Thursday, 31 January 2013

Interview with Ar’lene D. Lafferty


Monika: Hello Ar’lene! Welcome to “Interviews with Transgender Icons”! How does it feel to be an icon?
Ar’lene: Hello Monika and Darling Friends, Sister and Brothers. I never thought I was a community “icon”. Thank you for the honor! It makes me feel proud and willing to do more for our “Trans-family”.
Monika: What are you doing these days?
Ar’lene: These days, I’m writing my autobiography, a task that seems highly difficult for me. Since I have a lot of impasses. All my reasons for the impasses will be revealed in my book.
Monika: Where did you grow up?
Ar’lene: I was first raised in Chicago. At age fifteen (15), my family and I moved to Los Angeles after a vacation (holiday) visit. We started, first for a few weeks in Hollywood, until my parents located an apartment in Sherman Oaks; a San Fernando Valley Community.
You might say; I became a “Valley Girl”. I attended the famous U.S. Grant High School in Van Nuys, a school that many celebrities attended, such as Tom Selleck for one year, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, and the group Toto, to name a few. Many movies (films) and television shows were filmed there: Clueless, Ferris Bueller, Mighty Morphine Power Rangers, and Dick Clark’s, Where Action Is; these are just some.
Monika: Could you describe your childhood? When did you feel for the first time that you should not be a boy or man?
Ar’lene: I was born with a multitude of physical health conditions. Medically; genital deformities, malformed abdomen and broken bladder removed as a baby. Some doctors would say today (through updated education): that I was born Intersex, but could be identified as Transsexual (or both, as classified by published author, Alice Dreger, PhD of Northwestern University (through contact and personal means) and Dr. Derweesh, MD, a Urologist at UC San Diego (a doctor of mine).
So to me, it’s not a question of how I felt as a boy or later a man, but it’s more of when can I become a young girl or start on my womanhood. Parents and medical doctors, when I was born, held me from early life as a girl. Their knowledge was primitive on my health condition. My parent thought they had a boy. I began my womanhood in my early twenties (20’s).
As a preteen, I had been scared of what I learned of other Trans at the time were going through “shock treatments” and “lobotomy”. This is explained in my autobiography that I’m writing. Also, in my teens doctors at UCLA were doing “reparative therapy”; (Dr. Ivor Lovaas and then not yet doctor George Rekers). Known by years later as the “Family Research Council”, its religious oriented base and different quacked questionable doctors/non-docs today.
Ar’lene at LA Trade Tech College.
(Newsweek).
Monika: For most of transgender girls, the most traumatic time is the time spent at school, college or university when they had to face lots of discrimination. Was it the same in your case?
Ar’lene: No, I hid all my “Trans” feelings and attended a handicap school (Special Education) in Chicago. So in grammar school, the term “Trans” was not yet understood or clearly even visible by students or faculty, only I knew something was wrong.
As for high school, I suppressed it for my safety. I attended a school that was known for academics and a seventy percent (70%) Jewish population. All during high school and the first semester of college were my “American Bandstand” years! Dick Clark and Charley O’Donnell picked me and my dance partner many times for “Spotlight Dance and Rate-A-Record”, etc. I became a regular on the TV Show. Dick was generous by giving out concert tickets and prizes on the show.
I was there for many early beginning of upcoming celebrities; Singers, Bands, Groups like Sonny and Cher, Mamas and Papas, The Turtles and others. One Show I was picked for Dick’s Hair Stylist to show updated style. While the Stylist was doing my hair, “Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and Raiders” stopped in the makeup room and chatted a while. “Did you know before his band, he worked in a “Gas Station” (Petrol Station)?” I was just about four (4) years on “Dick Clark’s American Bandstand”.
The fun part at Valley College was at the Theater Arts Department; (I had a double major “Theater Arts and Motion Pictures”). Wrote a “One Act Play” for Advance Acting Class called “To Which Sex” that opened the eye of the instructor and students’ which opened the door on the TG Night Club Entertainment Industry. Well, you could guess who I played. I received an “A” and it was for my Final Grade in the Class.
I returned years later post-operatively to LA Valley College to change my transcripts and take classes. They changed my records and were pleased to do so. Therefore, there was no problem about my “Transition”. In Cosmetology School there wasn’t any problem with the “T” because I was still AKA (male). It was me post-op going through “believe it or not” LA Trade Tech in downtown LA, where I went to school for Electrology.
