Interview with Jennifer Cobian - Part 2


Monika: By the way, do you like being complimented on your looks?
Jennifer: We all do! It boosts our conference, builds up our self-esteem, and in many instances will help with the dysphoria that we sometimes find ourselves trapped in, so a compliment is always appreciated, but trying to remember that to give a nice compliment back to the person.
Monika: Do you remember your first job interview as a woman?
Jennifer: I do, yes! It was actually for that same job I got fired from because I had to “present as a man”. I was very very nervous and self-conscious especially because back then I still hadn’t had my name legally changed yet, so it was all a nervous wreck.
Monika: What would you advise to all transwomen looking for employment?
Jennifer: Don’t give up! If you have the opportunity to find a job doing something you like, take advantage of it, if not, think of it as a job while you can find the job. Remember that in a workplace we naturally stand out, so let’s not overdo it, try to blend in, trust me we will still stand out and it can be a great thing in many workplaces.

"True love is always worth waiting for."

Don’t let anyone tell you where you can work and where you cannot, even though in the end sadly is not our decision if we get hired or not, make sure you prepare yourself in a way that if they don’t hire you, you know that they know you were the best option and they just gave you a lame reason as to not hire you.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of the local LGBTQ community?
Jennifer: Sadly I am not, but to be completely honest I’ve seen so many resources here in the greater Miami area that I don’t even think I am needed. I’m always happy, of course, to give guidance to anyone who asks me whether it’s surgical or hormone related or even document changes, basically anything I can do to help I’ll gladly do.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Jennifer: Love is everything to me, ever since I was growing up I dreamed of having a beautiful meaningful relationship that would stand the test of time. Every girl dreams of finding her prince charming, and dreams of her wedding day as I have. Sadly for me, it hasn’t happened but being the hopeless romantic that I am I’m hoping that at some point I will finally be able to live my fairytale life story.
True love is always worth waiting for. I am now 37, I have been single for 19 years but my hope and my faith are as strong as they have always been.
"Don’t let fear keep you from
being your true self."
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Jennifer: I’ve never had, and I don’t think that I have anything really exciting to share or that I have achieved anything major to have people interested in such a thing. Although I really have enjoyed this interview process with you I still don’t think I have much to offer for a book.
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Jennifer: Right now I’m concentrating on bettering myself and making myself as happy as I can be, giving special attention to my previously mentioned love interest to see if I can finally lock him in and continue growing professionally.
In the next 5-7 years hopefully I will be engaged at least! Having reached the point in my transition that I want to reach and being surrounded by the people that I love.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender women that are afraid of transition?
Jennifer: Being afraid is totally justifiable. But don’t let fear keep you from being your true self. Get the help that is available to you, find a support group, any family members that will show you their support, find other trans girls in your area, ask them how they did it, or if there’s any advice that they can give you. If all else fails, by all means message me, I’ll do whatever I can do to help you but don’t live a life that is not yours because of fear, you are strong and powerful, use that to your advantage. Go for it and show the world how beautiful you are.
Be patient, I know it can be very painful to not see yourself in the point of your transition where you want to be, but it will come. It took me 15 years to be able to have some transition surgery and now all the time that I had to wait doesn’t even matter, at this point it’s focusing from now going forward.
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?
Jennifer: Absolutely! It’s a never ending journey and there’s always time for you to achieve something wonderful, your potential is only limited if you limit it. It can be very easy to feel less when you compare your achievements to other amazing transgender women accomplishments. But as my best friend told me when I mentioned him this interview that we all have amazing successes in different fields and comparing myself to them or them to me is not fair for any, because big or small there’s a difference only you can make.

"It’s a never ending journey and there’s always
time for you to achieve something wonderful,
your potential is only limited if you limit it."

Monika: Jennifer, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Jennifer: It has been an honor for me to be included in this magnificent project for which I not only congratulate you, but am also grateful for you to dedicate your time to showcase so many amazing transgender women around the world and give them a space for their stories to be told.
I’m hoping that all of these interviews are a way of creating that understanding with the people around the world to be more empathetic to the trans community, as well as the people close to them to understand them a little bit better. Thank you, Monika!

All the photos: courtesy of Jennifer Cobian.
Makeup and main picture by @hcamacho_hairandmakeup and @robertobulgox.
© 2014 - Monika Kowalska
  

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