My Interview with Freyja Odinsdottir for Sherriff in Denton Texas.

For this month’s V.A.P.R. trail it’s my honor and privilege to introduce a true bad ass, Ms. Freyja Odinsdottir. She’s not without some controversy but as a vanguard and a rebel she fights against common stereotypes and norms. She seeks change through ethical-political disobedience, sex work and gender norms. She was the first person in Denton to be arrested in the Black Lives Matters protests of 2020. She seeks reform in the criminal justice system based not on arrests and incarceration but criminality and crime rates. She’s a rebel, mother, and a modern day medieval Valkyrie looking for substantive change. Be on the watch, she’s going to do great things. You can visit, contribute, or support her in her election at www.FreyjaForAll.com. Check her out!

(To the reader. Questions have been separated into three general areas, transition questions first, then political second followed by general life questions third.)

Transition through time and space”

Did you have clues you were trans growing up?

Gosh, so many. More than I could ever possibly list. Every trope, every meme, every stereotype, they were all me. I’ve never gotten along with boys, never had many friends who were boys, and never really fit in with male dominated spaces. I experimented with gender fluidity in high school, though that wasn’t a word that was used back then. I’ve questioned my gender my whole life, and I’ve always had this suffocating feeling like I wasn’t really being myself, like I was pretending to be someone else, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

What difficulties have you faced in your transition and how have you moved passed them?

Well, My ex-wife left me, and she’s been on-and-off atrocious since then. I think, beyond that though, the biggest difficulty has been having to wake up every day and see myself in the mirror, knowing the me inside doesn’t match the me outside. That’s hard. I’ve honestly gotten through them thanks to having very supportive partners, especially my longest partner, who has always been there for me, held me when I cried, affirmed when I doubted, told me I’m pretty when I feel ugly. I’d be lost without them.

How has your family taken your transition? How have you coped if painful?

My mother called me a whore and said I have AIDS. She’s apologized though, and seems to now be taking it well. My father was very nonchalant, but seems to be struggling with things like fathers’/mothers’ day. My siblings were not surprised at all, and have taken it really well. Most notably, when my older sister met my joy friend (non-binary partner) for the first time, she hugged them and said, “Thank you for loving my sister”. I cried.

If there is anything you could go back and change in your transition what would it be?

I think I would have taken the time to get better at makeup before I started wearing it in public. That’s really the only thing I look back on and cringe, that I thought my makeup was good when I first came out. It’s shallow, I know, but it has a direct impact on my sense of self and on my presentation in world.

Do you have any regrets in your transition?

I regret not doing it sooner. If I’d realized that living a lie as a man was what was making my life so miserable, I would have thrown it out decades ago.

If there is anything you could go back and change in your transition what would it be?

I think I would have taken the time to get better at makeup before I started wearing it in public. That’s really the only thing I look back on and cringe, that I thought my makeup was good when I first came out. It’s shallow, I know, but it has a direct impact on my sense of self and on my presentation in world.

What personally has changed most for you since before you started HRT and who you are now?

My world view is a lot gentler and more understanding. I have never been a very exclusionary or judgmental person, but I’ve definitely come to a point where I’m a lot more in tune with what it means to treat people with dignity, validation, and respect. I’ve had my way of thinking turned on its head more than once. It’s like when I was 13, and was shaken out of a lot of my homophobic beliefs that I didn’t even know I had. I’ve had to come to terms with a lot of internalized oppression I’ve been carrying around.

What in your transition are you most proud of?

I’ve worked really hard on my trained voice. I think that, since I have control over it, is the thing I’m most proud of. I would say my boobs, but I didn’t really do anything to get them other than taking my “anticistamines” (male to feminine transition medications such as Spiro-lactone, estradiol, bicalutamide, progesterone), I don’t have a lot of pride there.

How do you deal with individuals who are trans-phobic or bigoted?

I don’t. I don’t make time for them. Yeah, when someone is hateful, I’ll go home and cry about it, but I’m not going to sit there and argue with them. There’s no point. I meet them with love, and with compassion. They didn’t ask to be raised with those values. I feel pity for them, blinded by hate and ignorance.

What’s your happiest joy in your transition, one perfect memory or milestone?

Hearing my little girls call me mom. Every time. It makes me so happy. I never asked them to or told them to, that’s a choice they made all by themselves.

What’s the one thing that no one knows about you but you’re most proud of and would like people to know?

