of those people and you'll always be sought after.
Get out of the shitty jobs by focussing on becoming great at doing work that is not easily replaceable. Choose fields where you can be a multiplier - doing work that builds, designs, or creates things often multiplies the value you create for the company. Like a designer, engineer, or creator. These things make it easy for a company to budget you because you can create so much more value.

"I try to go for a look that is less trendy and more "just looks
good" - something you can't really pin to a style."

Monika: Are you involved in the life of the local LGBTQ community?
Ashley: You know... I've never been really. My community is on my YouTube and Discord. But when I was living in Berlin they kept inviting me out to the big trans events like Trans Pride and trans protests to speak - which was great. I live in the countryside so there's no community here I'd say haha.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Ashley: Oh jeez asking the big questions Monika! My fingers are really starting to hurt here lol. Well so love with myself is most important, I feel like I'm in a place now where I can check in and give myself love. Around me, I am very giving of my love to friends and family. I love to snuggle with friends, bestow them with words of kindness and give them the biggest hugs ever.
I'm monogamous and pretty dedicated to supporting and being loyal to them. Currently, I have my first boyfriend but I think that's going to end unfortunately because of distance and age (he's in Berlin and 13 years younger LOL). He's just such a great guy... UGH. I love the work that I do and what I create in design and helping trans people. That's also very important.
It's a funny question for me to try and answer because love isn't on my importance list because it goes beyond a list, it's fundamental to my experience. I cannot live in a world without love, and I like to create love wherever I am. I just need people who have open hearts like mine and are willing to connect. Does that make sense?
Monika: Of course, it does! Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Ashley: Yeah, I have one that I've half-written. The thing that's stopped me is it's not just about me I want it to be about you the reader so you can understand stories as a metaphor for tools and techniques in personal transformation.
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Ashley: Germany and my transition have been very costly. I've realized how important money is to me and how important it is for me to focus on this now. I don't have a partner to rely on or expect to rely on someone else so I'm going full steam on all fronts to grow my business footprint across multiple fronts. I don't expect transition coaching to be my full-time for another 5-7 years and it doesn't have to be. I'll be putting energy into other pursuits and investments while I work my job.

Ashley's YouTube vlog.

Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender women that are afraid of transition?
Ashley: The longer you wait the more you'll regret you didn't do it earlier. Set yourself up for success by creating a community around you and this will help you build courage. Don't get lost in your mind of what ifs. You need to take steps now, yesterday is better but today's a damn fine second best. Viewers who binge-watch my YouTube inevitably admit it and move towards coming out.
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?
Ashley: Absolutely. This is the core of what I believe and help other people realize. The thing is, you can say "be infinite because you already are" but that doesn't the fact that still don't believe in yourself and your dreams. So I work on this progressively and help people build small wins to eventually see they can achieve big wins, at that tipping point I'm like "yes!! finally you get it!"
Monika: Ashley, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Ashley: Thank you Monika, omg I think this is the most thorough interview I've ever done. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and for the readers that made it this far.


All the photos: courtesy of Ashley Adamson.
© 2023 - Monika Kowalska

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