Sunday, 30 November 2014

Interview with Pam Bennett


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Pam Bennett, an American advocate for the LGBT community, politician, military veteran, and blogger. Hello Pam!
Pam: Hello from Annapolis, Maryland U.S.A. Happy to be here.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Pam: Asking a politician (former, but never say never) to say only a few words is like asking the sun to not shine too much today. My first thought every day is that I am the luckiest person on earth. The job I do is a lot of fun, enhanced with wonderful co-workers and bosses who care about their employees.
I live on a beautiful little peninsula, southeast of Annapolis, in the Chesapeake Bay. My cat, Boo, loves sailing on my boat. All of this is what I think of each morning because I also temper my happiness knowing that so many transgender people around the world cannot even dream of my world. I have had a great life, too many downs, but a lot of ups to make it interesting.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Interview with Maki Yamazaki


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Maki Yamazaki, a British musician, producer, artist, games developer, trans-feminist and advocate of queer and disabled peoples’ rights, the creator of Dr. Carmilla - a retrospective-futurist cabaret, the head of Silvana Studio and games developer. Hello Maki!
Maki: Hi there, lovely to meet you and thanks for having me!
Monika: You describe yourself as a transfeminist. What does transfeminism espouse?
Maki: Trans-feminism is basically feminism that is fully trans inclusive. It's not implicitly one kind of feminism but an umbrella term for different types. But the key thing is about trying to make things better for women of all kinds, with the inclusion of trans-feminist writings and ideas (such as 'Whipping Girl' by Julia Serano).

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Interview with Naomi Fontanos


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Naomi Fontanos, a Filipino trans rights advocate, one of the founders and current Executive Director of transgender rights group GANDA (Gender and Development Advocates) Filipinas in the Philippines, and blogger. Hello Naomi!
Naomi: Hello Monika. The pleasure and honor are all mine. How lovely indeed to finally have a conversation with you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Naomi: I grew up in a small town in the Philippines where the country’s superstar also comes from. I was a straight-A student from grade to high school. In high school, I graduated on top of my class and went on to attend the Philippine’s national university, which is like the Harvard of the Philippines, the University of the Philippines Diliman.
There, I earned a degree in education. I am a licensed teacher and currently work as an education consultant. I love languages, fashion, music, art and travel. I love to write, read and watch movies in my spare time. Best of all, I love to sing. I love doing karaoke and love spending time with friends this way.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Interview with Miranda Yardley


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Miranda Yardley, a British accountant, music magazine publisher, blogger and businesswoman. Hello Miranda!
Miranda: Hello Monika! Thanks for asking me to do this and for helping my voice to be heard.
Monika: You can boast a considerable number of music magazines such as Terrorizer, Dominion, and Sick Sounds, which specialized in extreme music. Has your music preference changed over the years? 
Miranda: Terrorizer is the only one of these magazines that is still regularly published. My taste in music has always been very broad, I’m open-minded to most kinds and I continue to search out both old and new music that interests me.
Monika: How did you enter the publishing business?
Miranda: I had an accounting client who owned Terrorizer and wanted to drop the title. The rest is history!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Interview with Sarah Brown


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Sarah Brown, a talented British Liberal Democrat politician and transgender activist, the former Cambridge City Councillor for Petersfield ward, for several years the only openly transsexual elected politician in the UK, listed many times on the Independent on Sunday "Pink List" of the most influential LGBT persons in the UK. Hello Sarah!
Sarah: Hello Monika!
Monika: I was so sorry when I heard that you failed to be re-elected as a Cambridge councillor in May 2014? How would you summarize your term and legacy?
Sarah: Thanks. It was always going to be a tough campaign, given the demographics of the ward I represented and being elected originally during “Cleggmania”. Still, I’m pleased that I managed to do some good during my time as a councillor. The two things I’m most proud of are setting up a fund to help teach disadvantaged kids to swim, and getting a motion to introduce a 20mph limit on all residential streets in Cambridge through council with unanimous support. There were times when it was really stressful though.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Interview with Katie Leone


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Katie Leone, an American writer, former stock broker, teacher, preacher, and wrestling champion. Hello Katie!
Katie: Hi, Monika. Thanks for inviting me over, it’s a real treat and an honor.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Katie: I’m a very simple woman. I enjoy keeping to myself for the most part. I love writing stories and try to promote transgender equality through fiction. Most of the time I’m with my f2m boyfriend Felix and we spend time talking and laughing. Hopefully there will be a wedding in the near future. 
Monika: You are the author of 25 transgender fiction novels. When you create transgender characters in your books or projects, do you include any autobiographical elements in their lives or stories?
Katie: It is hard not to include part of yourself in your characters or they wind up coming up flat. A lot of the characters in my books are usually a part of me whether good or bad. We all have those sides of us that we wish we didn’t and I use that to create some of my evil characters. Fiction is a great place to let those demons out because at least you can see it for what it is and address the issues.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Interview with Kimberly Luciana Dias


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kimberly Luciana Dias, a Brazilian transgender activist, artist, beauty pageant queen, blogger, creator of “Mundo T-Girl – Travestis e Transexuais”. Hello Kimberly!
Kimberly: Monika, please bear in mind that I am trying to use the social network of my country to spread the visibility of our trans community, especially Brazilian transvestites and transsexuals. I love doing this, so it is a great pleasure when I'm in front of my computer, building a virtual policy and manifesto, trying to use everything I have learned in my life through activism, stage, model catwalk and my experience as a transgender woman. I am doing this just to show our vision, glamour and beauty because our community deserves it!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kimberly: I am a very accomplished person; I have all my dreams come true, but not all of them. It has taken me a lot of years but although I have a very serious look, I'm a very humorous person. I like my independence and I have a few friends, I love my family and my life story, and I really like my solitude that makes me feel good to be alone!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Interview with Isley Reust: Update


