Monday, 30 January 2017

Interview with Allison Lenore Annalora - 2


Monika: Allison, I am so delighted that I can interview you again! Let me briefly introduce you to those who have not read our first interview. Allison Lenore Annalora - a talented singer and remarkable woman, star of Cabaret Troupe, admirer of Barbra Streisand, hairstylist, and the author of the recently published biography titled “Late Blooming: My Gender Journey”.
Allison: Thank you Monika for asking me to be interviewed!!
Monika: You look fantastic … It has been 4 years since our first interview. What has changed in your life since then?
Allison: Well, my boyfriend of six years moved in with me four years ago, and we’re still going strong. I appeared a second time at The McCallum Theatre, in their annual talent contest in 2015, as one of 25 finalists in front of an audience of 1,200. I didn’t win, but I sure had fun! I star in my own cabaret show, “Call Me Diva” every other month at a local restaurant.
Monika: Why did you decide to write your autobiography?
Allison: I started a journal about finding my biological family in 1992. Both of my adoptive parents had passed and I hoped for closure. As my life evolved and I transitioned, lots of friends and family encouraged me to tell my own unique story. After two years of re-writes, professional editing, I accomplished the second thing on my bucket list; explaining to the world, how I achieved my #1 on my list: being my true self.
Monika: In your book you focus a lot on your difficult childhood years: alcoholic adoptive parents, struggling with gender identity issues, being shunned by peers …
Allison: It’s what shaped me into the person I am today, I wouldn’t be who I am had those things not happened! 
Monika: You chose to live life openly as a feminine gay "male" in the beginning of the AIDS epidemic…
Allison: Actually, it was before we knew about AIDS. I started to transition in 1973/74, however my only choice back then was to live Stealth. My compulsive truth telling was not a trait that was compatible with living stealth. So, I chose to live as a feminine Gay male and to do Drag. I was unhappy with that life, but Times changed and now I can have both, being my true self and being open about it! Those years were tough.

“Late Blooming: My Gender Journey”
available via Amazon.

Monika: One of the most tragic moments of your life was the death of your beloved biological half-sister Leslie Shawn…
Allison: She was murdered and it’s something that none of us in my biological family will ever get over, especially our mother, Gail. You just learn to cope.
Monika: In order to be your true self, you broke off your twenty year old gay relationship. You sacrificed almost everything …
Allison: And I got so much back in return. My ex, Bill is my best friend now and even better, my boyfriend, Ron and he are like brothers. It’s heartwarming to watch the two of them bond. They met because of me, but their friendship is something totally separate from me too.
Monika: However, the journey to womanhood took you many years. Your first attempt at the age of nineteen was not successful. You had to wait another 35 years to fulfil your dream …
Allison: As I explained earlier, that was not the path chosen until I was ready.
Monika: In the book, do you describe your trip to Trinidad, Colorado where you met Dr. Marci Bowers, one of the best GRS surgeons in the USA?
Allison: Yes, she had practiced in Seattle as an OB/GYN before and after her personal transition. I knew of her and we had a mutual client/patient that we were both fond of. That being said and her sterling reputation is why I traveled to Trinidad, months before she moved her practice to California where I live. She is a wonderful person, and if she’s reading this: I love you!!!
Monika: Which aspects of your story can be appealing to other transwomen?
Allison: The transwomen I’ve communicated with that have read my book, have found many things they identified with. Generally, we all have similar struggles. My hope is to help encourage my community and to educate the general population also. The feedback from the cisgender readers has been very fulfilling thing too! Read some of my reviews on Amazon.com where my book is available exclusively. Opening minds!
Monika: Allison, thank you for the interview! I am sure that your story will be inspiration not only for other transwomen...
Allison: And hoping everyone else who reads my book as well! Thank you for asking! You are doing great work yourself, Monika!

All the photos: courtesy of Allison Lenore Annalora
The main photo by Jack Hartin Photography. 
Done on 30 January 2017
© 2017 - Monika
 
 

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