The people you see in this issue illustrate trans life in their corner of the world, and help show us the true meaning of beauty, international or otherwise. Our two part interviews cover both the cultural heritage and personal beliefs of these brave individuals, and inspire greater understanding of transgender experiences around the world.
Mimi Glamour, Philippines/UK
Part one of this interview can be found in Transformation 96: The International Issue
What do you like to do in your free time? I like to fill my spare time with my two doggies, Waffles & Aero, we enjoy long walks & exploring. When my two trouble makers are not with me, I make sure I’m at gym keeping control of my figure, as I love junk food far too much. I enjoy art, whether it be drawing or painting. I also like to keep up with current affairs, politics & bit of “trashy celeb gossip”. Most of all I like to keep informed of Trans issues, activists & charity events.
Do you have any fantasies? Of course, they largely involve being ravished & served by Ryan Reynolds & a team of Rugby players on a four post bed.
Transition is physical, emotional, and social, all of which present different types of challenges. Tell us about your experience of them if you could. Being Asian & TG I’m lucky to have a natural advantage. We are already slim figures so fitting girl’s clothes & shoes has never been an issue, like it is for most. Obviously when I look in the mirror there are physical things I see that I want to change & I don’t think look femme enough or remind me of the old me but over time I’ve learnt to accept my physical look & my shell. That being said, if a million pounds($) landed in my lap tomorrow, I’d be booking the nearest cosmetic surgeon.
My emotional outlook is up & down like any TG person. As much as I try to be strong & face a new day with energy, some days can just beat you down. Hormone treatment, diet, exercise & having an understanding of my body have all helped me ride the emotional roller coaster & have given me some control over it.
Social transition has always been simple for me. If there is negativity of any kind in the room, I either laugh it off or leave. I’ve always been a good judge of character so have a strong set of close friends, who I love dearly. They provide a strong network of support for me, as I do them.
What are you the most proud of so far in your life? What are you working towards now? My independence, I’m not reliant upon anyone; I know I can deal with anything life throws at me. That feeling fills me with great confidence. Presently I’m working towards growing my modeling career & my brand awareness. Around the world it’s possible for “genetic girls” to be glamour models, be a bit naughty, appear in major publications & still be respected by the general public. I want to be one of the first mainstream TS glamour models & if I can’t, I will have a good go at trying. At least I’ll have helped pave the way for the next generation of girls. I see my modeling career molded around having an active presence on the transgender rights/charity scene; I’d love to be mentioned as a positive role model one day.
Describe the 2-3 events that most shaped your life. Two events happened in very quick succession. My mother’s passing which was in tragic circumstances, the completion of my degree & being the first in my family to achieve such an accolade, both occurred within weeks of each other. That time in my life is such a blur of emotions & feelings but it has shaped my outlook & my thirst to seize opportunities. Moving to the UK rivals those first two events, as it was a massive upheaval & complete change for me in culture, outlook & reality. I survived them all & what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger!
What are some hot topics in your area? Equality is a hot topic everywhere, one day it can be achieved & gender identity can stop being such hurdle for society as a whole. I love to throw my support behind organizations in the UK, like Sparkle, Stone Wall & All About Trans. They do such good work by providing a great support network for transgender individuals. As I write this, in the UK, the BBC is showing a romantic “sit-com” called Boy Meets Girl. It’s based around a young 20 something man falling for a post op TS. It’s been receiving rave reviews & heartily welcomed by the public. It’s so exciting to see public perspective change.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Best gift? Simple ……….“Everything In Moderation”. My first Doggie, Waffles was the best present ever. From being a small child I’d always wanted a dog, she is showered with cuddles & kisses all the time.
What gets you riled up enough to lose your temper? Ignorance & not being courteous to others, a lack of these basic human skills drive me insane. Especially in this modern climate, where it’s fashionable to be a “bitch” or “bad boy”, there is just no need, it’s far easier for us all just to get along.
We would never catch you wearing …..? CROCS!!! They are the devil’s shoes. Aside from it being awful, ugly & cumbersome, you can’t match them with anything. Imagine wearing leather, PVC or even the basic summer dress and then crocs!!……….. N to the O……..NO!!
Who do you most admire? It’s difficult to cite one person, as I have always found myself taking bits & ideas from everyone. The modeling side I would say, Mariah Carey, Gia Darling, Allannah Starr, Vanity & lots of main stream UK glamour models. Style wise, I’d say my mum & the 80’s in general. I love the glamour from that era, the likes of Joan Collins in Dynasty, power suits, big hair & high heels. My attitude & outlook has been shaped by my own personal experience & beliefs but still is growing due to many wonderful people. People like Laverne Cox, Kellie Maloney, Paris Lees & anyone who is a Transgender activist, excites me.
Are there any memorable characters who had an impact on your life? Mum & Dad were always hard workers & instilled in us a strong work ethic & desire to improve one’s self. My strength of character & energy has grown since moving to England & engaging with strong willed English characters, who certainly don’t stand for any “B.S.”.
What are some of your top tips for fitness, beauty and cooking? Fitness, start slowly and build up by setting small achievable goals & before you know it your running faster & jumping higher. Beauty, try lots of different looks, be sympathetic to your body, skin tone & find someone you admire & copy their style until you think you’ve cracked it. Cooking, only ever put a little in at a time because if you put too much in, in one go, you can never take it back out again.
Can you tell me about your family? Parents, siblings, extended? How did they influence who you are? My biggest role model was my mother, though she struggled with who I am, I know she wasn’t ashamed of me. She always had great style & was the envy of the other neighborhood women. If she wasn’t amending a shop bought dress, she was making her own, or making weird & wonderful accessories. Our house was like a scene from “Paris Is Burning” when she had a function to go to.
What has acceptance come to mean to you? Like any human being, I crave it just as much as the next person. I would love to live in a world where people do not judge you on your gender but because of your capability & what you offer society. I admire the Samoan culture, they have a natural acceptance for Transgender people, they are called “Fa’afafine”, the third sex. I’d love to see this affinity an understanding spread across the world, instead of the fear & hate that there is now, education & awareness are essential to this!