Monday, 25 February 2013

Interview with Abbie Pope

Monika: Today I would like to invite you for my chat with Abbie Kathryn Pope, a transgender lady and the author of the blog titled “Threads of Gender”. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon where she works in the high-tech industry as a computer engineer. Hello Abbie!
Abbie: Hello to you too!
Monika: What are you doing these days?
Abbie: Well, a lot! I’m moving to Portland, OR from LA in a few weeks. I started a new blog at which is less trans-oriented and more geared towards personal and spiritual growth. And you know, just keeping the wheels turning to survive as a trans woman in America.
Monika: You are a computer engineer. Could you tell me why there are so few ladies that are successful in the IT business?
Abbie: It’s really quite unfortunate. I think there is a ton of cultural bias against genetic women pursuing careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) fields. One of the few silver linings of growing up trans is that there were never barriers to pursuing these fields.

Interview with Suzie St James

Monika: Today we are going to Australia to meet Suzie St James, an Australian business consultant and web designer, transgender icon, and showgirl. Suzie has been a drag cabaret entertainer for over 30 years, impersonating Marilyn Monroe and Jessica Rabbit. She toured all over Australia, and she is known for such shows as “The Midday Show” with Kerri Anne and “Simone and Moniques” Playgirl Review. Hello Suzie!
Suzie: Hi Monika!
Monika: What are you doing these days?
Suzie: Working in hospitality and care.
Monika: How did you start your career as a showgirl?
Suzie: At a young age I saw a showgirl and was captivated and knew it was what I wanted to be.
Monika: What was your career like in the 80s? What was the Australian drag show business at that time in general?
Suzie: I was very young in the ’80s and new to the scene, I was slowly establishing my sexuality and identity. The eighties was a buzz of activity for showgirls in Sydney, Australia. Every venue had so many showgirls and shows you could work seven nights a week and most of us did.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Interview with Lizethe Alvarez Echeverry

Monika: Today we are going to Helsingør in Denmark to meet Lizethe Alvarez Echeverry, a remarkable woman and transgender activist born in Colombia. Lizethe participated in many initiatives targeting the improvement of transgender rights in such countries as Colombia, Spain, Germany, and Denmark. Hello Lizethe!
Lizethe: Hi Monika! Thanks for the invitation!
Monika: You have worked for over 20 years for different organizations that defend human rights in such countries as Colombia, Germany, Spain, and Denmark. Could you say more about these organizations and your work there?
Lizethe: It was a great experience for me, where I learned a lot about human rights in different periods of my life. For example, in Colombia I worked in the field of HIV/AIDS; in Germany, I worked for the rights of transpersons and in Spain, I focused more on labor insertion for immigrant transpersons. Now in Denmark I work for the visibility and human rights of transgendered couples.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Interview with Allison Lenore Annalora

Monika: Today I have invited a special guest. Allison Lenore Annalora is an American cabaret singer and hairstylist. She was born in Alderwood Manor, Washington, as Larry Duane Miller, and then given up for adoption at birth in May of 1955. Alison is working on a biography to be published in 2016. She lives in Arizona. Hello Allison! It is a pleasure to interview such a remarkable woman as yourself.
Allison: Thank you!
Monika: What do you do for a living these days?
Allison: I work full time as a hairstylist in a Spa at a large resort/casino in Rancho Mirage’, California, and sing in a Cabaret Show once a month at a local restaurant.
Monika: Where did you grow up?
Allison: Seattle, Washington.

Interview with Jessica Janiuk

Monika: For today I have invited a special guest. Jessica Janiuk is an American gamer, software engineer, writer, photographer, and transgender activist from the sunny state of California. She is known for her blog on which she shares her transition story. In addition, Jessica is a community organizer with Google's GDG and Women Techmakers programs. Hello Jessica! How lovely of you to agree to be included in my series of “Interviews with Transgender Icons”.
Jessica: Thanks for having me.
Monika: What do you do for a living these days?
Jessica: I’m a web developer for a trailer hitch company based in the state of Wisconsin, in the US of A. It’s a very glamorous job involving multiple computer monitors and pale skin from lack of sunlight.
Monika: Where did you grow up?
Jessica: I grew up in a small suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin called Delafield. It had between 5,000 and 8,000 people while I was growing up. I think it’s larger now though due to urban sprawl.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Interview with Diamond Stylz

Monika: Today I am meeting Diamond Stylz, an American singer, transgender activist, and vlogger. Diamond is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana but she lives in Houston, Texas. She is the Executive Director of Black Trans Women Inc, a national non-profit that is led by Black trans women focused on social advocacy for the transgender community. In addition, Diamond is a producer and creator of Marsha’s Plate podcast. Hello Diamond!
Diamond: Hello Monika, darling. I am so glad to be here.
Monika: What are you doing these days?
Diamond: Well I am loving and living life. In my free time, I'm doing videos for my vlog, shopping, and hanging out with my friends. My day job is retail management for a popular body care line here in America. That job is just to pay the bills.
As far as my music, I am still in a space of creating and getting better. I'm honing my craft by writing more and more in the hopes that I will be able to get some financial support to produce an album of my own original work.
I am building my presence as a transgender woman in the social media arena. There are so few examples of non-sexual role models for transwomen. I want to be one of them.

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