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Transgender models are revolutionizing the runway and advertising. But their popularity does not mean that life will be easier for transgender people.
Transgender models make a successful career: transgender model Valentina Sampaio becomes the face of Victoria's Secret, Belgian model Maxim Magnus makes her debut at Schiaparelli Couture Spring-Summer 2019. Crowe Kean graces the covers of Vogue. Top model, Nicolas Ghesquière's muse Natalie Westling becomes Nathan Westling and continues to participate in the filming. Lea Ti, Hari Nef, Andrea Pejich successfully continue their careers. Izaak Theo is a young man, the son of singer Shade, who used to be a daughter. In New York, there is a modeling agency Transmodels, which exclusively represents transmodels, and National Geographic has shot a documentary series Gender Revolution, dedicated to the problems of transgender people.
Transgender people are people whose gender identity does not match the sex characteristics given at birth. They can make a surgical and / or hormonal "transition" (then it would be more correct to call them "transsexuals"), or they may not. Thus, the concept of “transgender” is broader than “transsexual”. The transition from man to woman is called MTF (male-to-female), from woman to man - FTM (female-to-male). When a baby is born, his gender is determined by his primary sex characteristics. In the case when there are doubts (for example, with intersexuality - the presence of organs of both sexes), with the help of analyzes, it is found out which chromosomes prevail - male or female. Recently, top model Hannah Gabi Odile admitted that she was born "intersex" and her parents decided that she would become a girl. It was only in the middle of the 20th century that people learned to separate gender (physical sexual characteristics) from gender (social role) - largely thanks to the active movement for the right to self-identification.
Eddie Redmayne, who played the first transgender woman to undergo gender reassignment surgery ("The Danish Girl"), was struck by the statistics: 41% of trans people commit suicide.
Olympic champion, stepfather Kim Kardashian Bruce Jenner decided to change gender at 60. It is difficult to imagine how he lived all these years and what degree of freedom a person gains who defeated prejudices and allowed himself to be real - not secretly from everyone, but telling the world about it ... The story of Caitlin Jenner is now a living example of how, together with the hype, contracts with global brands are received as a gift. This coming-out is a good reason to think about the fact that it is not so scary to admit: it is much sadder to remain in the shadow of public judgment. Another thing is that now Caitlin doubts whether she made the right decision.
Gender reassignment is a complicated, troublesome and expensive procedure. In addition to realizing gender identity and a new social role, the transition may include hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery, and document change. This is partly why not everyone decides to have an operation. The relief from the fact that with hormone therapy you can look your way and finally try transgender personals is often enough. Moreover, hormone therapy is also a matter of personal choice.
Soldadu Kovalisidi lives in Kiev and works for the human rights organization Amnesty International Ukraine. At university, he cut his hair short, began to tighten his chest and wear men's clothing, and at 24 became an open transgender person. “I asked others to address me only in masculine form and by the name Soldadu. From that moment on, I really feel that everything is in place. This is freedom. " Every three months Soldadu gives testosterone injections, intramuscularly. It is not cheap (about 5 thousand hryvnia), but he believes that expensive drugs have fewer side effects. “During the year of therapy, my voice has changed, my shoulders and hips have become wider, and there are hints of a beard.” One of the privileges of the new "male" life Soldadu calls the opportunity to go to a barbershop. "This place was previously inaccessible to me, but now I sincerely rejoice at this important little thing." The pool, sauna and massage remain banned for Soldad, since the mastectomy (breast removal operation) has not yet been performed.
Nikita Karimov, a gestalt therapist and LGBT activist, says he started the transition in 2015 with hormonal injections. By the time this material was published, he had already had a mastectomy. “Bodily dissociation (when a person does not associate himself with his own body. - Approx. Vogue UA) before the transition was terrible: all my adolescence I suffered from anorexia and self-loathing. But now the absence of menstruation, physical strength, a deep voice, vegetation on the body, the redistribution of fat and other things that distinguish the male body from the female seem to be quite natural. " Change has its own price: Nikita has gained 12 kg and is trying to reach a comfortable weight through nutrition and training, investing a lot of effort and money in skin care. He says that in fact now he is having a second puberty with all the ensuing consequences in the form of acne and other hormonal changes.
"It is not the genitals that make us men and women, but the inner sensation."