Thursday 31 January 2013

Interview with Ar’lene D. Lafferty

Monika: Today Let me introduce you Ar’lene D. Lafferty, an American cosmetologist, and electrologist from Chicago, Illinois. Hello Ar’lene! Welcome to “Interviews with Transgender Icons”! How does it feel to be an icon?
Ar’lene: Hello Monika and Darling Friends, Sisters and Brothers. I never thought I was a community “icon”. Thank you for the honor! It makes me feel proud and willing to do more for our “Trans-family”.
Monika: What are you doing these days?
Ar’lene: These days, I’m writing my autobiography, a task that seems highly difficult for me. Since I have a lot of impasses. All my reasons for the impasses will be revealed in my book.
Monika: Where did you grow up?
Ar’lene: I was first raised in Chicago. At age fifteen (15), my family and I moved to Los Angeles after a vacation (holiday) visit. We started, first for a few weeks in Hollywood, until my parents located an apartment in Sherman Oaks; a San Fernando Valley Community.

Saturday 26 January 2013

Interview with Marlo Bernier

Monika: Today I am going to introduce you to Marlo Bernier, an American actress, writer, producer, US Air Force veteran, and creator of Myrna, an original drama television series.
She was born in Nashua, New Hampshire. After her USAF service, she spent a couple of years in Germany, playing music in a few bands on the club circuit until the end of 1985. She settled down n Baltimore, spending the better part of a decade on the stage, delivering great stage work in AXIS Theatre's; Angels in America, Love! Valor! Compassion! and God's Country. Hello Marlo!
Marlo: Hi Monika!
Monika: What are you doing these days?
Marlo: Well right this minute I’m attempting to behave during this interview – we’ll see at the end what the verdict will be.

Friday 25 January 2013

Interview with Aleshia Brevard: Part 1

Monika: Hello Aleshia! I am very happy that you accepted this interview to be included in my series of “Interviews with Transgender Icons”.
Aleshia: Thank you for asking that I participate, Monika. I blush a bit at being labeled an “Icon”, but hopefully by my age, one has learned to embrace any and all positive comments that come along – while summarily dismissing the negative.
Monika: What are you doing these days?
Alexia: I recently turned seventy-five, hooray-hooray, so thankfully as a rather long-in-tooth retiree my time is pretty much my own. Gone are those bothersome pressures of younger years. Much of my time is now spent writing, having just finished the first novel. It comes on the tail of my two published memoirs and several produced plays. Most importantly, however, I’ve found contentment which I never even dream might be possible when I began my transsexual odyssey in the late 1950s.

Thursday 24 January 2013

Interview with Andréa Colliaux

Monika: Today I am going to introduce to you Andréa Colliaux, a French stewardess and author of the autobiographical book titled 'Carnet de bord d'un steward devenu hôtesse de l'air' (2001) - Memories of a Steward Who Became a Stewardess. She was featured in many documentaries, including 'La méthode Cauet' (2008) and 'Nous n'irons plus au bois' (2008). Hello Andréa! 
Andréa: Dzień dobry, Monika! 
Monika: What are you doing these days?
Andréa: I’ve been flying a lot, and this has been quite difficult due to the snow we have in France. I was supposed to go to Austria yesterday, and it took me 18 hours! I came back home after a very hard day!
Monika: Why did you decide to write your autobiography?
Andréa: Because I was so tired to hear or read about transgendered persons, things which were not the truth. It was a huge amount of lies and “préjugés” about us. I wanted to tell the truth about our lives, the fact that in France, we were considered psychotic persons. I wanted to help other people and give them the hope that doing a transition in good conditions was possible, even if it is very difficult...

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Interview with Josephine Emery

Monika: Today’s interview is with Josephine Emery, an Australian writer, screenwriter, script editor, and media and publishing strategist, from Cairns in Queensland, known for her work on Freedom (1982), Fever (1988), and The Coming (1981). She was the Director of Literature at the Australia Council for the Arts and Head of Screenwriting at the Australian Film, TV, and Radio School, and worked as a features journalist.
She is the author of "The Real Possibility of Joy: A Personal Journey from Man to Woman” (2009), shortlisted for the 2010 Nita Kibble Award for Best Life Writing by an Australian woman. Hello Josephine!
Josephine: Hi, Monika. It’s a little strange for me being asked to do this interview. I seem to have moved on a lot in my life since my gender history was a real concern of mine. Or writing, for that matter.
Monika: What are you doing these days?
Josephine: I’m 65 years old. I transitioned around the age of 58-59. Second Saturn Return to be astrologically specific. I’ve reached the point where I can say goodbye to the need to identify myself as a writer. I now live in a village of 1200 people, grow my own vegetables, and make bespoke furniture from reclaimed timber.
I fill in as editor of my local newspaper when the editor’s away. I’m getting better at blues guitar: playing slide, bottleneck, resonator. I’m catching up with the things I didn’t do enough of in the previous 65 years!

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Interview with Diana Salameh

Monika: Today’s interview is with Diana Salameh, also known as Yasmene Jabar, an American film director and stand-up comedienne from Noxubee County, Mississippi, a remarkable woman and one of the most inspirational transgender icons. She is the director and producer of Desiree: A Ghost Story (2012). Hello Diana!
Diana: Greetings Monika, and thank you for asking me to take part in this interview. I hope you and your readers will have a better understanding of just who I am.
Monika: How would you define yourself? Are you more of a filmmaker, comedy actress, or stand-up comedian?
Diana: I feel myself to be a Renaissance Woman, I’ve had many artistic outlets over the years, photography, painting, sculpting, acting, and now I think it has evolved into film-making, however that doesn’t mean you won't see me doing cameo roles as Hitchcock did in his films or reviving a long-dead comedy character if I feel the time is right.
Right now I love weaving together a collection of images to tell a story. It’s just possible that I am exactly where I need to be and everything I have done up to this point has been a stepping stone.

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