Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Interview with Morganna Love

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Morganna Love, an inspirational opera diva, actress, beauty queen, and transgender activist from Mexico. Hello Morganna!
Morganna: Hi, Monika! Thank You so much! It's my pleasure to be interviewed by you. 
Monika: When did you decide that you would like to be an opera singer?
Morganna: Well, when I was 18 years old, my parents took me to a concert in a church. The chorus was singing Allegri's Miserere. I was in shock. I fell in love with such a piece of amazing music, and there I decided to become an opera singer.

Singing at Mexico Theater with pianist Luis Hernandez.

Monika: You can boast a solid music education…
Morganna: Well, I fought for what I wanted. I always have. At that time, I wanted to be the best Countertenor in Mexico, and I made it, for a while.
So, I finished my career as an opera singer at the National Music Conservatory, where I learned about the History of Music, Languages, Piano, Reading notes, Harmony, etc.
Monika: Opera has become the center of your life. Which opera roles have been the most important for your professional career and personal development?
Morganna: Well, right now I'm becoming a pop singer, but I always have loved Opera, and I will always sing it. So, I really love Adina from “Elisir d´amore” from Donizzeti, because she is so beautiful, so sexy and proud of herself, and then she realizes that she is in love with a young and poor guy, and she fights for him. It's quite cute. I really love this music and role. And the role that gave me so much satisfaction, was Queen Dido, from Purcell's “Dido and Aeneas”. It's a very dramatic opera. Full of magic, and love, and friendship. I would say these two roles.
Monika: Do you have any favorite opera singers?
Morganna: Yes, of course! There are three Mexican sopranos: Fabiola Venegas, Alejandra García and Penelope Luna. And of course, Russian Anna Netrebko. Oh! And Sarah Brightman.

Getting ready for going out to the stage in
Bangkok, Thailand.

Monika: What I love about opera divas is their taste in fantastic dresses, make-ups, and hairdos. Do you like this aspect of opera life?
Morganna: Yes!! Of course! Hahaha. It's one of my favorite things about being an opera singer! :D
Monika: You are an actress too…
Morganna: Yes, I have acted in some movies, TV, and opera, of course. If you want to be an opera singer, you have to learn to act.
Monika: What does it mean to be a transgender artist? Are your opera performances influenced by your transgender experience?
Morganna: Totally! When you are a transgender woman, and you know it, you must act all the time. In front of your parents, your family, your friends, the society! Until you are tired of it and become yourself, but meanwhile, I think many of us have learned to act very well! So, when I take a role, it's easy. Imagine that I am another person, and imagine the life she has.
Monika: What do you think about the present situation of transgender women in Mexican society?
Morganna: Well, we have two parts. One, the best, is that some girls like me, are working in what we love to do, and the people recognize us and they like our work. They respect us and give us opportunities. The other side… Is… Wow… Terrible. There are… many murderers of transgender girls. There is still transphobia. I think people are slowly changing the way they look at us. And I hope it will be better and better.

Singing "Burlesque" at Club La Perla, in Mexico City.

Monika: At what age did you transition into a woman yourself? Was it a difficult process? 
Morganna: I realized since I was 4 years old! But I lived in a city where there wasn't information about it. So I came to live in Mexico City, and I started to be free and myself at 28 years old.
It was easy for me and for my friends, brothers, and boss. But not for my parents. It was really difficult for them. They stopped talking to me for 2 years. I missed them so much because, before it, they were my best friends. But slowly, they are accepting my decision and my happiness. Thank God! :D
Monika: At that time of your transition, did you have any transgender role models that you followed?
Morganna: No, I didn't. So I was so ignorant about them. I just kept thinking. Oh! I want to be beautiful as Alessandra Ambrosio! Hahaha.
Monika: What was the hardest thing about your coming out?
Morganna: To lose my love. The love of my past life. Which was a gay man. And to lose my family. Because I lose so many years apart from them. I missed the family parties, like Christmas. I was alone at that time, and it was difficult. And sometimes, I had no food. Because sometimes I had to buy my hormones and there was no money left to buy food. Hahaha. Now I'm laughing, but it was really complicated. But you know what? It was really, really worth it! :D

With Doctor Preecha Tiewtranon, who
performed her SRS in Thailand.

Monika: What do you think about transgender stories or characters which have been featured in films, newspapers, or books so far?
Morganna: I think they are helping people to see Us! And to say: Hey! We are here. We are not urban legends. And yes! We are good people too.
Monika: The transgender cause is usually manifested together with the other LGBT communities. Being the last letter in this abbreviation, is the transgender community able to promote its own cause within the LGBT group?
Morganna: Well, I really have a position on this topic. I think we should go out of the community. Not because we don't support the other sexual orientation, but because it's not really important WHAT you are, but WHO you are. If we keep discriminating ourselves, it will be complicated for the rest of the people to accept us. 
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Morganna: No, I really don't like politics. I am an artist. So that's all I am, all I love to do. I just think that if I am a transgender, and people like what I do, they really don't care what I am, or how I was in a past life.
But! I am participating as an ambassador of the UN campaign “Free and Equal”, which fights for Human Rights, regardless of your sexual orientation or financial situation.

On TV in Miss International Queen 2012.

Monika: In 2012 you decided to join the world of beauty pageants and take part in the Miss International Queen in Pattaya, Thailand – the most spectacular beauty pageant for transgender ladies from all over the world. Did you enjoy the pageant?
Morganna: Hahaha. Now I have a big smile on my face!! Yes, I did!! I got into the beauty pageant to get the money for my SRS. Although I had not participated in any pageant before!
And even when I did not win, it was one of the most fabulous experiences of my life. To know all those girls, with beauty inside and outside… It was a revelation.
Monika: Some activists criticize the concept of transgender beauty pageants, pointing out that they lead to the obsession with youth and beauty. What would you answer to them? 
Morganna: Each one of the girls who are in those beauty pageants has many reasons to be there. And NOBODY should be the judge of NOBODY.
Monika: Being beautiful always produces a lot of girl power and empowerment. Do you often use it?
Morganna: I think beauty is so subjective! I think beauty should come from inside, and we should be beautiful not only in the face, or the body but in the mind and in the soul. That's where the real power is. And yes, indeed, sometimes I use it. ;)
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Morganna: Well, it's one of the most important things in my life. Not just a partner love, but the family, friends, and love of fans.

In her Mexican dress from Cesar D'Cortes and
Francisco Trujillo.

Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Morganna: Yes, maybe someday I will. :)
Monika: Are you working on any new projects now?
Morganna: Well, yes! As an artist, we are always working in new projects. I´ll tell You soon! :)
Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender girls dreaming about such a career as yours?
Monika: Morganna, thank you for the interview!
Morganna: Monika, thank You! For everything! This is one of my favorite interviews, and I really enjoyed it. Thank You! Keep being beautiful inside, and outside, smart, and sexy! ;) Kisses and Blessings. Morganna Love.

All the photos: courtesy of Morganna Love.
© 2015 - Monika Kowalska

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