I think I’m comfortable saying this because of the nature of this publication, but the answer to your question is: I have no desire to get gender reassignment surgery. I don’t think having a penis makes me any less of a woman. Just like I don’t think having a vagina makes a man any less of a man. Gender isn’t genitals. Period.

Do you have any trans-heroes or role models?

I used to look up to Janae-Marie Kroc so much, but then she/they started competing in bodybuilding as a man again. That hurt a lot. I look up to Kristin Beck, a lot. The trans navy seal. She’s really done a lot to show that being a tough bad-ass doesn’t make you less of a woman. I also really look up to my ex-boyfriend, Greyson, a lot. He’s a very well-known and, he’ll disagree if he reads this, but I would argue famous, belly dancer, and he’s one of the few masc belly dancers in the world. I guess, in short, I really look up to anyone that flips the bird at gender stereotypes.

As a transwoman who do have a big sister or close sisters who you have connected with in your transition?

No, not really. It’s weird. I came out, and like, right away started getting treated like a trans elder by a lot of people. People asking me for advice, wanting me to give them makeup/clothing tips. Mostly, I became mom. That’s who I am, I’m mom. The Mominatrix. I have lots of surrogate lgbtqia+ children who were shunned by their actual mothers, and I provide that comfort and presence for them.

Were you working when you started your transition?

I had left DCSO in February. I was driving for Lyft until the summer session for TWU started.

What has been your experience transitioning in the community (Denton)?

Denton has been overall very accepting. The queer community here is great. Of course, outside of that you’ve got some… less than pleasant people, but nobody has attacked me in the streets, or called me names in front of my kids. So, overall it’s been very pleasant.


What’s your favorite band/music? Have your tastes changed since transition?

My favorite band is Sabaton, and my favorite style of music will forever be Power Metal, I think. But yes, my tastes have changed a lot. For one, listening to men sing just doesn’t sit right with me anymore, except in a few cases. I just prefer feminine voices. I also find that I like a lot more mellow, laid back music, like lo-fi, or indie music. Which is weird to me because I used to hate that.

“Politics, Denton, and Me”

If elected what are your campaign promises to the community of Denton?

I’m hesitant to make hard line promises, because I know I’m going to have an uphill battle with legislators and staff fighting me every step of the way. But this is what I promise to do:

For the public:

I promise that I will not leave the legislators like the DA, commissioners court, and county judge alone until they agree to stop the prosecution of consensual sex work, minor drug offenses, and criminal trespass for homelessness.

I promise that I will push for the reallocation of funds away from tactical equipment towards more inclusive, comprehensive cultural and mental health training.

I promise to improve hiring/promotion practices, to weed out the good ol’ boys and make space for more modern and progressive officers and deputies.

I promise to do everything in my power to lower the number of individuals incarcerated at Denton county. Inmates are an economic burden on the county, and they don’t need to be there for half the things they are there for.

I promise I will do everything I can to not cooperate with ICE.

I promise to do everything with absolute, 100% transparency, so that if I can’t make something happen, you will know why and who to blame, even if the answer is me.

For the Officers and Deputies of DCSO

I promise to fight for higher pay and benefits, and to reallocate funds, if necessary, to improve them.

I promise to listen to every complaint raised by staff. Too often do individuals, especially supervisors, get away with inappropriate behavior because their subordinates fear retaliation. No more. I will have a direct way to raise concerns to me, and I, or my oversight committee, will look into them personally and take action.

I promise the training to equip you to be the law enforcement the people deserve.

I promise to do everything in my power to bring the academy to DCSO. We shouldn’t be paying other agencies to train our deputies.

I promise better, more sanitary, safer working conditions.

How are you different from your opponent? Has your transition changed your political views?

I’m not a bigot, first of all. I don’t advocate violence against innocent people. I don’t advocate violence, period, unless life and limb is unquestionably on the line. I don’t throw tantrums when I don’t get what I want, or when people don’t like my ideas. I sit down and try to work out with all parties involved how we can reach a point of accord. I think COVID-19 is a real threat. We also have very different ideas of what constitutes a “professional appearance”.

visit: https://www.freyjaforall.com/
visit: https://www.freyjaforall.com/
visit: https://www.freyjaforall.com/

Can you explain your stance on lenience for sex workers and low level drug possession?