Ar’lene and new husband, 1st wedding.
(Newsweek)
“Newsweek Magazine” (November 22, 1976) published an article with our pictures, my husband and I (Ar), as well as Jude Patton (Female to Male), approximately three (3) to four (4) weeks or so into the class.
At the time, I was a peer-counselor at The Center (LGBT) or then aka Gay Community Service Center (GCSC) and facilitator of LA’s “TS Rap”, a separate support group (not a part of the GCSC). There were some pictures of my wedding and taken by Newsweek’s photojournalist with additional pictures on campus secretly.
The actual interview has been done before my class at trade school began. And WOW, the article and pictures came out and a student in the Cosmetology Department (electrology was in that department), came up to me before I ever saw it with Newsweek in hand. She asked for an autograph on the magazine. She then proceeded to show it throughout Cosmetology Department, as well as around campus. OMG! “The flatulent hit the fan and blew it!”
The Cosmetology Head of the Department and my instructor tried to block me, at first, from use of the Ladies Lockers and campus restrooms, but I stopped that cold, because I was post-op, born in Illinois, the first state to change “Birth Certificates”. Mine was already changed, all identifications changed and I’m legally married to a man. “So I Trumped Them!” Things did calm down, but not without my instructor and department head giving “days off” (discipline) for class and school disruption.
Monika: At what age did you transition into woman? Was it a difficult process? Did you have any support from your family or friends? Did it have any impact on your job situation?
Ar’lene: Most of these have been answered in previous questions, but as for jobs. I’ve worked for May Company Department Store (North Hollywood) mostly in Cosmetics, but couldn’t work in my cosmetology field at that time. I moved to a new apartment away from home and began HRT. I couldn’t work in cosmetology because my license didn’t match. Needed to change it after GRS/GCS (SRS or Gender Confirmation Surgery). Next I had to do odd jobs like hospital nurse’s aide, waitress, drug store (or Chemist Shop), Riker Labs (a 3M Company) and even became a “Hollywood Street Person” living with street income. Some may say, it’s was just short of “Prostitution” due to employers lack of understand and social security (government) outing me, a problem cleared up after post-op.
I worked twice with Shirley Cash. Yes, she could be a relative to “Johnny Cash”. She had a men’s hair salon called, “Shirley’s of Hollywood”. I did say, “I’ve worked twice for her. Once a few years before I began my change and the following time a few years later post-operative in which she said, “The clientele will never know who you have been and they didn’t.” They were never the wise. Shirley was a wonderful boss; she paid for my wedding and my dress in 1976. We worked next to the studios (Universal, Warner Brothers, Disney and NBC, etc). Many celebrities and their wives were our patrons. 
Ar’lene’s Evening Out on the Down
 in San Diego.
Monika: Did you have any problems with passing as a woman? Did you undergo any cosmetic surgeries?
Ar’lene: At age twenty (20) my parents helped pay for my nose surgery. While post-op in 1978 and a second in 1979, had two different surgeries to enlarge my breasts. Skip to twenty-two (22) years ahead. The implants ruptured and were removed, but I still developed a good cup size breasts (C/D). So I didn’t need any new implants. No FFS (Facial Feminization Surgery), I would always want to continue my quality look in femininity.
Passing in public was no problem unless I let my voice get real tired, overly relaxed, or I’m too comfortable with the people I’m with, but today it’s much better under controlled. I had voice lessons (2010) with a Speech Therapist (cover by my health insurance). So, I have a female voice, holding and gets lower at times, but still in a female tone!
Monika: We are living in times of modern cosmetic surgery that might allow to transition even at late 50s or 60s. Do you think it is really possible? What kind of advice do you have for transgender ladies at such an age?
Ar’lene: Hmm, yes! “I did know it would happen!” GRS/GCS or SRS was being done for years since the Roaring Twenties Flapper: Lili Elbe had first GCS at the end of 1930, but to die in a few short years at the start of 1931 in Denmark. We can’t forget that years later, also in Denmark, Christine Jorgensen had her transition (early 1950’s).
In the USA, no surgery was ethically allowed until the 1970’s, except for Dr. Burou patients (also in the 1950’s-60’s): Coccinelle, Christine Konda, and April Ashley. They had SRS in Morocco. Just after Christine Jorgensen’s fame, GRS continued in Morocco until the 1980’s. So it was a taboo in America overall. I did cross the path of Christine Jorgensen a few times. She was a close friend to Sister Mary Elizabeth (Joanna Clark). Joanna has been her friend until her death.
