Monday, 30 March 2015

Interview with Michelle Diamond

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Michelle Diamond, an Australian transgender activist, and the first-ever Transgender Goal umpire for Australian Rules Football, making history for the trans community in Australia. Hello Michelle!
Michelle: Hello Monika, thank you for this opportunity.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Michelle: Well for starters I am a pre-op transsexual who has been transitioning for about 4 years now, been an activist for most of those years until I retired at the end of 2012 to follow my dreams. I ended up following my dreams and wanted to get involved in Australian Rules Football as a goal umpire and so I trained hard and worked on it to make sure I achieved my goals and make my dreams a reality, on the 26th of April 2014 I made history by becoming the first-ever transwoman to become a goal umpire here in Australia.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Interview with Brae Carnes

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Brae Carnes, a young transgender activist, and vlogger from Canada. Hello Brae!
Brae: Hello :)
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Brae: I am 23, and currently a trans rights activist. Specifically opposing the amendments made to bill c279 by Canadian senator Donald Plett.
Monika: You hit the headlines in February 2015 when the Canadian media covered your social media campaign against bathroom bans for transgender women. Were you satisfied with the way the media covered your campaign?
Brae: I was satisfied because it was coverage, which I was very grateful for. They somewhat simplified my campaign, which is understandable as anything trans* is hard for the public to understand.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Interview with Karine Solene Espineira

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Karine Solene Espineira, a Chilean-born transgender activist from France, one of the most inspirational and charismatic leaders of the transgender community in France, blogger, the author of "Transidentité: Ordre et panique de genre" (2015), "Médiacultures: la transidentité en télévision" (2015), “La Transyclopédie: Tout Savoir Sur Les Transidentités” (2012) – an encyclopedia of the transgender movement in France (but just not). She is a researcher at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, and a member of the coordination team of the international campaign Stop Trans Pathologization. Hello Karine!
Karine: Hello Monika! I’m very enchanted by this interview. Thank you for it. It is an honor to contribute to your blog, which is a precious source of information about our community. Our stories can contribute to the culture of our groups but also to the “common culture”. I also have to apologize for my English … but my Spanish is better and my French is fantastic!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Interview with Merryn Witherspoon: Part 2

Monika: It has been over a year since our first interview. You look fantastic! What has changed in your life since then?
Merryn: Many thanks, Monika! It’s nice to keep in touch. Yes, a lot has certainly happened since our first interview in March 2014 and which occurred at a time of great uncertainty just after my father had died and my mother was in a nursing home. She actually also then died early and I then had to decide whether or not to continue with my move back to North Yorkshire.
Ultimately, I did move back in early July, having decided to move into my late parent's house and convert it into a B&B as it’s located in a prime tourist area close to the North Yorkshire National Park and the historic city of York as well as being close to my birthplace of Scarborough on the north coast of England. It’s a very small rural hamlet with only about ten houses and I did wonder what the neighbors would make of me!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Interview with Valerie Lyn Brooks

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Valerie Lyn Brooks, a former US Navy Gunner, photographer, historian, and veteran advocate. Hello Valerie!
Valerie: Good Morning, Monika. It’s a pleasure to be interviewed.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Valerie: I am a Navy veteran, photographer, historian, veteran advocate and currently work in the field of Disaster Recovery.
Monika: At which stage of the transition are you right now?
Valerie: Actually, I am hitting my 1-year mark on HRT on April 2nd, 2015.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Interview with Violet Bernarde

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Violet Bernarde, a young video blogger that documents her transition on YouTube. Hello Violet!
Violet: Who me? ;P
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Violet: I’m an average girl. I just happen to have a trait that other girls don’t, but we all have something that makes us unique in some way.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Violet: I shared myself for a few different reasons. I wanted to document my own transition and make a diary of sorts. I wanted to give back to the community and make videos that helped others. I wanted to connect with people for my own sake and it also gave me a little spending money to pay for food which I didn’t have much of in the beginning.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Interview with Sophia Gubb

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Sophia Gubb, a writer who is British by birth but living in Germany, the author of the biographical book titled “Stubborn Soul” (2015). Hello Sophia!
Sophia: Hi there :)
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Sophia: Um, I have lots of identities, but I'm not sure what to say that really speaks about who I am. I'm a writer, a speaker when I can manage it, and am very passionate about trying to help the world however I can. I'm into spirituality, personal development, animal rights (including vegetarianism/veganism), and LGBT topics. That said, right now I'm recovering from the most intense part of my gender transition and trying to find some kind of stability in my life, so I'm not working at full capacity.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Interview with Teri Louise Kelly

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Teri Louise Kelly, an Australian writer, poet, the author of many books, including the biographical books titled: “Sex, Knives & Bouillabaisse” (2008), “Last Bed on Earth” (2009) “American Blow Job” (2010) and “Bent” (2014). Hello Teri!
Teri: Hi Monika.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Teri: I like to write, garden and drink, although not necessarily in that order. 
Monika: Your books cover very diverse topics: loneliness as in “The Last Bed on Earth” (2009), immigration as in “American Blow Job: A Novel” (2010), war and blood as in “The Colour of Your Blood” (2012). How do you find subjects for your books?
Teri: Mainly they’re based on my life, just stories and memories and reminiscence, sometimes they’re clear and other times out of focus so the theme develops perhaps from one single memory into a mishmash of recollections joined with narrative.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Interview with Karen Adell Scot

