Saturday 29 April 2023

Interview with Divina Loloma

Monika: Today let me take you to Fiji, an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. This is where I am meeting our sister Divina Loloma. Divina is a transgender politician and activist. She is the first known transwoman to have contested Fiji’s General Election, under the National Federation Party banner. Hello Divina!
Divina: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Divina: l am Divina Loloma, a Fijian lslander and transgender woman. 
Monika: Many of us live the lives of wives, mothers, and daughters, trying to forget about our past. You have decided to be an advocate of transgender rights and be vocal about our positive image in society. Have you ever felt the temptation of being in the closet, being a woman rather than a transgender woman?
Divina: I am a mature transwoman with a goal to always make a difference in the ever-changing world.

Thursday 27 April 2023

Interview with Shelli Renee Joye

Monika: Shelli Renee Joye, an American scientist, academic, painter, philosopher, and author, is my special guest today. Shelli is an amazing woman being able to explore her talents in such different areas as hard sciences, spirituality, consciousness, and painting. She authored many publications on the physics of consciousness. In 2022, she published her biography “My Transition Journal: A Transgender Arc of Self-Discovery”. Hello Shelli! 
Shelli: Hello Monika!
Monika: Your life is a constant travel. Born in Port O’Spain, Trinidad, you lived in Panama, Florida, New York, Saudi Arabia, London, and now Italy. Is Italy your final destination, the place where you want to settle down for good?
Shelli: Yes, I have fled California with its dreadful forest fires that threatened our cedar cabin every summer, and the redneck Trumpist fundamentalists that in their ignorance are destroying what was once a workable democracy in America.

Monday 24 April 2023

Interview with Courtnei Lee

Monika: My guest today is Courtnei Lee, a Canadian entrepreneur, trans activist, businesswoman, and founder of OYT Cosmetics - a cosmetic line that was made for the LGBTQ+ community, especially for trans people who face discrimination and segregation daily. Hello Courtnei! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Courtnei: Thank you so much for having me! It’s an honor to be a part of such a beautiful blog!
Monika: I remember when I was at the very start of my transition and I went to a beauty shop to buy my female cosmetics for the first time, and I was totally overwhelmed by the number of products. The beauty industry is probably one of the most competitive industries. 
Courtnei: It’s definitely one of the most competitive and the problem is with all these huge brands, we're still not seeing proper representation! That’s something that we are working really hard to try and change.

Friday 21 April 2023

Interview with Katherine Wolfgramme

Monika: Katherine Wolfgramme, an Australian trans advocate, award-winning gender diversity consultant, and trans awareness trainer, is with me today to talk about her amazing advocacy work and challenges related to being a transgender woman. Katherine is the Board Director at Qtopia Sydney Pride Museum, Ambassador of the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, and Sydney World Pride Rainbow Champion. She used to hold different advocate positions in Australia, including the Ambassador of The Gender Centre, Board Associate of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, Public Officer of Wear It Purple, Producer of Sydney Transgender Day of Remembrance, and contributing writer and journalist for Star Observer based in Sydney. She is also a proud and prominent member of Sydney’s LGBT community. Hello Katherine!
Katherine: Hello Monika, thank you for the lovely introduction!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Katherine: I was born in Fiji in 1972 and arrived in Australia in 1974, I was born with gender dysphoria and transitioned when I was 18 in 1990, much has changed in 33 years and I am very pleased to have witnessed positive change for the Transgender Population in Australia.

Tuesday 18 April 2023

Interview with Chris

Monika: Today let me introduce you to Chris, an American woman from New Jersey that documents her transition on social media. Hello Chris!
Chris: Hi Monika, it’s an honor to connect with you again and I am so happy to share my story and be a part of this illustrious group of sisters. You asked me to do this a few years ago when I was so busy but I wouldn't miss the chance to take part again… Thanks again for asking me,  and you are a special woman!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Chris: Well, I am so excited to be asked to participate in this first of all. I am 60 years old and I have known I was a woman born in the wrong body since around 8 and started dressing and experimenting with matching my body/dress to my inner soul around that time. I played HS Football and ran sprints for the track team. During this time in my youth, I was a boy scout who loved camping and the outdoors and obtained the Eagle Scout award. I had all kinds of traditional macho jobs like landscaping while in college I dated women and adored women with all my heart but longed to be living as a female.

Sunday 16 April 2023

Interview with Linda Montana

Monika: Linda Montana, an Australian transgender activist, beauty pageant queen, stage artist, tennis player, and the star of the 'Les Girls' cabaret, one of Sydney’s original and most famous cabaret shows, is my guest today. Linda arrived in Sydney’s western suburbs from the Philippines in the late eighties and since then she has been an active member of the vibrant trans community in Sydney. Hello Linda!
Linda: Hi Monika! Greetings from down under. I just want to thank you for this opportunity.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Linda: Gosh, where does it start? Lol Besides what was mentioned above, I also compete in tennis tournaments, which include global sporting events and straight tournaments. I'm off to Hong Kong in November to compete at the Gay Games. I guess my most successful event was the World Masters Games 2010 - the silver medal in Women’s Doubles and bronze for Mixed Doubles.
Monika: Woow! I am impressed! When did you start playing tennis? Is it fair to say that you are a semi-professional player?
Linda: No, I wouldn't say that! Lol. I competed at both “straight” and LGBTQIplus tennis tournaments both local and international. Renée Richards was the pioneer in this field and is my inspiration.

