Monday, 20 March 2017

Interview with Margaux Ayn Schaffer

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Margaux Ayn Schaffer, an American multi media artist, designer, and activist. Margaux has had a long history of activism, going back decades; in Atlanta, she was the editor and designer of INSIGHT, deputy director of AEGIS, and art director and associate editor of Chrysalis Quarterly. She participated both as a panelist and planning committee member for the Southern Comfort Conference.
When a series of murders of transgender women occurred in Atlanta, Margaux was appointed to the Mayor’s Gay and Lesbian Task Force. This led to an op-ed in The Advocate, “Do Transgender Issues Affect the Gay Community,” which she co-authored with Dallas Denny. She was also an invited guest on the Joan Rivers Show.
After moving from Atlanta to Phoenix, Margaux worked in Information Technology. She played a critical role in the first all transgender production of the Vagina Monologues, presented on V-Day 2004 in Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center. Margaux not only performed one of the monologues (“My Vagina Was My Village”), but she created the visual materials, including the posters, keepsake books, and postcards.
For seven years Margaux produced the Arizona Day of Remembrance at the Arizona State Capitol Building, creating a safe, inclusive, well attended event with opportunities for education and outreach. Hello Margaux!
Margaux: Hi Monika! It’s good to talk to you. Thanks for this opportunity.
Promotional z-card and poster.
Monika: You have an unusual name; I understand your family has European and Native American roots. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Margaux: Yes. I was born January 13, 1959 (also my father’s birthday) at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Pensacola, Florida. My father was a Navy flight engineer and my mother was a nurse. My father’s family settled in New England, with mostly Germanic roots. My mother’s family was Scottish and French, and my great grandmother was a Native American Cherokee.
I’d like to say I had a normal childhood, but that wasn’t the case. I grew up in the Deep South during the Cold War, on a military base with the Blue Angels roaring over my back yard. At age 4, I was taken to the Base Psychiatrist by my mother for inappropriate feminine behavior: I insisted on sitting down to urinate.
The psychiatrist recommended adult chaperone accompanying me to the bathroom to make sure I would stand to urinate. My father was distant and stoic. I was artistic and creative, but effeminate in my mannerisms. I wanted to be a nurse like my mother; this behavior caused me a great deal of trouble when I entered school.
My younger brother was developmentally challenged, and my mother spent most of her time caring for him. Later my father left the Navy and returned to civilian life as a stockbroker with Merrill Lynch. In November 1967 he was transferred to Atlanta. I remember the company put us up in the Hyatt Regency downtown while we looked for a home. My father’s office was right across Peachtree Road from the hotel, in a suite in the Georgia Power Building. He would come to the window and wave at us in our hotel room. We found a lovely home, split level, with a large yard and nearby woods. Our neighbors had horses, goats, and other unusual pets. I was interested in art, science and nature; I spent more time alone and with animals than with other children.

(Left) - Paleo Selfie, 2012.
(Right) - Early meme/poster art 2002. The artist formerly known as meme can be found at: in
the hacker art gallery. There are also podcasts where I discuss my art and culture jamming.

