Tuesday 31 December 2013

Interview with Kara Nicole Hays

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Kara Nicole Hays, an American talented woman, and celebrity, known for her emulation for Britney Spears. Kara comes from a small town in southeastern Ohio. She hit the headlines in 2012 when the media covered her transition, operations, and impersonation of Britney Spears. She is also known for her appearance in The Tyra Show with Isis King and Marci Bowers. Hello Kara!
Kara: Hello Monika! Thank you for reaching out to me to do this Interview. I’m excited to answer what you have in store for me. I’m also honored that you have taken the time to set up this interview to feature me on your site. I greatly appreciate it.
Monika: A year ago the media were full of information about your operations to get the look of Britney Spears. Were you satisfied with the way you were portrayed by the media?
Kara: The media twisted a lot of things around for the sake of a shocking headline. It worked in the sense that it caught people’s attention. I was hoping other people in the media with an above-average IQ would do enough research to see that most of what I said was misconstrued. It was a little disheartening when journalists and television producers would interview me, only to then drop my story when they realized the Britney angle was completely fabricated.

Monday 30 December 2013

Interview with Rosalyne Blumenstein LCSW ACHP-SW

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Rosalyne Blumenstein LCSW ACHP-SW, a woman of many talents, film director, writer, social worker, activist, former director of the Gender Identity Project at the LGBT Center in Manhattan, the author of Branded T. Hello Rosalyne!
Rosalyne: Hello Monika! First I want to thank you for having this website and bringing a variety of voices together to share with others. And second, thank you for asking me to participate. Hopefully, even after my responses to your questions, you will feel the same way☺.
Monika: Having had so many talents and jobs, which profession do you enjoy most?
Rosalyne: The one that pays the rent of course!☺
There have been many phases in my life and within those stages of life and my varied professions. There was enjoyment and struggle within each and every phase. What I can say is that I have learned so much about myself and the world around me within each phase and each profession. I’ve been involved in professions that had a tremendous stigma attached to them at the time I was involved.

Sunday 29 December 2013

Interview with Şevval Kılıç

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Şevval Kılıç, a Turkish LGBT activist, a member of non-governmental organizations such as Istanbul LGBTT Dayanışma Derneği and Trans-Blok, co-organizer of the Istanbul Trans Pride parade. Hello Şevval!
Şevval: Hi Monika!
Monika: You come from a country that is notorious for transphobia crimes, just to mention the murder of Neşe Dilşeker in 2012 and Dora Özer in 2013. Is Turkey not a country for transgender women?
Şevval: I wouldn’t say it that way but at the same time yes, the number of trans hate crimes is rising as never before. However, transphobia is everywhere with different levels, of course, from Japan to the USA, maybe Turkey is more gender-based-hypocritical.
Monika: What are the current issues on the agenda of such organizations as Trans-Blok and Istanbul LGBTT Dayanışma Derneği?
Şevval: I’ve recently resigned from Istanbul LGBT, and now I am working for Trans-Blok. Our first issue is to stop hate crimes against trans people. Our government is still resisting and ignoring the fact that we are living in a different age. It is still ignoring the existence of the LGBT movement, they don’t even articulate the term “LGBT”, because if you do not exist then your human rights do not exist either.
However, all Turkish LGBT organizations are working hard at that moment to gain more power every day and we know we will have our democratic rights eventually.

Saturday 28 December 2013

Interview with Andrea James

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Andrea James, a very prolific American artist, writer, film producer, director, businesswoman, and LGBT rights activist. Hello Andrea!
Andrea: Hi Monika—thanks for interviewing me!
Monika: Having so many talents, which profession do you enjoy most?
Andrea: I enjoy writing educational information because that fulfills my interest in teaching. Unfortunately, we live in a world where a large swath of people can’t be reached through the written word, so I also work in film and television.
Monika: In 2003, together with your business partner and entertainer Calpernia Addams, you co-founded Deep Stealth Productions to provide services to the transgender community. How successful is the company?
Andrea: I feel that our success is best measured by the nice letters and hugs we get from people who have been helped or moved by our work. We were never out to become rich selling specialty videos, and it’s not a big money-maker anyway. We often supplement the income from our work for the trans community through other kinds of production. Calpernia and I do not need a lot to live the lives we want, and that has freed us up to work on projects that are important to us.

