Employee portrait: Elira N. S-O
TW: suicide, eating disorders
This portrait is part of a series produced each month, to celebrate the plurality and inclusion that Bota Bota wishes to continue promoting.
Born in Montreal to an Albanian family, Elira, reservation agent at Bota Bota, seems to come from another world. The rate at which she speaks is impressive and the book of her life contains a staggering list of chapters, at just 20 years old.
As the first trans woman to work on board, she is happy to be able to communicate her pride through many forms of media. “I have always been inspired by the idea of inspiring others. Anyone can lead a successful life.” The most important thing to her is to show that trans people are people who can be happy. “I’ll get messages from young trans people that’ll tell me that I have had an impact on their lives”.
Élira is no stranger to life’s hardships. Her sister, also a trans woman, took her own life a year ago. “It is important that we recognize that our situation is difficult. We must create and find places that we can consider as safe spaces where we do not judge. Bota Bota is one of them, but there are unfortunately few like that.
She often finds herself to be the first openly trans person, whether in private or public spaces. A weight that she carries with great humility, always keeping in mind the members of her community. “I have always been part of this community. My girlfriend is also a trans person. We are like everyone else; we’re no different!”
She has learned to discover herself through many activities. For 5 years, she has been using humor to soften the outside world. As a graduate of the youth program at the National School of Humor in Montreal, she does stand up and improvisation in bars. “I love absurd humor, it’s very representative of who I am”.
Modeling has also been part of her life, and it was even before her transition. “Modeling is very difficult. I have had a lot of eating disorders because of it.” Today, she regains control over this story by choosing her own contracts. She only wants to model for inclusive companies that represent her values. You may have seen her in one of our recent promotional videos for our Seaside body treatment.
Élira combines her work at Bota Bota with studies that will lead her to veterinary medicine. She touches on the dream of caring for large animals, a lesser-known specialty in the field. “I loved my internship at the SPCA that I just finished! »
Elira is indeed of our world after all, a bright northern star, who shows the way to those who seek it, against all odds…