I remember our first Christmas in Atlanta. It was a white Christmas and my father helped me build a snowman, but the neighborhood kids tore it down and teased me. That was my first bullying experience. At school I found out it was not okay to play with girls. My father gave me a very short haircut to make me more masculine; but it only made me miserable. When I had an opportunity at home I would dress in my mother’s older clothes. I thought I was the only child in the world who felt this way! I was gobsmacked when I first saw a television show dealing with transsexualism.
For some time it was very difficult to meet other kids. I stayed home with my microscope and my pets. I spent a lot of time with my mother. I did spend time with the girls in my neighborhood, but that led to bullying by their brothers.
On more than one occasion in my early teens, I was lured into the woods and sexually assaulted by boys in the neighborhood. The problems in school became so severe that I was taken away from my regular school and classmates and enrolled in a private adolescent middle school program. 
The first newsletter I designed and edited.
My science teacher helped me find an experimental high school called the Downtown Learning Center, which was a non-structured open campus program that allowed me to, in effect, do my own thing. I pursued programs ranging from art to ceramics to photography, computer science, and developmental biology. I blossomed in a safe environment. At that point I started reading scientific books on transsexualism by John Money and Richard Green, as well as biographies of Christine Jorgensen and Canary Conn. At that point I came out to my teacher and mentioned my desire to transition.
I found there was a gender clinic at the state hospital. I called and made an appointment. I had a rigorous evaluation with interviews by multiple specialists. When the doctors contacted my family, it became very awkward. I started counseling with my pediatrician, and after many interviews he agreed to begin treatment on my eighteenth birthday.
I vividly recall getting a 20 mg injection of Squibb Delestrogen in a Becton-Dickinson syringe. I began electrolysis for the small amount of facial hair. I interviewed with the school administrators and they made arrangements for me to transition (and to use the restroom in the teachers’ lounge).
But I had no income, no hope of financing surgery. For a time I worked as a lab technician. My family pressured me to return to school at the Art Institute of Atlanta, in an androgynous mode. I had not met any other transsexual women. I began working in the design field, on a number of high profile design projects. I felt as though my transition was stagnating. Through an advertisement in the local tabloid, I found a support group and was introduced, for the first time, to others who shared my experience.
During this time I was isolated from my old circles of friends and family. When I heard from my parents, I was shocked to hear that my mother had been diagnosed with cancer. I had to drop everything, and go home to take care of my mother. Mom accepted me, although my father did not, and in those special times we bonded as mother and daughter. My mother helped me choose my name. I was so glad to have her blessing.
Caroline Cossey plus moi (early 1990s).
After she passed away, my father did not accept me, and I moved around, staying with friends and other transgender persons. Five of us rented a house where we treated it as our operations office for AEGIS. I threw everything into my work and my projects, doing graphic identity and environmental signage for MARTA, then did free lance work for my former employer doing ADA compliance for MARTA.
I worked as Deputy Director for AEGIS, and built up the branding, identity, and administrative structure. Unfortunately our involvement with AEGIS ended when the director chose to incorporate without including us. I became the spokesperson for “Straight But Not Narrow,” founded by Emily Nussbaum, building alliances with the gay and straight communities.
One of the highlights of this time was learning that Caroline Cossey, the famous transsexual Playboy model and James Bond girl, was coming to Atlanta. I had seen Caroline on the Phil Donahue show and was very enamored with her confidence, her intelligence and wit. I saw her as a vibrant, worldly woman and I had to meet her. We met at the nightclub Petrus during her Atlanta visit and I was also lucky enough to get an interview with her. We became fast friends. I was present when she was given a Key to the City. She gave me a signed copy of her book and I gave her copies of the magazine I worked on. Caroline went back to England, but we stayed in touch as I worked towards raising money for my surgery.
Fortuitously, I had met a man, a sort of agent provocateur, who had connections to the emerging Internet economy. This opened a number of doors, enabling me to finance my surgery. Once I had raised the money, I wrote to Dr. Michel Seghers in Brussels for a date, and was surprised to get a date much earlier than I had anticipated. My surgery date was Halloween 1992. I had the good fortune of meeting Dr. Seghers at Southern Comfort Convention shortly before I went to Brussels.
On the eve of my SRS with Doctuer Michel Seghers.
I flew to Brussels alone, managed to get to my hotel, where I roomed with another American who would be having surgery, an American Airlines pilot who was older and had transitioned more recently. My preoperative information consisted of a brochure from the Ingersoll Center called the Brussels Experience, plus my correspondence from my surgeon. I had a tight itinerary to make my doctor’s appointment, then go to the hospital to check in. I didn’t know much French, but my physician spoke fluent English.
The hospital was the Clinique Baron-Lambret. My preop day was very full, getting lab work, EKG, arrange payment, sign documents. That evening I met with my surgeon and anesthesiologist, drank that nasty fluid for bowel prep, and was given a razor to shave my genitals. I didn’t want to do that, but realized that I wouldn’t ever have to do it again. This would be the last time I would have to confront my genitalia. So I got through the procedure. Dr. Seghers decided to do my surgery as first case, since my organs were small and atrophic from estrogen and surgery might take longer.
The next morning I was taken to surgery, it seemed almost surreal, having been given intravenous medication; being wheeled through the hospital corridors to the operating room while the sedation took effect. My doctor was there to greet me, surrounded by student nurses who were there to observe. “Good morning, Ms. Schaffer,” he smiled. “Have you changed your mind?” I assured him I had not. I remember the mask being applied, and the sweet smell of the nitrous oxide swirling into the mask as I inhaled; I was instructed to count backwards, then nothing.