Thursday 13 April 2023

Interview with Galia Salimo

Monika: Today I would like to introduce to you one of the most inspirational women that I ever met. I am talking to Galia Salimo, a French cabaret artist, model, dancer, TV celebrity, the star of the Parisian shows at Le Carrousel, Le Palace, l'Alcazar, le Queen, le Manko, known as the queen of Parisian nights. She is the author of "Quand j'étais petit garçon" (2017) and “Quelque chose en moins... ou en plus” (2022). Hello Galia!
Galia: Hello Monika!
Monika: You look fantastic. What is the secret of your everlasting beauty?
Galia: The look of the others.
Monika: I must try it myself! Could you say a few words about yourself?
Galia: What to say about me??? A few words won't be enough that's why I started to write a biography we are now at volume 2 and I am writing the third volume.

Monday 10 April 2023

Interview with Sarah Coffey

Monika: In the country of my guest today, people are enjoying autumn now. Sarah Coffey is an Australian transgender activist and the author of “Sweetgrass: The Girl in the Dream” (2022). Hello Sarah! Thank you so much for accepting my invitation. 
Sarah: Thank you for having me, I don’t really see myself as an activist, just a voice, hoping to be heard.
Monika: It seems that your book generates a lot of interest. You are invited by many media to share your story and promote your book. Is there any question that you have already been tired of answering? I will try to avoid it.
Sarah: In fact, you’re only the fourth media, so, no I’m not yet tired of questions.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself? 
Sarah: I’m a 62-year-old woman living in Queensland’s tropical north. I completed my transition in 2012 and see myself as an ordinary woman with an extraordinary past. No longer trans. I’m single and attracted to women.

Thursday 6 April 2023

Interview with Eva Carieri

Monika: Bologna, a lovely city in Italy, is our venue today. I am talking to Eva Carieri, an inspirational Italian transgender activist, model, actress, blogger, and fashion celebrity. In 2022, she published her biography "Eva. Il prezzo dell'ambizione. La ricerca dell'amore nonostante tutto, oltre il pregiudizio" (Eve. The price of ambition. The search for love despite everything, beyond prejudice). Hello Eva!
Eva: Hello Monika!
Monika: You are a woman of many talents. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Eva: I am a curious person, eager to learn anything that piques my interest. I have not received an education in culture or that would allow me to cultivate my talents. I come from a very poor family with little education, I was born in an era and in a city not inclined to give space to the people of our community. I didn't give up, I risked and suffered a lot, I had to succumb many times but I reached some of the goals I wanted to conquer, one of all, my body in line with my feelings. Of course, then, life is made up of many other things and I believe that people like us will never stop working on themselves to improve themselves.

Wednesday 5 April 2023

Interview with Daria Jane

Monika: Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is our next destination and this is where my lovely guest lives. Daria Jane is a Romanian transgender activist, model, dancer, vlogger, social media celebrity, and the author of "Sex-Schimbare. Putere. Identitate" (Sex-Change. Power. Identity), published in 2021. Hello Daria! Thank you so much for accepting my invitation!
Daria: Thank you so much for inviting me here, Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Daria: I’m really bad at describing myself, although I can emphasize that I’m attracted to the unknown. I love finding out new things, exploring the world, and seeing the beauty in places where human hatred didn’t yet make any change.

Sunday 2 April 2023

Interview with Anne Marie Graham

Monika: Anne Marie Graham is my lovely guest today. Anne is an American author, and Vietnam Veteran serving in the U. S. Navy on a nuclear submarine. She transitioned her gender in mid-life while in a senior role for a major corporation. She had a professional career in both genders in the semiconductor and solar industries. She is happily married and retired where people who love mountains and wish to avoid Oregon’s famous rain reside. She has just published her memoir “Tall Annie: A Life in Two Genders”. Hello Anne! Thank you for accepting my invitation!
Anne: Thank you, Monika. I appreciate the opportunity to chat with you.
Monika: Before we touch upon your career, let me start with congratulations. In a couple of weeks, you are going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of your marriage! All the best to you! How will you celebrate it?
Anne: My husband and I have a tradition by now of not exchanging gifts for occasions. We give each other ‘experiences’ instead. This occasion involved a 2-day stay at a historic hotel in our downtown and a balloon ride over our hometown in the frigid weather. He may only get partial points for this experience as the balloon ride got canceled at the last minute.

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