Saturday 31 May 2014

Interview with Julia Scotti

Monika: Julia Scotti is an American comedian, former teacher, speaker, and transgender woman. She is known for her appearance in Season 11 of America’s Got Talent on NBC in 2016, and a comedy special on SHOWTIME called "More Women of a Certain Age". Hello Julia!
Julia: Hello Monika! Thanks for having me!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Monika: Do you often tell transgender jokes?
Julia: All of my comedy is based in truth. Being transgendered is part of my life, so yes, I do. Even though it is a big part of my life, it is a small part of what I do on stage, and only when I feel like going in that direction. In order to reach mainstream audiences, I need to focus on those things to which they can relate.
Plus, I prefer to think of myself as a comedian who happens to be transgendered as opposed to being known as a transgendered comedian. There's a big difference.

Thursday 29 May 2014

Interview with Jenn Burleton

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Jenn Burleton, a transgender activist, musician, feminist, the founder and Executive Director of TransActive Gender Center, an internationally recognized non-profit organization focused on serving the diverse needs of transgender and gender nonconforming children, youth, their families and allies. Hello Jenn!
Jenn: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Jenn: Sure! I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA), and currently live in Portland, Oregon, the USA with my life partner of 31 years. I spent most of my adult life working as a professional musician, but have devoted the past 7 years and the rest of my life to advocacy work on behalf of transgender and gender nonconforming children, youth, and their families.
Monika: What is the current agenda of TransActive?
Jenn: Well, TransActive Gender Center doesn’t really have an agenda, though as a non-profit organization we certainly do have a mission; “TransActive Gender Center provides a holistic range of services and expertise to empower transgender and gender nonconforming children, youth, and their families in living healthy lives, free of discrimination.”

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Interview with Marissa Martinez

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Marissa Martinez, a talented woman and guitarist/vocalist for a California metal band called Cretin. Hello Marissa! 
Marissa: Hi!
Monika: First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your marriage! How did it feel to be the beautiful bride?
Marissa: Thank you! It was really nerve-racking until the ceremony actually started. Typically, I dress really casually, and I don’t have a big interest in clothing and fashion. So, the whole process of dress shopping, shoe shopping, deciding on hair and makeup. I found it all overwhelming. It’s just not my thing. I was really excited to be married to my husband. Just not so much for the wedding itself. Hahaha!
Monika: Any plans for the honeymoon?
Marissa: We just got back from our honeymoon. We went to Yosemite, which is where we got engaged.

Monday 26 May 2014

Interview with Farah Zeiner

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Farah Zeiner, a German transgender activist, journalist, the founder of the YouTube vlog titled “Menschen dieser Erde”. Hello Farah!
Farah: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Farah: Hello, my name is Farah Zeiner. I studied social work, and I am a transgendered woman that advocates and promotes human rights, especially for transgender people in our society and around the world. I am living in South Germany at Lake Constance.
Monika: What inspired you to create a vlog where you place your interviews with transgender role models?
Farah: The inspiration to do interviews with transgender people came just naturally. Together with Michaela Werner, a good friend of mine and also a transgendered woman, we started making videos in our area, just for fun. So we developed the idea of doing interviews with transgender people. It was all going step by step; we found a brave transgender woman who gave us the first interview. After that interview, we got a huge fan base and more transgender people were able and brave enough to do interviews with our team.

Sunday 25 May 2014

Interview with Katie Sprinkle

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Katie Sprinkle, an American lawyer, former public defender, the founder of the Law Office of Katie Sprinkle. Hello Katie! 
Katie: Thank you for having me.
Monika: You can boast over 20 years of legal experience. Could you say a few words about your professional career?
Katie: I began my career in the private sector working for a couple of different law firms. I did that for about three years before starting to work for the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office. I was an assistant public defender in Dallas County for 14 years. I left Dallas County in 2011 to go to Burnet County to help set up and start a brand new Public Defender Office. I left Burnet County in the summer of 2013 to start my own practice. I had originally planned to start my own practice a couple of years ago but delayed doing so in order to complete my transition.
Monika: A year ago you opened your own firm Law Office of Katie Sprinkle. What services do your office provide?
Katie: I handle criminal defense cases, name and gender marker changes, wills and probate, and some family law.

