An interview with Jennifer Elia

 
 

AE: You always related to him as a male but there was still a loss of him as a woman?

JE:
Sure. We always had a male/female dynamic and I treated him, I guess, as male. I felt like he was a man, but there are still hormones involved.

AE: OK. Is there anything you wish you had known before this all happened?

JE:
No. I mean, he told me early on in our relationship. I knew it. I knew it within three months of our relationship and even though he didn’t do anything about it, it was always in the back of my mind and I always knew this was going to happen and as I said before I always related to him as a male.

AE: Has your relationship with Chaz changed your thoughts on gender more generally?

JE:
I guess I’m more aware of gender stereotypes and how we perceive males and females in society but it hasn’t really changed my perspective on gender.

AE: You recently finished a Master’s degree in education at UCLA.

JE:
Yeah.

AE: What are you up to these days?

JE:
I’m a private teacher for a student right now, and I also tutor students through a federal grant so their families don’t have to pay. I tutor about seven students a week in that program.

AE: That’s great.

JE:
I’m going to be teaching an English as a Second Language class this summer, and perhaps I’ll get back into high school English. I needed a break after grad school. I took a different path this year but, in the future, I may go back to teaching within a classroom.

AE: Is high school English what you would like to be doing?

JE:
That’s what I have my credential in, high school English, but I’m also working on some writing, as well.

AE: What is it that you’re writing?

JE:
I’m working on a book proposal for a memoir of short stories. They are all autobiographical — they’re anecdotes and stories about men and women that I’ve been with and my experience with that and I guess my own journey, which I feel comfortable telling myself.

AE: That’s great. If you end up writing it, I would love to read it.

JE:
Thank you, I appreciate it.

AE: I have one last question: After watching Becoming Chaz, I’m curious — what’s with the hairless cats?

JE:
When I met Chaz he had three of them and I’d never seen one before. I actually only saw one hairless cat in Austin Powers, and I thought it was a special effect.

AE: [Laughs]

JE:
I didn’t even think they existed. [Laughs] I don’t know it’s something he found and he likes them and then I grew to like them. I suppose it’s interesting that he would choose hairless cats. I don’t know. Something we could analyze I suppose. They are very social and I sound crazy but they are very human-like, more so than regular cats. My friends joke that I will end up being a crazy cat lady, which is entirely possible.

 

 

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