Friday 27 December 2013

Interview with Rajée Rajindra Narinesingh

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Rajée Rajindra Narinesingh, an American transgender activist, author of Beyond Face Value, and actress. Hello Rajée! 
Rajée: Hello Monika!
Monika: In your autobiography titled “Beyond Face Value” you share your story of the botched facial surgery and facial injections done by Oneal Morris aka “Duchess”. Was it difficult to write such a book?
Rajée: Beyond Face Value is my 4th book but it was the hardest to write because I wanted to be as authentic to my story as possible. There were things I wrote about that stirred up many different emotions.

Wednesday 25 December 2013

Interview with Jenna Fischetti

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Jenna Fischetti, an inspirational woman, transgender advocate and activist, a contributor to The Transadvocate. Jenna is the founder of TransMaryland, an organization serving the Maryland transgender and ally communities by providing services, education, support, and advocacy. She served as facilitator of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland’s (The GLCCB) Gender Identity Groups from 2006 to 2011. Hello Jenna!
Jenna: Hello Monika!
Monika: You are very active in the promotion of transgender equality in Maryland. Could you name some of your successful campaigns or projects in this respect?
Jenna: Let me first thank individuals like Jessica Xavier, Alyson Meiselman, Donna Cartwright, Falina Laron, Cydne’ Kimbrough, Lauren Stokeling, Monica Yorkman, Jean-Michel Brevelle, Frannie O’Grady, Dana Beyer, Laura Hart, Owen Smith, Mara Drummond, Alex Hickcox, Caroline Temmermand, Sharon Brackett, Ezra Towne, J.D. Rosario, Keith Thirion, and so many others who have contributed to the advancement of rights and acceptance of trans Marylanders. I am blessed to have worked with many of them. To name any successes would be to name the community’s successes.

Interview with Kayla Ward

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Kayla Ward, a young American video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Kayla!
Kayla: Hi, thanks for contacting me.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kayla: I am finally happy now that I can be on the outside who I have always been on the inside. I have been living full-time for a little over a year now and have loved every minute of it!
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Kayla: I followed many girls like me for years and was inspired by their journey and wanted to share the same inspiration with others.

Saturday 21 December 2013

Interview with Kayhar

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Kayhar, a talented and inspirational singer that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Kayhar!
Kayhar: Hi Monika! Thank you for inviting me.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kayhar: Sure thing. My name is KAYHAR, I’m an Artist and Trans Activist.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Kayhar: I always wanted to make one of my own, but I wanted mine to be memorable. I also wanted an opportunity to introduce myself as a singer. Eventually, I came up with the idea to combine both in 1 video.

Friday 20 December 2013

Interview with Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad, a physician, sexologist, and professor of sexology, known as one of Norway's most prominent transpeople. In 2002, her son Even Benestad presented her story in the documentary All About My Father (Alt om min far). In 2007, she participated in the reality TV series Skal vi danse. She was also a political candidate for the Liberal Party, a social liberal political party in Norway. Hello Esther!
Esben Esther: Hello Monica and thanks for including me in your row of interviews! 
Monika: You are the author of several textbooks about transgenderism, including “Kjønn i bevegelse” (2001), Transseksualisme - hvor går vi og hvor står vi? (2002) and Transekjønn og diagnoser (2004), and Sexologi I Praksis (2006). Is it difficult to study and write about the phenomenon that you face yourself in your life?
Esben Esther: An era of therapeutic thinking emphasized the neutrality of the therapist, one should not “over-identify” with the clients. In the wake of this thinking, one came to consider it wrong for homosexually talented people to offer therapy to other homosexuals, and certainly also for the transgifted to offer therapy to their kinds.

