Wireless Docs: Candy’s Crush

Wireless Docs: Candy’s Crush


So, I discovered wrestling when I was around the age of 5. Yeah, I was just really
hooked on watching that, but then it was watching
women’s wrestling later on. That really got me to fall in love with pro wrestling even more. My name is Leilani Tominiko. I am from Auckland, New Zealand,
originally born in Samoa. I am 24 years old and I’m
a professional wrestler under the name Candy Lee. When I was young I looked up
to really feminine things, like I loved Disney princesses, I loved Victoria Secret models. The women in wrestling just added to that. Going to an all boys’
school was really hard because the boys would always pick on me. Just automatically assume that I was like, a fa’afa or a trans and would
just mock me regardless, even though I didn’t
identify as a trans woman. I felt like every time I watched wrestling it was like it took me out of this world, so it was kind of like a coping mechanism. Yeah, it was just like my happy place. Before I started transitioning, obviously, I didn’t
look the way I look now. In public I would just walk
around and people would just yell derogatory terms
at me and call me a faggot. I did go through a denial stage because I was just, I think it was just the fear of getting picked on for being different. I didn’t really find out
about ways of transitioning or about transgender people
until I was around 16, 17. And that’s around the time where I started getting on hormones and starting treatment and transitioning into the girl that I always knew I was meant to be. I didn’t really tell
my parents I was trans because they wouldn’t understand. Because my parents are
really traditional Samoans. But, my parents are
supportive of who I am. I, like, have really bad anxiety and I’ve actually seen a
therapist and stuff about it. I feel like the root of it
is around being transgender. What drives a lot of my anxiety
about being trans is if, if, like, I look feminine enough. I think what made it better for me was actually meeting other trans people around the same age as me, or older. Meeting them really helped me feel more comfortable with myself. Yeah, I like who I am,
I’m proud of who I am. It makes me stand out, makes me different. And what I love about wrestling as well, it’s like an artform where
you can express yourself. Having a character, good or bad, you get to really step out
of who you are normally. And it’s just, you’re kind
of like in a different world. You’re this whole different
persona just like that, couple of minutes. It’s fun, it’s a thrill, it’s a rush. I feel like Candy Lee’s more toned down than who I am as Leilani. Because I feel like
when I’m with my friends and stuff I’m really extra. Like, Candy Lee’s extra, but then I’m way more extra. My biggest dream would
be to make it in the WWE. And I just want to give
back to my parents. They gave me life and they brought us to New Zealand because they wanted us to get a better education and stuff. I guess for advice for a
young trans person would be to trust the process and to
not rush your transition. You’ll get there, you just need to trust whatever your doctor says. Sometimes their parents
might not be accepting. Trust that that’s a process as well. I feel eventually most
parents will come around. And if not, you kind of just have to find people in your
life that you can trust. Having good support of friends
or other family members that might be able to
be supportive and stuff. The way I see it, it
takes someone really brave and really strong to transition from whatever gender
they were given at birth to the gender they feel
like they’re meant to be. You’re basically kind of
opening up for ignorance and discrimination from society because it’s not seen as a society norm. I feel like transgender
people are really strong for being courageous
enough to be who they are.

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