Tuesday 30 May 2023

Interview with Dana Paige

Monika: Today I have invited Dana Paige, an American lady that documents her transition on social media. Hello Dana! Thank you for accepting my invitation. 
Dana: Thank you for asking!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Dana: Sure. I'm a 63 yrs old Trans Woman. I started my transition during the middle of the Covid shutdown in 2020. In some ways, that seclusion was helpful to me in my transition. I moved rather quickly, because within my first year of transition and starting HRT, I had multiple gender confirming surgeries. Yep, it was fast. For me it was like, the minute I knew my truth I thought to myself “I’m 60 years old and not getting any younger”, so I just took that leap of faith. That first year was very difficult as I think it is for most of us.
For me, my specific results and renewed sense of myself were totally worth the time, pain, and money… but going through that “eye of the needle” is humbling, to say the least.
Anyway, since then I have been posting about myself and my journey on Social Media sites like Reddit etc. and developed a following of people who are inspired to take the leap and/or to keep going at a later age as I did… and they give me a sense of purpose in return.

Thursday 25 May 2023

Interview with Barbara Marie Minney

Monika: I am very excited by the fact that Barbara Marie Minney has accepted my invitation and she is my guest today. Barbara is a transgender woman, award-winning poet, writer, speaker, and quiet activist. She is a retired attorney and a seventh-generation Appalachian. Now based in Tallmadge, Ohio, her first collection of poetry entitled “If There’s No Heaven” was the winner of the 2020 Poetry Is Life Book Award and the Akron Beacon Journal Best Northeast Ohio Books 2020. She is also the author of the "Poetic Memoir Chapbook Challenge" (2021). Hello Barbara!
Barbara: Hello, Monika! Thank you so very much for this opportunity to be interviewed by you. I have been looking forward to it since you first contacted me.
Monika: Is it difficult to be a poet in the 21st century?
Barbara: Being a poet in today’s world can be very difficult and frustrating, but it can also be very rewarding. Unless you are one of the top echelon poets like Rita Dove or Joy Harjo, you are pretty much on your own insofar as publication, promotion, and obtaining recognition is concerned. This time last year, I felt that maybe I was on the verge of a major breakthrough when I signed a publishing contract with a company located in Chicago. However, those hopes were dashed when the contract was canceled about a month and a half before the manuscript was due to be delivered. That was devastating. I was left with a manuscript but no publisher.

Monday 22 May 2023

Interview with Alice

Monika: Today I am talking to Alice, a Belgian girl, comics fan, and blogger that documents her transition on social media. Hello Alice!
Alice: Hi Monika! Glad to have the opportunity to do this!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Alice: Of course! I started transitioning a bit more than two years ago and came out on my socials last year. On my Instagram, I love to share stuff that I like such as comics, video games, music, films, and my travels (I love discovering new countries). But I also use this platform as a way to document my journey as a trans woman.
Monika: What inspired you to share your intimate life moments on social media?
Alice: When I started this journey, it was important to look up to other girls who had transitioned before me. Understanding I wasn’t the only one going through this really helped me feel valid - without other trans girls’ stories, I would probably still be closeted right now, not knowing what to do or how to put words to my feelings. It’s always been very clear in my head that once I’d feel comfortable enough to do it, I’d be visible on socials. To me, visibility is a statement: it says “We’re here, we exist, and we understand you”.

Friday 19 May 2023

Interview with Anatasia Loyd

Monika: Anatasia Loyd is my lovely guest today. She is a Thai social media influencer, blogger, and businesswoman that documents her transition on social media. Hello Anatasia! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Anatasia: Hello Monika! I am excited to share a little story with you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Anatasia: My name is Anatasia Loyd, but my friends call me (Asia) for short. I'm 36 years old, I am a Transgender woman and I live in Bangkok, Thailand.
Monika: What inspired you to share your intimate life moments on social media?
Anatasia: As a transgender woman, I believe that our journey offers hope for us to become who we truly are without fear of pursuing our dreams and finding happiness. I share inspiring stories with the hope of encouraging others to be open to different opinions and comments. We have hope in knowing that we are not alone in our struggles and challenges to live authentically.

