Showing posts with label Biography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Biography. Show all posts

Friday, 1 May 2020

Interview with Dina Jacobs


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Dina Jacobs, a Hawaii entertainer, a star at the famed Chicago drag club, The Baton Show Lounge, proud holder of 70 beauty contest titles, and Houston’s Grande Dame of Drag. Her biography "Forever Her Mother's Son: The Dina Jacobs Story" (2020) was published a couple of months ago.
Dina, You look fantastic! What is the secret of your beauty?
Dina: Actually, I'm very fortunate. My Mom and Dad had great DNA. This year in February I turned 73 years old. I've been doing shows since 1964. I started my career in Honolulu, Hawaii, and I worked as an Female Impersonator for 56 years!

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Interview with Joelle Circé Laramée


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Joelle Circé Laramée, a Canadian artist and feminist, painter, authoress of the biographical book titled “Breaking Free: 45 Years In The Wrong Body” (2020). Hello Joelle!
Joelle: Hello Monika, nice to be having this interview.
Monika: You are a woman of many talents. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Joelle: First I think you for thinking of me as I'm now just getting back to creating my art (paintings) and find this an excellent moment to speak out a little. I was born in a lower working class home and neighbourhood in Montreal, Canada and have always known of my difference though not necessarily in terms like transsexual or queer which I came to understand later on in life. My whole world has been one of observing from the outside and I think this made me becoming a visual artist a no brainer.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Interview with Hope Giselle



Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Hope Giselle, an American activist from Miami, writer, artist, activist, founder of The #AllowMe Movement, and author of the biographical book titled “Becoming Hope: Removing the Disguise” (2018). Hello Hope!
Hope: Hi Monika!
Monika: You describe yourself as an artist and activist. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Hope: I’d like to call what I do “being the change I want to see”. I found my passion by simply inserting myself where I once complained. I found that it was easier to create solutions and art rather than criticize it.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Interview with Lannie Rose


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Elaine Rhodes, a.k.a., Lannie Rose, an American computer engineer and writer, graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Clara University. In her day, she was a regular contributor to the e-zine Transgender Forum, a member of the Triangle Speaker Bureau, the author of “How To Change Your Sex: A Lighthearted Look at the Hardest Thing You'll Ever Do” (2004), “LANNIE! My Journey from Man to Woman” (2007), and “Everything Nice: A Late-Onset Coming-of-Age Story” (2009). Hello Lannie!
 Lannie: Hi Monikia! Your website is an impressive body of work, as well as being nicely-designed, and I say this as one Web designer to another. I am happy to become part of it! 
Monika: Before we get started, could you please explain about your name? Are you Elaine, or Lannie, or what?
Lannie: Yeah, uh, well, it’s like this: Early in the Internet days, in the late 1990s, there was a lot fear about people online tracking you down and murdering you in your sleep, so nobody used their real names. Nobody actually got murdered in their sleep, by the way. 
Anyway, I became Lannie Rose at that time, and it stuck. When it came time to legally change my name, I went from Edward Rhodes to Elaine Rhodes, keeping the same initials, you know?

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Interview with Kelly Grice


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kelly Grice, an inspirational woman from Manchester, England, happy wife, the author of the biographical book titled “My journey from He to She and how to transition” (2017). Hello Kelly!
Kelly: Hi Monika and thank you for interviewing me.
Monika: You grew up on the same housing estate as the Gallagher brothers from the famous band Oasis! D0 you know each other?
Kelly: Yes, I grew up in Burnage in Manchester. I knew all three brothers Noel, Liam and Paul. I fell out with Liam after we had a fight, which I won as children. Noel and Liam now live in London but I would still see their mother Peggy around in Burnage, where she still lives and we would have a chat.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kelly: I see myself as honest, reliable and trustworthy. I also see myself as very tall, especially for a female, as I am 6ft4.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Interview with Shauna Marie O'Toole


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Shauna Marie O'Toole, an American transgender rights activist, presently living in Geneva, New York. In her past, she has been a technician, engineer, scientist, and educator, and the author of You Can't Shave In a Minimart Bathroom (2009). She volunteers with the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley and is the Director of the We Exist Coalition of the Finger Lakes. She has also recently announced that she is running for the 54th New York State Senate on the Democratic Ticket. Hello Shauna!
Shauna: Hi, Monika! Thank you for the invitation to talk with you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Shauna: What I can say is that this has been a very full life! I have done everything from (legally) digging holes in cemeteries for a living to helping with a project that few on shuttle Atlantis during STS-34. My students used to ask if there is anything I haven't done. My typical answer is that I wasn't sure...

