【WHY NOT BOLD】Defying the Label of a “Monster Girl” in a World That Understands Only – interviewing Taiwanese YouTuber Allie

Even if only 1% of the world treats her as a fellow human being, and 99% fail to grasp her journey, she tenaciously battles on against the world.

Her name is Allie, a renowned Taiwanese YouTuber, and few still refer to her by her birth name. With flowing, lustrous hair, radiant eyes, fair complexion, and an hourglass figure, she embodies the epitome of beauty. Yet, her past was a stark contrast. She used to be a “he”, and for many, she remains a “monster girl”, a term she uses to describe how others perceive her, all because she is a transgender individual who underwent gender reassignment surgery.

The Right Soul in the Wrong Body

“Why was I born male when I yearned to be female?” There was a time when Allie couldn’t reconcile her male body with her identity as a woman; it felt like a mistake. At the age of 16, she secretly purchased a white dress, marking her first time wearing women’s clothing. She remembers the sensation of lightness that day, an embodiment of her desires. It was a nerve-wracking experience, fearing her family’s discovery, but her greater fear was not looking attractive. Her first public appearance in this form, when she shared a photo online, garnered an unexpectedly positive response, solidifying her determination to tread the path of the “monster”.

To be true to herself, she devoted a decade of her life, culminating in her journey to Bangkok in April 2017 for gender reassignment surgery. “I discovered that through relentless effort, one can change their gender.” Her emphasis on “relentless effort” underscores just how extraordinarily hard she worked.

A Battle with Her Father

A pivotal moment for Allie occurred when she graduated from high school and entered college. She had maintained long hair since high school, hoping that college would allow her to move out of her family home and live as a woman on campus. However, during her sophomore year, her family insisted she cut her hair short. As the only son in the family, her father expected her to carry on the family name. Her father held traditional views, viewing transgender individuals as “neither male nor female” and as “monstrous”. He threatened to sever ties unless she cut her hair. As the head of the household, her father’s word carried weight. At home, her mother, sister, and younger sister dared not oppose him, leaving her isolated. With no support, she had to abandon the idea of living as a woman.

Taiwan’s conscription law states, “All males in the Republic of China are required to perform military service.” This was the perfect opportunity for her father’s plan: send her to the military, and he believed she would come out “normal”. However, Allie had already begun hormone therapy in preparation for gender reassignment surgery. When she underwent a physical examination, she was exempted from military service. Her father’s first plan had failed, leading him to consider another approach: sending her to a three-day, two-night corrective camp. He had heard from friends that children who attended such camps would emerge grateful and in tears, thanking their parents. In these camps, participants were divided into groups of eight and guided by teachers. Each person had to share their reasons for attending and their future aspirations. Allie candidly declared, “I want gender reassignment.” She openly discussed her use of female hormones and the possibility of falling asleep due to medication during the camp. Surprisingly, her frankness garnered support and encouragement from others. The corrective camp transformed into a “support camp”, and her father’s plan failed once more.

In her senior year of college, Allie was required to role-play as a corporate employee. Her group had to draw lots to determine which two members would cross-dress as women. She was chosen, and she donned women’s attire again. This was the moment she could finally be herself. Her soul had been trapped in the wrong body for three years due to societal pressures. This time, she decided to make one more effort to be herself, to defy her destiny, and to challenge those holding her back.

The World Is Cruel, But You Must Stay Cute

That year, she received an opportunity to work as a live streamer in Guangzhou. Her agent warned her about potential online trolls in mainland China. Interestingly, she later discovered that mainland China had fewer trolls than Taiwan. “People tend to attack what they’re not familiar with and what they’re afraid of. That’s normal. They use their preconceptions, for example, that you’ll have a short life, won’t be able to continue the family line, and not being able to continue the family line is a disgrace to society, to directly impose traditional beliefs on you, thinking that you shouldn’t exist.” These attacks, which initially bewildered her, eventually became commonplace. She even started to wonder why they kept repeating the same things. “When their attacks become so uncreative that there’s nothing new, I start firing back!” Allie is not one to back down; she counters with retorts like “Well, you can’t get a girlfriend either” or “You’re bald anyway”. These online battles may not be very constructive, but they serve as a form of humorous resistance. She had faced severe bullying in junior high school, and in high school, she developed a humorous approach to dealing with boys. Gradually, perhaps due to habit, perhaps due to societal progress, perhaps because she became more beautiful, the attacks diminished. In any case, no one can please everyone, and she slowly adapted to this reality.

