Interview with Ella Marques - Part 2 (2017)

Monika: What do you think in general about transgender news stories or characters which have been featured in films, newspapers, or books so far?
Ella: It is important that stories of transgender people have some kind of impact, that people learn about us in a normal and positive manner. We have to change the minds of most cis people, to accept us, and see us as normal. With the new generation of people this is happening, but not with the older generations and with some religious movements. News and stories are important. They have to become visible in order to increase acceptance.
Monika: Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Can transgender women make a difference in politics?
Ella: Sure, I am a NEAT volunteer (NEAT = National Equality Action Team), I contribute to HRC (Human Rights Campaign) and National Center for Transgender Equality.  I am following, supporting, and even volunteering with local LGBT communities such as the Compass Group in Lake Worth.
I have my own transgender group called South Florida TG Social, which is a group mainly aimed at social events within the community in South Florida. My involvement is developing because this is a very important and good cause, we deserve to fight for our rights.

Ready for the 1st Alumni as Ella.

Monika: Do you think that in our lifetime we could live to see the day when a transgender lady could become the President of the USA? Or the First Lady at least?:)
Ella: Well, we are still far from a woman president in this country, I think that there is still a lot to get there. A transgender woman as President or first lady is, in my opinion still very far away. But I believe that soon we will see transgender people in many government positions, or even in the Senate.
Monika: I have seen some of your photos. I have loved your dressing style! Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion brands, colors, or trends?
Ella: Yes, I love fashion and I even made and sold my own fashion many years ago in Switzerland. My favorite colors and red’s, coral, blue, black, white and of course beige. We live in a world where all is accepted, but I try to make my own style, contrasting and vivid colors, for example, blacks with reds, some floral and graphic prints, but in moderation.
As far as designers are concerned I love people like Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein and buy a lot from great local stores. I love to go bargain shopping, and sometimes I find tremendous designer pieces for very low prices. 
Another great love is, of course, shoes, I have quite a collection. Aldo is my favorite store, the love I share this love with my daughter.
Monika: What do you think about transgender beauty pageants?
Ella: Transgender women are women and think like women, of course, beauty is part of our life. Some of the beauty pageants are great people and lovely girls, and I mean if they are transsexual or crossdressers.
Monika: Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Ella: Love is central in everything. In my case, love and respect for my family and my partner are very important. I have a great relationship with my wife Karin, we have been together for 25 years now and we are conquering the diversity barrier in our marriage, not so easy.
Monika: Are you working on any new projects now?
Ella: Yes, I will be publishing an essay on male supremacy and being a transgender woman. Well, lose the so-called male card. At the same time looking at male rights from the angle of a cis woman and coming to the conclusion that it is time to apply equality no matter what you are. I am working as well on my next book, a play about various transgender rights issues.

On Ella’s 60th birthday.

Monika: What would you recommend to all transgender girls struggling with gender dysphoria?
Ella: Be strong, understand your feelings, look for help, there are some support groups available, get a counselor. Once you know what you really are, develop self-confidence and live your true self. Don’t go too fast, understand the challenges you have to go through, contact people that are like you in your area. You will rock girl or boy.
Monika: My pen friend Gina Grahame wrote to me once that we should not limit our potential because of how we were born or by what we see other transsexuals and transgender people doing. Our dreams should not end on an operating table; that’s where they begin. Do you agree with this?
Ella: I believe that we have extraordinary people that are transgender, our potential is bigger than most people think. Gina is right, follow your dreams and “it’s time to be yourself”.
Looking back at the history of transgender people, yes we exist since the beginning, and transgender have been reported for over 3 000 years. In many civilizations like the American Indians, Mexican Indians, Africans, and many others, Transgender people used to be seen as very special because they could understand men and women. The transgender revolution we are experiencing now is nothing else than get our rights back, the ones we lost with modern civilization.
Monika: Ella, thank you for the interview!
Ella: Monika please keep on with the good work for our community!

All the photos: courtesy of Ella Marques.
© 2017 - Monika Kowalska

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