In the 1970’s through the early 1990’s, there was a doctor in the USA who did GRS/GCS (SRS) mainly in California, Dr. John Ronald Brown, MD. Dr Brown’s surgeries started great to good and ended in lunacy. Dr. Brown ended in Prison in California for doing surgery by cutting off a man’s left leg (amputating and mutilating); a man suffering from apotemnophilia. He was found dead in a San Diego Holiday Inn. His leg was found in the desert. Dr. Brown did GRS and other surgeries in garages, hotels/motels, and other unethical locations. Over the years, he had a multitude of deaths and did unethical practices.
In the mid 1970’s, doctors in several American Universities started a program to open the door to a selected group of “Trans-patients”, to start GCS (SRS) i.e: UCLA-Harbor General, Stanford and John Hopkins to name a few. Stopped I believe in 1992. Also, about the same time until his death was Doctor Stanley Biber, MD, Trinidad, Colorado. He made Trinidad The Capital of Trans-Surgery. Dr. Marci L. Bowers, MD took over his practice until 2011. She is doing GCS in Northern California, now (San Mateo).
My advice or the bottom-line; work for a company that pays for your medical insurance that covers most of your surgeries and/or HRT. You would be lucky, if you worked for the City of San Francisco. Their Health Insurance covers HRT, Psych and GCS. Kaiser Permanente for many policies covers: Psych, Speech Therapy (female voice), HRT and some GCS (SRS).
As for FFS, body and breasts are rarely covered. Also, the lucky ones they are in the countries that pay for medical (NHS) including: HRT & GCS, but one unfortunately have to wait long periods before any surgery. It’s unknown if AHCA (Affordable Health Care Act) or Obama Care covers these surgeries and/or treatments; for my state, “California OneCare” (upcoming), also unknown yet. “Don’t let it control you, control it yourself!” Which means, “No is not an answer”. Keep pushing, find away to go around the obstacle and/or system.”
Look, if you real want these surgeries and treatments, just go the best way possible and get it!!! Many people (especially medical insurances) will try to stop you. Just push around them and my best wishes to all of you! 
At the Hotel Bar in Atlanta, Georgia.
At the Southern Comfort Conference.
Monika: At that time of your transition did you have any transgender role models that you could follow? What was your knowledge about transgenderism?
Ar’lene: My Role Models started with, Coccinelle and Bambi (Marie-Pier Ysser). Bambi began as an entertainer and then became a University Professor. I cannot forget Christine Jorgensen and April Ashley, who married Lord Arthur Corbett in 1963. She adopted a son. All had GCS (SRS) in Casablanca. My knowledge was still at its learning stage. If you said, people I know personally, “It would be Joanna Clark, Canary Conn, and Christine Konda, who was My Maid of Honor” and was murdered in 1989.
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Ar’lene: The stubbornness and misunderstanding of my parents. My sister was the first to know. It’s all different today. Also, I can say this, “I would have loved to begin transitioning as a child or better yet, be born 100% female”.
Monika: What did you feel when you were finally a woman?
Ar’lene: “Check it off with a big check mark!” I felt very lucky then and Happy-Happy-Happy!!!
Monika: What do you enjoy most in being a woman?
Ar’lene: Cosmetics, clothes with style, dating hot men (in the past), being married to a sweet man (at present), and my trades (as an Electrologist and a Cosmetologist). Also, my HRT is easy for me to travel going through airport security. I even travelled for five (5) months through Europe on a Rail Pass in 1986 and many times visited the United Kingdom since then.
Monika: You are married to a man. Was it difficult for him to accept you as a trans-woman?
Ar’lene: Only at the time of transition beginnings. Not for the most during the marriage, but except the first few years when the Newsweek article messed him up at his work. He was fired for it. Because of one of the photos in the article with both of us at the wedding, our finances, and irreconcilable differences. We divorced in 1980. After nine (9) years, we re-married in Las Vegas (1989). We’re still married today, but on occasion, “I flirt with hot guys”! 
1976 Wedding – Ar’lene & Bob.
Monika: Did you have a big wedding party? Where did you spend your honeymoon?
