Monday, 5 May 2014

Interview with Monika Donner


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Monika Donner, a former officer of the Austrian Armed Forces, independent consultant and lawyer in the Ministry of Defense of Austria, the author of "Tiger in High Heels". Hello Monika!
Monika D: Well, hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Monika D: I love to go my own way: my private way of love. In my childhood I loved my big wild garden. When I entered kindergarten, I had to throw up because everything was strictly separated into girls and boys.
As I grew older, I learned to play both gender roles perfectly, until I decided to live as a woman – without letting doctors cut my genitalia. Therefore I had to fight against the old sexist/sadistic law by calling a high court. I won. Since then I am free, because I defended my inner child.


Monika: Why did you decide to write your autobiography titled "Tiger in High Heels"?
 Monika D: The impulse to write “Tiger in High Heels” came when I heard the inhumane speech of Pope Benedict in December 2008. It sounded to me like a diabolic witch hunt against all kind of individualism. I felt that I had to defend the inner child of all transgender against old men wanting to rape it.
Monika: And you love high heels, of course?
Monika D: Do I? I only have about 120 pairs of high heels and I hug them every morning. Well: I love high heels.
Monika: Which aspects of your experience can be useful for other transwomen?
Monika D: The experience of the ultimate power that lies within every one of us. Call it inner child, call it soul – or call it connection to God. It helps us going our own way.
Monika in 2003.
Monika: You graduated from a Jesuit school. How do you recollect your school years? 
Monika D: Annoying. The teachers interrupted my dreams and laughing sessions with their weird school stuff …
Monika: Then you ended up in the army…
Monika D: My grandpa was an officer in WWII and I wanted to become an officer, too. The army gave me structure and led my way back to nature.
Monika: … and in the Ministry of Defense.
Monika: After studying the law I ended my career as a company commander in a tank brigade. I put off the uniform, entered the Austrian MOD and in my free time I studied some kind of psychotherapy. Then my both personalities “Centurio” (strong guy) and “Monique Dumont” (sexy weekend diva) mingled. Everything changed.
Monika: What are the social roles of men and women in the contemporary society?
Monika D: There are many social roles and I think, we cannot fulfill one of them, because priests, politics and psychologists had a lot of time to construct these little private hells. 
Monika: You continuously fought against the legal system which was not able to accept a woman with male genitalia. Is your fight over?
Monika D: Yes, the fight is over and won. In 2009 the Austrian Supreme Constitutional Court shared my opinion that no one shall be forced to have a genital operation. Now we are free to change our name and sex without doctors fumbling and cutting in between our legs! In 2011 Germany and Italy followed.
In the army.
Monika: At that time of your transition, did you have any transgender role models that you could follow?
Monika D: Just my own: The one in my heart.
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Monika D: The hardest thing was not to come out. But my body forced me to come out of the closet: Hemorrhoids as big as cherries were the result of holding back, what was inside of me.
As I walked into the army base as a woman for the first time, the “cherries” disappeared instantly and I felt, as if I would fly. Well, I’ve been 5 inches closer to heaven – I’ve been wearing High Heels!
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in the Austrian society?
Monika D: Now the law is on our side. It is our part to live as we want to live, to be kind and friendly – and to defend ourselves, if necessary.
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Monika D: I am not active in politics because I think that politics in our days is a kind of theatrical show performed by puppets on the strings of the rich. To make politics and life democratic again we all (!) have to change ourselves. Love is the key: love to ourselves, our family and nature. Transgender women, which are in touch with love and their inner child, could show to other people, that individuality brings happiness.
The lady with a red high heel shoe.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Monika D: Love is life. Love is everything. But how often can you read the word “love” in laws? How often can we hear about love in politics? This will change, as soon as we learn to accept ourselves as loving beings.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colours or trends?
Monika D: I dress, as I feel. Sometimes in heels, sometimes sporty, sometimes in New Rock Boots. But always with very long nails (hardened with UV-Gel). My way.
Monika: What is your next step in the present time and where do you see yourself within the next 5-7 years?
Monika D: I feel good right now. So why think about the future? Okay: In 7 years I will walk through the forest with Jasmin (my big love) near to our wooden house on the countryside.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender girls struggling with gender dysphoria?
Monika D: Find out what you really really need in life! Find your inner child and hug it. Then you will walk your own way right between the fields of dysphoria and euphoria. Your very own way.
Monika: Monika, thank you for the interview! Thank you!

All the photos: courtesy of Monika Donner.
Done on 5 May 2014
© 2014 - Monika 

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