Friday, 13 June 2014

Interview with Allyson Hamblett

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Allyson Hamblett, a transgender activist from New Zealand, musician, involved in the work for CCS Disability Action, Agender New Zealand, Outline NZ, GenderBridge and the Cerebral Palsy Society. Hello Allyson!
Allyson: Hi Monika, thank-you for the opportunity to talk with you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Allyson: Currently I’m the chair of Local Advisory Committee of CCS Disability Action Auckland. I work as Media Assistant at Spark Centre of Creative Development, writing articles for their monthly newsletter. I am co-founder of Transadvocates. And have been an activist since my university days, when I discovered sociology and started to understand how society is constructed. I have cerebral palsy.
Monika: You have a passion for art and composing music. In addition, you take part in many live performances …
Allyson: I discovered my creativity about 12 years ago when I started going to Spark Centre of Creative Development. I enjoy painting with acrylic on canvas and love portraiture and figures in space. Making art allows me to focus on what I’m doing and forget about everything else.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Interview with Gerri Cannon

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Gerri Cannon, an American transgender activist, truck driver, carpenter and computer professional. Hello Gerri! 
Gerri: Hi Monika! It’s a pleasure being able to share some of my story with you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Gerri: Only a few? I’ll try. I am a person with many skills and interests. I worked in the Computer field for just over 30 years. After being laid off for a second time I started my Carpentry business. When the US economy crashed I found myself with a number of customer that couldn’t pay me for work I had completed. So, I learned how to drive Big Rigs and wet on the road. In addition to having the wide range of jobs I am also a proud parent and a friend to many.
Monika: Being a truck driver and carpenter, you work in a very macho environment. How can you cope there as a woman?
Gerri: I was really concerned about this when I started. The number of women in the trucking industry is small, but growing. I have found that while there are many old time drivers that don’t care to have women on the road, there are also many men that appreciate that we are out here doing a job, like everyone else.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Interview with Vanessa Sheridan

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Vanessa Sheridan, an American expert consultant, published author, inclusion/ awareness trainer, and speaker/presenter on transgender workplace issues; the Executive Director of the Institute for Transgender Economic Advancement; a member of the national Transgender Advisory Committee for Out & Equal Workplace Advocates; a member of the Advisory Board for GLBTQ Online High School; a former (and the first transgender) member of the Board of Directors for the Stonewall National Museum and Archives; a two-time national Lambda Literary Award finalist for her pioneering books on transgender spirituality topics; and the author of the groundbreaking business book, "The Complete Guide to Transgender in the Workplace." Hello Vanessa!
Vanessa: Hello Monika, and thank you for this invitation. I'm delighted to be with you and am very honored to be included with some of the other amazing individuals whom you have previously interviewed. I appreciate the opportunity to share some thoughts with you and your readers.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Vanessa: I'm a fairly boring person and don't think I'm all that interesting. I am passionate, however, about doing what I can to help the transgender community achieve equality in society. I've been committed to that goal since 1991 and will continue until we get there or until I die, whichever comes first.
Toward that end, I write, speak, consult, train, and do as much as possible to educate the public about the transgender phenomenon. We transfolk are a legitimate asset to the world, and the rest of the population needs to learn the truth about us.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Interview with Rachel Coy Blunk

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Rachel Coy Blunk, an American transgender activist, the former Sheriff's Deputy in Pasco County. Hello Rachel!
Rachel: Hello Monika!
Monika: Are you a twin sister of Geena Davis?:)
Rachel: LOL, I wish I was, but I do get a lot of people who ask me that all the time. 
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Rachel: Well, I graduated from Goshen High School in Goshen, Ohio. I went into the Army after Graduation and served for 4 years, before I was Medically discharged under Honorable Conditions. I’m a Disabled Veteran.
I attended PHCC Community College and Graduated from the Police Academy and now I’m retired from Law Enforcement. I then went back to school, graduated, and became a Certified Microsoft Technician.
Monika: Being a police officer, you worked in a very macho environment. How could you cope there as a woman?
Rachel: It was the most terrifying, but most rewarding experience I had in my life. I started out working as a male officer, but I then transitioned on the job. It was a very hard to do. I lost every thing at first, but in the end I have gained everything back.

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