13075 Julia, a self-made woman

April 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

by Borja Moncunill
with FELGTB – Federación Estatal de Lesbianas, Gais, Transexuales y Bisexuales.
Madrid, Valencia, Canarias. Spain, Europe

The project addresses the transsexuality from a different point of view and shows the complete process of reassigning a person from the moment they begin hormone treatment until fully restored of interventions.

The report

Living in a body you feel is dramatically deleting your own gender cannot be easy at all.
In this long and tough journey that will eventually come to an inflection point changing life forever, the relationship between feelings and appearances creates a unique and unrepeatable portrait of the state of mind.
This is just a short story, which represents an account of emotions about everyday life, the light and its inevitable consequences and the biggest internal disorder that results from this chaotic pace of life.
Mid-2010 I was fortunate to meet Julia. We got to share a flat in Madrid for a few months and I suggested her documenting her gender reassignment process. Teaching a huge lesson of self-acceptance and courage she happily agreed allowing it to be documented even during the most difficult times, which were often and very hard for her.
For two and a half years and with the aim of generating some of the still unanswered questions to break down the stereotyped concept of transsexuality we created these series of portraits. Furthermore, we also added statements from her Facebook profile, expressing with her own words the way she lived her life within this.
Julia was born in 1977. She arrived in Spain in 2004 after fleeing her country terrified due to the increasing pressure around her. In July 2010 she started her sex reassignment process with a hormone replacement therapy. In September 2011 she flew to Bangkok (Thailand) to undergo a sex reassignment surgery. In January 2012 in Madrid (Spain) she had a breast augmentation surgery. Although this journey only started two years ago, she has moved house six times and has had four different partners over this time. Currently she is still taking hormones and will go under the knife one more time for an Adam’s apple reduction surgery once the Gender Unit in Madrid provides the appointment she requested back in July 2010.

The author

Borja  Moncunill (1982, Madrid, Spain) is a freelance photographer mainly working on portrait and documentary photography.
To further extend his education, since 2001 and whilst studying photography and film editing, Borja cooperates with various photographers whose main areas of expertise are portraiture, advertising, fashion and editorial photography. Thus, he learns techniques, styles and different ways of working although his interest is primarily focused on the narrative and documentary possibilities of the photographic language.
In 2003 he finishes his studies in Madrid and in 2004 starts work as a freelancer. He uses his wide range of learning experience and starts carrying out orders of diverse nature. His collaboration with some major Spanish fiction producers gradually increases and for some years he develops a great part of his work in the field of still photography, mainly in the field of portraiture, an area of special interest to him.
In 2009 he decides temporarily to stop working as he was tired of the professional environment and there was a lack of time to execute other projects and so travels to South America and Europe. He then decides to settle in the countryside to approach photography the way he likes to, just for the pleasure of doing it. Listening to the silence without pressure or deadlines.
He is currently based in the Pyrenees and continues to carry out specific assignments with a documentary approach, mainly portrait and editorial photography. He uses them to fulfil his need to tell stories.

The project

Project HIV and STI prevention targeting transsexual women sex workers, to empower and inform sexual health and sensitize the general public about its reality.

PREVENTRANS. The HIV prevention program and STI’s in transsexual women sex workers, is a project we are developing continuity network since 2005 in Madrid, Valencia and Gran Canaria. The coordination of networking is from Madrid. Local authorities are developing the project: COGAM, Lambda and Collective Colectiu range.

Although there are no conclusive data to a recent study showed that up to 48% of trans women has ever exercised. Additionally, transgender sex workers are one of the populations most affected by HIV, with a prevalence of between 25% and 30%, while among the non-transsexual is less than 1%.

To carry out this type of intervention we coordinate with Doctors of the World, Hetaira, Triangle Foundation, Sandoval Health Centers of the Community of Madrid, Center for AIDS prevention and information-CIPS Valencia, PIAHT Program of the Community of Madrid.

Transsexual person means one in which biological sex does not match the sex sense.
At the time in which a transsexual woman as Adria, decide to start your corporal reassignment gender identity, a process that makes visible as “different” in the face of their environment. Many of them embark on a complete break biographical (family, school, city) and need money to deal with a process that, in most Autonomous Communities, not part of the public health holistically. If we add the cost of the migration project (to break with the past) we have a huge debt. The strong labor market exclusion and lack of itineraries tailored to your needs by the administration, explain why many trans women choose sex work as a form of subsistence.
The European Commission describes them as one of the groups most at risk of social exclusion.

The entity

The State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals founded in 1992 with the goal of being the social and political concerning the lesbian, gay, Transsexual and bisexual. Is defined as a secular entity without political affiliation and has 52 associations throughout the Spanish territory. The FELGTB has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and has been declared a public utility.
The mission of the organization is: To eradicate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, defend and promote equality, dignity and diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and promote a more cohesive society through the development of actions improve their living conditions in all areas and to promote their social and political empowerment, advocacy, reporting and advocacy and institutional.


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