Yes. Let’s start with sex workers. There are two reasons why sex work is criminalized in some modern societies. The first is to prevent human trafficking. It doesn’t do that. It’s the same principle behind making guns illegal. Sex trafficking is already done through the dark web and other illicit, illegal means. Criminalizing consensual sex workers doesn’t stop traffickers from trafficking anymore than banning firearms stops illegal gun sales. It doesn’t even stop consensual sex workers, it just throws them into a cycle of economic oppression. The second is some prohibitionist sense of morality. Why does one group of people’s morals matter than anothers? Who are sex workers hurting? You know, they did an experiment with chimps, where they taught them to use currency. The first them male chimps did was pay female chimps for sexual favors. The profession itself predates any moral rhetoric religion has constructed around it.

Drugs. First of the drug war is nothing but poorly disguised class warfare. Again, who is being hurt? If you make the argument of the people who are hurt in drug trafficking, well, they are hurt because it’s illegally smuggled. People don’t get shot for transporting beer. If you argue the people that overdose, why don’t you care about the people that drink themselves to death? So much of the illegality of drugs is a result of corporate lobbying, or outright systemic oppression. The FBI has admitted already that the prosecution of marijuana was an attempt to connect black people to the hippies who were protesting war, and then criminalize them both.

In both cases the crime has no victim. In both case it pushes people into a downward spiral of economic oppression, and a cycle of recidivism in the penal system.

What’s the one thing if you could change anything in Denton what would it be?

Decriminalize sex work. That’s my answer for every city.

Can you explain why are you running for Sherriff?

I’m running for Sheriff because I believe that law enforcement in America has lost its way, forgotten that its purpose is to protect all people, not to serve as a tool of economic or racial oppression. Modern policing began with the idea that the power and authority of law enforcement must come from the trust, respect, and affection of the public. Today we see officers and deputies who act as though their authority and power come from the threat of punishment, from fear and intimidation tactics. I have a lot of good ideas, I think, about how to fix these problems in the system. I wish somebody else was doing it. There have been others with great ideas, some of my ideas I got from them, who just didn’t want to stand up and do it. So here we are.

How does your transition change how you approach your professional and political career?

It’s taught me compassion and empathy in a way that I never had the ability to connect with before. I’ve always considered myself a compassionate person, and I’ve always tried to be. I think it’s important. But being able to connect with my emotions the way I can now, it helps me feel connected to people, to their suffering, so much more palpably.

Do you have plans to debate your opponent?

People seem to want me to. I don’t know if that’s a thing that is done for sheriff elections. I’m not opposed to the idea. Nervous, because my recall sucks and I don’t want to be bullied into a corner with demands for statistics and citations that I can’t remember off the top of my head. I do much better with writing things down.

If you’ve been on HRT, how long have you been on HRT? Any suggestions to new guys and gals out there?

Since May of 2019. I would suggest anyone wanting to start HRT reach out to me, because I can connect you with a research program through the VA that can get your meds for free. Also, buckle up. The world is REALLY different on the other side. Moreover, get ready for your brain and body to start doing crazy stuff while you go through your second puberty.

What has your involvement in the Black Lives Matter Movement in Denton been?

My first protest, for anything, ever, was on June 1st 2020. I was arrested when the police line started pushing people back. There was a young black woman who refused to move. I put myself and my riot shield between her and them.

After that I attended several protests as a medic, until my car died and I was out of it for a while. Most recently I attended a protest as a speaker to rally people for my campaign. I think people need that, to see that there’s someone who cares enough about their plight to put it all on the line like this.

Since running for office has law enforcement focused on you? Pulled you over? Harassed you ect?

No, not that I’ve noticed. Frankly I don’t think they know what I drive, and I’m a very safe driver so I don’t get pulled over very often. I’m expecting it inevitably though.

Have you had any death threats either on the web or dark web?

Somebody tried to lure me into a trap by posing as a client. Sucks for them, I’m not taking clients until this is all done.

Has anyone tried to Dox you?

Oh, yeah. Several people started throwing my dead name, and childish variations of my dead name, around, trying to get a rise out of me I guess. They claimed I wasn’t using my real name. That stopped when I posted a redacted picture of my drivers’ license with a “Sorry about your luck”. A lot of false accusations about me too. I know Murphree is trying to dig up dirt on me, too. A little birdy told me. But there’s nothing that I’m hiding. Hiding is a terrible idea in this business.

“Life, The Universe, and Me”

Freyja, (Old Norse: “Lady”), Daughter of Njord, her chariot was drawn by cats

Freyja Odinsdottir how did you come up with such an interesting name and what was the inspiration?

