Popular lesbian YouTube vlogger Arielle Scarcella recently released an important and educational video that features her friend and trans YouTuber Melody Maia Monet discussing her experience with vaginoplasty.
While Monet’s experience of course does not speak for all or any other trans people who may have decided to seek medical options to transition, she says she wanted to do this video with Scarcella to help demystify the process of vaginoplasty for anyone who may be unfamiliar with the process and its outcome.
The video involves Monet showing Scarcella her vulva while walking her through the process of what happens during the surgical procedure and the recovery period afterward. She also discusses how sex and orgasming is different for her now than it was before her surgery.
The Huffington Post chatted with Monet this week to learn more about why she wanted to do participate in this video and what she hopes viewers take away from it.
The Huffington Post: Why did you want to do this video?
Melody Maia Monet: I noticed there was a trend with LGBT YouTubers of these “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours” videos between gay men and lesbian women ― basically the adult version of the “doctor game” without sexual tension, but loads of the same childhood unfamiliarity and curiosity. Except for a video between a cisgender gay man and a post-op transgender woman, transgender people seemed to be underrepresented. Clearly there is pent up curiosity, but because of greater awareness of what is acceptable to ask a transgender person, there are very few avenues to satisfy it except when faced with the reality of sleeping with a transgender person. At the same time, there have been many instances where after sex, my partners have expressed relief and have admitted to apprehensive feelings about what the experience would be like with me. So, after seeing one of these “doctor” videos with Arielle, I texted her and said that what I really wanted to see was one of these videos between a post-op transgender woman and a cisgender lesbian. She thought it was a great idea and, since we are close friends, asked if I would make it with her.
A video like this could quickly become problematic. What was going through your head when you were making it to ensure that you felt in control and that you weren’t exploited and to avoid people thinking that trans people and their bodies are fair game for probing personal questions and/or objectification?
Arielle and I had an understanding that if anything made me uncomfortable, I didn’t have to do it. I also stated to the camera at the top that the video was my idea in an effort to head off any notion that she was exploiting me. I mention that I didn’t want people to think that she shouldn’t be asking me these questions. Just after, we had a more explicit consent segment where she asked me if I was ready to answer her questions. The implication was that these were special circumstances and normally wouldn’t be a good idea to ask of other transgender people.
What do you hope viewers take away from this video?
I wanted to demystify the transgender condition for the public by allowing a very rare and literal peek under the covers. In answering questions that are on the minds of many people, the hope was to prevent these questions from being asked “on the street” as well. I also wanted to allay any fears of what one might find for the sake of both potential cisgender partners of transgender people and for transgender people themselves. It seems to have worked judging from the comments to the video. I have seen multiple responses where cisgender people, and lesbians in particular, have thanked us and admitted to previous nervousness before the video. I have also seen comments from transgender people who were previously concerned about how cisgender partners would react to their surgical results. With understanding comes acceptance.