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Karen Adell Scot. Miss Scot is a very diverse woman. She is an award-winning California high school science teacher, a movie producer, and screenwriter of feature films, a former Major in the military, a law enforcement officer, and recently a beauty queen. Hello Karen Adell!
Karen Adell: Hi there Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Karen Adell: Thank you so much for interviewing me. It is an honor to share a little bit of my life with your readers.
Monika: You hit the headlines in December 2014 when the American media covered your coming-out story. Were you satisfied with the way the media covered your transition? 
Karen Adell: Absolutely not. I was outed against my will on the front pages of many newspapers, on over twenty local news broadcasts and then was outed on all the major American national news broadcasts and went viral on the net. Many stories used male pronouns and then allowed comments where others called me a “thing” and “it” even calling for me to die as some sort of filthy piece of garbage. Some stories about me were so bad other news stories were written using my example of how NOT to write about transgender women.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Interview with Amy Tashiana

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Amy Tashiana, a former model, fashion coordinator, performer, one of the most famous transgender icons from Singapore. Hello Amy!
Amy: Hello Monika!
Monika: Amy, you look absolutely beautiful! What is the secret of your everlasting beauty?
Amy: The secret of my beauty? For me, only minor issues need to be fixed and the rest depends on my doctor's advice, including some beauty creams. Not too many interventions, but of course breast implants were indispensable.
Monika: How did you start your modeling career?
Amy: I entered into the modeling world when I was 17 years old with basic professional modeling training.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Interview with Andrea Zekis

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Andrea Zekis, a cartographer and transgender activist from Arkansas, USA. She’s executive director of the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition and consultant to the Human Rights Campaign in Arkansas. Hello Andrea!
Andrea: Hello Monika! Thank you for the opportunity to explain myself! Ha! Ha! Seriously, I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you about the work I take part in and the community I serve.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Andrea: I’m 36, originally from the Chicago area, but have called Arkansas home since 2005. At the time, I was married, living as a man, and working as a journalist. Since age 3, I knew there was something different about myself, but didn’t learn the word transgender until I was 18 years old.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Interview with Jer'Ell Hartsig

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Jer'Ell Hartsig, an American writer, the author of the biographical book titled “The Wind that Ruffled the Field” (2014). Hello Jer’Ell!
Jer’Ell: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Jer’Ell: I can say that at this time in my life I’m very happy and have no regrets. I have become the person I always knew I could be. The journey that I took to becoming Jer’Ell can be followed in my book, ”The Wind that Ruffled the Field”.
Monika: Why did you decide to write your autobiography?
Jer’Ell: I felt my story would not only be inspiring but also enlightening to those people struggling with gender dysphoria and also their family and friends who have someone in their lives who may not be understood as a transgender person. Also, there is a hook to the story that needed to be told that Hollywood did not want you to know.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Interview with Victoria Masl

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Victoria Masl, a young T woman from Russia, the first-known deaf Russian T woman, the first LGBT Russian disabled /deaf/ refugee in the West /the official refugee status since 2012/, living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Hello Victoria!
Victoria: Hello Monika and our readers!
Monika: I must say that when I read your story published in the recent issue of the Frock magazine I could not help crying …
Victoria: The world is very cruel, especially to not typical people and we know this. I never lived a secure or privileged life. Maybe, my parents belonged to a Soviet semi-privileged class, circle, but I have been deprived of it since my childhood.
Monika: You were born in Russia where you spent your childhood …
Victoria: I was born in the USSR. They were two different countries. I spent my childhood on a trip with my parents, living in small special military towns.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Interview with Veejay Floresca

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Veejay Floresca, a talented young fashion designer from the Philippines, whose work graces the covers of many fashion magazines. Hello Veejay!
Veejay: Hi Monika.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Veejay: I am from the Philippines and I moved here to San Francisco two years ago to finish my master's in fashion design.
Monika: How did you start your fashion designing career?
Veejay: I got my bachelor's degree in fashion design in the Philippines. I discovered that this is something I want to do and I am so passionate about it. I love everything about my job.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Interview with Grace Anne Stevens

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Grace Anne Stevens, an American writer, speaker, trainer, blogger, design engineer, and senior engineering manager, with two patent awards. Hello Grace!
Grace: Hi Monika, It is a pleasure to chat with you here. Thank you so much for inviting me.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Grace: I consider myself incredibly blessed to have transitioned as a “senior” while working in two workplaces and have lost no one in my life.
Monika: Your resume shows over 40 years in high tech, building successful teams and processes in both startup and large companies; holding Director and VP positions … 
Grace: Yes it does. It took me a long time to realize that even with this apparent successful career there was still something missing. The biggest realization was taking action to discover what that was both in my personal life as a transgender woman and my work and training. I really took to heart the famous quote from George Elliot – “You are never too old to be what you might have been.”

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Interview with Kristina Ferarri

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Kristina Ferarri, a Serbian artist, model, dancer, and TV celebrity. Hello Kristina!
Kristina: Hi there! ;)
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kristina: What to say what the world doesn’t know? :) I was born and raised in a small town in the east of the country. I left my family home at the age of 16 and moved on to my grandmother’s house.
Now more or less I live alone for one decade in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. This city offered me stability and few more options to fulfill my dreams and start the transition of my life. So I found myself as a striptease dancer at the age of 21. This was the beginning of my journey.

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