Interview with Gina Leigh Duncan

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Gina Leigh Duncan, a successful businesswoman, transgender advocate, and activist, President of Orlando's Gay Chamber of Commerce, a former candidate for Commissioner of Orange County, Florida, a senior manager at Wells Fargo, an American multinational banking and financial services company, and currently on the Board of Directors of Equality Florida. Hello Gina!
Gina: Hello, Monika, so nice to talk to you.
Monika: You are very active in politics. Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Gina: I do. While I think it critically important that we know the issues, have solutions, can be great communicators to motivate our constituents, we also bring an inherent acceptance of being transgender by gaining someone’s vote. We have an extra layer of objection to overcome. We might align with a voter in every area, yet they do not understand transgender people. I felt I just had to work that much harder and be that much sharper on the issues. Once in office, that thinking would continue with me. Work harder, be sharper, never let being transgender be an issue. Let it be an asset. I would want to use my office as a platform to educate people on what it means to be transgender.

Thursday 19 December 2013

Interview with Jennifer Leitham

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Jennifer Leitham, an American musician and double bass player, an inspirational and talented woman, subject of an award-winning documentary "I Stand Corrected"(2012), known for her 2006 album “The Real Me”. Hello Jennifer!
Jennifer: Hi Monika, Thank you for asking me to do this interview. I hope that my English will translate in an accurate manner, it can be an inaccurate language.
Monika: How did you start your musical career?
Jennifer: I didn’t have any musicians in my family, but I always was curious about music when I was growing up. The Beatles were probably my first musical influence. I was also intrigued by the music of Vince Guaraldi from the Peanuts holiday cartoons.
My first formal introduction to music came in high school when I joined the chorus. It revealed an aptitude for music and also was a great lesson in ear training. I sang some solos with the Chorale and that brought the attention of some of the rock musicians in my school.
I had always fooled around on a little toy guitar, playing along with my records, mostly melodies and bass lines. That ability translated to electric bass combined with my incredibly high singing voice made me a valuable band member.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Interview with Janice Covington

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Janice Covington with whom I would like to discuss the role of transgender women in US politics. Janice is an LGBTQ advocate and activist, she is also the first transgender woman to have been elected from North Carolina to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Hello Janice!
Janice: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about your career so far?
Janice: I have always loved working with my hands and I have owned my own successful business since 1983 as a building contractor, mostly doing historical and residential renovations.

Interview with Maria Haaning

Monika: Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Maria Rose Löwe Haaning, a Danish young lady setting an example for young transgender women all over the world. She is the youngest Danish transgender girl to undergo an MTF transition. In addition, Maria is the author of "Ham og Mig" (2012) and is known for her participation in many media interviews in Denmark. Hello Maria!
Maria: Hi Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about your career so far?
Maria: Well, I am still very young so my career is still in progress, but so far I have done numerous TV appearances on Danish television. I am giving lectures across the country about my personal transition story and I have published my own autobiography titled 'Ham og Mig', which in English translates into 'Him and I'. The book tells the story of how I became the youngest Danish person to ever go through a complete MTF transition.

Sunday 15 December 2013

Interview with Rachel Pollack

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Rachel Pollack, an American science fiction author, comic book writer, and Tarot grandmaster. Rachel was born in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from New York University and Claremont Graduate University. Her interests include the women's spirituality movement and writing. She is known for her novels: Unquenchable Fire (1989), "Godmother Night" (1997), and "Temporary Agency" (1995). Hello Rachel!
Rachel: Hi, Monika! Thanks for doing this.
Monika: In most people's minds, "Tarot card reading" means a woman in flowing robes, leaning over a small table in a candlelit room, foretelling impending doom. How far is it from reality?
Rachel: There are always people who do this sort of theatrical style, and always some who want to scare their clients. But most modern readers are serious about interpreting the cards to benefit people. Much of modern reading is psychological, about character as much as events. And there is a strong spiritual component.

Saturday 14 December 2013

Interview with Bianca Lewis

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Bianca Lewis, a video blogger from South Africa that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Bianca!
Bianca: Hi Monika, and everybody, glad to share my views with you today.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Bianca: Well – I am definitely not defined by transition. Being female has always been a part of me that has experienced amazing journeys. I grew up in Apartheid South Africa, experienced bacterial meningitis with coma, then paralysis in a wheelchair for a year, love, divorce, death of almost all my family, the Middle East, war – and that is just the start of what has made me, well…me.

