Day 54 - Anasteja

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Day 54 - Anasteja (2nd person I approached)

February 23, 2014 - Anasteja was born and raised, part time in Vancouver. At the age of two, she took what would be the first of many trips back and forth between Vancouver and England. “My mother wanted to limit the time I spent with my father, in an effort to protect me. He was involved in some unsavoury activities, including drugs and prostitution, and she wanted to shield me from exposure to his lifestyle choices.It really was to try to save me from getting hurt by his actions.” 

I asked Anasteja how as a child, she adapted to essentially having tow different lives - one in Vancouver, and one in the south of England. “It was difficult. I noticed that when I went from one country to the other, it was hard to pick-up where I had left off with friends. You lose the common ground that you share with people you see every day. I had to learn to adapt. I feel that life in England can be more difficult. As an adult, I look back and feel that some people tend to be a bit suffocated in England. People seem to be okay with a working class lifestyle and not striving to break out of the mold, or to aspire to doing things bigger and better. Not everyone of course. I come from a working class family, and I always knew I wanted to try different things, to strive to use my voice, to be heard. I think life in Vancouver is much freer and it’s more conducive to success, for me.”

Anasteja has seven siblings, most through relationships her father has had, so half sisters and brothers. “Occasionally I get a message on Facebook, and it’s someone letting me know we’re related! I’m very fortunate, I love my family, and we are close. My father isn’t really a part of my life now. It’s a choice I’ve made. For now anyway. I’m okay with that.” Anasteja works a a store manager in a local retail store, and spends a fair amount of time commuting from home to work. “I have been involved in fashion for a number of years, and I still do make-up, and work with photographers on photo shoots. I’m always busy. I also love to dance, My mother, from an early age got me involved in all kinds of dance classes and I still take all kinds of classes.” 

When commuting from one side of town to the other for work, Anasteja uses the time to plan, and to contemplate her next project, or simply to reflect on where she’s at and what’s next. “I’m involved in advocacy work as well. I have a YouTube channel, and I’m an advocate for transgender rights. (FACT CHECK http://bit.ly/1k1PMYK) I’ve started posting videos about my own transition. I want to use my ability to speak proudly about my own experiences, and to help others as well. I was able to transition freely here in Vancouver. I’m grateful that this is my home.” #notastranger