Author: Vasia Mila
I approached E. through a friend, although due to time constraints, we have not yet managed to meet in person. When we talked for the first time on the phone in order to conduct the interview, I felt an inexplicable intimacy, because she is a simple person who helped me to ‘penetrate’ into the world of Trans people.
E. is a graduate of University of Athens in the department of philosophy. Specifically she has finished Philosophy-Pedagogy-Psychology specializing in the Philosophy field. This period is under consideration to participate in a graduate program either on Neuroscience or Clinic Psychopathology. On the sidelines of her studies she is an amateur engaged in acting.
I feel immense gratitude that she decided to externalize her thoughts to an unknown person, but because through our interesting debate it solved several of my questions, which pretty much I guess we all have on Trans people.
When was the time of your awareness, when, that is, you felt approached more by your female side, and what emotions did you experienced?
I always felt the female element in me, and for that reason, moreover I had chose women as friends because I felt closer to them. The denaturing of my racial self-awareness into girl happened one year and a half before, when I first started going out in the world as a trans woman, realizing how beautiful and how addictive it was yet.
Did ever felt that you were born in the wrong body? If so, it scared you?
I think it is an expression “cliché” usually addressed to Trans people. The experience of the gender and individual discomfort varies from subject to subject. I, having always a body been thin, petite, without any special indication of “masculinity” -except anatomically course- I felt terrible discomfort. From the view, however, of absence of breasts, and hair growth, yes, I had problem.
When did you start accepting to yourself as Trans? Is it finally, something you choose or born?
The Trans condition-identity or Trans experience is never selected. Nobody would choose a marginal life –due to exclusion imposed on them – if not compelled to live so. The sex is inherent in the brain (studies show the hypothalamus) from the moment of birth until the first phase of intersubjectivity. Therefore the person is born Trans, not done.
What is the difference between the term Trans and Transsexuals? Which of these two terms represents you best?
The term Trans is considered as the politically correct, and because it represents experience as a state of transition from the supposed “gender” assigned to the birth of the desired sex. The term transsexual is considered offensive in the sense that the productive suffix “sexual” in the matter of word equate gender with sexuality, which is completely different. By the term this subject is sexualized, and usually there lurks transmisogynism and transphobia. In a few words, the Trans are considered sexual subjects that function as objects.
Have you proceed on hormone therapy? If yes, would you like to share with us the process that you followed? Have you dreamed of how you look like then?
Soon I start hormone therapy. This includes medication for life. On Trans women are administered estrogens and anti-androgens, and in Trans men are administered testosterone and estrogen inhibitors. The process, however, is time consuming. The Trans person is required to be monitored by a psychiatrist. After six months, after having has been asked by the doctor to live as the desired sex he wants, it composes a document stating that they are suffering or affected DTG (gender identity disorder) or transsexualism. Then they are required to do EEG to prove that the person has no schizophrenia, psychosis or epilepsy (pathologisation – medicalisation of diversity). Finally, it takes the third card is the karyotype (at a cost of € 80) which is genomic DNA testing. Therefore, the entire length legitimacy of the right of a man to trans hormone treatment lasts at least a year.
I understand that you prefer the word “redefining” instead of “change.” What does this say about the way you conceive the sense of identity?
Gender does not change it is present in the brain. This implies that it does not change anything, just manifested as mandated by the full awareness of one’s racial identity. Redefining is the most correct term since stated in a rational manner the process related to transgender.
We are what we choose at any level, and not that chosen by nature or society? We are simply subjects of our life or its protagonists? How do we overcome this dividing line?
It is a question where in the department of Philosophy we have discussed it several times. Things are neither completely white nor completely black. The nature for some is construction such construction is the society. Therefore, these two conditions (nature – society) to connect a common substantia (= substance), and we in this context interact. Therefore, it cannot give a clear answer in favor of one side or the other. On the second question, again the answer is not completely dividing. We are just both. Why only be one?
How does your family react, and people from your close entourage when you confessed that how you feel and do you see yourself as one Trans woman? Did your family helped at all accepting yourself?
As a child I was effeminate, so they didn’t “fell from the clouds.” At the beginning, reactions confined within the concern, particularly regarding the hormones. However, in time the accepted and supported, as so did my entire social circle. My family did not play a special role in my redefining, but certainly it works as a protective factor.
Have you been a victim of racial / social racism or sexism? If yes, how have you dealt with it?
Yes, but a few times, usually do not understand that I’m Trans, but cisgender (= non-trans) woman. When this happened (measured) verbal incidents, I fought back in my own way. I am a man full of anger, tension and selfishness. This helped me to handle it.
Did psychological turmoil residues stayed, which should then come up against? How do you go through such a tough situation, the non-acceptance, that is, from the others?
I never experienced the non-acceptance of my own people. At home, among friends and in school people that I want have accepted me. The matter with me and my life people do not employ and is banished from the scope of my social range.
How would you describe your relationship with women and men?
My relationship with women is quite good to excellent. With men, because defense and bullying that I receive at school is completely different. I am suspicious towards them and I address the word with more intensity than it should be (cf. Conducive dependent learning). In time, of course, this was improved.
What is that you realize, after continuous bounced hesitant glances, that scares the man and the woman? What is ultimately transphobia;
It is said phobia, because the reaction is considered similar to a phobic stimulus. Following issues involving hate, racism, and even internalized Trans status, the person is not accepting it and prefers to catalyze the faces of other trans people treating them as victims. Off course the prevalence of the classic patriarchal model, the dipole man-woman sexism and all stereotypes (which corresponds responsibility and obsolete reflective of the Church towards social development), have contributed to the persistence of racist attitudes until today.
The Trans community can be a beacon protection of legal and human rights of trans people? What is the position of the Trans community, when a person of her becomes the victim of abuse?
There are a number of Trans people protection groups. Specifically, it is the Transgender Support Association (TSA) and lgbtqi people in general (Colouryouth, LGB etc). The TSA, chaired by Marina Galanos, and of course with the organized members, is a space advocacy of rights of trans people in the legal framework extensively. At this stage very important is the establishment of gender identity without preconditions. Especially achieve of the last implies that a Trans person is not required as a condition of surgery in redefining or hormones to get the desired identity. In Greece 2016 the Trans people beyond those who have surgical intervention we are with dissimilar identity as well as is indicated as other sex in official documents, and otherwise presented.
The Greek reality to what extent manages to assimilate trans people?
A large proportion of Trans women mainly (I cannot speak for Trans men), does not easily integrated. First, the lack of identification, secondly, transphobia, thirdly, forced prostitution, these are all practices that banish trans people on the margins of the homogeneous social body. Of course I cannot have an opinion because I never had to resort to prostitution. Trans people, however, who are entangled in prostitution are a lot, and end up there for obvious reasons.
If a Trans woman came, who just had entered the trans community, how and what will advise her?
I would advise to be careful about the places she visits, because they have created several offices of “Golden Dawn”, which is not at all tolerant towards us. Obviously it will be treated equally in order to protect her from racist incidents (if and where available, because not everything is observed at all in the same grade).
Somehow so closes our interview and we wish to carry through your heart, a message for the readers of Animartists!
To love what you really are, learn to be indifferent towards those who disparage you, to silence and distancing them because they should be left out and not you for what Nature dictates that you are. Life, from the small to me now course (I’m 21), wants guts. Upon not having them, get them, otherwise it’s not easy to survive. In a world tempter and with selfishness only selfish survive, unfortunately. Optimism then and a lot of love firstly to ourselves. That’s the way love spreads to others around us.