Interview with Brina Healy - Part 2

Monika: What was society like when you were still closeted? What was your knowledge about transgenderism?
Brina: When I was first 'coming out', the climate toward Trans people was still quite hostile. I recall going into a Drag bar in Denver in 1978. I was still insecure in my femme side and I only stayed a few minutes. During this historical time, transsexualism was still classified as a mental illness. I don't know if the correct transsexual terminology was even in place. Society didn't care that a natal female could wear jeans, flannel, and work boots, but a man in a dress? Get the nets!!!
Monika: What is your general view on the present situation of transgender women in American society?
Brina: Fortunately, Transgenders are becoming more mainstream and more accepted. Of course, it helps if you're young and attractive. The double-standard of strong, masculine women being more readily accepted while men taking a less dominant role is still prevalent, however. Society sees strong women as a positive step, while men becoming feminine is psychologically still a step downward.
Monika: Are you active in politics? Do you participate in any lobbying campaigns? Do you think transgender women can make a difference in politics?
Brina: Personally, I let the Trans folk that have a political side do the lobbying for us. I'm always in support of all Trans people—whether they're M2F or F2M. I do what I personally can by being a positive image in the film world and in my daily life. I've had my personal charitable company “Kidsstufff” for nearly 15 years. I coordinate donations from local retail sources and distribute them to schools, libraries, and food banks. My clients know I'm Trans and that hopefully puts them at ease with other Trans folk in general.

Swag from The Film "Grown Ups".

Monika: Do you think that in our lifetime we could live until the day when a transgender lady could become the US President?
Brina: Doubtful. Even seeing a female as commander-in-chief would be a very important step. I remember supporting Geraldine Ferraro years ago in her bid for the vice-presidency. I've always been a feminist/pro-female, I guess.
Monika: Have you ever been married? Could you tell me about the importance of love in your life?
Brina: I've been married for 27 years-although separated since my formal transition. My spouse and I are actually closer now than when we lived together. We have a warm, platonic relationship and are best friends.
I'm currently searching for an LTR—be it with males OR females. I'd just like to be happy and have a life partner to share with.
Monika: Do you like fashion? What kind of outfits do you usually wear? Any special fashion designs, colors, or trends?
Brina: As with many others, my budget dictates just how fashionable I get. As a photographer, I regularly shoot Runway and Fashion shows, but those styles are usually beyond my personal taste. So I stick with what's stylish, comfortable, classic, and appropriate.
Monika: Are you involved in the life of your local LGBT community?
Brina: I support my LGBT community by exhibiting a positive image in the Film community.
Monika: Many transgender ladies write their memoirs. Have you ever thought about writing such a book yourself?
Brina: I've had natal females laughing at many of the comparisons and anecdotes I told them. As a Trans, we get to see things, people, and society from both sides which gives us a unique perspective. I truly enjoy this more open look at the world and I'm developing a comedy monologue to spread the humor. Yes: I really should pen a book soon.
Monika: Do you still wear an index-finger ring with the initials: GMTYT i.e. "Give more than you take"?
Brina: I do. “GMTYT” is what I taught my sons while they were developing their personalities and something I've always tried to put out to the world. Imagine how warm, friendly and wonderful the world would be if everyone just gave a bit more to life than they took from it. Boggles the mind, doesn't it?
Monika: Could you say that you are a happy woman now?
Brina: My inner person is much happier and at personal peace since my formal transition. I 'pass' well, but being six feet tall can't help but draw attention. There are still daily challenges to face from those that are less accepting, but those instances make for interesting anecdotes.
Monika: Brina, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thanks a lot!
Brina: It was a personal pleasure to have the opportunity to share my thoughts and views with your readers and audience. If I've helped to clarify anything about Trans culture, that's even better!

All the photos: courtesy of Brina Healy.
© 2013 - Monika Kowalska  

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