Monday 6 November 2023

Interview with Caragh

Monika: Today let me share the story of Caragh, an American producer and writer, known for her work on series such as Behind the Music, The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn, The Queen Latifah Show, and The Kelly Clarkson Show. She’s won two Emmy Awards for her work on the latter series. She has also worked as a reporter for People Magazine, executive editor at TV Guide Magazine and as a freelance correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter, Emmy Magazine, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. She’s also written two books. Hello Caragh! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Caragh: It’s a sincere pleasure to speak to you. I started reading your interviews way back when I was so far back in the closet, even my childhood t-shirts and shoes were easier to find. Seriously, I used them as motivation to transition myself. Your site is incredibly aspirational, and I dreamed of one day being worthy enough to be included. So it’s truly an honor to be with you.

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Interview with Yasmin Lee

Monika: It has been 8 years since my first interview with Yasmin Lee, an American entertainer and adult movie actress, TV celebrity, model, and make-up artist. So I am happy to reconnect with Yasmin to talk about what has happened in her life and professional career in recent years.
Hello Yasmin! I am an old woman now and you are still young and beautiful. How have you been doing this?
Yasmin: Wow, it really has been a while! As for staying young, I have no idea. I don’t go out much or drink heavily or do drugs. There’s only so much we can do. We came from nothing, created a life of our own and one day retreat back to dust, leaving a trail of faint memories until one day we are forgotten entirely.
Monika: When we did the first interview in 2015, you could already boast the roles of Kimmy in „The Hangover Part II” (2011) and The Succubus in „Red Ice” (2011), and you won the audition for the role of Ying in Promoted (2015). Are you happy about the way your acting career has progressed since then?
Yasmin: Acting had never really been my focus. It seems that all of the acting roles that came across my path seem to do so with a little luck. To that extent I am happy. So much has happened in my personal life that acting has never been my main priority. There are opportunities that piped up and some you just have to say no to.

Friday 11 August 2023

Interview with Galen Kirkpatrick

Monika: Today I am taking you to the sky where my guest feels at home and where she is often visible. Galen Kirkpatrick is an American paraglider, former national champion, and world cup tour pilot. She is among the top ten women in the world and this year (for the second time) she will represent the United States in the world championships. She is also an instructor and guide and has had a variety of careers. Hello Galen!
Galen: Hi Monika, thanks for interviewing me. 
Monika: I guess most of us have heard about paragliding but I have not been aware that it is also a sport competition, and you are one of the best paragliding women in the world…
Galen: Many people confuse it with Parasailing or Hangliding. Parasailing is completely different because you are attached to a boat over water. It's great for tourists because it requires no skill. With Hang Gliding or Paragliding, you are using a relatively small lightweight wing that you foot launch from a mountain or a ridge. After launching we use naturally occurring lift, either convective or mechanical to stay in the air without the need for a motor. By using the convective lift (the natural updrafts of warm air the earth creates) it is possible to fly long distances. This discipline or art form is called Free Flying.

Tuesday 8 August 2023

Interview with Jessika Janene

Monika: Today I have invited Jessika Janene, an inspirational American woman from Pittsburgh, PA, a creative professional, businesswoman, and founder of Jessika Janene Creative. Hello Jessika! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Jessika: Thank you for interviewing me, Monika. I think this platform you’ve built is amazing and allows all of us trans people to see that we are not alone.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Jessika: I am a child of the 70s, born in ‘67 I grew up in the aftermath of the summer of love. I believe now I was always meant to live life as a woman but my egg didn’t crack until 2020. We had no words for it when I was a kid, in hindsight I can see all of the signs I was trans.
Monika: What inspired you to share your intimate life moments on social media?
Jessika: In the beginning of transition I feel it is important to try out your new self, to dress the part and walk the walk. Feedback and being seen are important. It felt safer than going out and testing my new look and persona in real life. I was petrified and felt like an imposter at first. I used Reddit and then Instagram to introduce myself to mostly kind people on those platforms. I also think it is a duty to be visible for other trans people just beginning their journey. If I can do it, so can anyone else!

Saturday 8 July 2023

Interview with Ellen Jansen

Monika: Today let me present Ellen Jansen, an inspirational woman from Maastricht, Netherlands. She is a businesswoman and founder of Cheappower4U, a company offering services in the field of energy transitions in residential construction. In addition, she is a coach and speaker, helping people, teams, and organizations with transformation processes. She is the author of "Eindelijk Ellen: ​​De Odyssee van een transgender vrouw" (2023) - Finally Ellen: The Odyssey of a transgender woman. Hello Ellen! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Ellen: Hi Monika! You’re welcome, happy to share my story.
Monika: I am really excited to talk to you. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Ellen: Of course! I am 38 years old, residing in Maastricht as you already mentioned, which in my opinion is the most beautiful city in the Netherlands. I am an entrepreneur at heart and derive a great deal of passion from it. I have successfully developed a product that contributes to the energy transition in the Netherlands. Additionally, as you indicated, I coach individuals and organizations, and finally, I am an ambassador for Workplace Pride, a global foundation that advocates for inclusivity in the workplace.