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Interview with Marissa Alexa McCool


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Marissa Alexa McCool, an American LGBT-rights activist and speaker, multiple podcast host (The Inciting Incident Podcast), author, mother, columnist, and stage performer, the author of “Passing Cars: The Internal Monologue of a Neurodivergent Trans Girl” (2017) and four other books. Hello Marissa!
Marissa: Hello Monika, thank you so much for reaching out to me. It’s a pleasure.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself? You are a woman of so many talents and interests. Is writing most important for you?
Marissa: I don’t know if I can rank my interests by importance, but perhaps I can by longevity. But let me answer your other questions first: I’m 32. I graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in English, Cinema and Media Arts, and Anthropology. I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota with my husband, partner, and two children. 
Writing is the interest I’ve been pursuing for as long as I can remember. I learned to type when I was four-years-old, and I can remember using a word processor as a young child to create stories involving people I know. As I grew up, I used that imagination in role-playing stories, and I couldn’t imagine pursuing anything else when it came to university focus. I was able to learn from some amazing professors, including Meta Mazaj, Kathy Van Cleve, and Marion Kant, and I don’t know where I’d be without them.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Interview with Rachel Eliason


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Rachel Eliason, a fiction and nonfiction writer, speaker, the author of the biographical book titled “The Agony, The Ecstasy and The Buddha: One Woman's Month in Thailand having a Sex Change” (2017). Hello Rachel!
Rachel: Hello, thanks for having me here.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself? When did you decide that writing will be your vocation?
Rachel: I have wanted be a writer as long as I wanted to transition. For years they were my two secret “W’s” wanting to be a woman and to be a writer.
Growing up in the U.S. Midwest in the 1970’s and 80’s, I never heard anyone say the word transgender and as far as I knew at the time, changing sex was something that only happened in science fiction. So I dismissed those feelings and tried to make the best of my life in the wrong gender.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Interview with Ryka Aoki


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Ryka Aoki, a Japanese American award-winning author, performer, and professor of English at Santa Monica College, known for her book Seasonal Velocities (2012), novel He Mele a Hilo (2014) and set of poems Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul (2015). Hello Ryka!
Ryka: Hello Monika!
Monika: It has been already 2 years since you published you last book. Can we expect any new publication soon?
Ryka: I’ve had some stories and poems published, most recently in Meanwhile, Elsewhere from Topside Press. But my main work is a new novel, currently untitled, which is set in the San Gabriel Valley, in the Greater Los Angeles area. It centers around a traumatized transgender runaway, and a violin teacher bargaining with the Devil to win back her soul. On their journey, they also meet a family of Vietnamese space aliens escaping interstellar war and trying to run a donut shop. I am trying to convey a world of flux, adaptation, sweetness and loss.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Interview with Denise Chanterelle DuBois


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Denise Chanterelle DuBois, an American actress, environmentalist, and businesswoman from Portland, Oregon, the author of the biographical memoir book titled “Self-Made Woman” (2017). Hello Denise! 
Denise: Hi Monika and thank you so much for interviewing me today! I really appreciate it.
Monika: You present yourself as a “fortune's favorite daughter”. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Denise: In my memoir I write about so many close calls I had with death, and yet survived basically unharmed. I had huge drug & alcohol problems in “my other life” as I like to call it, and rightfully should either be dead from overdosing, or in a nursing home with no brain left, yet here I am still standing and grateful for that. Indeed, I am “fortune’s favorite daughter.”