(Left and Middle) - The Advocate op Ed was, to my knowledge; was the very first published
piece to address the issue of anti-transgender violence head-on.
(Right) - Chrysalis Quarterly cover featuring "Gendermatic" digitally composited art by moi.

My first memory on regaining consciousness was the faint cadence of an EKG monitor. BEEP… BEEP…BEEP… – I made it! I survived surgery. But I felt cold. I had had previous surgery and remembered feeling cold, so I thought nothing of it. But then things started to go wrong: nurses began acting erratically, speaking excitedly in French. It became clear, between the alarms on the blood pressure meter and the anxious speech – something was wrong. I was bleeding profusely in the pelvic area and my blood pressure was dropping. Somehow, with my profuse shivering, I must have torn stitches. A nurse pulled the sheet down and screamed. Dr. Seghers’s wife, who assisted him in surgery, came to my bedside and squeezed my hand.
In minutes – which seemed like hours – Dr. Seghers was at the bedside. Without any preparation he removed my bandages exposing the bleeders and began re-suturing my labia. He applied extreme pressure to stop bleeding. I saw a nurse with a spray of arterial blood on her uniform. Dr. Seghers used heavy “0 silk” sutures to stop the bleeding. The voices became fainter. I thought I was going to die – and then I passed out. This is difficult to talk about, but I felt a very personal deep spiritual experience.
The only thing bringing me back was the severe pain. Dr. Seghers kept speaking to me as he tugged at my sutures. “I want you to be perfect.” I wasn’t amused as I cursed him for the pain. “That’s why I’m over here, where you can’t reach me.” He knew I would have hit him if I could. Finally he stabilized my bleeding. In a state of semi-consciousness, unclear whether I was living, dying, or hallucinating, my life really did seem to pass before my eyes, only to give way to a sense of serenity. Then everything went black again.

(Left) - Synth noodling at an undisclosed location.
(Right) - Demonstrating Virtual Reality at the H+ symposium.

The next morning I woke up in the hospital bed, and all I could think of was how badly my back itched. I had broken out in hives – perhaps an antibiotic allergy. My surgical complications had already receded in my memory. At that point Dr. Seghers appeared at my bedside and cheerfully said, “Good morning, Mrs. Schaffer. Today it is President Clinton.” I had forgotten about Election Day.
Due to my complications I extended my stay for ten days. Having been discharged from the hospital, I felt better and was able to explore Brussels a little; but I still had my urinary catheter. He removed it on my postoperative visit, and instructed me not to urinate till I was back at my hotel. However I could not urinate at all. A taxi driver in a small Alfa Romeo picked me up to take me over bumpy roads to Dr. Seghers’s home office, where I was met by Mrs. Seghers at the door holding a bucket (not knowing what to expect). Dr. Seghers reinserted a catheter and instructed me to wear the catheter home since he didn’t want me to have an emergency on an international flight.
Modeling a synth shirt.
So I finally flew home. Due to heightened security (an EU summit in Brussels) I had extra airport screening, but I managed to get an upgrade to first class. My roommates met me at the airport, and I was able to see a local Atlanta doctor to have my catheter and remaining stitches removed. Getting back to the routine of life after surgery, I had the sworn statement from my surgeon which enabled me to get my legal documents changed to the correct gender. I was so happy to have the surgery completed and to have survived. I felt Complete!
Monika: For a couple of years you have been keeping rather a low profile …
Margaux: (laughter) I’ve never been described that way before, but I understand you’re alluding to my hiatus from activism, albeit shortlived. I moved to Phoenix in 1994 shortly after getting my driver’s license and doing a road trip with my friend and roommate, Becky; she had only taught me to drive just weeks before we drove crosscountry to start anew.
Upon relocating we found ourselves slowly drawn back into activism purely out of the necessity of an utter paucity of services and outreach in the area. Having worked for an internet service provider, I became cognizant that there was a real need for education on the world wide web since most search engines only showed results that were pornographic when researching ‘transsexual’ or ‘sex change’ needless to say, it was the dark ages.
Standing in front of the Pyramid
of Djoser. Cairo, Egypt 2008
This presented a unique opportunity for outreach, so almost impulsively, I registered a number of internet domains, one of which was for; and the rest is history! I encouraged Becky to begin journaling, having previously done that for myself; I considered it quite helpful. She put her story online and we both began to network and meet others.
So looking back, it wasn’t as much about a lower profile as much as a bigger canvas; we were both branching out, mentoring and helping others. It’s hard putting the genie back into the bottle! Before we knew it we were all in once again, VDAY, The Vagina Monologues, vigils, lectures, setting up booths at PRIDE and RAINBOWS. My activism wasn’t only confined to transgender causes, I’ve branched into other areas such as transhumanism, culture jamming and the broader social justice.
Monika: I remember your official appearances when you were talking about a right representation of transgender women in the media, that you can be articulate, attractive, and transgender, too…
Margaux: I think there’s been some progress over time, once you get past the sheer novelty and sensationalism of things like the treatment aspects, we finally have the chance to delve deeper past the same rehash and explore the diversity of today's emerging voices; modern narratives are transcending traditional stereotypes and past biases which has served to inspire and motivate a new generation of firebrands. Today the focus needs to be elevated further, so much is at sake, safety, access to healthcare, economic disparities; we have come so far and we have only just begun.

