Monday, 28 July 2014

Interview with Emma Roebuck


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Emma Roebuck, a transgender activist from the UK, Chief Officer Gay Advice Darlington/Durham GADD, ex-rock group roadie, and ex-pharmaceutical chemist radio broadcaster On Pride Radio North East. Sci-fi geek progressive rock, rock music and all-round nerd. Hello Emma!
Emma: Hi Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Emma: Just me I suppose. I am lucky enough to be paid to do something I am passionate about and as a result make a difference in people’s lives. I am a post op trans* woman who transitioned over 12 years ago but had been living a 50/50 life for years before that. I am 52 years old and looking back I have no idea where the time went of how I got here. I have lived with same guy for over 10 years but still identify as Bi despite it finally occurring to me about 2 years ago I was in what looked to the outside world to be a straight relationship. It was bizarre that I was presenting a role that almost conformed to a stereotype. This was something that I had been railing against for my whole life. I run and LGBTQI charity which is the vehicle for much of my work and the foundation for the good practice we seek to do.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Interview with Kathy Anne Noble


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kathy Anne Noble, a transgender activist from Australia, the founder and president of Agender Australia, and Changeling Aspects, a support group for transgender people located in Brisbane and Australia. The author of “Two Lives: A Transsexual's Story and the Fight for Recognition" (2011) now out of print. Hello Kathy!
Kathy: Hi Monika, good to catch up at last.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kathy: Oh dear, that is rather a problem, as I have done so much in my nearly 80 years. I was born in London, lived through the Blitz, married twice, to sisters, served 2 years National Service in the RAF. Spent most of my working life in the financial field, as a financial advisor both in the UK and Australia. Moved to Australia in 1980 and became a Citizen in 1988. I have 4 kids from both marriages still living, 7 Grandkids and 8 Great grandkids. My kids are spread across the world, in Australia, the UK and America. I finally transitioned in November 2001 on the Gold Coast, 45 minutes South of Brisbane. This year sees my 13th birthday as Kathy. Both of my wives are now deceased, and I miss them both.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Interview with Tiina Miettinen


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Tiina Miettinen, a transgender woman from Finland, one of the main characters of the documentary titled “Sukupuoli X” (1996). Hello Tiina! 
Tiina: Hello Monika. I find this project of yours really delightful, and appreciate this opportunity to share my thoughts about these important issues.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Tiina: Well, to begin at the obvious. This, the trans thing, has naturally been the most characteristic feature of my life. It's been present as long as I can remember, and before my tenth birthday, 1974, I secretly decided I must do something to... to enable it. Namely if by that date, regardless of all my wishes and prayers, God or fate or anything had not agreed to change circumstances for my favor. So I made a conscious decision to begin secretly cross-dressing. I also found the word transvestite at an encyclopaedia. Sensationalizing magazines sometimes reported, in a scandalous tone, about hormones prescribed, breast implants applied and genital surgery performed to some magical creatures living apparently nearby Hamburg's Reeperbahn in West Germany. Later I read somewhere about Lili Elbe and Christine Jorgensen, and after I contacted Helsinki local trans group at age 17, I heard about Cybele's priest(esse)s of the Roman Empire, the Native Americans' berdache, and hijras of India.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Interview with Nicole Garcia


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Nicole Garcia, a transgender activist from the USA. She is currently the vice-chair of the board of ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full-participation, a founding member of Trans* Lutherans, and a member of the advisory committee for the Trans People of Color Coalition. Nicole has held positions on the boards of the Interfaith Working Group and The One Colorado Education Fund and is a former member of the Latino/a Roundtable. Nicole has an MA in Counseling from CU Denver and is in private practice as a mental health counselor in Longmont Colorado. Nicole is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity through Luther Seminary. Hello Nicole! 
Nicole: Hello Monica. It is a pleasure and honor to be here.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Nicole: I was born the oldest son in a Mexican-American, Roman Catholic family. I tried very hard for 42 years of my life to live up to the expectations of my family and church. I married a beautiful woman in 1994 and became a law enforcement officer in 1996. I did all I could to prove to everyone that I was a man.
Looking back, I know I was actually trying to prove to myself that I was a man. In 2002, my wife and I divorced. After the divorce, I was suicidal and drinking heavily. I realized my life was a mess and I entered counseling. I found a wonderful therapist who helped me quit drinking and I worked on ending my severe depression. It was early in therapy when I told my counselor of my life-long cross dressing behavior. She referred me to a support group at the Gender Identity Center of Colorado.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Interview with Vikki-Marie Gaynor


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Vikki-Marie Gaynor, an inspirational woman from England, truck driver featured in the British Channel 4 documentary titled MotherTruckers. Hello Vikki-Marie!
Vikki-Marie: Hello Monika! It’s a pleasure to finally talk. It seems like long time since I began to follow you, which was about the time of my Tribunal against DHL/Blue Arrow in 2007.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Vikki-Marie: I am a loud and proud trans lady who was forced into becoming an activist against transphobia and hate crimes due to being a victim of both.
My life during and after transition was not the “wonderful time” that I envisaged it would be. However, I went down the road of EDUCATION, and began to study. This allowed me to see the potential in my life and with a few goals in place and some new found determination to proveto the world “Who I would have been if I had been born in the correct gender”.
Since then I have become a fully qualified beautician, nail tech and masseuse as well as my level 4 sports masseuse, trainer in equality and diversity and activist.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Interview with Mina Caputo


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Mina Caputo, an American singer, the lead singer and a founding member of the New York heavy metal band Life of Agony. Please redraft the introduction if I missed or twisted something. Hello Mina!
Mina: Hi Hun!!! Greetings! Blessings!
Monika: I have just listened to your first solo album as a woman titled “As Much Truth As One Can Bear” (2013) and I like it a lot. I love both lyrics and music. In the first song “Identity” you sing “… I’m sure that I’m not a woman…” It is rather a surprising line from the woman you have always been …
Mina: Well the correct lyrics to one of the versus are: I am not a man/I am not a woman/all I could taste is my burning heart/I’m sure I’m not a man/I’m sure I’m not a woman/all I could wear is a willing smile... It’s true, I identify completely with the feminine, but… To me spirit has no gender. I truly identify with spirit, or consciousness, which is all energies, all knowing, and all not knowing. So to place myself inside of a boxed word(s) or language doesn't really sit well with me.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Interview with Antonette Rea


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Antonette Alexandra Rea, an inspirational transgender poet and activist from Canada. Hello Antonette!
Antonette: Hi Monika, thank you for your interest.
Monika: We are having this interview in the time when you are recuperating from the car accident. How is your health, Antonette?
Antonette: I am in a far better mental space than I had been due to the pain and limited mobility while I heal. I was hit by a car and dislocated a shoulder and my other hand remains numb though the feeling returned in my shoulder and the sciatica has settled down at the moment.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Antonette: I was a street surviving Queen of the night. My street poet handle used to be “Miss Understood.” My poetry was a coping mechanism when working the stroll and then it became a useful healing vehicle for processing so much adversity. Adversity that I didn't think had affected me until I had stopped using drugs and escaped from a life of prostitution. Sex and drugs go hand in hand it seems in some form or another. My writing has allowed me to process so much negativity, where family and friends were nowhere to be found. Performing these difficult poems in front of an audience is like taking the bandage off a wound because It’s almost healed. There will always be the scars, but I can now let the past go and live more in the moment.

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