Fast Confession – the first Czechslovakian transgender model Peťa Nitka: My partners never minded the fact, that I used to be a man
Peter had become aware of his difference from other boys already as a young boy. He wasn’t interested in boy’s things, and already back then he felt a prisoner of his own child body. Thanks to modern medicine and determination, the girly boy became a beautiful woman. Peťa Nitka underwent a long process of transformation from man to woman. And it was worth it. Now, every man does a double take when he sees her in a dress, and not only that, but she earns money as a model, who is sought after at home and in the world.
Peťo, why not Petra?
I was born as Peter, and now I am a girl, but Peťa. Petra is a brand of cigarettes. And I was always Peťa, so I didn’t want to change anything.
How did you realize? Most people come to this conclusion later in life.
I’ve always known it, because since I was little I played with dolls, I stole make up from my mom and so on. So it was obvious, that one day I’ll be a girl.
What did your parents say?
My mom accepted it more or less, she knew it right from the beginning, and so did my dad. And that’s why it wasn’t any shock, and there was no coming out. The way you know, where I’d have to sit with parents and say ‘Alright mom, I’m a girl’. It was quite obvious for me since the beginning. It was only quite strange with my sister, she is 10 years old and my dad told her. And from that moment on I’m just her ‘sister’. She never thought twice about it. For children it’s the way it is, they don’t judge anyone.
Children, however, can be quite mean, don’t tell me that everything went fine at school...
I took a lot of heat from my classmates for being so different. For example, boys never liked me. Now, they suddenly do, and I’m happy of course. (laughter) It wasn’t so easy, I’m making up for that time and it’s great.
At what time in life can you do something about it?
I think a person can start taking hormones from the age of fifteen, and at eighteen he can undergo the main operation.
What was your process?
I always planned to do it. I am going to be twenty four years old now, and I started when I was twenty three with hormone therapy.
That’s later then fifteen.
I travelled a lot, I lived in America, in Australia... So I was waiting to return to Czech Republic for quite a while. Then I told myself, that I can start.
Why did you start travelling?
I’ve always loved travelling. I studied tourism, and right after graduation I left for work to America. I worked on the beach, and I rented out deck chairs and umbrellas with my best friend. I left to Australia for my studies, and it’s also where I became a model.
How did you feel in that world? Did they act differently towards you than in the Czech Republic?
At that time I looked like something in between, I never really looked entirely like a boy. I felt good, I didn’t have to deal with the fact that I’m different, because I never experienced anything negative. Not anywhere, not in America nor in Australia. It was all fine.
How did photo shoots in swimsuits and underwear go?
I didn’t shoot in underwear of course, I could start doing that only recently.
Did others on fashion shows know that you’re a boy, and not a girl?
Whenever I came to some country, then the media wrote, that I’m the first transgender model, for example countries such as India, South Africa and so on. So, of course everybody knew, who I am, what my past is, what’s probably in my future, and what my biological history is.
Was it an advantage?
It was an advantage, that they wrote about me. If I was this common biological girl, and came just like that, I guess no one would have been interested. The fact, that I was always different, that interested people a lot. It’s definitely an advantage, I wouldn’t change anything.
What were relationships like for you?
I got my first kiss when I was twenty one, when I had my first boyfriend in America. So I was a very good girl until I was twenty one. (laughter) Boys never wanted me, but suddenly everything changed, when I became a girl. (laughter)
Let’s talk about the transformation process itself. When did you start taking hormones, what changed?
Absolutely everything, especially moods, and the body starts to change. Your bottom and breasts start growing. Also your face starts to change, starts to become softer. The psychological state of mind starts changing all of a sudden. I started being very sensitive and even an advertisement with a cute dog would bring me to tears. Women are simply a lot more emotional.
What about your hair? A wig?
Hair starts improving during hormone therapy. Many people think, that I have lengthened hair, however, they are all mine. And so I’m very proud of them. (laughter)
What kind of cosmetic treatments did you have undergo?
