Transgender model Eden Estrada has opened up about how she cracked the modelling industry pre and post transition.
21-year-old Estrada has modelled since she was 16, having appeared in big name magazines such as Vogue.
She explained that she always understood her gender identity but didn’t transition until she was 20.
For her, waiting to transition felt bizarre as she looked at images of herself from her modelling work. But now, having transitioned, she couldn’t feel more comfortable.
Estrada explained: “My modelling career started before I transitioned – I was in Vogue when I was 16. It was really strange for me modelling before I transitioned because my body wasn’t fully there. Now that I’m doing it, I feel amazing.
“To medically transition was basically the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done in my life, because to see your body, your mind and your soul finally change, and be the person you wanted to be… there’s no way to describe that.”
Estrada, who is from a conservative Jehovah’s Witness family, said that she has had nothing but support throughout her transition.
However, she said that at no point has she been scared, rather she just felt like she was taking the steps to become herself.
She said: “The scariest part of my transition was – I have to be honest – nothing at this point. I mean I’m not afraid of anything.
“It was my body and my life. Once I turned 18, I basically made it my mission to accomplish every dream I ever had. So I was not afraid of anything. I wanted the pain, I wanted the surgeries, I wanted everything, I wanted the hate.
“I wanted it all to come because I know that was the price I had to pay to be the woman I am.”
Estrada, who is also a YouTuber, also credits her boyfriend for being supportive.
Malik McBride met Estrada at a restaurant where he was working.
He did not find out about his partner’s gender identity until their second date but quickly came to terms with it.
McBride said: “I had found out Eden was trans right before our second date, my initial reaction was: ‘Wait, what?!’ Mainly because I already had a twisted idea of people who are trans. Probably for about 15 minutes, I was like, ‘wait, whoa,’ but after a while I was fine.
“I feel like overall, I have the perfect package. I could not ask for a better woman in my life.”
Estrada added that she hopes to be a role model for trans youth.
“I’m not just transgender, I’m a normal 21-year-old woman who has to deal with a lot of theory stuff. There’s a lot to me than being trans.
“I think about where my life was a year ago and I truly am so, so grateful. I just really want to be a good role model for people, that’s the entire reason I made my YouTube channel – to hopefully change someone’s life. If I can do it, you can do it too.”