FANTAGIRL, I am the woman I am • Emma Murengo

Interview with Emma Murengo

23/02/2021 00.31.00

Vi presentiamo Emma Murengo, la nostra nuova FANTAGIRL!

Interview with Emma Murengo

First of all I thank you so much for having chosen to take part in this project.Would you like to talk to me a little about yourself, about your life, your origins, your work, your passions?Hi, thanks for having me. I'm Emmanuelle, 27, from Brussels, Belgium. Both of my parents are from Burundi but I've lived most of my life here in Brussels. I have studied a bit of fashion but did a bachelor degree in art history. I've worked in a French luxury clothing store and I am working as a model part time. Arts, beauty and spirituality are things that matter to me. I'm trying to meditate more and to connect to nature.

Riccardo Puglisi, chi è 'l'ultras liberista' chiamato a Palazzo Chigi I lavoratori del magazzino Lidl: 'Non ci sono orari, siamo pagati quanto vogliono loro e ricattati per gli straordinari. Li prende solo chi non fa storie' - Il Fatto Quotidiano In Edicola sul Fatto Quotidiano del 19 Giugno: L’autogol di Draghi 'faccio l’eterologa” - Il Fatto Quotidiano

Do you remember if there was a specific time in your life when you realized tthat your body didn't correspond to yourself, or is it a feeling you've always had?As a black trans woman, I am in the intersectionality of three minorities. While growing up, I could first witness this kind of issue through the eyes of my elder sisters. As we lived in Africa, we grew up with imposed European beauty standards. As I saw them playing with their blond and blue eyed dolls, the process of interlacing the wrong idea of beauty apparel often along with self-hate (the feeling of not having the "right" hair, the "good" skin or body type. It's even deeper in my case as the gender dysphoria gets through all of this. It's like having to perform a certain type of femininity to prove that I am a legitimate woman, that I can aim for that validation.

What was the reaction of your family and friends?I still have some issues with my family about this, but I have the chance to have a wonderful circle of friends. They support me in everything I do and encourage me to become my true self.I can also imagine the difficulties you have had to face; how did you experience it?

It is indeed complicated. For example, as I currently apply for jobs, I feel the need to justify myself constantly for who I am to others. Same goes to the paper work. But people are getting more educated and prepared for us, so things do start to get better!

Culture and society are fortunately increasingly changing positively, becoming increasingly open to diversity; but beyond what is said, I sincerely ask you how is the life of a black transgender in 2021? Have you ever been the victim of (terrible) episodes of racism?

In my everyday life, I don't have any problems as such. I guess it's more in some very specific situations. I have the luck to "pass" so I rarely end up in dangerous situations. I can get worried sometimes about my facial hair, my tuck, but that's just my dysphoria kicking in.

Sex and feelings: have you ever felt judged for your sexuality, and above all has this ever influenced your approach with others, even on a sentimental relationships?I feel like our community is often depicted as very sexual beings. I am on good terms with my sexuality, but I am not letting it get my whole life. Being a black trans woman is also being prepared to be seen as a very aggressive sexual vixen. Which means being fetishized by a lot of men. I don't allow myself to openly flint in bars or clubs, because of the constant fears of being seen "as a trap" and of course the blatant transphobia.

Morto Paolo Armando, partecipò a Masterchef: lo chiamavano «tigre» Logistica, per cosa lottano i Si Cobas: 'Nei magazzini in cui siamo più forti gli stipendi sono raddoppiati in pochi anni. E più diritti' - Il Fatto Quotidiano Inghilterra-Scozia, le pagelle: Mount il più illuminato, 6,5. McGinn domina: 7,5

Do you have any advice to give to all the people who do not feel confident with their bodies, and who daily face the difficulties that not accepting themselves entails?Do not let anyone or anything tell you what is beautiful or not. Keep your heads up, embrace yourself, do not try to make yourself smaller or quiet because you believe you don't deserve recognition. Take all the space you want. Be heard! Be kind to yourself and to others and you will see the beauty that ignites through you.

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