Saturday 24 May 2014

Interview with Renee Reyes

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Renee Reyes, a successful American transsexual entrepreneur. She invented a product for cleaning “dry clean only” clothes at home in a household clothing dryer and holds eleven patents in this regard. She recently sold the enterprise that manufactured and distributed her product and now lives in Atlanta, GA. Hello Renee!
Renee: Hiya Monika! It’s a pleasure to catch up. Want to congratulate your progress and success by sharing the lives of accomplished trans-women from around the world. Know its lots of hard work and offers little reward. You’re making a difference: good for you!
Monika: You look fantastic, Renee. What is the secret of your beauty?
Renee: I’m now 52 – thus looking “fantastic” is not something that happens every day. Had my share of surgeries: FFS, breast & buttocks augmentation, and a bit of maintenance along the way. Some transgender women were naturals – ideally suited for a change of gender. I wasn’t. I suppose not being naturally pretty was an asset in some respects – I never quit trying to improve.

Thursday 22 May 2014

Interview with Madi Madsen

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Madi Madeleine Kruse Madsen, a Danish transgender activist, and owner of a beauty parlor. Hello Madi!
Madi: Hi Monika – thank you for inviting me to do this interview.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Madi: I am 55 years old now, and I spend the first 50 years of my life living as a man – even though I have always known that I would prefer to be a woman. So I have spent the last 5 years transitioning from man to woman.
Monika: You are the owner of a beauty parlor. Which special treatments do you offer to your customers?
Madi: We actually have two beauty parlors – and we do a total of 40 - 50 treatments for customers each day. I have been working with this for about a year now, and I have expanded the business from one small shop doing about 5 treatments every day to where we are now – 10 times as large.
We mainly offer 3 types of treatments – normal facial treatment, massages, and slimming treatment with Lipo Laser and Cavitation equipment.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Interview with Kristin Beck

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Kristin Beck, aka Lady Valor, a retired United States Navy SEAL, recipient of multiple military awards, and author and recent actress as well as other endeavors that we shall hear about shortly. Hello Kristin!
Kristin: Hi Monika and Monika's fans. I am very happy to have some time with you and share some of my recent happenings here in Washington DC.
Monika: Your coming out generated a lot of interest from the media. Were you satisfied with the way the media covered your story?
Kristin: Overall the media has been very gracious concerning my story. The comments in social media however are quite another story. My lesson learned is “never read the commentary of a story.” Anderson Cooper was amazing and I am very happy with the entire media treatment from him and the entire production team at CNN.
A quick take on my story and the media is the following.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Interview with Jeri Hughes

Jeri Hughes is a transgender activist from the USA. Since her arrest for the “crime” of being transgender in 1983, Ms. Hughes has been an outspoken advocate for all Human Rights. Although the focus of her fight has centered around the struggles faced by the transgender community, she has extended her efforts to embrace the entire LGBT community.
Ms. Hughes was among the first to promote direct action within the DC community to expand the existing Domestic Partnership laws into full-blown Marriage Equality.
She actively participated in the fight to repeal DADT.
Ms. Hughes initiated and filed the complaint against the DC Department of Corrections with the Office of Human Rights, while simultaneously engaging the collective LGBT community to participate, resulting in a shift of DOC policy respecting the rights and dignity of transgender prisoners.

Monday 19 May 2014

Interview with Aderet

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Aderet, an Israeli singer, composer of pop music and dance tracks, the author of 3 albums (two in Hebrew and one in English), and the host of the radio station program (show) called “Jacuzzi”. Shalom Aderet!
Aderet: Shalom Monika and all the readers from the beautiful country Israel.
Monika: How would you define your music?
Aderet: My music develops all the time, but first of all, it's pop or how some DJs hate to say (hahaha) "commercial". At the outset, it's influenced by a variety of styles with an emphasis on ethnic sounds and electro-pop. In the future, it will continue to be pop but maybe will change in a way to jazz, classical music, or even heavy metal, who knows?!
Monika: When did you first start singing?
Aderet: I started singing as a child at family events and in kindergarten. I remember that my first show was in front of strangers when I was 5 years old. My uncle that was a soldier in the IDF took me to his Air Force military base. Few soldiers were cleaning the offices before the weekend, and suddenly I started to sing without preparations and they were throwing some coins at me. It was a wonderful memory. It's important to mention that 3 years later when was 8 years old I wrote and composed songs for the first time.