Thursday 12 December 2013

Interview with True Scarlet

Monika: Today’s interview will be with True Scarlet, an American video blogger from Florida that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello True Scarlet!
True Scarlet: Hello Monika, I’m glad to be here.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
True Scarlet: Well, my name is Arrietta. I am 30 years old, born and raised in Florida, USA. I have worked as a Facility Maintenance supervisor in a drug and alcohol treatment center for the past six years. I enjoy running, hiking, and spending time with my friends. I can be over-focused from time to time and often spend hours lost in whatever I happen to get into at the time; usually games or reading.

Interview with Jenna Arriving1

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Jenna Arriving1, a video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Jenna!
Jenna: Hello Monika. Just to say that Jenna is an alias I use online and it’s not my real name.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Jenna: Well, I am 38, single, and now living in London UK. I live full-time as a woman and started a medical transition in Oct 2011. I have been living full-time as a woman for one year. I initially transitioned as a teenager at age 16 and continued for 2 years until after my 18th birthday. Sadly I detransitioned due to ill health and other pressures. I restarted my transition at age 36.

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Interview with Jessica Tiffany

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Jessica Tiffany, a young video blogger from Canada that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Jessica!
Jessica: Hi Monika! Thanks for interviewing me for your site!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Jessica: I’m a 27-year-old transgirl, I started on hormones almost 2 years ago and I’ve been living full-time as a woman for over a year. I’m much happier now than I was before, I love being female.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Jessica: I’d watched a few random transgender video blogs before I decided for sure that I was going to transition. I used to frequent /r/transgender and /r/asktransgender on Reddit quite often and at the time people were posting videos occasionally to show what they looked and sounded like.

Interview with Meggan Sommerville

Monika: Today’s interview is with Meggan Sommerville, an American transgender advocate, and activist, former frame shop manager, writer, a blogger from Oswego, Illinois. Meggan hit the headlines in 2011 when she filed a complaint to the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) after she had been denied to use the women's restroom at the workplace. Hello Meggan!
Meggan: Hi Monika. I am honored you chose to pick me to be included in this awesome group of people.
Monika: Your professional experience covers a wide range of jobs: a veterinary technician in the Western suburbs of Chicago, an EMT/Paramedic, EMS Instructor, and a paid on-call firefighter for Bolingbrook, Illinois. Which did you like most?
Meggan: Well, to be perfectly honest, I loved them all. They all had their own ups and downs, but I am very thankful for each one of those jobs. Each job allowed me to better myself, challenge myself, and stretched my abilities, and at the same time, I was able to do something that truly made a difference.

Monday 9 December 2013

Interview with Michelle Hendley

Monika: Today I am meeting Michelle Hendley, an American young actress and video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube, known for her role as Ricky in the film Boy Meets Girl, directed by Eric Schaeffer. Hello Michelle!
Michelle: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Michelle: Hmm, well I am 22 years old, I live in Missouri (USA) and I am a cosmetology student.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube? 
Michelle: When I first started my channel a couple years ago, I really didn’t know what I wanted to say on YouTube. For a while, I just made little updates about my life, and around that time I had my “gender realization.”

Sunday 8 December 2013

Interview with Louise Hannon

Monika: Today’s interview is with Louise Hannon, a transgender advocate, activist, photographer, and former business development manager from Arbour Hill, north Dublin in Ireland. She was the first transgender person in Ireland to take a case against her employer on gender discrimination grounds and win the case in 2011. It was possible thanks to the Irish Employment Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace. Hello Louise!
Louise: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Louise: I've been asked this kind of question before, but how do you describe yourself? Probably other people would describe me much better. I'm passionate about equality and justice where I see something which I feel is wrong. Be that economically or physically wrong in my eyes. I tend to confront injustice. I was very much the same all my life but it's only in recent times that I have been able financially and in my private life to have had the spare time to do what I do.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Interview with Lisa Olsson

Monika: Today’s interview is with Lisa Olsson, a transgender advocate, and activist, a photographer from Sweden. Hello Lisa!
Lisa: Hello Monika! I am happy to be interviewed by you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Lisa: Well, it is hard to describe oneself in just a few words. I am a person that can not just sit idle and do nothing, there has to always be some activity. Preferable some activities that demand some intellectual focus. I am 35 years old and work as an unemployment agent. I still study at the university level, mostly for fun.
Monika: How did you start taking photos?
Lisa: I have always had a camera of some sort. For a long time, I thought about investing in an SLR camera so I could take better pictures. In the end, about three years ago I finally bought a simpler version. And upgraded to a far better one soon after that.

