Thursday 29 June 2023

Interview with Hannah J. Kamphof

Monika: Today I have the sheer pleasure of chatting with Hannah Joelle Kamphof, a Canadian blogger that shares her transition journey on social media. Hello Hannah! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Hannah: Thank you so much in return Monika, this is an honour considering how instrumental your Heroines blog was for me, especially in my first six months of transition. It’s an honour to now be part of this amazing collection of interviews.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Hannah: As many would likely say of me I am not a person of few words, especially in front of a keyboard Lol, I’ll do my best. I’m Canadian, 47 years old, born in a small city in south-west Ontario, Canada; raised a good chunk of my life in the metro area of Vancouver, British Columbia; went to University in Edmonton, Alberta where I earned my BA in History and Political Science; from there moved all over as I sought meaning in my life and likely escaping life also.

Monday 26 June 2023

Interview with Jaycee Frances

Monika: Today I have the pleasure of presenting to you a talented musician from the sunny state of California. Jaycee Frances is an American guitarist and former member of such bands as Chaintown, The Next, Crucifix, Proudflesh, The White Trash Debutantes, Piston and Fang. Hello Jaycee! Rock & Roll never dies, Sister!
Jaycee: Hello Monika, Yes! Rock & Roll lives forever. It’s a pleasure meeting you and thank you for inviting me to be part of your focus on the wonders of Transgender.
Monika: How did you become a guitarist? Do you remember your first guitar?
Jaycee: My first guitar was a snare drum and sticks! Lol… I started out as a drummer and one of my two older sisters Kim had an acoustic guitar and I sorta borrowed it like I did her clothing and bicycle and made it my guitar. I painted it blue and I put fuzzy hang ten surfer feet stickers on it to disguise it. (This was in the 1970s) so that was my first guitar. Then my dad bought me a cherry red 1967 Gibson SG special and I traded it for a Flying V.

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Interview with Philippa Ryder

Monika: Today I am going to talk to Philippa Ryder, an Irish civil servant, LGBTQ+ activist, author, and feminist. Over recent years, she has been a board member and chair of Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and part of the Steering Committee of Transgender Europe (TGEU). She was a founding committee member of Sporting Pride, Ireland’s LGBTQ+ sports organization. In 2019 she was one of the founders of Under the Rainbow where she is now Chief Operating Officer. She is also the chairwoman and director of Dublin Pride. Her memoir, My Name is Philippa, was published in 2020. Hello Philippa! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Philippa: Thank you for the invitation, Monika. I’m delighted to take part.
Monika: You are a very busy lady. How do you manage to combine your professional work with activism?
Philippa: I retired from the Civil Service last year so that gave me more time to devote to activism which, in a few different fields, has always been part of my life. I seem to be drawn to committees unfortunately, I find it hard to say no when I see that something needs to be done.

Saturday 17 June 2023

Interview with Kay

Monika: Today I have invited Kay. She is an American whitewater kayaker, urbanist, dad, and pizza lover that shares her transition story on social media. Hello Kay! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Kay: Thank you, Monika, for inviting me to chat with you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kay: of course, I’m a 47-year-old trans woman, who started transitioning in 2021. I live in a rural part of New York State though I grew up in NYC and spent about 10 years in Washington DC.
Monika: Whitewater kayaking sounds like a challenging hobby.
Kay: It really isn’t. I’ve been kayaking since 1990. Like many things it takes practice - nobody starts off being comfortable upside down, underwater encased in a kayak. But learning to kayak is a process of confronting fears, planning outcomes, and figuring out what went wrong so that we do better next time. We start with easy water and build skill and confidence as we work up to more and more challenging whitewater. The point is that it should be fun at every stage.

Thursday 8 June 2023

Interview with Mia Karolys

Monika: Mia Karolys, also known as Mia Maquilon Karolys, is my lovely guest today. Mia is an Ecuadorian businesswoman, fashion designer, model, beauty queen, and social media expert. She is the founder of DRESSMEBYMIA, an online boutique with on-trend jewelry, clothing, and accessories, based in Athens, Greece. Hello Mia! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Mia: Hello Monika! Thank you for having me! I’m going to be an open book for you and your audience.
Monika: Great! Let’s read it through then! Could you say a few words about yourself?
Mia: I’m Mia Karolys, just a simple woman with a lot of dreams and the stamina for achieving them.
Monika: How did you choose Europe as your place to live? 
Mia: Well, that’s quite a question! I choose Europe because I wanted to seek a new life, luckily I fell in love with a European man, so I ran away from my country because of the danger of being an influencer as a trans woman.

Monday 5 June 2023

Interview with Meja Foss

Monika: Today I would like to introduce Meja Foss, a British woman, fitness and fashion blogger living in Norway, documenting her transition on social media. Hello Meja! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Meja: Thank you, Monika, the pleasure is all mine! 
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Meja: Sure! I’m Meja, I just turned 47, and I started HRT 2 years ago on the last day of May 2021. I live on a farm in rural Norway with my partner and two children.
Monika: What inspired you to share your intimate life moments on social media?
Meja: Trans representation is so important - I know because it was something I myself desperately needed to see when I was pre-transition, in order to understand who I could become post-transition. It’s very difficult to be what we can’t see. So now I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to give back to the trans community and be a middle-aged, visibly trans woman happily living her best life in the hope I can inspire and give courage to other trans people, who have perhaps yet to make the leap.

Thursday 1 June 2023

Interview with Nyke Slawik

Monika: There are some moments in the history of the transgender community that could be defined as game changers or landmarks that allow us to measure how successful we have become as a community as well as change the way we are perceived by society. The year 2021 was a special moment in Germany where Nyke Slawik and her fellow politician Tessa Ganserer together became the first openly transgender people elected to the German parliament. Today I have the pleasure of talking to one of them, Nyke Slawik, a German politician and member of the Bundestag representing the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia on the Alliance 90/The Greens list. Hello Nyke!
Nyke: Hello Monika!
Monika: It has been almost two years since you became a member of the German Parliament. I guess you must have had some expectations about the job. Did something surprise you?
Nyke: Yes, how little time there is to get everything done. Time and priorities are of the essence, especially if you don’t wanna burn out. In my first year in the Bundestag, I was a bit overwhelmed by everything.
Now I’m focussing on just a few projects that I can handle. First of all the ‘Selbstbestimmungsgesetz’ (self-id law) for trans people in Germany, the national action plan ‘Queer Leben’ (Queer Life) that is aimed at improving the lives of LGBTIQ people in Germany and making public transport more accessible to everyone.

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