Saturday, 1 March 2014

Interview with Merryn Witherspoon

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Merryn Witherspoon, a video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Merryn!
Merryn: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Merryn: I’m not best known for only saying a few words Monika but I’ll try! I’m a middle-aged digital creative living in the lovely Cotswolds in South Gloucestershire, west England. Essentially I’ve been ‘T’ since I was three years of age but for a variety of personal reasons have tried to conform to society’s male expectations until very recently.
I’m now single again after losing my late partner eighteen months ago but have some wonderful family members in the UK and South Africa. My main non-work time is largely devoted to songwriting and live music and quite intensive cardio fitness sessions at my local gym.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Merryn: Partly as a ‘walking talking’ resource for my friends and family rather than the static photos I tend to circulate with every ‘coming out ‘ email! – and partly for my own cathartic and vanity reasons I guess I wanted to try and explain thing in a more conversational, human way than merely words on paper.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Interview with Donna Rose

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Donna Rose with whom I would like to discuss the role of transgender women in the US politics, culture and society. Donna is an athlete, a writer and educator, and a well-known LGBT advocate and activist. Her 2003 memoir “Wrapped in Blue” continues to educate and inspire. She is the former Executive Director of the LGBT Community Center Coalition of Central Pennsylvania, and board member for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). Hello Donna!
Donna: Hi Monika. I appreciate the opportunity to chat with you today.
Monika: Could you say a few words about your career so far?
Donna: I’m not sure what career you’re asking about. In my “real” career I’m an IT consultant and have been working with Fortune 500 and DoD clients for the better part of the last 35 years. That’s my “career” – it pays my bills, it’s my profession, it’s where I spend half of my time.
In my “other” life I’ve described myself as a reluctant activist. Although I wouldn’t call that a career in the typical sense, at one point advocacy efforts were as important an element of my life as my career or anything else I did.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Interview with Dana Zircher

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Dana Zircher, an American software design engineer and actress. Hello Dana!
Dana: Hi Monika, first and foremost I’d like you thank you for asking me to participate in this interview. I’m really impressed with the collection of interviews and information that you’ve accumulated for your website. I thinks it’s a great asset to our community. Thank you so much for pulling it together. It must be a labor of love!
Monika: Could you say a few words about your career so far?
Dana: I’ve been really fortunate with my professional career, I was always a bit of a techy nerd and decided to pursue a career in electronics. Software was more or less a natural fit and I have been writing software professionally for about 20 years.
I’ve had the pleasure of working on products like Lotus Notes, Groove Workspace, Microsoft Office, SharePoint and even Windows. It’s been a wonderfully challenging and rewarding career so far and I’ve had the opportunity to work with and learn from so many brilliant industry leaders.
I also love performing, it offers me rewards that are hard to quantify with words. When I was younger, I played different instruments with several local bands, studied music theory in college and was even fortunate enough to work with some regional roads acts for a short while.
It was always important to me to keep my love of performance as much a part of my day to day as possible, that’s not always so simple when you’re working on enterprise software products.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Interview with Amber Taylor

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Amber Taylor, a charismatic leader, lead singer/guitarist and current business manager of the Atlanta-based band The Sexual Side Effects. Hello Amber!
Amber: Howdy!
Monika: The Sexual Side Effects is quite a unique name for the band. When asked about the origin on the name, you said that you were the sexual side effect. What did you mean?
Amber: Sex, in the context of gender is what I meant. I put a twist in the gender department. The band - which I am the primary writer and sole member through the years - has gone through many players and names as time has gone by.
It started as The Amber Taylor Band, then Amber Taylor and the Trashy Trio and eventually morphed into Amber Taylor and the Sexual Side Effects. Over the last couple of years it became simply “The Sexual Side Effects”.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Interview with Virginia Stephenson

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Virginia Stephenson, an American transgender activist, pastor, writer, spiritual practitioner, Director of the Transgender Spiritual Council, co-author of “Can Christians Be Saved: A Mystical Path to Oneness” and "Your Heart Is My Home". Hello Virginia!
Virginia: Thank you Monika, it is a pleasure to talk with you!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Virginia: yes, I spend most of my time trying to build bridges of understanding, love and trust between people. We have all grown up in a culture which supports the “us and them” mentality, which builds walls between people and groups. I have found spiritual ways that we can connect with each other that will enrich our own lives and those around us.
I do this through writing: my second book is being published this year, and through leading a heart circle in the Oneness community weekly, and through participating in organizations like the trans-Spirit Council The Council seeks to support trans groups around the nation, specifically transgender youth.
Monika: Why is God so merciless towards transgender people, placing their minds in the opposite gender bodies?
Virginia: That is the perspective that many of us have at some point in our discovery that we are transgender. I hope that as we walk our journey, that we are able to see it as being more of a blessing than a curse.
God, Spirit, Creator can be seen as an ally and a lover, not as a punisher. I know that as a result of my crossing gender, that I learned much about myself and my world, and discovered talents and abilities and gifts that I can give back to those around me.

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