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Interview with Aleana Robins


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Aleana Robins, a former skier, grave digger, performance car driver, small business owner, farmer, artist, radio announcer, blogger, parent of 7 children from Riverside, California, and the author of the biographical book titled “The Shadow of Ally” (2016). She lives in Launceston, a city in the north of Tasmania, Australia. Hello Aleana!
Aleana: Hello and thank you for taking the time. I promise you can ask anything but I will not promise you will like my answer (((smiles))). Though I would love to say that the start of my Journey’s began in California but I have lived all over the western side of the US. I moved to Australia in 2002 to be with my former spouse.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself? The number of your talents and jobs is really awesome …
Aleana: I grew up in a middle-income family with a mother who did not know how to care and a father who was lost in his battles with PTSD from Vietnam. I think in some ways my teenage years while dysfunctional was also a place where I gained so many talents. I have enjoyed playing several musical instruments learned to have a love for music and the arts that has only grown in age. I love skiing and the sound of fresh powder under my skies. I am a proud parent of seven children, I know people think wow a breeder, lol. But I would not change their love and the experiences that come with them in my life for all the Tea in China.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Interview with Charlotte Flanigan


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Charlotte Flanigan, a British writer, the author of the biographical book titled “The Whole Shenanigans: Charlotte's Story” (2017). Hello Charlotte!
Charlotte: Hello!
Monika: You were born in Germany? Could you say a few words about yourself?
Charlotte: Well, I wasn't as such born in Germany but went there from a young age and fell in love with the country and for some strange reason I found speaking the native tongue natural and was surprised how comfortable it felt.
Monika: Your most visible hobby is tattoos … :)
Charlotte: Yes, tattoos are a big part of my life from a young age. I fell in love seeing the stories behind the tattoos people had got whilst young.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Interview with Ella Marques


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Ella Marques, a Portuguese / American writer living in Boca Raton, Florida, the author of the biographical book titled “I was born a boy, from Venus. It’s time to be yourself” (2017). Hello Ella!
Ella: Hi Monika, Thank you very much for the interview, and for thinking about me. I like your blog very much.
Monika: You describe yourself as an “international” woman. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Ella: Sure. I was born in Portugal, at the age of 14 I went to an international boarding school in Switzerland, and since then I lived, worked and visited many countries. I lived in London, Paris, Fortaleza, a city in the Northeast of Brazil. Lived over 30 years in various cities in Switzerland and moved to the USA 6 year ago.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Interview with Melissa Seymour


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Melissa Seymour, a writer, novelist from New South Wales, Australia, the author of “Mel's Fantasy Life” (2016) and “Mark's Real Life” (2017). Hello Melissa!
Melissa: Hi Monika, Thanks, I now reside in Melbourne, Victoria, which is an awesome place to live.
My novels have been renamed for a new broader website I have discovered. The names are now “Mel’s New Life” and “Mark’s Pathetic Life”—that is due for worldwide release July 30th, 2017 as I have made some minor adjustments.
“Mel’s Fantasy/New Life” is the first in my series, each part allows the reader to use their imagination as I stop sections abruptly. I also end each part on a Cliff-Hanger to hopefully maintain interest.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Interview with Kate Bornstein


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kate Bornstein, an American author, playwright, performance artist, and gender theorist, the author of many influential books, including: “A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir”, “My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity” and “Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us”. Hello Kate!
Kate: Hello, Monika. Thank you for welcoming me into the amazing company of trans folks that you’ve pulled together here.
Monika: My first question must be about your health. Are you felling OK now? The media were full of information about your fight against cancer, and the $100,000 crowdfunder campaign…
Kate: Ah, you’re sweet to ask. Thank you. Yep, I’m feeling very well thank you. In 2012, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. And this was on top of a leukemia diagnosis from back in 1996. Surgery didn’t get all the cancer out of my lung, so the next step was chemotherapy and radiation. But because of my two cancers, there was no approved chemotherapy being used by any doctors on my health plan. The only doctor who was working on that kind of combination of cancer was not covered by my insurance, and cost a lot of money that I didn’t have.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Interview with Marie-Pierre Pruvot