Ar’lene: Two weddings with the first time in Burbank, California (in 1976 with a small group of friends and family) and no real honeymoon (work instead). The other wedding was in Las Vegas (1989). We prolonged the second marriage honeymoon for a big trip, (three weeks) in England, Wales and Scotland.
Monika: You played a substantial part in changing the law in California in 1978 on "Birth Certificate" along with Joanna Clark. Was it a difficult fight?
Ar’lene: In my autobiography that I’m writing presently I devoted a whole chapter to “California AB 385, The Fight for Birth Certificate Change”. It birthed out of the Los Angeles “TS Rap Group” with Joanna Clark leading the way.
I was the TS Rap Group’s facilitator at the time. We did a mass amount of letter writing to the State Legislators. There were about six (6) people and a senior group involved in the campaign. The Bill passed. There was an attempt to block it by trying to pass another Bill known as SB 2200, but that was voted down. The original Bill stood as is and California AB 385 became law in 1978. It became the model for other States.
There have been several changes to the law since then. We follow Illinois, where I was born. Today, there are three (3) states left to change their laws on birth certificates (Tennessee, Ohio, and Idaho). A few states are unclear on their “Trans” birth certificate laws like Texas.
Ar'lene in Florence, Italy.
Monika: What is your general view on the present situation of transgender women in American society?
Ar’lene: The best that I can say, “For the most part, the parents are seeing their child’s needs in starting “Blockers” (i.e. like Spironolactone) at the right time in the child’s life.
Doctors are more educated on “Trans”, except a few like Canadian doctors “Psych’s”, who are trying to circumvent the DSM -V. Also, quackery of the twisted thinking of these bad docs. These believers think that the “Trans-person”, as well as the gay person, can be changed through faith healing “Reparative Therapy”, like the “Family Research Council”.
Monika: We are witnessing more and more transgender ladies coming out. Unlike in the previous years, some of them have status of celebrities or are really well-known, just to mention Lana Wachowski in film-directing, Jenna Talackova in modelling, Kate Bornstein in academic life, Laura Jane Grace in music or Candis Cayne in acting. Do you think we will have more and more such women?
Ar’lene: In our history, I’ve seen a few of the “Matrix films” and V for Vendetta by the Wachowskis (Lana and Andy). Also, Laura Jane Grace, Lisa Jackson, Jane County, Dana International, and Canary Conn (she was also an author, who I knew); are among the successful singers that recorded music.
As far as acting: Candis Cayne, Alexis Arquette, Aleshia Brevard, and Alexandra Billings are some of the famous ones. Two of the models are Isis King and Jena Talackova. Authors are Jennifer Boylan, Lynn Conway, Jan Morris, and Kate Bornstein of the many. I love that our community shows their strength.
Yes, we are not done; we as a community created a Library full of books, music and successes. Yes indeed more of us will be known, because of the public fascination with us and them wanting more. We are entering beyond a new era of “Civil Right” for our community. We look toward the future of things to come, like new laws in our favour; for schools, education, text books, the world internet, and new innovations that are yet to come. 
Southern Comfort Conference - Seminar 2009
"Our Trans-History, the Heroes" - Ar'lene (standing),
Yvonne Cook-Riley, Monica Helm,
and Jamison Green (the three sitting).
Monika: At the same time, sometimes we get horrible news about transgender women being killed or beaten just as in the infamous case of Chrissy Polis that was beaten by two teenage girls in McDonald’s because she used ladies’ toilet. How can we prevent it?
 Ar’lene: As for Chrissy Polis or others that get attacked or murdered, I call this lunacy; “The Jerry Springer Syndrome”. An attitude of the low educated, twisted faith believers, gun totally crazed off their bedpan nuts! They think violence is the answer: destroy and it will go away. “These are the real sickos!” It’s the reason why many of us don’t patronize the businesses that pay money to organizations that block US Congress.
These organizations are our main obstacles that stand in our way for the states to create new laws made to benefit us like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) or state by state Restroom laws and stopping the Defence Of Marriage Act (DOMA). Unfortunately, restroom laws, defers from state to state. Most states have laws for our benefit. Maryland (Baltimore Area suburb), where this Chrissy incident took place, actual the law written is in our favor. She just hit upon the wrong place at the wrong time. Most Micky-D’s (McDonald’s) are okay with us patronizing them. The two young ladies (prosecuted) and manage (lost his job). They received their comeuppance.
