Karly Naudi: My earliest memory is running around the roof of my childhood home in my mother’s heeled boots

The first Maltese transgender model to walk for three designers in the 2018 Malta Fashion Week, Karly Naudi takes the MaltaToday Q&A

Karly Naudi
Karly Naudi

After becoming the first Maltese transgender model to walk for three designers in the 2018 Malta Fashion Week, the Karly May community Facebook page became a space to share the struggles and successes of Karly Naudi’s “extraordinary” ordinary life. The sexual harassment and bullying she suffered inspired Karly to use her little spotlight and privilege to inspire others who like here were made to feel unworthy because of appearance, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Make myself a cup of coffee and two slices of toast.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

To fight for what I believe in.

What do you never leave the house without?


Pick three words that describe yourself

Ambitious, passionate, short-tempered.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Most recently, being the Grand Marshall for Malta Pride.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Chocolate, especially if it is in the form of ice cream during summer.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

To always be true to yourself and to never give up.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My apartment, which I am still paying off.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

The true meaning of the saying ‘not all that glitters is gold’.

Who’s your inspiration?

Cliché, but it is definitely my mum. She is a strong woman who fights for what she believes in and loved me even when she did not understand me.

What has been your biggest challenge?

To fully acknowledge my self-worth, since for a long time society made me feel as though I was a lesser being just for being who I am.

Do you believe in God?

I do believe in a higher spiritual entity, but I do not ascribe to a particular religion.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?

Michelle Obama – during the presidential tenure of Barack, Michelle presented herself to the world as first lady, a wife, a mother and a relentless activist. She advocated women’s rights, healthy lifestyles and campaigned internationally regarding the importance of access for girls to higher education. Moreover, she did all this under intense scrutiny and always carried herself with poise.

What’s your worst habit?

Overthinking everything.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Emotional until a song I like comes on, then I become the queen of the dance floor.

Who would you have play you in a film?

I do not have anyone in mind, however I do hope that my character will be played by a transgender woman, and not by a cis-gender actor/actress.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


What music would you have played at your funeral?

‘I Am Who I Am’ by the legendary Gloria Gaynor, and I hope people will dance to it.

What is your most treasured material possession?

The blanket knitted by my great aunt, that coddled both of my siblings and I as children.

What is your earliest memory?

Running around the roof of my childhood home in my mother’s heeled boots.

When did you last cry, and why?

Two weeks ago, whilst watching the film Love, Simon (which I highly recommend to everyone).

Who would you most like to meet?

Laverne Cox. She is my idol.

What’s your favourite food?

Carbs in general, pizza in first place, pasta a close second.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Phillipe Blond.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

I would not travel that far back since the history of the transgender community was rarely recorded. I would go to New York in the 1980s in order to witness the ball culture rendered famous again by the TV series POSE. In no way do I want to idealise this period, but I would love to experience the house culture which provided a sense of community and support for people who are LGBTIQ, as well as also socially shunned performers.

What book are you reading right now?

One In A Million by Lindsey Kelk.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation – it will reduce the chances of being late, whilst enabling me to see the world.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Ride a hot air balloon… I’m scared of heights.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Pop – I grew up listening and dancing to pop princesses which is one thing that has not changed.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Currently ‘G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S.’ by Red Electrick.