Monika & Elaine: Today it is our pleasure and honour to interview Marie-Pierre Pruvot, also known as Bambi, one of the most inspirational transwomen in France, a former showgirl of Le Carrousel de Paris, actress, French literature teacher, the author of two biographical books. Hello Marie-Pierre!
Marie-Pierre: Hello, dear friends.
Monika & Elaine: The French transgender cabaret culture is regarded as one of the most important elements of the history of transwomen in France. Your unforgettable shows at Chez Madame Arthur and La Carrousel attracted a lot of interest, which helped the audience to get acquainted with the trans phenomenon. How do you recollect those years?
Marie-Pierre: I left Algiers at age 18 and I came to Paris to work at Mme Arthur’s and at the Carousel. It was 1953. Coccinelle was 22 years old. She was already famous in France and the French-speaking world.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Interview with Paula Coffer


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Paula Coffer, a retired US Army Finance Officer with many years of military service in: Vietnam, Germany, Korea, and the United States. She later served with the Department of Defense and Department of State in Afghanistan and is the author of the biographical book entitled “A Walk in Confidence” (2017). Hello Paula!
Paula: Hello Monika and thank you for taking the time for this interview. It is an honor to be a part of the illustrious group you have interviewed in the past.
Monika: You can boast a fantastic military career. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Paula: I enlisted in the US Navy at 17 years of age and during my 4 year enlistment I spent 3 years and 2 months on sea duty while making 3 WesPac (Western Pacific) tours of which 2 were to Vietnam. I joined Army ROTC while in college and accepted a commission as a Finance Officer. During these 24 years I struggled with living the dual identity of satisfying my military responsibilities and family obligations and of accepting my gender identity that I held so close within. Don’t ask, Don’t tell did not exist during my military career. If asked, I had to tell and I would have been released from the military as unfit and probably with an ‘other than honorable’.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Interview with Kendra Brill


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kendra Brill, the main character of the recently published biographical book titled “The Kendra Brill Story” (2017). Hello Kendra!
Kendra: Hello Monika! ​ 
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kendra: I'm truly blessed to be the authentic woman that I am! I went from being that sad and lonely William, that everyone knew and loved to being Kendra, a strong and dependable woman.
I have a loving family that I've always wanted and a house that I was blessed with. I have all kinds of people, from all walks of life surrounding me and feeling me with love and encouragement that I truly love and care about. It might not be the family that I was born into, but it's my family through Jesus Christ.
After the hell that I've been through, it really feels nice to be in a loving and caring community. Without their support, I'm not sure if I would've made it as far as I have. They accept the addict, the prostitute, the ex-incarcerated sides of me. They truly love me for every part of me.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Interview with Kirsty Jayne Crow


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kirsty Jayne Crow, an aviation consultant, teacher and author of the memoir “Three Weddings and a Sex Change” (2016). Hello Kirsty!
Kirsty: Hi Monika, I feel very privileged to have this opportunity to speak to you. You have interviewed some truly remarkable women so I’m amongst exalted company.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kirsty: I grew up on the beautiful island of Jersey and shared a happy childhood with two sisters with whom I remain close. I first begun to question my gender identity when I was about eight years old, jealous of siblings who could wear gorgeous clothes and sport long silky hair. My teenage years were a time of particular angst and I sort refuge in cross-dressing, my sisters’ wardrobes providing a ready source of feminine attire.
From about the age of 12 I became fascinated with aviation and as soon as I was old enough I learnt to fly. A career as a pilot beckoned, but unfortunately when I was 22 I was diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes, putting pay to any such ambitions. I instead pursued a long and successful career in airline operations, working for a number of major airlines.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Interview with Rhyannon Styles


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Rhyannon Styles, an actress, writer, ELLE UK magazine’s columnist, one of the most influential British LGBTQ activists, and the author of the biographical memoir titled “The New Girl: A Trans Girl Tells It Like It Is” (2017). Hello Rhyannon!
Rhyannon: Hi Monika!
Monika: You are a woman of so many talents that I do not know how to start … Let me start with your acting career … You have been a performer in Carnesky Productions since 2008. Their latest theatre show ‘Carnesky’s Incredible Bleeding Woman’ was recently at the Soho Theatre in London. How do you find yourself putting the magic back into menstruation? :)
Rhyannon: You know the classic sawing in half trick? Usually performed by male magicians, well this time we reversed the action. I appear from inside the sawing in half illusion, naked and covered in blood. It was purely magical.

Search This Blog