Monday 15 May 2023

Interview with Emma Smith

Monika: Today let me introduce you to Emma Smith. Emma is a British journalist, podcaster, and trans woman that shares her transition story on social media. Hello Emma! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Emma: Thank you for asking me!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Emma: I’m never any good at this bit. I’m 30 years old, I’m originally from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the north-east of England, and now I live in Manchester. I’ve worked for a whole bunch of newspapers and websites in the UK, and now I work for the BBC Sport website. Since joining in August I’ve written about everything from Premier League and WSL football to trans table tennis players and ice hockey teams. It has been fun.
Monika: What inspired you to share your intimate life moments on social media?
Emma: I don’t actually share that much intimate stuff on social media, I like to keep private stuff private for the most part. The most intimate thing I ever shared was when I came out to the wider world as trans in November 2019, and that was more to get that out of the way more than anything else. Otherwise, I just share nice outfit pics on Instagram or stories I’ve written on Twitter. It means I, mostly, avoid the pointless arguments that can crop up.

Thursday 11 May 2023

Interview with Lea Aymard

Monika: My today’s guest is a Slovenian transgender rights activist. Lea Aymard is a Program Coordinator at Transfeminist Initiative TransAkcija Institute, an organization that provides support, empowerment, and alliance of transgender and gender non-conforming persons in Slovenia. It is the first and only non-governmental organization devoted specifically to the human rights of transgender persons in Slovenia. Hello Lea! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Lea: Thank you very much for the invitation! It’s an honor to have piqued your curiosity!
Monika: I am always eager to learn about how my sisters are doing in other countries. Is it challenging to be a transgender woman in Slovenia?
Lea: Yes, of course! Like anywhere else, trans people are heavily discriminated against in Slovenia. Slovenia is quite unique because of its very small size as a country, a very traditional and homogeneous society, but with a rich queer heritage.

Saturday 6 May 2023

Interview with TS Candii

Monika: TS Candii is my lovely guest today. TS Candii, also known as Kiyziah Vaughn, is an American transgender rights advocate, journalist, and writer. She is the founder of Black Trans Nation, a non-profit organization whose primary objective is to advocate, educate, and motivate the public to take collective action in support of the transgender community, with a particular focus on Black and POC individuals. In 2022, she published her memoir “Becoming TS Candii: My True Transgender Story“. Hello TS Candii! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
TS Candii: Hello Monika! Thank you so much for the kind invitation - it's a pleasure to be here. I look forward to talking today about my memoir, Black Trans Nation, and the importance of advocating for transgender rights.

Tuesday 2 May 2023

Interview with Sara-Jane Cromwell

Monika: The lovely city of Cork in Ireland is the home of my today’s guest. Sara-Jane Cromwell is an Irish groundbreaking author and educator, trainer, mentor, and life coach on Gender Identity and Gender Dysphoria. She is also an inspirational figure for people going through many of life’s difficulties. She is the author of "Becoming Myself: The True Story of Thomas Who Became Sara" (2008), "Wrong Body, Wrong Life: Living with Gender Identity Disorder in Ireland" (2010), and "No Ordinary Life" (2021). Hello Sara-Jane!
Sara-Jane: Hello Monika. Thank you for having me.
Monika: You grew up in Ballyfermot, a suburb of Dublin in the 1960s, in a very conservative environment where you're being different was not tolerated at all. The readers may not believe it but you were regarded as "retarded" because you were left-handed…
Sara-Jane: Yes, Monika, unfortunately, all that is true and it caused me huge trauma, which still profoundly affects my life to the present day. Being left-handed in the 60s and 70s was truly terrible and along with being treated as retarded exposed me to frequent bullying and abuse, including beatings at home, in school and while out and about; and a great deal of name calling and rejection.

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