As for people and organizations that butt into our business and stand in our way, “the list is long”. Some are a large number of the Republican Party members (for religious reasons). Others are businesses like Chick-A-Fila, Domino’s Pizza, and Carl Jr. (Hardees’ and Green Burrito) to name a few with their own personal religious convictions.
Monika: Do you think that in our lifetime we could live to the day when a transgender lady could become the President of USA?
Ar’lene: We are already in branches of the government and with two judges: The Honorable Judge Phyllis Randolph Frye of Texas and The Honorable Victoria Kolakowski of California. Appointee by President Obama is the Senior Technical Advisor to the Department of Commerce, Amanda Simpson.
We have a small town mayor in Silverton, Oregon: The Honorable Mayor S. Rasmussen (Trans). There was the case of Susan Ashley Stanton in Largo, Florida and her being fired as City Manager, but later obtained another job as City Manager in Lake Worth, Florida. We are already in government as I said. America does not have a lock on a “Trans-person in government. There was a Member of Parliament Georgina Beyer of New Zealand (as well as a published author).
As for the USA, “American President being Trans-woman?” “Let’s be real!” It’s very doubtful in our lifetime, however the likely scenario is possibly The First Lady and “Trans-persons” could be members of congress (congresswomen) and possibly congressmen (ftm). Trans-persons are likely to be State Legislators or State Senators in our lifetime. Unfortunately, a Trans-person female or male being a US Senator (questionable, two per state) or US President (not likely) would be stopped by the Religious Right and/or Corporate America, not to say present day, “The Republican Party”, if they still exist at that time.
Christine Konda (left) and “Ar”lene (right) Post-Wedding.
Monika: I know that the story of Christine Konda is important in your life. Could you elaborate on your friendship with her?
Ar’lene: A few of my autobiographical chapters I’ve devoted and dedicated specifically to California AB 385 (Birth Certificate Law), Joanna Clark (Sister Mary Elizabeth), Jude Patton, and one for Christine Konda.
As for Christine, we met five (5) months after my GCS (SRS) in 1975 via a mutual lawyer friend. The same friend (who became my haircut and styling client) that introduced me to Canary Conn. Christine and I became closes friend. We partied together, did night clubbing and we would hang out like sisters. I made her “My Maid of Honor” at my wedding in 1976. In the 1980’s, we lost touch when Chris moved to Tucson, Arizona.
In November of 1989, I received a call from Marvin the Lawyer, same mutual friend. I thought he was calling for a haircut and style, but it was twofold. One, yes, his hair and the other to tell about Christine Konda that he was just informed about. He stated Chris murdered brutally... He gave many of the gory details... “Oh! My! God!” I kept saying, “Oh! My! God!” The funeral was back in February of that year. I miss it. I wish I known. So, as time sped forward...
Time forward, it's 2005; I’m at work in my electrology business in San Diego. I received an email from someone claiming to be Christine Konda’s brother-in-law David Henry. He said he’s Joe’s significant other (spouse), Christine brother’s who lived in San Francisco at the time. We chatted on the telephone, David said, “Joe died a year after Christine”. He continued to tell me of the “Trial of the man who murdered Chris and additional gore of her death (see my autobiography for the details). I wanted to make it known since nothing in the DOR (Day Of Remembrance) website archives was on her.
Ar’lene in Versailles, France.
So, I when searching for some way.
Then it came to me that November 20th is just a few months away. I thought maybe I can volunteer for that. Comes time for the Planning Committee of DOR. The organizers were ignoring me like when I try to place Christine on the DOR website. They the two (2) factions stated that I have no proof that she was murdered because she was “Trans”.
I explained that there are people on the website that were killed because of robbery and not due to “Trans” reasons. They both (website DOR and Committee) continued not to take me seriously. So when it came time for volunteering for different tasks or duties, I stayed silent. The committee finally asked me why I’m not helping. I explained again about Christine Konda, that the Prosecution needed a strong conviction. So they did not want the court room to know about Christine being a Trans-woman (post-op).
In other words keep, the knowledge from the Jury. Which simple tells they were in fear of what we all know about the “Trans Defense” that most killers get off and/or lighter sentence. Only the DOR San Diego organizing committee finally gave in and asked me to lead the March down University Avenue on the Day Of Remembrance. So on November 20th, 2005, I just did that. In order to know what happened in Court. You will just have to read my autobiography when it’s published and in a store or on the Internet for purchase.