(Left) - Performing in The Vagina Monologs at VDAY 2004 at Pacific Design Center.
(Right) - VDAY Poster.

Monika: Few people are aware of your role in designing graphics that were later adopted and to be known as the "Transgender Pride Flag." Can you share the history of this flag? 
Margaux: That’s a controversial question, I think I should first digress and clarify for historical purposes some context, back when I transitioned, there was not anything resembling a movement. It was the late 1980s and there was no fixed social identity or even a community that resembles what we have today, I had become aware of the Rainbow Banner and the conceptual foundations that brought it about as a universal symbol of pride, yet outside of the gay/lesbian community; transsexuals and members of the (then self-identified) straight crossdressing groups were fragmented and never the tween shall meet.
There was a clear division between people on a medically supervised track of transition and drag queens who identified as gay and heterosexually identified crossdressers who were distancing themselves from transsexuals and gays. While involved in my first support group, the idea occurred to me that there was no iconic symbol that represented transsexuals, in all fairness there were only adaptations of the pink triangle which incorporated varied use of the male and female symbols, ying and yang and various other permutations; all of which were unattractive and unprofessional.
At the wheel, 2016.
Given the stigma of the pink triangle, I felt it prudent to develop some sort of visual expression of transsexual identity at a time before LGBT had become part of the vernacular. I should also add that the word transgender hadn’t yet been appropriated as an umbrella term.
I decided to flesh out some visual concepts. First in prismacolor, then in Pantone color paper, then I developed a design brief and legend that presented multiple proposals for an emblem that would represent our social identity while appearing non sexual; the idea was to convey transition/change/continuity in a easily reproducible format.
I decided to make a presentation to varied people whom were in my circle of peers, despite my intentions and credentials the idea was summarily rejected! People did NOT want to be identified as a ‘movement.’ It was a dramatic paradigm shift that many lacked prescience of mind to seriously consider. Despite multiple proposals, different modalities and PMS color variations which closely resembled a number of later designs that have become adopted, my role in the early visualization of the concept went the way of the dodo bird. Que Sera, Sera.
I know that’s probably going to create some controversy, but keep in mind I never made formal claims of authorship on the grounds that the idea was rejected many years before I started to notice people incorporating the design, albeit not precisely the same exact shades of blue and pink; sometimes having white or grey.
Rescuing a tarantula crossing the road. Sedona, Arizona 1994.
I really didn’t think much about it except that it was happening organically and I rationalized that it WAS an inevitable design and fairly universal; I was seeing all four modalities of ideas I had previous shown slowly being incorporated in such a way in graphics and banners that it had taken on a life of its own even before I saw an actual flag over a decade later.
I’ve never seriously tried to assert any ownership on the grounds that by the time I became cognizant that the flag was codified as a transgender flag, despite its earlier proposal as something completely different, I just shrugged it off as what happens when things become divergent enough that once discovered, it’s just too complicated to pursue for historical purposes and it’s time to move on.
Monika: Do the colours of the flag have any symbolic meaning?
Margaux: The colors pink and blue are universally idiomatic of the masculine/feminine dichotomy while white and grey are neutral and transcendent. Aside, from some variations of bidirectional transitions from one to the other; it's fairly universal and inevitable. Other than the fact that there is no real specification of the flag, there’s been a lot of ad hoc improvisation and folklore surrounding its implementation.