Monika: It is amazing how much has changed in your life since our first interview in February 2014! The most visible change is your hair. From blue to blonde again!☺
Isley Reust: HAHA Yes, coloring my hair blue was the worst mistake ever. It took me about 6 months to get it back to blonde.
Monika: In October 2014 your band “Spectacular Spectacular” finally released the first single titled “Orange Juice”. It is a disco song. Is the whole album going to cover disco songs? When is the album going to be released?
Isley Reust: We released our first single on October 7th and are releasing the single to iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Target Music etc on November 25th. The rest of the album comes out sometime in February.
As far as what the album sounds like, it's going to be a very diverse mixture of songs, mainly because we wrote and recorded the record over the course of two and a half years. Nonetheless we promise you won't be let down. We have tracks that are very dark and melodic, to some that are dancey and a couple acoustic tracks that are very intimate. The album flows very well!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Interview with Petra De Sutter


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Petra De Sutter, a Belgian gynecologist, academic, senator, Professor and Head of the Reproductive Medicine Department at Ghent University, Executive of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), a member of the Royal Belgian Academy of Medicine, a former member of the Belgian High Health Council and of the French Biomedical Agency, author of over 300 journal articles. Hello Petra!
Petra: Hi Monika!
Monika: What did you feel when in July 2014 it was announced that you were appointed to the Belgian Senate as a Green Party nomination?
Petra: I was very happy and proud. I hope I can contribute to a more equal and just society, and although the Green Party is a small party (just under 10%), we can influence things and make our world greener, more sustainable and also more equitable.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Interview with Ahya “Yah-Yah“ Nicole


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Ahya “Yah-Yah“ Simone, a young woman of many talents from Detroit, model, aspiring make-up artist and harpist. Hello Yah-Yah!
Ahya: Hi! Let me first say that I am so happy that you found me interesting enough to interview. Thank you!
Monika: You were featured in the Barney’s “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters Campaign” which was targeted towards bringing trans positive awareness within fashion. There are more and more transgender models that are successful in the fashion business…
Yah-Yah: Yes!! And I am so excited for that. Visibility and diversity is very important. It’s time for a breakthrough for trans people in the US. It is time to stand up and be recognized.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Interview with Jennifer Lydon


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Jennifer (Bryant) Lydon, a senior account executive at Metro US — a free daily newspaper popular in New York, Philadelphia and Boston; She is also the organizer of the Mid-Atlantic Transgender Community (M.A.T.C.) as well as the hostess of The Raven TG pride events in New Hope, PA. Hello Jennifer!
Jennifer: Hi Monika. Thank you so much for allowing me part of your site. It is an honor to be amongst so many inspirational people.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Jennifer: Questions like this are always tough for me… I either say too much or have nothing to say… lol … Anyway, here goes… I am a 48 year old trans-woman that has successfully navigated one life into another. I was married for almost 20 years and have 4 adult children that are still very much a part of my life.
I work as an account executive for Metro News Media. I’ve been there for over 14 years… the first 13 of which I worked as a mild mannered male… lol. Times have changed for sure!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Interview with Naomi Ceder


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Naomi Ceder, an American Python language programmer, blogger, transgender activist, lead software architect and developer at Razor Occam, former IT Director and Python developer at Zoro Tools, Fellow of the Python Software Foundation, and the author of The Quick Python Book. Hello Naomi!
Naomi: Hi Monika! Thanks for interviewing me!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Naomi: As my intro says, I’m a Python developer and systems architect. I’m currently working in London and Düsseldorf, which has been a lot of fun. 
Monika: Being a Python guru, how would you explain the importance of this programming language to persons that are not IT experts?
Naomi: I doubt I’m a guru, although most people who know me would probably say I’ve always been a teacher. Python is a very powerful and readable language that is also fairly easy to learn. It’s also a high level language, meaning you can get more done with less code. All of that makes it enormously useful in all sorts of areas – web applications, big data, scientific computing, day-to-day administration, etc. It continues to grow in popularity; for example, it’s one of the top languages at Google.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Interview with Jessica Vorster


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Jessica Vorster, a young video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Jessica!
Jessica: Hi Monika! Thanks for inviting me to do this interview!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Jessica: I’m a transgender woman, 22 years of age. I’m just trying to find my place on this world. I’ve been living full time since December 2013 and have been on HRT for a year and 10 moths now. I’m a happy go lucky kind of person that likes to talk and help people. 
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Jessica: At first I wanted to raise money in order to go for surgeries, but people wanted to hear the story behind the story so I have been working on a few new videos that will be up on YouTube soon.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Interview with Alice Denny


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Alice Denny, a British poet, and transgender activist from Brighton, England. Hello Alice!
Alice: Hello Monika, it’s a pleasure to meet you - so to speak.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Alice: Well I came out and transitioned later in life than most, after bringing up a family. As such transition has given me a new lease in life, a new energy. It has presented some interesting issues with relationships. I Identify primarily as a woman, parent, poet etc and trans is more coincidental, a reference to my development that has little current relevance. Although in practice it has a big impact on the way I interact in the world and the world treats me.

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