Thursday, September 5, 2013

Trans Art Project Interview: Katrina

What was the name given to you by your parents?

My birth name was Alexander Lee Davies.

What is your chosen name?

My chosen name is Katrina Alexa Davies.

When/How did you first know you were trans and how did this realization make you feel?

I guess I've known for as long as I can remember, except I didn't know what it was. I've always had a fascination with girly things. I loved watching my mom put on her makeup. I distinctly remember sneaking into her closet when no one was home, among other things. Then I discovered trans people on the internet, but usually on some pornographic site. I was amazed, but not in a sexual way, how these beautiful women had male parts. I kept this fascination a secret because I thought maybe I was, in some way, perverted. Eventually, other parts of the community exploded and I realized transgenderism wasn't just a sex thing. Over the past couple of years I've gotten more involved with the gay and trans community and it became tangible. This is when I started to seriously consider transitioning, and to live life as a woman instead of using things like Halloween as an excuse to dress up. It felt liberating to just be able to shed what I considered taboo for so long and to let that secret out. I couldn't be happier.

 How would you describe your childhood/life before your transition? 

I was raised by a single mom and had two older brother. I visited my dad for holidays and birthdays, but her was not a big part of my upbringing. My family was amazing. One brother was all into sports while the other was all about video games. Both tried to get me into their world. I definitely went the video game nerd route. I guess I was able to connect better with a fantasy world (laughs). I did not enjoy sports or P.E. growing up because I was insecure with my physical body and was rarely accepted  among other kids. I didn't mind at the time. I was in my own little world. Most memories I have of playing with other kids in childhood are with girls. One very clear memory I have is of when I was in kindergarden. There was a kitchen play set there. I would always play dress up with this little blue dress and play in that kitchen.

Who were some of your role models then and now?

I would definitely say my mom. She always loved and supported me. She's still my role model today, but there is another trans girl that has been my biggest support during transition. Her name is Tess. I love her so much and owe her everything. I could not do this without her.

Who did you first tell and what was their reaction?

I told a close friend, before meeting Tess. I wanted to tell someone I knew who would not care. I knew that this coming out thing was going to be a process and I wanted to be well versed in telling people before I told my family. Hopefully by then I wouldn't have any fear in telling them.

So your family knows? What are their attitudes toward your transitioning?

Both my parents know. I told them before I began my transition. My mom and and step dad are extremely supportive. They welcomed me as their daughter with open arms. My mother acts as any mother would towards her daughter. 
My father is a different story. I never told him I liked men and he found out through Facebook. He never brought it up, but I could tell it bothered him. I couldn't hide my transition from him so I told him. He was speechless. I thought we were okay, but about a week later he called me and basically said we shouldn't talk anymore, along with some other things I didn't take well. I hope that one day he will learn to accept it, but it is something he has to come to terms with.

Do you have any fears or concerns about "passing"?

Of course! I don't think any trans girl or boy doesn't. My biggest concern is my adam's apple. I think it's pretty prominent even thought some friends tell me it isn't bad. It's not a huge deal to me now. I do plan on getting it shaved.Starting off, though, I felt that every person's eyes went straight to it and was very self-conscious about it.

Have you experienced any unkindness (or worse) from strangers in the community as a result of being identified as a trans individual?

Nothing too serious yet. I say "yet" because I'm sure I will experience some at some point. The biggest thing, I guess I've experienced was this asshole cab driver who refused to call me by a female pronoun and kept taking extended routes to my destination to run up the meter. I had my phone out with the quickest route was just watching him taking every ass-backwards way.

What is your profession?

I am a student and work as a makeup artists at a retail store.

Can you describe your experience transitioning in the workplace?

Work has been extremely supportive. I was upfront with them and told them well in advance before I began transitioning so it wouldn't come as a shock. Once I started hormones and things began to develop I started to let the staff know. As far as the public or customers, they too have been amazing. I love my job, and it shows. As long as I am happy and put out those good vibes, people don't seem to care. There have been some that refused to let me help them, but it's to be expected. Some people just can't handle things they don't consider "normal".

Are you dating/partnered? 

I am not, but I'm in the market, so to speak (laughs). I was never comfortable dating before because of my own insecurities. I am ready now.

What has been the most difficult part of transitioning?

The little things. My family, friends and work are all supportive. Society in general doesn't seem to care, so I guess those would be the biggest fears some people face. That leaves the little things. Things I didn't think about before my first hormone shot, like public restrooms. I can't go into the men's room because there might be some guy in there that may not take well to it (not to mention, I'm NOT a guy), and what if the women freak out when they see a trans woman walk in on their territory? I'm getting better at it, but I still get little pangs of anxiety about it.

What are some of your life goals?

I am going to school for computer sciences to become a programmer. As I mentioned, I like video games. That's what I want to do.

What would you most like the world to know about you?

I want the world to know that despite any problems the world throws at me, I am a fun girl. I like to laugh and smile. I like hanging out with my friends and meeting new people. I like to drink and have sex. I like watching bad movies and playing video games. I enjoy eating and making other people smile. But what's more important about this is why I enjoy these things; not because I am trans. Because I am human.

What would you tell someone just realizing they are trans?

Be honest with yourself. You only get one life. Make sure you are happy. Live life for yourself, not someone else.

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