Monday 16 September 2013

Interview with Aeris Houlihan

Monika: Today I have invited Aeris Houlihan, a British football player and transgender video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Aeris!
Aeris: Hi Monika.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Aeris: I was born in Dublin and moved over to England when I was around 3. I have lived in England ever since. I’m an outgoing individual who loves to keep fit and take care of her appearance. I love clothes shopping and trying new makeup techniques. I’m a musician, music producer and love to work on video special effects.

Sunday 15 September 2013

Interview with Ellen Krug

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Ellen Krug, an American lawyer, author, and transgender activist. She was born in Newark, New Jersey. In 1979, Ellen graduated from Coe College in Cedar Rapids in and three years later she earned a Juris Doctor degree from Boston College Law School. In 2009, she became the first attorney in Iowa to engage in jury trials in separate genders. In 2011, Ellen worked as the first executive director of a Minneapolis nonprofit, Call for Justice, LLC, which helps persons earning lower incomes connect with attorneys. I am going to talk with Ellen about her autobiographical book, her amazing career, and her view on life. Hello Ellen!
Ellen: Hello Monika! I’m honored to be here today!
Monika: Could you say a few words about your career so far?
Ellen: Oh, it’s been a career that literally spans two lives. When I was a boy (I like to use the phrases “boy” and “girl” because they seem more innocent), I had always wanted to be a lawyer. At first, that career goal was driven by altruism—I wanted to change the world, just like Bobby Kennedy wanted. (Bobby Kennedy—President Kennedy’s younger brother—had been a lawyer. He too wanted to effect much positive change, and he did that by talking about the plight of the poor and people of color.)
Later, after I started law school, my goals changed—I still wanted to be a lawyer, but then I became more interested in being a trial attorney. Eventually, I did just that. However, by then I was somewhat jaundiced about the world (Reagan had been elected president), and my attention shifted to making money. That continued for a couple decades.

Saturday 14 September 2013

Interview with Sammy12534

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Phoebe, a young American video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube as Ask Phoebe, previously known as Sammy12534. Hello Phoebe!
Phoebe: Hi! It’s great to be here today.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Phoebe: Well I’m very outgoing and some say that I’m very confident but all I see is a shy girl that speaks her mind.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Phoebe: I was just tired of keeping it all to myself and I wanted more opinions from people from around the world.

Thursday 12 September 2013

Interview with Eden Dintsikos

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Eden Dintsikos, a young video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Eden!
Eden: Hello Monika, thank you so much for having me here and giving me the opportunity to appear on your blog!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Eden: Where to start... I am 22 years young, born in Greece but living in Belgium since 2001 and I am in a relationship with Do for the past 3.5 years. I spend a lot of time crafting and making YouTube videos.

Monday 26 August 2013

Interview with Casey Plett

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Casey Plett, an American transgender writer, author of "Other Women", featured in Topside Press‘s "The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard". Hello Casey!
Casey: Hi Monika! Before we start, I must apologetically let you know I am actually living in Canada as of this January, so I'm only sort of American at the moment!
Monika: How did you start writing?
Casey: Well I've always read. I think I was eight when I got this idea that being a writer would be cool, and then I alternated writing sad or wacky shit off and on through my pre-teen and teen years.
A month before my nineteenth birthday, I was in Seattle for a weekend and suddenly in a rush just started writing down everything that had happened to me in the preceding months and that's when I thought "Nah, I'm really gonna give this writing thing a go, I'm actually gonna try and do this."
And like lots followed after like I did a bunch of schools, and I had periods where I didn't write and just smoked weed and got drunk. But that weekend in Seattle is the turning point that exists in my head, I guess.