(Left) - Transgender Day of Remembrance at the Arizona State Capitol 2008
L to R Margaux Ayn Schaffer, Representative, Kyrsten Sinema, Rebecca Allison, M.
(Right) - Representing Arizona TDOR at PRIDE 2008.

Monika: What do you think in general about transgender news stories or characters which have been recently featured in films, newspapers or books?
Margaux: Well, I’ve once repeated the quote that rising tides raise all ships, I’d be remiss to ignore the obvious arguments over identity politics and a number of other issues that sometimes put our diverse communities at odds. For the most part, we’ve come a long way.
As for my own views, I’m big on education. “Stop the hate. Educate” has been my creed for some years. Unfortunately, with cable, satellite and other media delivery models, there’s an insatiable need for infotainment, yes, we now have “reality television” which some might dispute as being neither, but I believe in choice, there’s many ways to change hearts and minds; it takes all shapes and sizes, races, ages and socioeconomic perspectives to reach people and be the change we want to see in the world. There’s still a great deal of work that needs to be done.
Monika: You are an artist. How would you define your art?
Margaux: Hopefully without boundaries. That’s really what art is about is pushing boundaries. By training, I’m a designer and art director, so I had an a foundation of drawing, painting, typography, photography, printmaking while being lucky enough to intern at Genigraphics Corporation which gave me a head start in computer graphics. So my roots have always been in art and technology which informs my work on several levels. 

An article on Transgender Art in JAVA MAG.

Monika: Is there anything like transgender art?
Margaux: Yes! Themes aside, where there's a transgender artist, there's transgender art. Beyond mere authorship and visibility, art activism and culture jamming can tap directly into the zeitgeist and quickly affect social change. Street artists like Banksy and what I did under the meme moniker in the 90s and early 2000s a currently under Vangaux is a continuation of that visual language.
Philanthropy is another area I feel strongly about, art in service to activism can be purely message based or it can be synergy between your brand and a specific issue, event or one-off cause such as auctions and mural projects.
I've had a long history of donating my skills not just to Trans, but to LGBTQ and broader social justice pursuits, be it pro bono design or donating art: I try to elevate the aesthetic and make art my own form of charity and intellectual capital.
Exploring Meteor Crater, Flagstaff Arizona 2015.
Monika: At that time of your transition, did you have any transgender role models that you followed?
Margaux: Having grown up when I did, there were not as many as today, but the social isolation I experienced motivated me further to reach out and find my own answers and seek out my own personal heroes. 
Women like Christine Jorgensen obviously come to mind, more personally Canary Conn, Wendy Carlos and Caroline Cossey were sources of validation and inspiration.
Monika: Are there any transgender ladies that you admire and respect now?
Margaux: Now that’s a much larger list! For starters, I’d say, Andrea James, Calpernia Addams, Laverne Cox, Becky Allison, Lynn Conway, Lana Wachowski, and once again; Caroline Cossey
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Margaux: Time and place. Some people say coming out at a bad time or too late. I often tell people coming out isn’t as hard as NOT coming out. Social isolation and self denial IS living death. It can be quite personal and quite ugly given it's a highly disruptive rite of passage. What is your own salvation turns out to be at odds with friends, family, employers, and not to mention every stranger you may come in contact with.
I was humiliated at my place of employment when someone (my boss's father) called me a creature in front of everybody, I had had enough; after that I was not in the mood for anything except to rescue my dignity and clear out my office. That's when I started being a self employed contractor. Even when people are supportive it's usually fraught with misgendering at the least or at worst violence out in the world.

(Left) - Posing with my donated art at fund raising gala 2006.
(Right) Haters gonna hate: vandalism of my work at a 2015 art show.

