Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Madi Madeleine Kruse Madsen, a Danish transgender activist and owner of beauty parlor. Hello Madi!
Monika: At the time of your transition did you have any transgender role models that you could follow?
Madi: No, I did not have any real role models. I had met with some other transgender people and that convinced me that it would be possible for me to transition.
|In her beauty parlor.|
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Madi: Well, I lost many things during the transition. I had 25 years of experience in the IT business and had an important and well paid job in that business. I lost that job. I had also been married for 5 years to what I thought was a clever and understanding wife- I lost that wife. I also had a very good business breeding dogs – and I lost that. So I had to start from scratch again and build up a whole new career.
Monika: A few weeks ago Jared Leto received his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Dallas Buyers Club" as transgender Rayon. What do you think about transgender stories or characters which have been featured in films, newspapers or books so far?
Madi: I don’t think that transgender characters in films, newspapers and books benefit the transgender community very much. They are fictional characters and we need some real role models in order to benefit the transgender situation.
For each country, we need 3 important role models: at least one transgender pop star – a transgender politician – and a transgender TV host, in one of the more serious TV programs. That will be role models that will benefit understanding of transgender people among the general population.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in the Danish society?
Madi: The present situation of transgender women is not very good. About 80% are unemployed and on some kind of public welfare – and only a minority manages to create a normal kind of lives for themselves. The Danish laws for transgender transition has been very old fashioned, and that has created many problems.
This year we can look forward to three significant improvements for transgender in Denmark: 1) We will have a new law passed that allows you to change your gender legally without any demands for physical sex change or operations. 2) The Danish law for public health will get a new and modern section about transgender so they are no longer considered mentally unstable persons. 3) We will get a new public code of treatment practice for transgender, that takes into account that transgender people is a varied group, that wants different kinds of treatment and prefers different kind of lives.
I also have many political contacts, and I frequently have meetings with members of the Danish parliament to brief them, about the transgender area.