Thursday 6 July 2023

Interview with Sarah Wenno-Stephenson

Monika: Sarah Wenno-Stephenson is my lovely guest today. Sarah is a London-based fashion model, background artist, presenter, and property investor. Hello Sarah! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Sarah: Hi Monika, thank you for the invitation, and I am happy to be here.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Sarah: Few words about myself... mmm let me put this in a short phrase. An ambitious, hard-working woman who knows what she wants in life and the future ahead, goofy more towards joker clown light the party kinda girl really. Married once, engaged close to married twice, and been living in 5 countries but London is my last stop where I do call it my home. Last but not least I am pushing on 50 so there you have it lol not quite a few words, sorry I can’t help it.

Monday 3 July 2023

Interview with Kyle Mewburn

Monika: Kyle Mewburn is an Australian-New Zealand writer, journalist, traveler, teacher, and transgender activist. She is the former President of the New Zealand Society of Authors (2012-2016). Her books have won many prizes and awards. She lives in Millers Flat, Central Otago, and writes junior fiction books. In 2021 she published her memoir “Faking It: My Life in Transition”. Hello Kyle! Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Kyle: It's my pleasure.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kyle: I could probably say a few million words about myself. But I think your intro is a pretty good summary. Though I might add I live on a 2-hectare property near a tiny rural community at the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand with my wife, Marion, two cats, two goats, a pair of sheep and 20 chickens.

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.

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.

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.

Thursday 30 March 2023

Interview with Shauna Wilson

Monika: Australia is the home country of my guest today. Her name is Shauna Wilson, and she is an Australian nurse, transgender activist, and the author of “You Say Different; I Say Individual: My Journey In Finding The Woman Within” (2021). Hello Shauna!
Shauna: Hi Monika, thank you for the invitation to be a part of your blog.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Shauna: I am a 58-year-old trans woman who has been married to the love of my life for the last 7 years. I am a civilian practicing nurse in the military environment and very much looking forward to retirement at the end of next year.
Monika: What inspired you to write your biography?
Shauna: I had been told many times that I had a story to tell. The more I revealed to friends and colleagues the more I was encouraged. Unfortunately, I was my biggest doubter. Firstly I thought who would be interested in reading about me. Secondly, how much was I willing to share, and lastly could I go back and relive the trauma that had shaped me into the woman I am today?

Monday 27 March 2023

Interview with Jamie Shiner

Monika: Today I am talking to Jamie Shiner, an American activist, and former politician from Wisconsin. Jamie was the first transgender delegate to the Democratic National Committee in the history of Wisconsin politics, and she was elected in a contested election to represent Congressional District 8 of Wisconsin. In addition, Jamie was the second vice chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County and she ran for the office of the second Vice Chair of the State Party and Democratic National Committee.
Jamie is a 50+ year member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 of Michigan. She operated some of the biggest construction equipment that is used. Her specialty was operating large cranes. She was a CCO Licensed Crane Operator at one time. Yes, she tried really hard to be a tough guy for over 30 years and it never worked for her. SheI took early retirement when she went full time and went into nursing as a CNA. Hello Jamie!
Jamie: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Jamie: I am 69 years old, born in 1953 in a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. At the age of 4, I realized I had a body that did not match my inner self. I hid it as my greatest secret for most of my life. I got married in 1978 and had one daughter in 1985. I stayed drunk quite often to bury who I know I really was. I never crossdressed during this time of heavy drinking.

Thursday 23 March 2023

Interview with Basilia Loren

Monika: The sunny state of California is our next destination today where I am meeting a lovely guest. Basilia Loren is an American transgender activist and the author of "Secret Tear - Beginning stage of life" (2020). Hello Basilia! Thank you for accepting my invitation!
Basilia: You are very welcome Monika! It surely is a pleasure, thank you for having me.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Basilia: I'm more than happy to say a few words about myself, Monika. My name is Basilia Loren aka Silia Loren. I consider myself a strong and proud Transwoman, a spiritual being who strongly believes in the power of prayers! I was born in Stockton, California on July 4th, 1957. That said, makes me 65 years of age.
As far as my journey as a transwoman, I officially transitioned on June 20, 1983, and became post-op in September 1993. In those days keeping stealth was keeping safe. So I kept stealth until 2003 when I was introduced to the transgender community by Angela Burgess, unfortunately, she crossed the rainbow a few years back. This is when I heard the word, “Transgender” and other terms within the LGBTQ+ community that I was completely unaware of its existence.

