Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Tona Brown, a talented African American Transgender violinist, vocalist, actress and host of a web TV series entitled "Conversations with Tona Brown". Hello Tona!
Monika: Do you have any favourite opera singers?
My primary interest these days are to share the music of African American composers to the world. There are so many wonderful pieces for recital that the world has not had the opportunity to hear. This to me is a injustice on so many levels.
So I decided to make an EP called "This Is Who I Am" to showcase a few of these wonderful gems. This album can be found on Itunes or Cdbaby. It is the first of many projects to come. I am also singing with The Repertory Theatre of Washington playing the role of Zia Principessa in Sour Angelica later this year as requested by the opera director Jane Tavernier.
|Time to let the Music talk and the BS walk|
in 2014! Can the church say Amen!
So many transgender artists feel discouraged to pursue their dreams and to speak about their artistic endeavors in fear of what the mainstream media might say about them.
These fears are justified in our society as we are often times seen as people that should not be in the forefront. But what a loss to the artistic community and experience when so many people are being discriminated against we don't get to hear the very best!
But I am confident that these depictions will change now that transgender activism is coming into the mainstream and more transgender artists are allowed the opportunities to showcase their abilities.
|With President Barack Obama, on the night Tona sung|
"The Star-Spangled Banner" at the LGBT event in NYC.
As Shirley Verrett advised me: "Their are plenty of opportunities for us all but YOU must find your own niche in this industry". I feel very confident that I have found that niche and enjoy a successful career.
Our very existence makes some feel uncomfortable about who THEY are. It has very little to do with the person being attacked or called horrible names. One who is transgender has to be very strong and learn to pick your battles wisely and to have a greater understanding of why people treat you the way they do at times.
Which is why I supported president Barack Obama and sang the National Anthem to honor him at the LGBT Leadership conference in NYC. It has been my pleasure to perform for many of the most progressive political leaders in our country.
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Main photo credits to G. Gar Roberts of Gar Roberts Photography.
All the photos: courtesy of Tona Brown.