Interview with MikaelaVille - Part 2

Monika: Are there any transgender role models that you follow or followed?
Mika: One of the first people I gravitated towards was a woman who vlogged about her transition on YouTube. ItsEmily247 talked about everything from hormone changes and her love life to coming out at work and wearing a dress in public for the first time. I found a handful of people who documented their transition on YouTube, but Emily was the person I connected with the most. She wasn't too dramatic, or over the top with her stories, she kept things very grounded and real. She also seemed like a huge dork.. something we had in common.
I eventually reached out to Emily on her social media page and to my surprise, she responded. It turned out, we had quite a lot in common, including the fact that we share the same birth date. We were born within hours of each other. Today I am proud to say that Emily is one of my best friends and I'm even going to be a bridesmaid at her upcoming wedding. Which, I am very excited about, although, sadly, there won't be an open bar at the wedding. What can ya do?
Monika: Do you remember the first time when you saw a transgender woman on TV or met anyone transgender in person?
Mika: The very first transgender person I ever saw was actually on the Jerry Springer show. I remember being about 8 or 9 and watching an episode with my dad. This beautiful woman walked on stage and started dancing for the audience. I remember she was wearing a blue bikini and was quite voluptuous. After she danced, she sat down and told her boyfriend that she was really... "a Man." At this point in my life I already knew I was different myself, but once my dad explained to me that a man could get surgical procedures to live their life as a woman.. my mind was blown! That was the day that I knew... I was going to get those procedures myself someday and live my life the way I knew I was meant to.

"I actually know nothing about fashion, but I do know
what works for me."

Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Mika: I actually know nothing about fashion, but I do know what works for me. Unless I'm going out for a night in the town, I usually dress pretty minimally. I live in southern California where we only experience 3 days of winter a year, so you'll often catch me in a simple tank top and shorts. I'm not really a fan of dresses or heels or anything too girly unless I'm taking a selfie for Instagram. Other than that, I guess I would consider myself to be more of a tomboy than anything.
Monika: Do you often experiment with your makeup?
Mika: Oh yes, quite often. I love watching makeup tutorials and keeping up with the latest trends. Makeup is one of those things that is constantly evolving, and it's something I don't mind staying current with. I don't consider myself to be a makeup guru in any way, but my makeup is something I take great pride in.
It may be a hassle for some people, but for me, it's a process that relaxes me. I could apply a face full of Makeup in under 10 minutes if I needed to, but it could also take up to 2 hours depending on my mood and how much fun I'm having. Makeup was a big factor in helping me grow my confidence earlier in my transition. I knew if I had nice makeup on, it would be one less thing to worry about in public.
Monika: By the way, do you like being complimented on your looks?
Mika: I do and I don't. On one hand, sure, it's nice to get compliments on my appearance, especially after working so hard on my hair and makeup. It lifts me up and makes me feel good. On the other hand, it's a little strange. If a friend or loved one compliments me it's cool, but when a stranger goes out of their way to commend my appearance... I'm always caught a little off guard. And although it's often flattering, it's something I'm not sure I'd ever get used to.
Monika: Do you remember your first job interview as a woman?
Mika: Well, I've been at my current job for the last 15 years, but I have interviewed for different positions within my company before. Aside from what I wear to interviews now, not much has changed in the actual process. I'm primarily focused on answering all the questions without making a fool of myself. Making sure I keep eye contact and trying not to fidget around while keeping a straight posture and making sure I refrain from using the word "um" too much. My gender is probably the last thing I'm concerned about during an interview. I really don't even feel the need to bring it up.

"I don't consider myself to be a makeup guru in any
way, but my makeup is something I take great pride in."