Monday 20 March 2023

Interview with Taylor Van Malsen

Monika: Today I have invited Taylor Van Malsen, an American gamer, golfer, artist, happy mother and wife, and transgender woman that documents her transition on social media. Hello Taylor!
Taylor: Hello Monika! Typically it's just "American Transgender Woman who likes to play video games and golf," but I like the way you said it much better! Makes it sound like I'm good enough to do that stuff professionally.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Taylor: Sure! I'm a 31-year-old woman, who lives in West Michigan with my wife Sarah and daughter Valerie. In my free time (like we said earlier) I really like to play video games and go golfing. I also enjoy drawing and have always dreamed of a career as a tattoo artist. Oh, and I'm transgender.

Friday 17 March 2023

Interview with Rebeckah Loveday

Monika: Today I have the pleasure of talking to Rebeckah Loveday, an inspirational Australian transgender advocate and activist from Melbourne, actress, fashion model, beauty pageant queen, and radio personality on Joy 94.9. Hello Rebeckah!
Rebeckah: Hi Monika! Thank you so much for the warm welcome and introduction. I really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you.
Monika: You are a woman of many talents. How would you define your vocation?
Rebeckah: Thank you, Monika. I really enjoy all the different avenues I embed myself in. I have always had a passion for helping others, and currently, I am working in Community Services supporting people experiencing homelessness. Alongside that, I do a lot of work within the trans community, creating projects that benefit the trans community through advocacy, awareness, and community collaboration. I think in a nutshell, I define my vocation as being a trans advocate and social activist.

Tuesday 14 March 2023

Interview with Nora Dahmer

Monika: Today I have the pleasure of talking to Nora Dahmer, a German businesswoman and transgender activist from the Rhineland, and the author of "Endlich Nora!: Aus einem Transgenderleben" (Finally Nora!: From a Transgender Life). Hello Nora!
Nora: Hello Monika, nice to meet you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Nora: My name is Nora and I am 60 years old. For almost 3 years I have been living as a woman in society. I have two adult children. I advise companies on strategic issues as a freelancer. At the same time, I give lectures at schools and in companies for teachers and managers about LGBTQIA+.
Monika: What inspired you to write "Endlich Nora!: Aus einem Transgenderleben" (2022)?
Nora: With the decision to change my life, I sat down and reviewed everything for myself. Then I kept a kind of diary for myself practically during my transition from the moment I came out. I noticed how much was happening to me and my environment and decided to make a book out of my scripts. The aim was to help other people and to explain the background.

Saturday 11 March 2023

Interview with Andrea Rossi

Monika: Today my guest is Andrea Rossi, a fashion model, beauty ambassador, makeup artist, and proud and happy transgender woman from the Czech Republic. Hello Andrea!
Andrea: Hi Monika, thank you for the invitation. And also greetings to all readers.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Andrea: My name is Andrea, I am 33 years old and I live in Prague, Czech Republic. I moved to Prague right after my eighteenth birthday in order to fulfill my dreams and find love. It sounds like a Sex and the City cliché. But I hoped that I would succeed, which finally came true.
I come from a small village where I could not realize myself even in what I wanted to do professionally. And that was the world of fashion and makeup. Of course, I had to start somewhere, so my first job was as a saleswoman in a chain. When I earned some money, I paid for a make-up course from the main Christian Dior make-up instructor. Since then I have met the most interesting people.

Interview with Alysha Scarlett

Monika: Today I have invited Alysha Scarlett. Alysha has won 13 writing awards, is an American business owner, wrote a book, and was a screenwriter for a theatrical film. She is the first transgender or non-binary person to get their name and gender legally affirmed in a rural Utah county. Hello Alysha!
Alysha: Hi Monika! Thank you for having me on The Heroines of My Life!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Alysha: I am 33 years old and from Utah. Accepting myself closes the book on a years-long journey to realize my identity. My accepting myself had a direct connection with me not letting residue from the Latter-day Saint (formerly Mormon) church influence me any longer. I am on hormone replacement therapy. I also look forward to doing all medical transition surgeries this year.
Monika: I have visited the website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been shocked by their attitude toward transgender people. In short, they do not allow medical, surgical, or social transition among their believers, and they specify that “taking these actions will be cause for Church membership restrictions.”
Alysha: This is one of many, many ways that the church doesn’t deserve to have “Jesus Christ” in its name.

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