Digital Transgender Archive

Interview Olivia Hnlicka

Download the full-sized image of Interview Olivia Hnlicka

Olivia Hnilicka identifies as a white queer transgender woman and was assigned male at birth. Her mother was an elementary school teacher before she had her and her five brothers. She was born in Racine, Wisconsin and then moved to Dunedin, Florida a year later. A year after she then moved to Wauwatosa, Wisconsin where she grew up. Wauwatosa was a white suburban town outside of Milwaukee. As a kid she traveled a decent amount to Milwaukee, Wisconsin some to Chicago, Illinois and a lot of trips to Madison, Wisconsin. She always could acknowledge within herself that she was different from a lot of other kids. It was easier to connect what was different about herself to her sexuality since the world is obsessed with sex and sexuality. She found herself attracted to boys. She lived with her friend Julia and her family until she graduated high school after being kicked out of her home by her parents during her senior year of high school. Her parented kicked her out because she was openly visible as a queer person. She then moved to Chicago in 2001 where she connected with the organization, About Face Youth Theatre Program, which creates youth trans and queer shows. There she began to recognize questions within herself about why she was so passionate about trans rights and issues. It took her 10 years before she began to answer those questions. Pre-transition she lived as a gay cis male as part of the bear culture. She moved into her gender identity through drag. She started performing in drag in a show called Coed Prison Sluts at Annoyance Theatre in Chicago. She noticed she would get really depressed coming out of costume and then realized she felt connected to this hyper femininity that she performed. She now feels connected to being a crusty girl which she explains is a combination of butch and femme that feels really safe for her. For her it means wearing steam punk boots and fishnets with holes, being totally busted, eating what she wants, and doing what she wants. She has learned the concept of letting herself be the fullest possibility of herself, including letting herself be ugly in certain situations. After her close friend, who was a trans woman of color, committed suicide in 2012, Hnilicka became obsessed with death and realized if she died now nobody would know who she was. This sparked her to allow herself to transition. She now has a great relationship with her family after not speaking to them for about 4 years, everyone now allowing each other to really be themselves. She has been on hormones for two years and is now working on laser hair removal.

Item Information: