Saturday, 27 February 2021

Interview with Renae


Monika: Today I am going to interview Renae, an American IT specialist and transgender woman that documents her transition on social media. Hello Renae!
Renae: Hello Monika! It's nice to meet you. I must say your blog is wonderful and it's nice to see so many other women like myself, getting great representation. I know it can be a beacon of hope for so many of us that may still be in the closet.
In addition to Reddit, I share my experience on other social media, including Facebook and Twitter as well.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Renae: Certainly! I am a mother of 4 kids and I have been married to my wife for 9 years. I work in IT in a moderately sized town of about 43,000 people in the Midwest. It's a fairly conservative town but there is a rather progressive area I frequent about 40 minutes away. That is where most of my friends live.

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Interview with Willow-Jayne Davies


Monika: Today I am going to introduce to you Willow-Jayne Davies, a British makeup artist, nail technician, and beauty pageant queen from Swansea in Wales. She is Miss Swansea Sparkle 2016-2019 and Miss Voluptuous UK finalist 2020. Hello Willow-Jayne! 
Willow-Jayne: Hello gorgeous! How are you?
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Willow-Jayne: My top three most used words/phrases are: “it is what it is “, “Same to be honest “ and “lovely”. I’m not necessarily saying that my vocabulary is limited, it’s that I don’t need a dictionary to choose from because my top three work in all types of conversation.
Monika: Willow-Jayne is not a common name. Why did you choose it?
Willow-Jayne: When I was around eight I was rushed into hospital for an emergency operation (testicular torsion), and as I was slowly being put under the anesthetic and wheeled to the operating theatre, my mum had said “You’re going to go in as William and come out as Willow“. At that point, it wasn’t a laughing matter, and I thought she was being serious.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Interview with Ashley-Marie Eden


Monika: Today I am meeting Ashley-Marie Eden, an Australian illustrator, writer, musician, engineer, poet, and thinker. Hello Ashley-Marie!
Ashley-Marie: Hi Monika!
Monika: How are you holding up in the crazy pandemic times?
Ashley-Marie: Fairly well all things considered. I work for a fantastic company in the defense and aerospace industry, and in an 'essential services role' so they looked after us very well and made arrangements for us all to work from home over a secure network. 
Personally, at first, I found the sudden change from a busy city office working life to one of almost total isolation quite difficult, especially because I live alone as well, but we adapt and move forward as best we can I guess.
Monika: Ashley-Marie is not a common name. Why did you choose it?
Ashley-Marie: Hmmm, to be honest, I can't really tell you. Everyone just calls me Ash of course but as to why or where it came from I don't recall.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Interview with Nadia


Monika: Today I am going to interview Nadia, an American hairstylist and beauty expert, a former entertainer from Orlando, Florida that shares her transition story on social media. Hello Nadia!
Nadia: Hello, how are you?
Monika: Doing fine. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Nadia: Well I am 44. I’m a services district educator for Ulta Beauty. I started my transition in 2005. So I will celebrate 16 years in April.
Monika: Nadia is a nice name. Why did you choose it?
Nadia: This name was given to me by my drag mother when I was a performer. It was a name I always loved as a kid. I love the movie Nadia based on the life of Nadia Comaneci. 
Monika: Yes, I remember the movie. Nadia Comaneci was a famous Romanian gymnast. Were you good at gymnastics?
Nadia: I was an ok gymnast. I taught myself a lot as a kid. All the things I wanted to do I was told “no” you can’t because that’s for girls. But that was with everything that I liked and wanted to do. I did enjoy watching the Olympics growing up and always hoped and wished I could do all those things that the girls did.

Friday, 19 February 2021

Interview with Jasmine Anderson


Monika: Today I am going to host Jasmine Anderson, a qualified hairdresser, part-time model, and social media influencer from Brisbane in Australia. Hello Jasmine!
Jasmine: Hello Monika! Thank you for the opportunity to share my story with you. I applaud you for all the great work you are doing with this blog.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Jasmine: Well I’m a 34-year-old transwoman from Australia. I’ve been transitioning for 3 1/2 years medically and have been married to a lovely man for just over 2 years now. I was lucky enough to meet him a month into my transition. I like to live life to the fullest and appreciate every moment I have on this earth. I hope I influence others' lives in a positive light.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Interview with Kimberly Kennedy


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Kimberly Kennedy, an American transgender woman and social media influencer from San Francisco, California. Hello Kimberly! 
Kimberly: Hi there, I'm really surprised and honored that someone would want to interview me.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kimberly: I am a 23-year-old transgender woman. I started my transition in my senior year of college. So it's been about 2 years so far.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on social media?
Kimberly: There are many reasons I have been sharing my story on Reddit. First I wanted to share my details on Reddit because I love the thriving communities that exist on the platform. In regards to why I wanted to share my personal story, I really think it's good for trans people, specifically the younger trans kids to see that life can be OK for a trans person in America. I think that many trans people my age were only exposed to the idea of a transgender through trashy daytime TV, like the Jerry Springer show or other things that were posed as more of a "freak show".

Monday, 15 February 2021

Interview with Sandra Krogh-Bjerke


Monika: Today I would like to introduce to you Sandra Krogh-Bjerke, a mental trainer and coach from Norway. We are going to touch upon her transition, inspirations, and challenges as a transgender woman. Hello Sandra!
Sandra: Hi Monika! Really excited and grateful to have this opportunity.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Sandra: Just a few words? Oh my, where to start? Haha... I´ll start with my identity which has been the same over my whole life. I am a helping and caring woman that can connect with anyone and find solutions to their problems.
Monika: Sandra is such a lovely name. Why did you choose it?
Sandra: My old name, what someone calls a deadname, was not so different. My name was Sondre when presenting as a man. When I was young, about 13 years old, I was already very aware of me being a girl. I looked for a female name that I could feel comfortable with. At that time the German artist Sandra (Cretu) was very popular and I could really relate to her soft but determined artist personality. Also, Sandra means "the helper/defender of the people'' and that really fits me well. On the inside, I was Sandra from the age of 13, even though I didn't come out before October 1st, 2018 at 41 years old.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Interview with Chelsea Poe


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Chelsea Poe, a Dutch American producer, and director of experimental queer art films, adult movie actress, artist, and trans activist. Hello Chelsea!
Chelsea: Hello Monika!
Monika: You are a woman of many talents. Do you see yourself more as a producer or an actress?
Chelsea: I see myself as a performer who is lucky enough to have the means to produce. The content trade model has really taken hold and the number of gigs that performers usually get is not enough to not produce their own content. I think the industry has shifted much like most of the entertainment industry to being decentralized. 
Monika: Are you more Dutch or more American?
Chelsea: I grew up surrounded by Dutch people and Dutch culture growing up in Holland, Michigan, so it makes up a large part of my identity. I feel as I got older and moved to California so much what I assumed were American things were actually Dutch things.

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Interview with Cameron Laventure


Monika: Today I would like to invite you for a meeting with a talented woman who writes and directs her own movies. Cameron Laventure is an independent filmmaker and writer wi­th an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. 
Hello Cameron!
Cameron: Hi, Monika! Thanks for speaking with me today.
Monika: How are you holding up in the pandemic times?
Cameron: Quarantine has been hard, but I’ve been luckier than most. My brother Brandon and I co-write and co-direct all our projects, and fortunately, we’ve been able to shelter at home, building a writing portfolio while we search for paid screenwriting work.
It breaks my heart that so many people in my country, including relatives and dear friends, aren’t so lucky. So many of us are exposed to senseless risk because our government won’t just pay us to stay home. I carry a lot of anger over that. I try to channel it into my art, and into activism when I can.

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Interview with Monica Rose


Monika: Today I am meeting Monica Rose, a Canadian make-up and hair artist, and transgender YouTube vlogger. It has been almost 4 years since she launched her Elle Rose vlog where she chronicles the most important moments of her transition. Hello Monica!
Monica: Thank you Monika for the opportunity to interview me and give me a chance to share my story.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Monica: I currently live in Toronto, Canada, and I grew up on Vancouver Island in a small town called Port Alberni. I moved to the "big city" so I could pursue an education. I have, as you know, a background in hair and makeup, and as a hobby, I like playing video games.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on social media?
Monica: I decided to share my transition online because I thought it would be a good opportunity to help other people. I started my transition more than ten years ago when very little information was available for people who wanted to transition and to change a legal name or to update the gender marker on a passport would be very difficult if not impossible. I wanted to be able to share how I was able to do it to help other people as well.

