This week, we interviewed Alexandra Chandra, a 23-year old woman of trans experience based out of New York who has been blazing a new trail that could empower many from the LGBTQ+ community and also people from the trans community. Alexandr, or Lex, as she’s popularly known, actually has worked with FSOG as a foreign correspondent on a couple of articles and it is a delight for us to be able to work with her again.
Her personality and her daily interests
I am determined, passionate, and assertive. I love creating LGBTQ+ digital content on my Instagram page @iamlexchandra.
Regarding her childhood and upbringing
I grew up in Milford, Connecticut to a mother of Irish descent and a Father of Indian origin. As a woman of trans experience, I never felt as though I had a childhood. In fact, I feel like I only really began living out my childhood when I embarked on my gender journey 2 years ago.
How’s your life right now?
I work two jobs and am modeling in between work. I love being able to visualize my body as a trans woman, first for myself and then for my community.
Is there someone that has been a major source of inspiration?
Miss Major, an iconic black formerly incarcerated elder trans activist, inspires me. Her badass boss babe energy has templated futures I never knew were possible for girls like myself. Her aura is abundant and she has helped me know I can live and thrive beyond the normal life expectancy for most trans girls of color
Can you tell us what empowers you in life?
My connection to the community empowers me constantly. I am a feeler and a writer at heart and know that I can use both passions to empower myself and to empower my community.
When did you understand your own sexuality?
I understood my own sexuality better when I realized I was with all the wrong people. Interest in cisgender men waned significantly when I noticed that much like everyone, I too am more than my body and my desires are greater than the colonial perceptions of the desire I inherited.
On her parents’ reaction
My parents relaxed into my knowing I know myself better than they know me. In short, my parents knew what they didn’t know and they knew what they knew: that they loved me enough to commit themselves to understand my world.
Do you think there is value in trying to understand parents’ perspectives in such a scenario?
I absolutely think there is value in understanding parents’ perspectives. As much as my parents committed themselves to seek to understand before being understood, I did the same for them. It can help because it opens up: the space for conversation, your mind so you don’t start carrying baggage that’s not yours to carry, and your heart to engage in a compassionate practice with those people in your life who are at least willing to try to understand.
Did your Indian upbringing cause rifts when you decided to transition?
It did and it didn’t. For my grandparents living in the States, they have taken longer to adjust. My family back in India; however, enjoyed watching me unfold.
Can you help us understand the transition process?
For me, it has been a multifaceted process involving a spiritual, social, psychological, physical and biological shift. Many people think that the only way a trans person transitions is physically and that could not be farther from the truth. The physical pain was not really there for me. In fact, the physical part of transitioning was probably one of the most joyous parts for me on my journey. The most difficult change for me had been social.
How taxing was the entire process and how did you cope?
Extremely taxing! I still have to remember to breathe on a daily basis because transitioning is a lot. Therapy has been life-changing.
How content are you with life post-transitioning and how has your trans experience been?
I don’t think I will ever be post-transition. I will also be transitioning and coming back to myself more and more. Transitioning has made me feel more whole, more than a person and more than my body, but yet still so whole. Transitioning has also allowed me to feel in places I had not before. For example, I am more of a crier now than I had been before.
Do you have any advice for people of trans experience who are struggling to find their own voice in life?
Follow me on Insta and let’s connect. I would love to mentor/mother younger trans folks in the community.