Friday, 25 April 2014

Interview with Nancy Nangeroni

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview longtime transgender activist Nancy Nangeroni. Nancy founded the Boston chapter of The Transexual Menace, a ‘disorganization’ of transgender activists, in 1995. She co-produced and co-hosted GenderTalk for 11 years and GenderVision for 11 programs. She served as Executive Director of the International Foundation for Gender Education and has been Chair of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition since 2008. An MIT-degreed engineer, she worked in industry for 20+ years, now focuses on providing leadership and tech empowerment to the broader trans community. Hello Nancy!
Nancy: Hi Monika, thanks for inviting me to join your many amazing interviewees! 
Monika: For many years you have been dealing with transgender advocacy. What has been achieved so far and what are the current challenges for transgender people in the USA?
Nancy: When I began volunteer work for IFGE in 1990, there was little respect shown for people expressing or identifying with the ‘opposite’ gender, and any critique of binary gender thinking was relegated to the radical fringe. Now, we have laws in hundreds of jurisdictions protecting people’s right to freedom of gender identity and expression.
Most people in the USA now accept, if still resisting in some areas, the presence of transgender people in “respectable” society. We’ve forged a credible (some say leading) social movement that continues to grow. And we continue to win respect for people who don’t fit into pre-existing definitions, including definitions of what it is to be “transgender.”

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Interview with Guta Silveira

Monika: Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Guta Silveira, an inspirational transgender activist from Brazil, actress, author of two biographical books: "Homens Não Choram" (1994) and "Transexual A História de Uma Vida" (2005). Hello Guta!
Guta: Hello Monika! Hello girls!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Guta: My story doesn’t deviate much from what usually happens to other transsexual girls. I was born with the body of a boy and I was raised as one. Despite that, when I was 3 years old I went to the sports club with my mother and we used to go to the girl`s bathroom and that was normal to me, part of my universe.
One day I went to the boy`s bathroom e was stunned with what I saw. Handsome men that stirred something in me, but at that age I didn’t know what it was. I grew up feeling different from my schoolmates, not knowing what my true place was. I loved to use my mother’s makeup on myself when there was nobody watching, and used rags to fake long hair, wrapped myself in bed sheets to make believe they were dresses, it was all very fun and pleasing.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Interview with Fay Presto

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Fay Presto, aka Letitia Winter, a British premier close-up magician, voted The Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year 2012, former Tatler 'Party Entertainer of the Year, Gold Star Member of The Inner Magic Circle. Hello Fay!
Fay: Hello Monika!
Monika: According to Wikipedia, magic is a performing art that entertains audiences by staging tricks or creating illusions of seemingly impossible or supernatural feats using natural means. Why do people need magic?
Fay: Magic, my kind of magic, is part of the entertainment industry. People have a fundamental need to be entertained, after air, water, food and shelter, comes entertainment; be it folk tales, shamanic dancing or cave paintings that flicker in the firelight.
We go out, kill the mammoth, bring it home, skin it and cook it and then gather in the cave behind the fire and tell tales to help us forget the sabre toothed tiger the other side of the flames.
That is why today we have books, cinema, television and theatre. We need entertainment to distract us from the horrors of everyday life.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Interview with Melissa Sklarz

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Melissa Sklarz with whom I would like to discuss the role of transgender women in the US politics, culture and society. Melissa is a transgender advocate and activist, delegate to the Democratic National Convention in New York, presiding over Stonewall Democratic Club. Hello Melissa! 
Melissa: Hi Monika!!! Thanks for doing this and for reaching out to New York City!! 
Monika: I am tempted to ask about your family roots. Your family surname sounds Polish …
Melissa: The family surname Sklarz means glassworker or window cleaner, depending on which part of Poland or the Czech Republic you are from. My estimate is my family left Poland in the late 18th Century and then went to Munich for 3 generations. My family arrived in New York City in the late 1850s.
Monika: Could you say a few words about your career so far?
Melissa: I transitioned in the early 1990s and then became a peer counsellor at the Gender Identity Project in the mid 90s. People asked about resources for trans people and I discovered there were none. I started getting involved with government and the political system at that point, and have continued on from there.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Interview with Johanna Kamermans

Monika: Today is my pleasure and honour to interview Johanna Kamermans (born 1938), a writer, translator and former striptease dancer from the Netherlands. For nearly 15 years she worked in cabarets in Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg as a striptease dancer named Gina de Senfal (for a short time as Gigi Deloran), the author  of the autobiographical novel titled "Schlauchgelüste" (2012) and other 10 books of all kinds. Hello Johanna! 
Johanna: Hello dear Monika! Many thanks for your invitation and I am very glad that you give me the possibility to say something about my transgender life specially in the former times. I always say: “Future and past belong together, especially for us transgender people, because also we – like other people too - become elder and elder (help !)…”
Monika: You come from a very cosmopolitan family with parental roots in Germany (mother), the Netherlands (father) and in Flanders (paternal ancestors)...
Johanna: Yes, in 1933 my beautiful mother came from Gelsenkirchen-Buer (Ruhr-Region) to Vlissingen (a seaside resort at the Dutch North Sea coast). She worked there in the famous “Grand Hotel Britannia” and there she met my father. I wrote 4 genealogical books about both of them and my worldwide family.

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