Another thing, that I read about me, is the fact that I underwent a number of plastic operations. That is untrue, of course. I think I’m still young to be doing such things, and I don’t want to end up like a plastic girl, there are too many around anyway. (laughter)
Your breasts will still grow, or are you thinking of getting silicone ones?
My breasts are growing, and apparently this will go on for another year. So far, I haven’t given silicone breasts much thought. I’m quite thin, and I think that big breasts wouldn’t suit me.
How does it work from the side of sex?
Normally. I’d say, exactly as it should have been from the beginning. (smile)
So now, you are a fully fledged woman...
I underwent the operation at the beginning of November, so on the 9th of November I have my second birthday. It’s quite tough. It hurts, that’s obvious, but it’s possible to get through it. I’d definitely do it again, but it’s nothing pleasant. It’s a really painful operation. But everything works perfectly, and it’s great.
How long did recovery take?
That’s different for everybody. I was in hospital for only ten days, and a month later I was completely fine. I have to take hormones until the end of my life, but it doesn’t limit me in any way. And I pretty much live like a normal woman. I don’t have to go see any doctors, this all ended with the operation.
How much does it cost?
Here, the insurance company covers everything, but I read somewhere that it costs around 60 thousand Czech crowns.
What is your goal now, and what do you want to do?
I want to motivate people in telling them we can do whatever we like in life. We only need to believe in ourselves, because so many girls like me write me saying they don’t have enough courage to undergo something like that. I think, that in the Czech Republic we have all the necessary conditions for someone to undergo this process. Although it is an unpleasant and lengthy one, I think that we have to follow our dreams. It’s like living in prison, when you are in the wrong body. I myself, would definitely not like to live in prison my whole life.
Do you have any friends, who haven’t made the step yet to undergo the operation?
Yes, there are many people, who write me saying that they haven’t found the courage, and they’re unhappy. I always try to lift their spirits. It’s an incredibly hard decision, because not everyone really handles the idea of the operation well. But that’s what professionals are for, they will support you through the process step by step. Of course, it isn’t painless, but there’s a saying that a person goes through the greatest pain on a dentist’s chair, no? (laughter)
What are you planning to do after modelling?
On the 14. February me and designer Karin Onderková are planning to launch our new shoe brand called Petia Shoes. It is a brand inspired by my story, and she designs the shoes. I think it’s a big project, and we’ve been working on it for a year and a half, and it will be big.
What kind of fashion do you like? What do you spend the most money on?
I like luxuriously looking clothes. But they don’t have to be expensive. I have many clothes from a second-hand store. The only thing, that’s important is to feel good in them. And what someone else has to say about that... That’s their opinion, not everybody will like the same things.
What about your love life?
I have a partner, I’m in love, everything is amazing and new, so I don’t know. We’re not planning a family yet. I’m enjoying being in love, and living in the moment.
One day, however, I’d definitely like to have a family. I dream of having a child, so in a few years we’ll hire a surrogate mother, and we’ll have children. Or, I’m also considering adoption. But I am still young, and I want to focus on myself, my career and travelling.
Tell me, how do partners or men react, when they find out that you used to be a boy? Does it ever happen that they lose interest? That it doesn’t seem ‘normal’ to them?
You know, I’ve been quite pleasantly surprised, that they don’t react negatively. However, they all want to confirm, that I actually have a vagina. (laughter)
Do you notice any greater interest from men after the operation?
Yeah, absolutely. They hit on me. (laughter)
What is your reaction?
If he’s handsome, then I probably blush, and I’m worried that I look disabled. (laughter)
I have to ask... Czechs are now completely taken with the TV series Most!, where Pavel, transformed into Dáša. What do you think about that, did you see it? And what do you think of the reactions, that people have towards him there?
Many people told me to have a look at it, so I did. I think the TV series shows in a lot of ways, how Czech society works.