Monika: What would you advise to all transwomen looking for employment?
Mika: Confidence is key. I've never been in the position to conduct an interview, but I'm guessing most employers are looking for someone who best fits the job. Someone with the proper attitude and knowledge. If you're the best person for the position, I doubt many employers will pass on giving you the opportunity based only on your gender. And if they do... then perhaps they wouldn't be the greatest company to work for in the first place.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of the local LGBTQ community?
Mika: Before the pandemic, sure. One of the first times I ever stepped out of my house as myself was to attend a trans support group at my local LGBTQ center. They would often have outings and group meetups that were very fun to attend. It was always a nice way to interact and find common interests with others in my community, especially with those who were also early into their transitions.
Nowadays I connect more with people online. Every Thursday I and a few of my closest trans friends host a live talk show on Twitch. We answer audience questions about transitioning, hormones, hair removal, coming out, our love lives, and anything else our followers want to ask. It's a great way to share our experiences with those who may be new to the process or those who just need some advice. Our followers are very supportive and often take the time to answer each other's questions as well. It's a very informative show that we're happy to host for our community.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Mika: Love is powerful, and so much stronger than Hate, which is why I always take the time to tell people in my life I love them. You never know when someone needs to hear it. I'm not really a spiritual person, but I'm pretty confident that the meaning of life has something to do with love. Hate is easy to produce, but Love takes effort. Love takes time. Love takes commitment and sacrifice. Love can come easy, or it can be earned, but at the end of the day, All you need is love. Hang on, I just had a really good idea for a song.

"Love is powerful, and so much stronger than Hate,
which is why I always take the time to tell people
in my life I love them."

Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Mika: Not so much a book, but perhaps some sort of online video. I'm currently working on a "Draw my Life" series for my YouTube channel, which will include many experiences I've encountered throughout my transition. I'm really hoping that sharing my personal journey will help others continue on their own path. Transition can be a very lonely experience, so hopefully, if someone comes across my content they'll realize that they're not alone in the process.
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Mika: I'm nearing the end of the "Wanting bigger, better things for myself" phase of my life. While I am having fun on social media, I don't see myself putting in the effort for many more years. I feel a little like Harry Potter. I'm at the top of my game now, but eventually, I'll settle into a mundane life and just focus on making sure my kids have a nice future. My kids are very bright, so who knows... Maybe one of them will buy me a nice house and car someday?
For now, I'll continue to push content out for those who want it and try to make people laugh along the way. Hopefully, I can inspire and continue to show that Trans People are just that.. People.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender women that are afraid of transition?
Mika: The scariest part of Transition is the unknown. Not knowing how your loved ones will react when you come out. Not knowing how hormones will affect your body. Not knowing if strangers will accept the new you. But you can't let fear of the unknown hold you back. Yes, it will be challenging. Yes, you will face hurdles along the way, and yes, you may lose loved ones. Or... you may not. You'll never really know unless you take that leap and find out for yourself. Either way, you should be able to live your life as your Authentic Self. This world deserves to have the REAL YOU in it.

"The scariest part of Transition is the unknown."

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?
Mika: I agree. I don't think Transitioning is anyone's main goal in life. I think for many of us, it's more of an obstacle. For whatever reason, we were born with our bodies not matching our minds, and taking the steps to make those sync up takes a lot of time and money. Honestly, it's a pain in the ass, and I've said hundreds of times that I personally hate being trans. No one wants to feel out of place, especially in their own bodies. Playing the role of the gender you were assigned at birth feels like being a prisoner in your own skin.
When I transitioned, I was finally the person I was meant to be. I'm more myself than I had ever been before. My personality is able to shine through and I'm much more of an extrovert. I used to prefer staying in my home and never going out, but now that I get to experience the world as my true self... I'm finally able to live. And... I'm having a blast.
Monika: Mika, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Mika: Go ahead and have your people contact my people about payment.. wait, this was for free? Oh. Well, I guess someone's getting fired! In all seriousness, I had a really good time answering all of your questions. I don't think I've ever gotten that "in-depth" with my own thoughts and experiences before. It was nice. Thank you so much for having me.

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

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