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Interview with Kamila


Monika: Today I am taking you on a journey to the East Midlands region of England where I am going to chat with Kamila, an inspirational woman from Poland. Kamila is a transgender activist and successful business support analyst in the British civil service. I am going to chat with her about her experiences of being a transgender woman both in Poland and the UK. Hello Kamila! Dzień dobry!
Kamila: Dzień dobry, Monika! First of all, I would like to thank you for your invitation to take part in this project. I'm humbled by your invitation.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kamila: As previously stated by you, I am originally from Poland. However, I have been living in the United Kingdom since 2005. The whole reasoning behind the move was to transition and become the person I am today. Most of you would be probably aware of Poland’s transphobic approach and lack of LGBTQ+ acceptance.
I am a 34 years old, civil service employee who is bubbly, outspoken, and a little bit glitzy. Like a glitter tornado!

Friday, 5 February 2021

Interview with Alexandra Chandler


Monika: Today I am hosting a very special woman. Alexandra Chandler is an American politician, lawyer, and former senior analyst at the Office of the Naval Intelligence. She is also an advocate for equality for LGBT people, especially transgender youth, immigrants, and people of color.
Currently, she holds the position of Policy Advocate at Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization with an urgent mission: to prevent democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government.
In 2018, she took part in the Democratic Party primary, running for election to the U.S. House to represent Massachusetts' 3rd Congressional District. Alexandra is married to Catherine, her high school sweetheart, and they have two children. Hello Alexandra!
Alexandra: Hello Monika! So glad to virtually meet you and those reading, wherever they are and whenever they do! 
Monika: How are you holding up in the pandemic times?
Alexandra: Relatively well, thank you. The truth is, we (speaking of our family) are very fortunate. My wife and I both have flexible (if intense this year!) and secure jobs that allow us to work from home and with some ability to reshuffle our hours around. We are both in good health with no major risk factors for COVID, as are our kids.
Yet that said, it is hard, as it is for all of us. There are so many moments where I feel I cannot be fully present as a mom or as a professional, because even with an amazing employer, there are times when I have to do both, with the addition of trying to be a halfway decent part-time elementary school teacher and IT support for my son doing remote school. I am also such an extroverted person, and I miss the in-person interaction with friends, I miss seeing bands in concert and dancing, I miss eating in restaurants.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Interview with Damnlera


Monika: Today I am going to interview Damnlera, a young trans girl, digital illustrator, and social media influencer from Russia. Hello Lera!
Lera: Hello Monika! Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Lera: I’m a transgender woman. I transitioned 11 years ago. I work as a digital illustrator. In addition, I post on my YouTube channel and Makeup Art Instagram.
Monika: What inspired you to share your intimate life moments on social media?
Lera: The idea of making someone become more confident about themselves is very much inspiring for me. I want to inspire people of any age, gender, or nationality to be what they really are and be proud of it. We are all beautiful and we are all talented, so making people feel great about themselves is what I really want to do.

Monday, 1 February 2021

Interview with Kara Norwood

 
Monika: Today’s interview will be with Kara Norwood, an American transgender activist that documents her transition on Reddit.com. Hello Kara!
Kara: Hello Monika. It is my pleasure to meet you and I look forward to this interview and where it takes us.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kara: I will do my best to keep it brief. I am a multifaceted woman with a very dynamic background. In my life I have been a tattoo artist, soldier, physics research assistant, motorcycle enthusiast, speed demon, IT Director, entrepreneur a few times over, a son and a daughter, a father as well as a mother.
Now most recently I have become the godmother to a close friend's daughter. I do have plans for more things in the future presuming I live long enough. I think a life span of 250 years would do just fine.

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