Need to Know: Elle Schneider


By Phillip B. Crook

An e-mail from Kelly Osbourne telling you your man is cheating couldn't have been a great Christmas gift.
It caught me by surprise, that's for sure. First she added me on Twitter, and I sent her a message like, 'I'm going to assume you have something to say?' And then she added me on Facebook and sent me a message explaining everything. She said she was with Luke and they were working things out and he'd been lying to her all this time. I had some doubts at first, but from the way she spoke, I could tell she was genuinely hurt.

Did you then contact Luke?
I did and he denied it all. He continued to deny it for the next three days, but Kelly and I kept speaking to one another and I told Luke, 'I don't want anything to do with you.' I told Kelly, 'I'm not a bitch. I'm not out to fuck you over and if you need someone to speak to, you can go ahead and speak to me. I'm not going to let Luke manipulate me.' I remember two days before that, I told Luke I was afraid I wasn't going to fall in love with him and I didn't want to break his heart. So I think that allowed me to believe Kelly. Even up until the last day we spoke, he told me not to give up on him. He wanted to redeem himself because he didn't want to lose me.

Will you ever speak to him again?
I don't have any desire to. I blocked him in every way possible: I changed my number, blocked him on Facebook, on Twitter. I don't even check my old e-mail anymore because I know he e-mails me there.

How did you react to other people coming forward about being with Luke?
Kelly told me more than 100 people have come forward and confirmed they've slept with him. Men, women, trannies, everything in between. He will deny it until the day he dies.

And you're in the process of transitioning, right?
I [started taking hormones again] about a year and a half ago. My surgery will be sometime next year.

At what point did you know you were transgendered?
From a very early age, only because I couldn't date men that were gay. It wasn't attractive to me, but I was attracted to men. Even the masculine gays, I wasn't attracted to. I felt Luke was bisexual because he's been with men and women.

When did you decide you wanted to have surgery?
I started taking hormones at 17 but I guess I [stopped when I] became complacent, because I didn't really need hormones to be a woman to attract straight men. I've always had men approach me. By the time 19 came around, I decided I wanted to feel comfortable with myself in dating. So that's when I decided and last year I had breast augmentation.

Was that pretty monumental?
No. Most people ask was it a huge deal. I felt more comfortable and more in my skin, but it really wasn't. It was almost as if I'd had them my entire life.

How did you choose your name?
Elle used to be my name when I was younger with my friends because I was obsessed with ELLE magazine. And then Schneider is my father's last name.

So now that you're in the public eye, are you planning to use that attention in any way?
It's completely caught me by surprise. A lot of media outlets are prejudiced and paint me in the wrong light and use the word transsexual. A lot of magazines say, 'Kelly Osbourne's ex cheated on her with a tranny!' Or, ''a girl with a penis!' Things that are quite offensive. But I'm also getting a lot of offers. The bigger benefit to me is if -- eventually, when this all dies down -- I could use this as a platform to speak about issues that affect our community. People have the wrong perception of who we are.

What issues do you want to address?
First of all, there's prejudice within our community. There's a lot of hatred and jealousy. Considering that we don't have the same legal rights as the rest of our society and our lifestyle isn't detrimental to anyone, that the government can still deny us rights is completely mind-blowing. It speaks to how united we should be.

Send a letter to the editor about this article.