Monday, 25 March 2013

Interview with Jasmina von Leeds


Monika: Today I am taking you to Hannover in Germany where my guest lives. Jasmina von Leeds is a beauty stylist, YouTuber, singer, and actress from Germany. She appeared in such German TV series and shows as 'Köln 50667', 'Barbara Salesch', 'Niedrig und Kuhnt', and 'Berlin Tag und Nacht'. Hello Jasmina!
Jasmina: Hello Monika! Thanks for having me I feel very honored.

Monika: What do you prefer more: acting or singing?
Jasmina: It depends but I would say at the moment singing. I'm working really hard at my voice at the moment, getting a lot of singing lessons because this is what I want to do: singing in clubs. I really enjoy doing that and my other baby at the moment is my YouTube Channel: "Jasmina von Leeds". I love making videos about my life, giving beauty tips, talk about topics. This and my singing career are my biggest projects at the moment.

Monika: Could you elaborate on your acting career so far?
Jasmina: I played some roles in German soap operas and did realty stuff on TV. It was OK but I would love to play in a real movie. Maybe a dramatic part as a transwoman. What I did till now wasn't difficult or really creative in my opinion.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Interview with Jessica McGuinness


Monika: Today I would like to introduce to you Jessica McGuinness, an American transgender activist and community leader, and an Emergency Medical Service professional. Her story was presented in Greg Miraglia's book "American Heroes Coming Out From Behind The Badge" (2010) that features examples of how police officers, firefighters, and EMS professionals have been able to come out and be successful on the job. Hello Jessica!
Jessica: Hello Monika! Thank you for having me. I’m really excited about this!
Monika: What are you doing these days?
Jessica: I worked in EMS for 12 years but had to resign due to worsening arthritis from hemophilia. After about a year of being on disability, I got hired at the University of Pittsburgh as a clinical specialist for the Pitt Men’s Study. The Pitt Men’s Study is a 30-year-old study for HIV. It’s been really incredible and I couldn’t be happier.
I was born in 1975 with hemophilia and grew up in the ’80s during the HIV outbreak. Remember Ryan White? I’m one of the lucky few that made it out of that time HIV-negative. Most of those kids I remember at the hemophilia center are all gone. It’s nice because I feel like I can give a little back to the community.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Interview with Christine Beatty


Monika: Today I would like to introduce to you an amazing woman and artist. Christine Beatty is an American writer, senior software engineer, musician, and transgender activist. She was born in San Mateo, California. In 2000 she was distinguished as Transwoman of the Year by the Los Angeles Transgender Task Force. Christine helped to organize the 2003 Transgender Day of Remembrance in Los Angeles, and a year later she appeared in a Calpernia Addams’ and Andrea James’ all-transgender production of the Vagina Monologues. In 2011 she started a publishing company for the TS/TG community, Glamazon Press. Christine writes articles for Spectator Magazine, Transgender Tapestry, TransSisters, and other LGBTQ publications. She is the founder of the Glamazon rock band, and the author of a semi-autobiographical collection of short stories and poetry "Misery Loves Company" (1993) and biography "Not Your Average American Girl" (2011). 
Hello Christine! Welcome to “The Heroines of My Life”.
Christine: Hi Monika, thanks for asking.
Monika: How would you describe yourself? Musician, writer, transgender activist, or someone else?
Christine: First and foremost I’m a writer. So far it’s not paying the bills — yet — but it’s the one creative thing I do consistently. I do plan to get back into performing and recording rock music again. Also, I started taking film school classes last autumn.
Monika: Are you a feminist?
Christine: Most definitely, long before I knew I was a girl trapped in a boy’s body.
Monika: Where did you grow up?
Christine: In my memoir, I describe my terribly ordinary upbringing in a suburb twenty miles south of San Francisco. It was terribly middle-class and ordinary; I hated it. I instinctively knew I wasn’t destined for ordinary or “normal.”

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Interview with Veronique Renard


Monika: Today I am meeting a fascinating woman. Veronique Renard is a Dutch painter and writer, Buddhist, and pro-Tibet activist, the author of "The Tibetan Freedom Struggle trilogy, and her autobiographical book titled "Pholomolo - No Man No Woman". Her full name is Véronique Françoise Caroline Renard. Inspired by the meeting with the Dalai Lama in India in 2000, she adopted the name of Pantau.
She is the great-granddaughter of the renowned French painter Paul Renard. Veronique lived and worked in the Indian Himalayas, Kerala, and Bangkok. In 2000, she established the Pantau Foundation with a view to raising funds and helping Tibetan refugee children living in exile in India. Hello Veronique!
Veronique: Namaste Monika, thank you so much for contacting me. I hope my contribution to your website will be helpful to many people.
Monika: What are you doing these days?
Veronique: I am still working on my next novel, Comrades of the Cut Sleeve, a story about a closeted gay Chinese military general who is in the process of liberating himself. These days all my books are about how to find happiness, enlightenment, I suppose.
Monika: You are one of the few people that met the Dalai Lama in person. What impact did the meeting have on you?
Veronique: Meeting him first time was very interesting. However, he didn’t mean that much to me at that time. I kind of accidentally met him.

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 somebeautifullife.com 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.

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