Monika: You are the author of the educational presentation titled: "Our Trans-History, the Heroes". What inspired you to develop such a presentation?
Ar’lene: The lack of our community’s knowledge and their overall attitude of the people before them who paved the way for others. These sisters and brothers should know, “Who the Heroes are that opened the door so we can benefit. “I thought it’s important enough to educate the community about “our history”. I presented this at three (3) Transgender Conferences for more than one year with knowledgeable known community heroes. We filmed one of them back in 2009.
For a limited time you can view the seminar presentation on my website. It’s on the “lower part of the page” and it’s approximately 95 minutes long. It’s called, “Our Trans-History, the Heroes”. Download the Presentation at www.arelectrologist.com.
Ar'lene working on Shirley May.
Monika: You work as a professional electrologist. Could you tell me more about your work and recent trends in electrology?
Ar’lene: I’ve been a State Licensed Electrologist since 1977 and a Cosmetologist a bit longer (1970). This makes me the first post-op in America to be an Electrologist who recently retired from those trades to write my autobiography. At that time, when I began the profession, many electrologists would be willing to work with us, but not let us into their circle, their profession and associations.
Lately, it’s Laser Hair Removal Treatments that have been popular for treating dark hairs (at present, does not work on white, very light and light red hairs). Back in the 1990’s when laser began showing up on the scene; California’s Electrologists were first given the opportunity to work under doctors performing treating with the laser on patients.
The California Electrology Association decided, unfortunately, to flush this opportunity down the toilet. After less than a year of evaluation, their argument then was “it’s not permanent”. So they bowed out. Many of them in California decided to bad mouth laser hair removal. A big mistake! California Medical Doctors decided to only allow Registered Nurses, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners, as well as the doctors to perform the service on patients.
In many states, laser hair removal treatments are done by a trained professional electrologist under doctor’s supervision. Electrologists in California blame Laser Hair Removal for their business loss. They subsidize by adding a service through training as an aesthetician (skin care). In the 1980’s, I also worked in the Tourist Industry, mostly in California as a Step-on Guide, Tour Guide, LA Tour Trainer, and Coach Driver.
I love travelling, taking a break from the office. In 1986, I traveled five (5) months throughout Europe; it was more than a vacation.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colours or trends?
Ar'lene Yes, I love fashion of style for my age, but it must be trendy. Love boots, soft looking clothes: black, lavender, ka-tour, jersey material, chiffon, shear, sexy flowing dresses and skirts, but mostly you’ll find me in casuals. I’m not much of a fashionista, but I love dressing ultra-feminine. It’s what my present day budget can afford. I buy clothes that flatter. Shop at J.C. Penney’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom’s (for MAC cosmetics) and Nordstrom’s Rack (clothes, shoes and purses), Bebes, H & M, Victoria Secret, Burlington Coat Factory, and local small business, if they have what I want.
San Diego 2005 Day Of Remembrance
- Ar'lene in light green on the right).
Monika: Are your involved in the life of your local LGBT community?
Ar’lene: In the early answers, I wrote about LA’s TS Rap Group, facilitating and a peer-counselling at the Gay Community Service Center (former name, now LGBT). I fought successfully to get two (2) “Trans” jobs under the CETA program (at GCSC). Where at that time, there were “0” for “Trans-persons”.
When I moved to San Diego, it became a problem there, because of jealousy and misunderstanding. However, many others, like my clients and non-clients came, to my Mission Valley office for advice well as treatments. Even today, I’m contacted for advice.
Monika: Are you a feminist?
Ar’lene: Some activism yes, but on feminism, if the feminism is on stopping the Transphobia based explicitly on Trans-people. Also on Anti-Violence, especially on Trans-women! No more killing and targeting our community! Yes, I Am! 
Monika: Could you say that you are a happy woman now?
Ar’lene: Happy that I’m a woman? Yes, 110 %!!! Age has slowed me down, but the hot gal (me) has been an affectionate independent woman. I show love for my Trans-family. Love you ladies, you are my sisters! Love you, Gentlemen! “I’m always a lady first!!!”
Monika: Ar’lene, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Ar’lene: You are more than welcome Monika, baby-doll! Thank you for asking the right questions! Please be on the lookout for my autobiography. Hugs and Nose Wiggles, darlings!!!

All the photos: courtesy of Ar’lene D. Lafferty.
Done on 31 January 2013
© 2013 - Monika 

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