Andrea Jaca-Smith

When Optimism Overcomes Despair.

          For Andrea Jaca-Smith, the path to becoming a transgender woman was not an easy one. Very early in life, when she was just six years-old, she realized there was something wrong with her body. She preferred playing with dolls and other girls. On the inside, she already knew that her feelings and consciousness did not match up with her assigned gender. It was at around this same time, while in primary school, that her already emerging gender dysphoria reached a crisis point. A member of her extended family took to belittling Andrea, driving her into depression and attempted suicide. Andrea survived and eventually came out of the ordeal much stronger. Much of this had to do with her mother and sister, both of whom recognized that she was different and special. Almost silently, her immediate family helped transition her expectations. Despite her assigned gender, mother and sister listened and responded to her as if she were a girl.

          By the time she was in high school, Andrea had learned how to manage much of the conflict contained within herself. She could perform the physical tasks expected of a male. But she would retain her emotional and true orientation as a woman. 

          These experiences did not harden Andrea. Instead, they made her a cheerful and optimistic woman. She has learned to cope and overcome. She was greatly helped towards doing so when she underwent gender confirmation surgery. In the process, she has learned that optimism is the elixir of success. Andrea won the competition for Miss Transsexual Australia in 2016. Today, she lives in Melbourne, although she is originally from Belgium. And she works as a make-up artist for her own business as well as providing coaching services for those interested in competing in pageants. Andrea also is a spokeswoman and endorser of products and services in Australia and Thailand.