Sunday 25 August 2013

Interview with Britany Somers

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Britany Somers, an American transgender radio host, comedian, and transgender advocate. Hello Britany!
Britany: Hi Monika.
Monika: Could you say a few words about your career so far?
Britany: Like most terrestrial broadcasters licensed prior to the '96 Telecom Act, it's over. The little show I have keeps my toe in the rapidly evaporating water. That's about it.
Monika: How long have you been producing the Boca Show? Which topics does it focus on?
Britany: The show is in its third year. Seriously thinking of just renaming it The Brit Somers Show. “Boca” is a well-known nickname from the Neil Rogers Show which I was part of for 20 years. I kept it for the local South Florida listeners familiar with my material. Too parochial for online. My show is intentionally General Interest. (AOR; All Over the Road).

Saturday 24 August 2013

Interview with Ivory Oasis

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Ivory Oasis (Dani Landers), a young video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Ivory runs Studio Fawn where she is responsible for art, writing, and design. Hello Ivory!
Ivory: Hi there! :)
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Ivory: Basically I’m an artist/game developer living in LA. My life pretty much revolves around that, and of course, in my extra time, I try to move ahead with transitioning. Feel free to check out my current project “Bloom: Memories” (studiofawn.com).
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Ivory: When I was first exploring the possibility of transitioning I remember finding transition videos of other people. Just being able to see the effects of hormones or surgeries and other transition experiences helped me get a much better idea of what was possible for myself. Without those videos, it would have been a much scarier proposition to begin transitioning. So, I’m just doing my part to help those who are now facing the same challenges I was.

Friday 23 August 2013

Interview with Lynda Oudenhoven

Monika: Today I would like to introduce to you Lynda Oudenhoven, an American mechanic and video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Lynda!
Lynda: Hi Monika and thank you for inviting me to be part of your interview series, it's a pleasure to meet you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Lynda: Sure, I'm a 51-year-old Denver Police Fleet Mechanic. I have another 3 years, 9 months until I retire, after 27 years of service, and pursue other employment interests. I have a beautiful 29-year-old daughter and I live with my two dogs and one cat near the foothills of Denver Colorado.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Lynda: Probably for a couple of reasons. I wanted to have something for my daughter to remember this time. Something she can look at long after I'm gone. I also wanted to share with other women in the community, that might be contemplating transitioning/surgery, so as to provide some comfort for them. If I can overcome my fears/anxieties... anybody can.

Monday 19 August 2013

Interview with Susan Jane Bigelow

Monika: Today let me present Susan Jane Bigelow, an American transgender writer, librarian, political columnist, and author of "Ramona’s Demons", featured in Topside Press: “The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard”. Susan writes a weekly political column for the outstanding Connecticut political news website, CT News Junkie, where she focuses on politics inside and relevant to the Nutmeg State. In 2005-2010, she wrote for the Connecticut political blog CT Local Politics. Hello Susan!
Susan: Hello, Monika! Thank you for having me.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Susan: Sure. I’m a librarian, a political columnist, and a writer. I live with my wife in the northeastern United States. I’m the author of the Extrahumans series, the Grayline Sisters series, and you can find my writing in QUEERS DIG TIME LORDS as well as the Topside Press COLLECTION.
Monika: How did you start writing?
Susan: I’ve always been a writer, even when I was little. I would make up stories, and my mother would encourage me to write them down. I can’t imagine myself without writing at this point.

Sunday 18 August 2013

Interview with Carol Mapley

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Carol Mapley, a Scottish nationalist, LGBT activist, and a former policewoman. She served in the RAF’s Observer Corps for 18 years. Her police career started in 1977 when she joined Grampian Police. She is Scottish Labour’s first transgender election candidate for the Castle Douglas and Glenken council seat. Hello Carol!
Carol: Hi Monika! It's lovely to speak to you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about your career so far?
Carol: I’ve had two distinct career strands to date – the police and mental health. I work within the Police Service of Scotland where I help formulate national policy and service delivery in relation to transgendered officers and staff as well as the transgendered people that we the police come into contact with every day in Scotland.
I play an active role in delivering mental health, and trans awareness training at our national police college in Fife. I also serve as a director of a major Scottish mental health charity – Vox Scotland. Vox is a charity that represents the views of mental health service users in the planning and provision of mental health services within Scotland.