Monika: The transgender cause is usually manifested together with the other LGBTQ communities. Being the penultimate letter in this abbreviation, is the transgender community able to promote its own cause within the LGBTQ group?
Margaux: Transgender activism exists anywhere a transgender person is standing. Sometimes it's best to work within existing organizations and sometimes it's better to create your own; it might take many forms ranging from a blog, webpage, a vigil or other one off event or doing something larger in scope.
It's also about forming liaisons and constructively engaging with allies and adversaries; sometimes you have to partner with others and create synergies with organizations like GLMA and HRC. We have many LGB friends who want to help us with transgender rights. They may not understand us completely, but most are willing to learn. Together we can achieve goals that might be unreachable with transgender resources alone.
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Margaux: Politics is unavoidable, you can avoid politics, but it usually doesn’t avoid you. People need to be political aware, if not politically active; at least enough to know existential threats when we see them. Some years back, I caught a lot of flack over saying, Transsexual is not a dirty word. Taxonomies and vernaculars aside, we are all at our best when we stand together united.
John Albaza Fashion show at the Phoenix
Art Museum, V.I.P.(!)
There are several levels we can become engaged, firstly by keeping one and another in the loop; having each-others backs is essential with shifting political challenges. There's something each person is uniquely qualified to contribute, we can't all go to Washington or the U.N., and today with the World Wide Web and more recently, social media: we can use our diverse talents and skill sets to think globally and act locally. 
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colours or trends?
Margaux: I guess I'm a Bebe and Chico's girl, but I've also got a purse addiction; Brahmin, Chanel, Coach, Fendi, even Hello Kitty. I can't help but treat some of this stuff as art objects (challenge shoes come to mind) much of it I may wear once or on a special occasion or just display it; fashion is functional art!
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Margaux: I’m for anything that glorifies women regardless of cis gender or transgender labeling.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Margaux: I’m a work in progress, but the idea has crossed my mind. It's on the list. I think it's important to have varied narratives because not everybody has the same circumstances, so many people are often discouraged by narratives that are outside of their own experiences which they're unable to identify with.
For myself, being able to connect with shared experiences of others was quite validating during a time of profound isolation. All too often one can be discouraged when they can't identify with other people's histories; yet, had they been able to learn of someone else's similar age, social, or career circumstances, they would feel as if they were in this together. When I was starting transition, most transsexual narratives followed a formulaic approach that had become the industry standard. More recently, the phenomenon of self-publishing has led to more diversity in sharing our histories online and in print.
I’ve realized that there are so many transition narratives that vary according to a person’s unique qualities, and I think I have quite a few experiences that make my life interesting. We’ll see…
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Margaux: Love conquers all. Without love in our lives, where would any of us be? People, animals all need love. I've dated over the years, I've even broke off marriage proposals. One thing I've been proud of [more often than not] has been reconciliation and continuity in old relationships; life's too short to burn bridges and darken your heart.
Love in all its forms manifests in many ways, for some it's about family; in my own case I've remained close to my aunt (mom's twin sister) and my cousins while not having the best relations with my father's family. Biology is not destiny, so I sought to build my own extended family (you all know who you are), I'm in a good place now.
Art plus Margaux, Boyce Gallery.
Monika: Are you working on any new projects now?
Margaux: Presently, I’ve been working on launching a t-shirt company and building my own brands. I’ve been doing large format digital printing as my primary medium in environmental art.
For some time, I went under a number of creative aliases, I’m the hacker/street artist formerly known as MEME, and my friends call me Vangaux with an X (lol). I’ve got several irons in the fire right now, having built a large modular synthesizer, I’m working on a music project called CHAOS MESSIAH.
As for activism, I really don't distinguish that much because it's ongoing, I've never looked at anything as having an end, it's always been the journey as much as the destination and whether it's mentoring, public speaking or working on a documentary; it's all part of a continuum.
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender girls struggling with gender dysphoria?
Margaux: I think what I would offer is that we’re all unique and deserving of the life we want to live regardless of limitations that others may wish to impose on us.
The most important thing of all is to know your value and recognize we can't always choose our circumstances, but we CAN choose our support network; if you're rejected by family there's the need for creating a extended family of peers and allies.
Monika: My pen friend Gina Grahame wrote to me once that we should not limit our potential because of how we were born or by what we see other transsexuals and transgender people doing. Our dreams should not end on an operating table; that’s where they begin. Do you agree with this?
Margaux: Agreed. We are all the architects of our own destiny. There’s so much more to our lives.
Monika: Margaux, thank you for the interview!

For more information about Margaux, follow her on Twitter.

All the photos: courtesy of Margaux Ayn Schaffer.
Done on 20 March 2017
© 2017 - Monika 

1 comment:

  1. Wow! So much didn't know about you. I think we have a lot in common, including how we express ourselves. I like the way you write as much as I do the content. Very nicely said!


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