I’ve been a Norse Heathen, Asatru, for about 15 years now. Odin has always played a very important role in my spiritual practice. Freyja became very prevalent to me once I started to embrace femininity, after I guess you could say my egg started to crack. They overlap in a lot of ways. They are deities of war, death, and magic. Freyja is also the goddess of boundaries, and of feminine empowerment, lust, and love. I’ve always looked to Odin as a father figure, because he’s the father of humanity, all of humanity. So, when I needed a name, it just made sense.

What is your background before you transitioned? IE the Marine Core ect. Married?

I was married, yes. My ex-wife left me a year after I came out to her. Well, I started doing martial arts when I was 8, after reading a book called Zen and the Way of the Sword: Arming the Samurai Psyche. Something really resonated with me about the ideals of Bushido, the samurai code of ethics and virtues. I started to live my life by it. It’s influenced almost all of my decisions since then. I started bouncing under the table in New York city when I was 15. I enlisted in the Corps when I was 21. Got out, went back to school and got my bachelor’s in teaching Yoga and Martial Arts. I came to Denton to find work, and ended up working for Denton County Sheriff’s Office. I left in 2019 and started transitioning a month later.

Where did you grow up and go to school? What kind of family life did have growing?

Well, I mostly grew up in California, Texas, and New York, in that order. I kinda bounced all around the country though, but those were the way points. My dad traveled for work, and my mom worked from home. My dad was pretty absent, didn’t do much with me. My mom was the go-to parent, and she was emotionally and verbally abusive. To this day I’m more anxious about being yelled at than I am about being physically harmed.

What pushed you to join the Marines? How did you deal with dysphoria as a Marine?

I failed out of college my first time around. I was lost, just surviving, and delivering pizzas. I decided to enlist to try to find a sense of purpose. I was very heavily repressing at the time. I compensated for my discomfort in my skin by becoming hyper-masculine. I worked out 2–3 times a day, I lifted a lot of weights. Looking back I was… I would say internally toxic. I didn’t let it spill out into what I said to others, but I didn’t treat myself well.

How does your Marine training guide you in your transition, professional, and political life? What was your MOS (Military Occupational Specialty)?

I was an 0351, Infantry Anti-Armor Assault-man. The marine corps helped me develop perseverance, and drive, and the ability to disconnect myself from my humanity. That sounds bad, but it’s really not. What I mean is, when I’m faced with a situation where my life is in potential danger, I just shut off the part of me that cares about that. I guess I dissociate. Then I can react from a place of calm, and reason. It’s how I’ve been able to deescalate a lot of dangerous situations when I was in corrections. I can talk to people when no one else will, because I’m not scared.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully I’m back doing what I love, as a dominatrix and adult entertainer. I don’t want to do this forever. I don’t have the heart for politics. I want to set Denton on the right path, and then leave it to someone else to continue.

What’s your favorite thing about Denton?

My favorite thing about Denton is how small and overlapping the queer, sex work, and burlesque communities are. I meet people all the time who have been friends with my friends, and I would never have guessed. I say, “Wow, small world” a lot.

What’s your least favorite thing about Denton?

The very clear ethnic and class divides. There are people of different ethnicities and backgrounds all over, but there are certain neighborhoods where, say, there are more black folks, or white folks, or latin-x. Poor neighborhoods, or rich neighborhoods. I hate that. It drives me nuts.

What hobbies and interests are important to you? What are your long term goals?

I honestly haven’t had time for hobbies, real hobbies, in years. But I’m a martial artist. I love to lift weights. I like writing Haiku. My long term goals are to at least become successful at what I do. It would be nice to afford all the cosmetic surgeries I want, but I think that’s asking a lot.

What’s your favorite book or movie?

I have 2 favorite book series and I CANNOT pick between them. The Black Company * by Glenn Cook, and The Nemesis Trilogy by April Daniels *

My favorite movie is Seven Samurai.

Do you have a favorite food or comfort food?

Burritos. Latin food in general is a huge comfort thing for me, but especially burritos.

If you were to have a movie screenplay written about your life, what would it be titled?

“I Feel Like There’s a Lot to Unpack Here: That’s what she said.”

Notes:
You can read more about the Black Company at:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Company *

You can read more about April Daniels and her series at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Daniels_(author) *

All answers and pictures are the sole copyright ©2020 Freyja Odinsdottir all rights reserved. Use of material in this article without express permission of Freyja Odindottir expressly forbidden without written consent. Thank you for your cooperation.

I’m a trans woman living to the fullest. Peeling the layers of my own psyche one at a time. Writing on geekery, society, and the art of being true to my self.