Saturday 17 May 2014

Interview with JoAnne Wheeler Bland

Monika: Today's interview will be with JoAnne Wheeler Bland, a woman and a transgender activist, a practicing attorney for 44 years, former Special Justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court, former Vice-President of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, current Board Member on the Fairness Campaign Coordinating Committee (in Louisville, Kentucky), a current member of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education's Committee on Equal Opportunity (the Diversity Committee).
In addition, JoAnne was a keynote speaker for the 27th Annual Kentucky Governor's Equal Employment Opportunity Conference whose topic was "The Transgender Worker", frequent guest speaker at Women's and Gender Studies at Kentucky Universities, and she participated as a guest speaker at numerous Kentucky Universities (on the issue of Transgender) and at PFLAG Meetings across Kentucky.
She studied theology for 13 years, and was a former United Methodist Certified Lay Speaker, evangelist and teacher, church choir member, architect, and interior layout designer, interior decorator, consultant to Kentucky School Districts on Transgender students and to Kentucky Courts on issues of Transgender, advising parents, adults, and children regarding transgender issues. Hello JoAnne!
 JoAnne: Thank you for interviewing me.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Interview with Claudia McKay

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Claudia McKay, a transgender activist from New Zealand, President of Agender New Zealand, a leading advocacy organization for the trans community in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Hello Claudia!
Claudia: Hello Monika and thank you for this opportunity.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Claudia: I am 57 years of age, born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand. When I left high school I spent the next 35 years as an artist, I painted and exhibited all that time and married Janet in 1995. We were together for 12-13 years and although now separated we are still very close.
It was Janet that came home one day with the idea that would eventually become Agender NZ. I began my transition at age 40 and have not had surgery. I have nothing against it, just never had enough money at one time and am always spending what I do have on clothes and shoes. My current work for Agender is unpaid so I work part-time as a rental property inspector and also do some cleaning and gardening.

Sunday 11 May 2014

Interview with Dee HunnyBuns

Monika: Today’s interview will be with Dee HunnyBuns, a young American video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Dee!
Dee: Hi Monika, well let me just start off by saying thank you and I feel extremely honored to be a part of this website, I see so many admirable women and their stories and it just makes me feel great to see fellow trans-sisters who are strong, beautiful and inspirational.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Dee: I am 24 years old, Mexican, born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. I’m a licensed massage therapist and just finished school to get my license as a cosmetic laser technician. I’m a fan of all things beauty and really love the feeling of making other people feel beautiful. As a woman, I know how important feeling good in your own skin can be and want to help other women feel great in theirs as well.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Interview with Rebecca Kling

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Rebecca Kling, a transgender artist, and educator who explores gender and identity through solo pieces and educational workshops, praised by The Chicago Tribune, TimeOut Chicago, NUVO Indianapolis, the Coyote Chronicle, instructor at the Piven Theatre Workshop, author of The Thang Blog. Hello Rebecca!
Rebecca: Thanks so much for chatting with me, Monika.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Rebecca: As you mentioned, I'm a transgender artist and educator. I tour colleges, universities, and theater festivals around the United States to conduct educational workshops and perform solo pieces focusing on gender and identity.
Monika: Is there anything like transgender art? What does it mean to be a transgender artist?
Rebecca: For me, being a transgender artist means that my work is being fed by my identity as a trans woman. I use my experiences as a trans woman to fuel my art, and my art to fuel my identity. I do think that trans art - like any type of identity-focused art - runs a risk of being boxed in; that someone can only be a woman artist or an artist of color or a trans artist. I hope that the work I do can speak to a wide audience, and not simply people looking for "trans" art.

Monday 5 May 2014

Interview with Monika Donner

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Monika Donner, a former officer of the Austrian Armed Forces, independent consultant, and lawyer in the Ministry of Defense of Austria, the author of "Tiger in High Heels". Hello Monika!
Monika D: Well, hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Monika D: I love to go my own way: my private way of love. In my childhood, I loved my big wild garden. When I entered kindergarten, I had to throw up because everything was strictly separated into girls and boys.
As I grew older, I learned to play both gender roles perfectly, until I decided to live as a woman – without letting doctors cut my genitalia. Therefore I had to fight against the old sexist/sadistic law by calling a high court. I won. Since then I am free because I defended my inner child.

Thursday 1 May 2014

Interview with Lindsay C. Walker

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Lindsay C. Walker, an inspirational Australian artist, comics illustrator, and digital artist, the illustration author of such popular franchises as: “The Phantom”, "Street Fighter", "Darkstalkers", "Voltron", "Kolchak the Night Stalker", "Shi", "King Kong", "The Pro", "Hack/Slash", and "Zombies Vs Cheerleaders". Hello Lindsay!
Lindsay: Hello Monika!
Monika: When did you decide to be a professional illustrator?
Lindsay: For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be an artist. When I was small I always thought I’d be an animator. But I don’t have the patience for that.

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