Whoever Works Hard Will Reap Rewards

Girls spend their lives striving to become more beautiful, it seems to be in their nature. However, Allie’s pursuit is characterised by exceptional determination. The reality is that among transgender individuals, a pleasing appearance is essential. “If you’re born a girl, it’s fine to go out without makeup. But if we aren’t pretty, we can’t even be called human beings.” While the world emphasises the importance of inner beauty, Allie knows that a beautiful exterior is her most powerful defence.

During her university years, she majored in information processing. Looking at today’s Allie, it’s challenging to imagine her coding during her school days. Thus, she applies the systematic approach she learned from programming not only to her skincare, haircare, and makeup but also to her daily routine. She meticulously records each day, noting the colours of eyeshadow she wears, its effects, what looks good and what doesn’t, the results of previous tests, and what tests to conduct next. It’s a continuous cycle of self-improvement. The dedication she invests in these rigorous records is aimed at making herself more and more beautiful. So, the next time you ask someone, “How did you become so beautiful?” take a moment to consider whether you’re ready for the commitment it requires.

Beautiful Enough, But Not Enough Yet

The path of gender reassignment is far from easy. Precisely because it’s challenging, she wants to be a trailblazer for others. Most transgender individuals may not have the financial means for surgery (gender reassignment surgery can cost up to half a million Taiwanese dollars), so Allie wishes to help more sisters access these opportunities in Thailand. However, before she can do that, she needs more influence and financial strength. Hence, she decided to become a YouTuber, learn Thai, and establish connections with local medical teams in Thailand. She believes that the decision to “come out” should not be hindered by financial constraints. Last year, she founded a management company with the goal of increasing her economic strength to fully sponsor transgender individuals who wish to undergo surgery starting next year.

“You need the power to support both your social media presence and your company. Otherwise, it’s all just empty talk, like drawing up grand plans but never realising them. That’s not my approach. So, I’m dedicating more effort to my channel and my company.” As early as 2015, Allie appeared on the Taiwanese variety show Kangsi Coming in a segment about cross-dressing. Her stunning appearance propelled her to fame. This year, she was invited to Hong Kong to film P1X3L 5G Team Up. Additionally, she participates in lectures and interviews to share her story and the current situation of transgender individuals. However, the majority of her audience consists of those already familiar with the topic. What she truly hopes for is to reach a broader audience, organising events that can be enjoyed by everyone, not just the transgender community. She aims to move beyond the spiritual aspect and infuse entertainment into her work.

For Allie, life is a battle. She not only fights for her survival but also strives to rescue her allies. As she states, people harbor prejudices against unfamiliar things. The only way forward for transgender individuals is to create societal awareness. Just as efforts have been made for the LGBTQ+ community, transgender men and women will also have their day of triumph.

Allie’s Strategic Goals

Stage 1: Organise regular gatherings for transgender individuals to provide them with information and encouragement to come out. By increasing the visibility of transgender individuals, society becomes more accepting. Financially support transgender individuals facing economic difficulties in their gender transition.

Stage 2: Appoint a representative to lead the way. Allie is representing Taiwan in international transgender beauty pageants, showing that transgender individuals can have fulfilling lives.

Stage 3: Introduce transgender beauty pageants to unite the transgender community and establish a positive image.

Once, she battled the world, with only 1% treating her as a human and 99% as a “monster”. Through her relentless efforts, that 1% is slowly becoming 2%, 5%, and growing more each day.

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