Saturday 17 August 2013

Interview with Mikki Whitworth

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Mikki Whitworth, an American transgender writer, author of "Masks of a Superhero", featured in Topside Press‘s “The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard” (2012). Hello Mikki!
Mikki: Hello, thank you for this opportunity to reach out to my readers and the community at large.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Mikki: What can I say about myself? I guess the one part of my life that stands out is that I am a disabled American veteran. I served my country in my youth. Now 25 years later, I am still picking up the pieces of that service. I have been with a wonderful man for 18 years, he has stood by my side through understanding my mental illness, standing next to me through transitioning, and returning to college at nearly 40.
Monika: How did you start writing?
Mikki: I started writing as a way to deal with my illness. I began writing with a group of veterans at my local veteran’s hospital. My first two major works were entered into the VA National Creative Arts Festival. They won silver and bronze medals. I knew I was doing something right and thus began my goal to write more and better, which eventually led to my desire to return to college.

Friday 16 August 2013

Interview with Azora Alexander

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Azora Alexander, a young American video blogger from North Carolina that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Azora!
Azora: Hello Monika! It is such an honor to be here.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Azora: Well I’m 25 years old, and I live in a small town in North Carolina.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Azora: I actually started making videos about 3 years ago. they started as just makeup videos and over time I would talk about various personal things, and so when I decided to make my transition I felt that vlogging about it would not only be therapeutic but also maybe my experiences both good and bad could help let others know that they are not alone.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Interview with Birdy Reene

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Birdy Reene, a young American video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Birdy!
Birdy: Hi, hi, Thanks for wanting to interview me.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Birdy: Well, I'm 26, I'm a home health aid who looks after the mentally handicapped. Outside of work I play video games, run my own anime art website and play around with the concept of doing my own manga.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Birdy: My friend Sour Skiddlez has been doing video blogs for a long time, and exposed me to the process in one of her videos so I started doing it myself. I more or less wanted to show transition isn't the nightmare people make it out to be, its rough I won't lie, but I feel like if more of us were to educate the future trans community, maybe they can take from us and help themselves better.

Interview with Christina Warburton

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Christina Warburton, a young American video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Christina!
Christina: Hello Monika, It is a privilege to speak with you today. I feel very honored to be looked at as an Idol.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Christina: Sure, I was born in Liverpool, England, moved to Philadelphia, PA when I was 10 years old. As for me currently, I’m a 35-year-old MTF, who is a proud parent of 3 children. I’m really no one special, I’m an average blue-collar worker that works for a landscaping company.
I pay my taxes, bills, go to work every day, and do the same things as everyone else, despite what some people would tend to try to make everyone believe. I am also a musician, I have been playing bass since high school, and am an avid video gamer and general techie.

Sunday 11 August 2013

Interview with Fiona Corwin

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Fiona Corwin, a young video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Fiona!
Fiona: Hello! Young! You’re sweet to say so. I’ll be 42 this year!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Fiona: I am a 41yr old trans woman. I started my transition in October of 2012, HRT in January of 2013, and living full time as a woman in May of 2013. It’s a complicated question because I am a lot of things depending on where you look from.
I am a Web Developer, an IT consultant, a manager, a business owner, a carpenter, a machinist, a musician, a writer, a lover, a poet, a martial artist, a fencer, and a bit of a pacifist who likes her guns. I am both fiercely independent and serially monogamous. I fall in love with people often – they fascinate me.

Sunday 4 August 2013

Interview with Calpernia Addams

Monika: Today I have invited a special guest. Calpernia Addams is an American author, actress, musician, spokesperson and activist for transgender rights and issues. Calpernia grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. She served as a hospital corpsman with the Navy and United States Marine Corps. She is a co-founder of Deep Stealth Productions, providing educational and entertainment material around gender-identification matters. Calpernia is known for her performance as a transgender woman in the 2005 film Transamerica, 2006 documentary film Beautiful Daughters, and a 2008 reality television series entitled Transamerican Love Story. Hello Calpernia!
Calpernia: Hello, Monika!
Monika: Having so many talents you seem to be more focused on acting. Which film directors or movies are your inspirations?
Calpernia: Well, Frank Pierson was a legendary writer and director going back many decades who eventually came to direct the film about my life called "Soldier's Girl". He has been the most personally influential director in my life, and if you look back at his body of work, anyone would see why he is very inspiring to me as an artist.
On a deep and personal level, I am inspired by the films of Marilyn Monroe. I know it can be a cliché to say that one likes "Marilyn", but I do feel a deeper personal connection to her story as a woman and an artist after studying her life, films, and myth-making process in depth. Living in Hollywood, I pass by the places she knew and went to almost every day, so she is sort of in the air.

