Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Rose Venkatesan, an Indian talk show host and celebrity, filmmaker, politician and transgender activist. Hello Rose!
I have tried my hands at TV, radio and politics, all of which force you to work under or for a male owner/controller, who himself has many of the same prejudices that I wish to fight/expose/expel. The entertainment industry/politics in India is highly sexploitative of women and any transwomen that might want to make it up the ladder.
Monika: You made your television debut in 2008 in the talk show titled Ippadikku Rose (Yours truly, Rose), which dealt with a wide variety of social issues such as traditions, taboos, rebels and culture. How do you recollect your first television work?
|Just having a good time.|
I saw an element of transgender discrimination, despite the media hyping and the oh-we-treat-transgender-as-an-equal-anchor attitude that they projected out to the media. I ended up running to another network, which wouldn’t produce the show, but gave me free air time to run my own-production-Idhu Rose Neram.
Nevertheless, it was a struggle to produce my own show with limited self-funds and to market the show with my almost-nill full time staff. The show went off air as the network signed it off.
So I simply waited it out pushing the passion of film making to the recesses of my pursuits until a childhood friend of mine named Senthil, a distant male cousin, changed my course with his newfound interest in film production coinciding with the reunion of us after years of separation from family circles. He was not strong enough financially, but with hard struggles, he managed to fund the film to completion and the film is ready for release at this time.
Monika: At that time of your transition, did you have any transgender role models that you could follow?
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?