Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Michela Ledwidge, artist, director, and most recently the co-founder of Mod Productions, a production studio focused on interactive entertainment. Hello Michela!
However I do fear that digital media may one day be the poor substitute for quality media distributed to the masses who cannot afford more organic humanist forms. I don’t spend much time trying to predict the future but Jaron Lanier’s recent book “Who Owns The Future?” describes an uncomfortable vision I can relate to.
|Night of Many Stars - MISSED premiere.|
As an early Web professional, access to global networks was a real gift in that I could converse and discuss with other transgenders around the world. Some of those early conversations were more valuable than media coverage.
|Sydney Film Festival 2009. Winning|
the inaugural Peter Rasmussen
Award at the Sydney Film Festival.
We’re all still very close but there were a number of very uncomfortable years where I had to go off and do my own thing and complete transition. I love being part of my extended family and very grateful that the hard years of acceptance are over.
That said, we have rights and freedoms that should not be taken for granted. I go about my personal and professional life without any real fear of persecution or harm based on who I am. I live in “tranny central” in the heart of Sydney where the population is the most sexually and gender diverse in the country. In other words it can be a bit of a bubble! I do feel that transgender identity is still not taken seriously by most of the population and considered (quietly) to be a mental illness. As a transgender entrepreneur this is very unhelpful. We’re a conservative bunch here!
|Trooper, Blade and Michela. Much of 2005 was|
spent working on her sci-fi superhero flic Sanctuary.
However I always feel that simply by being out and proud as a transgender person in society, especially as an entrepreneur there is a political dimension to everything I do. I rarely get directly asked about my status or gender politics today in conservative Australia but it is clearly noted.
The best thing we can do politically is be visible as active members of the wider community. In Australia I’m a supporter of community advocacy groups like ACON and Get Up that actively lobby our government on specific issues. Absolutely transgender women can make a difference in politics – just by being present at the table.
Stay healthy and listen to your body. It can be such a confusing time but I think for most of us, we’ve had to channel inner strength to confront social norms and be brave about who we are. Self respect and confidence comes from within. It’s easy to be glib about all this – especially when living in a society where I am not in serious danger of being killed over my identity – but people respect those who respect themselves. Respect and all power to you!