Wednesday 31 July 2013

Interview with Ramona Limon

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Ramona Limon, a young American video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Ramona!
Ramona: Hello Monika.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Ramona: Well, I’m a college student in Denver, Colorado and I am currently working for my degree in 2D animation.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Ramona: When I first started following my heart and mind to be the woman I knew I was, I watched some ladies on YouTube who, as well, were undergoing their miraculous changes. I consider all of them as my own idols that I connect with on a very personal level.

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Interview with Brooke Sullivan

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Brooke Sullivan, a young American transgender woman and HIV activist from California. In addition, she is a video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Brooke!
Brooke: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Brooke: I am a 28-year pre-op female transsexual living in beautiful San Diego, Ca. I currently work as the Communications and Consumer Marketing Manager for a start-up telemedical company called EXUSMED.
Some of my passions in life are volunteering with non-profits/non-profit events, making music, and creating digital art. I like to think I am a jack of all trades and master of some. 
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube? 
Brooke: I felt compelled to share who I was with others, I have always been that way. I thought my story might empower others, as it has also empowered me by exposing myself to the world. When you find yourself and work towards an end goal, it gives you a sense of pride. I wanted to share that with the world. I also wanted to find solidarity…and posting a timeline video seemed like a good way to achieve it.

Monday 29 July 2013

Interview with Melony VonKruz

Monika: Today I have invited Melony VonKruz, a young American video blogger, showgirl, and beauty pageant queen from Florida. Melony documents her transition on YouTube where she shares the most interesting aspects of her life as a transgender woman. Hello Melony!
Melony: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Melony: Well I'm 24 Years old, I live in the city of Brotherly Love (Philly) and currently I'm a video blogger on YouTube who deals with Trans related Issues.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Melony: I really just wanted to put my stories and experiences out there to share with other people under the Trans* Umbrella but most specifically other Trans Women. I found that there were some things missing in other bloggers' videos that I wanted to cover or cover in a different way than they had.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Interview with Jenny-Anne Bishop

Monika: Today I have invited Jenny-Anne Bishop, a British transgender activist and former sales and marketing manager in scientific instruments. She is a graduate in industrial chemistry and a staunch advocate of the Transgender and LGBT communities. Jenny-Anne is a lay pastoral leader and Board of Directors member of the Manchester Metropolitan Community Church, a member of the Westminster Parliamentary Forum on Gender Identity, and a trustee for several LGBT organizations. Sie is also a member of many organizations and steering groups on reporting and reducing hate crime and on equality and diversity standards. She is living with her partner Elen in Rhyl, North Wales. Hello Jenny-Anne!
Jenny-Anne: Hello Monika, Thank you so much for asking me to do this interview, I feel quite humbled to be included in your series of outstanding Trans People.
Monika: What are you doing for a living these days?
Jenny-Anne: Well I've been retired for over 5 years now, so I am able to devote my time to trying to help and improve life for all our Trans* community.
I'm also an active member of the LGBT Church I attend in Manchester and lobby for LGBT Christian rights and acceptance. I guess it's about making every aspect of life Trans friendly because being trains is pervasive, it affects every aspect and corner of your life.

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Interview with Ashlee Edwards

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Ashlee Edwards, a young American video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Ashlee!
Ashlee: Hi Monika, it's a pleasure talking with you today.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Ashlee: Sure, I'm 19 years old, really into film and television producing, and just like to go hiking and relax.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Ashlee: I decided to share my transition in a hope to show that it is OK to be yourself, and to show other girls like me that you're not alone in this.

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