Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Interview with Elin McCready


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Elin McCready, an American linguistics professor at Tokyo's Aoyama Gakuin University. Married for 20 years, she has three children with her Japanese wife Midori, but registering her female identity has endangered her marriage because Japan doesn't recognise gay marriage. Hello Elin!
Elin: Hi! Thank you so much for asking me to do this interview. It’s great to get the opportunity to raise awareness about our situation and about the general situation for LGBTQ+ people in Japan.
Monika: Your story hit the international headlines more than a year ago. Has anything changed since then?
Elin: We first started getting media attention when it became clear that the Japanese government was going to take a weird line on recognizing my transition. The situation in Japan is that, if you want to change the gender marker on your official documents, you must not be married or have minor children, and you must be sterilized, in addition to having a diagnosis saying that gender marker change is appropriate from a medical professional. Since I only satisfy the last condition, I would not have been able to change gender marker if I were Japanese; but since I’m not, I changed my marker in the US, which of course changes my Japanese paperwork. But since I’m married, allowing me to change gender marker on all my documents would mean the de facto recognition of same-sex marriage, so the government didn’t want to do it.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Interview with Maryanne Marttini - Part 2


The interview is the continuation of the previous conversation with Maryanne Marttini, an American comedienne, writer, producer, and designer from Arizona. She is known for her stand-up comedy performances across the country, and brief appearances in Transparent and Glee. She is also part of a writing team that has developed an animated television series and a three act play based on that series. Since starting her transition 12 years ago she has volunteered with The Maricopa Community College System for LGBTQ awareness, fund raising for scholarships and Human Resourced for LGBT education.
 
Monika: You co-operate with the Maricopa Community College System to raise awareness about LGBT rights. Could you say a few words about it?
Maryanne: When I joined The Desperado LGBT Film Festival, which is sponsored by The Maricopa Community College System (MCCS) with corporate and community sponsors, I met the Director of The MCCS Diversity Program for students and staff. MCCS has almost 280,000 full and part time students and is the center of diversity for Maricopa County. The MCCS is dedicated to promoting diversity despite the reputation of Arizona being a red state.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Interview with Maryanne Marttini - Part 1


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Maryanne Marttini, an American comedienne, writer, producer, and designer from Arizona. She is known for her stand-up comedy performances across the country, and brief appearances in Transparent and Glee. She is also part of a writing team that has developed an animated television series and a three act play based on that series. Since starting her transition 12 years ago she has volunteered with The Maricopa Community College System for LGBTQ awareness, fund raising for scholarships and Human Resourced for LGBT education.
Hello Maryanne! 
Maryanne: Thank you Monika it is an honor and pleasure to meet you. I am a fan of your work bringing awareness and reality of the Transgender Community to your readers. One of my favorite expressions in life is, “the more you know…!”

Monday, 1 June 2020

Interview with Madi (ChutDillio)


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Madi, an American transgender woman that documents her transition on Reddit.com as ChutDillio. Hello Madi!
Madi: Hi Monika! Thank you so much for interviewing me. I've never been interviewed by anyone!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Madi: I'm a sarcastic, extroverted, super proud trans woman born and raised in New York City. I love to sing, skate, and be my crazy Aries self (unabashedly). I also never stop talking. It's a problem.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on Reddit?
Madi: Honestly, as a way to give back. I followed every trans subreddit for YEARS before I could even admit to myself I was trans. The trans community on Reddit are some of the most amazing, strong-willed people I know of. Once I started HRT, I started counting down the days until I could post about my progress, simply just so I could finally be part of the community. I've made a bunch of really great friends on there.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Interview with Bella Joie


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Bella Joie, an American vlogger and transgender activist. Her Bella Joie vlog on YouTube was created in 2018, and as we speak, it can boast almost 700 thousand views and over 5 thousand subscribers. Hello Bella!
Bella: I'm super excited to be apart of your blog, the whole purpose of this blog is so important for so many transgender woman all over the world! It has been such an interesting experience growing my YouTube channel and sharing my story. One of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Bella: I am a 21 year old transgender woman, I started my transition at 17 years old during my senior year of high school. I have been on hormones for 3 years now.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Interview with Diane Keinanen


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Diane Keinanen, a Minnesota lady of many talents, RN Vascular Access Specialist. Hello Diane!
Diane: Hello Monika! Thanks for having me.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Diane: Old life dissolved, been left to the past. Now Diane has evolved, loving life at long last!
Monika: You are a nurse but you have an artistic hobby ...
Diane: Creation is my serenity. I love to create in stained glass. I also enjoy woodworking as well. I find great fulfillment in crafting things that will bring happiness to another.

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!

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?

