Saturday, 5 April 2014

Interview with Julie Nemecek

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Julie Nemecek, an American transgender activist, lecturer, professor, ordained Baptist minister and Presbyterian Church elder. Hello Julie!
Julie: Hello Monika.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Julie: I am 63 and retired, but still active for LGBTQ rights and equality. I will have been married 42 years this June; have 3 boys – all married – and 5 grandchildren with another on the way.
Monika: In 2007 you made headlines for being fired by Spring Arbor University after saying you were going to transition into a woman. Are you still bitter about that act of discrimination?
Julie: Not really. I have had a lot of support from former colleagues and students. It was mainly the Board that had issues (fearing lost revenue and/or students). I worked for 18 months AFTER they knew I was trans and transitioning.
We reached a mediated settlement to my Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint after 13 hours of negotiation over two days. They knew they were in a difficult position because they taught the standards of care that I was following and had admitted a transgender student to a graduate program based on her Christian witness.
One positive outcome was that their act of discrimination brought me over 100 media interviews in 2007 including Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and even Christianity Today. This, along with two other highly publicized trans stories in early 2007, had a collective impact of bringing trans issues to the forefront of public thought.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Interview with Maki Gingoyon

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Maki Gingoyon, aka Maki Eve Mercedes, a Filipino trans woman beauty queen, most well known for winning Queen of Cebu 2010, and being one of the Queens for Super Sireyna 2013. Hello Maki!
Maki: Hey Monika! Thanks for having me on your blog. And it is nice to meet someone like you, a fellow transgender woman making a difference in promoting good image among trans women.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Maki: I am 24, turning 25 this year, and I am a transgender woman from the Philippines. I studied BS Psychology, unfortunately was not able to finish it due to some family issues. Which challenged me to be independent and work my a** out by applying to call centre, which is a very common job opportunity in the Philippines, especially for 2nd year college students who want to work. That actually helped me to support myself and my transitioning.
And currently I work as a digital online marketing director for a transgender dating site together with my boyfriend.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Interview with Kenna Henderson

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kenna Henderson, the author of the books titled "I'm Not The Man I Used To Be" (2012). Hello Kenna!
Kenna: Hello! I’m very flattered that you would consider me for an interview. I see all the lovely ladies you have talked with and wonder “What on Earth am I doing here?”.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kenna: I’m sure you’ve heard the term “late bloomer”. I was born in 1941, knew without a doubt by age six that I was transgender and kept it secret for more than five decades. I don’t remember how I learned it was something to be ashamed of, but I had no relatable examples in the media and no one I could talk to.
It was only in 1994, when I gained access to the internet, that I began to understand what I was dealing with and realized that there were a lot of other people like me. From that point on, I began to evolve. It took another ten years or so for me to know and accept exactly where I fit on the gender spectrum - and find peace.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Interview with Tammy Powers

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Tammy Powers, a transgender activist, the owner of the bike shop in San Francisco. Please redraft the introduction if I missed or twisted something. Hello Tammy!
Tammy: Hi, thank you for contacting me. I’m glad you want to ask me some questions about me and my bicycle shop, A Tran’s Bay Bike Shop.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Tammy: Sure, I’m a businesswoman, part-time stand-up comedian, helpful, sincere, trustworthy, tenacious, lover of dogs, and I make the best vegetarian lasagna you ever had.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Interview with Dallas Denny

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Dallas Denny, a writer, editor, behavior analyst, pioneer and leader in the transgender rights movement in the USA, recipient of IFGE's Trinity and Virginia Prince Lifetime Achievement Awards and Real Life Experience's Transgender Pioneer Award. Hello Dallas!
Dallas: Hi, Monika, and thanks so much for having me!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Dallas: Let’s see, what do I want to say about myself… I live in a tiny town called Pine Lake, population 800, which happens to be in the middle of Metropolitan Atlanta, just 10 miles from downtown. It was started in the 1930s as a lake community resort so Atlantans could vacation in the country.
Today Pine Lake still looks like a girl scout camp, heavily wooded with cabins and cottages and of course a lake, but the city extends 50 miles past it! My house is mere feet from the lake, and all of the lake is a park. The town is filled with artists and interesting people of all sorts—and several other transpeople live here.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Interview with Miss saHHara

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Miss saHHara, a Nigerian model, singer, beauty queen and LGBT activist. Hello Miss saHHara!
Miss saHHara: Hi Monika!
Monika: Some critics compare your voice to that of Nina Simone. Do you have any singers that you admire and draw inspirations from?
Miss saHHara: Yes, I have been told I sound like Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Heather Small from M-People, I find it humbling because they are the greats! I am influenced by the looks, glamour and stage presence of Shirley Bassey.
Monika: Could you say a few words about your singing career?
Miss saHHara: I began singing and writing songs at the age of twelve in Nigeria. I found solace in music through the church due to a rather troubled/confused childhood because of the identity I was assigned at birth. So, when I moved to the United Kingdom to live my life openly, I decided to pursue my music career a bit farther.
I have a singing residency in a lovely venue in London for the past 10 years. Music is my life, being creative in writing and producing gives me joy and satisfaction. I have written and produced over fifty songs, I am planning to release an album in the future.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Interview with Kat Haché

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Kat Haché, a video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Kat!
Kat: Hello Monika! Thanks for reaching out to interview me.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kat: Well, I am a transgender woman from East Tennessee. I’m currently in graduate school getting my masters in archival studies. I’m interested in trans representation and the diversity transgender narrative in the archive.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Kat: Well, like I said, I’m interested in personal narratives. I think they are incredibly powerful and inspirational for others who have experienced or are experiencing the same sorts of things as the person relaying that narrative. For transgender people, we are so used to being articulated by society in less than flattering terms rather than articulating our own narratives and identities on our own terms, with our own discourse.
With that video I really wanted to challenge the narrative that there was one crystallizing moment that I *knew* that I was trans, and instead I wanted to articulate how it was a gradual discovery and a gradual deconstruction of this imposed narrative of who I was supposed to be and this imposed dialogue that I had to use to describe myself and limit who I could be at any of the stages mentioned.

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