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Interview with Kelly Metzgar


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kelly Metzgar, an inspirational transgender rights activist from Saranac Lake, New York, USA, a co-founder of Adirondack North Country Gender Alliance, a community based LGBTQ organization providing services to the Adirondack North Country of Upstate New York. Hello Kelly! 
Kelly: Hi Monika, thank you so much for reaching out to me for this wonderful opportunity for a nice international chat!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kelly: I am a transgender woman living in Saranac Lake in the Adirondack North Country of upstate New York.
I am passionate about my advocacy and educational work having been involved in Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary as well as Lesbian, Gay, Bi/Pansexual training workshops for several years speaking in regional colleges and universities, as well as to various religious, business and civic organizations. I present customized, targeted workshops and training sessions at Transgender and LGBTQ conferences in both my regional area, New York State and National levels.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Interview with Cathy Serino


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Cathy Serino, a disabled transgender veteran and activist from Missouri, USA. Hello Cathy!
Cathy: Hello Monika. It’s a pleasure to speak to speak with you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself? I have read that you have three lovely three granddaughters!
Cathy: Yes. I have five children and actually at this point I have 4 grandchildren. 3 girls and 1 boy with the newest arrival being in August 2017. My grandchildren are my special angels and everything I do is to hopefully allow them to grow up in a society that is about love and acceptance and not the hate and discrimination that has been present throughout my life.

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...

Monday, 18 December 2017

Interview with Lisa Bunker


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Lisa Bunker, an American writer, known for her debut novel “Felix Yz“ (Viking, 2017), about a boy fused with an alien. Her second novel, “Zenobia July”, about a trans girl getting to live as a girl for the first time in a new school, is due to be published in Winter/Spring 2019, also from Viking. Hello Lisa!
Lisa: Hi Monika! I’m glad to be talking to you today.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Lisa: Well, you covered the basic facts of my current life situation in your intro. I’m finally a full-time author after decades of trying to make that my work. Also, I’m in a wonderful relationship and finally getting to find out what it’s like to love and be loved as the person I actually am. Plus, my children are grown and my parents are gone. So, I guess you could say I’m a person whose dreams have finally come true who then finds herself curiously free to look around for the next thing to do.

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.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Interview with Shandi Strong


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Shandi Strong, a Canadian transgender rights advocate, author, public speaker, and politician from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was the first Trans Grand Marshall for the 2015 Winnipeg Pride Parade, recipient of the Winnipeg LGBT* Chamber of Commerce Trail Blazer Award. She serves as Advocacy Coordinator for Pride Winnipeg, and Executive Secretary for Manitobans For Human Rights Inc., as well as working as a constituency assistant for the Liberal Caucus in the Manitoba Legislature. Hello Shandi!
Shandi: Hi Monika! I’m so very honoured to be interviewed by you! I have not been interviewed by anyone on your side of “the pond” before! So thank you!
Monika: I saw your short story in The New York Times series titled “Transgender Today.” You described yourself as a transgender activist, photographer, musician, and writer. Quite a mix … :) Could you say a few words about yourself?
Shandi: Over my life I have learned that I have many talents, skills, abilities etc. etc. Not all of them were of immediate obvious value, but as I came into my own during some difficult times I began to appreciate them as I was more able to share them with my friends and community. I had dreams and desires of course, with each of them, but the focus necessary to utilize them all was lacking.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Interview with Lisa O'Connor


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Lisa O'Connor, an American physician, health care provider and therapist to the transgender/gender variant community from Stirling, New Jersey, the owner of Healthy Transitions. Hello Lisa!
Lisa: Hiya, Monika! Thanks for having me. Poland is lovely this time of year. It’s only the second time I’ve ever visited.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Lisa: Hmm, well, the usual opening line is that I was born and raised in New York City. Thankfully, your readers will not have to suffer through my Metropolitan New York English accent. By the way, you are very kind for not mocking me.
Monika: The name of your company highlights the word “healthy? What does a healthy transition espouse?
Lisa: This is one of those €64,000 questions. We could talk for hours on this topic. It is huge. As a matter of fact, it is one of my guiding principles for Healthy Transitions, LLC: healthy & happy.

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.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Interview with Claire-Renee Kohner


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Claire-Renee Kohner, an American transgender journalist, activist, blogger, transgender journalist, activist, and mom of 3 boys. She reports on the positive aspects of the transgender community and reports on everyday issues as well as trans and queer actresses, directors, musicians and the entertainment industry. Hello Claire-Renee!
Claire-Renee: Hi Monika! Thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to interview me, I really appreciate what you do.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Claire-Renee: As you mentioned, I’m a transgender journalist, activist and mother of three boys; I have over 100 published articles on venues like the Advocate, Bustle, PlanetTransgender, GayEssentials, Original Plumbing, Claire Channel and I’ve appeared on HuffPo Live, The Queer Radio Network, and MyTalk107.1 to discuss dating while transgender and current transgender issues.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Interview with Emily Crose


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Emily Crose, an American IT specialist and network threat hunter. She publishes her essays to such portals as motherboard.vice.com, theestablishment.co and upworthy.com. Hello Emily!
Emily: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Emily: Sure! I transitioned medically and socially back in early 2016 while I was working for the US Army as a civilian. I had taken that job specifically because I believed that it would be a good environment for me to do so, and for the most part I was right.
I’ve been out to my family, including my wife (who has been putting up with me in marriage for over 8 years now) since 2014 after a false start in 2010. We have two lovely kids together and have been continuously evolving as a couple since we were married.

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.

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