Monday, 9 June 2014

Interview with Vanessa Sheridan

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Vanessa Sheridan, an American expert consultant, published author, inclusion/awareness trainer, and speaker/presenter on transgender workplace issues; the Executive Director of the Institute for Transgender Economic Advancement; a member of the national Transgender Advisory Committee for Out and Equal Workplace Advocates; a member of the Advisory Board for GLBTQ Online High School; a former (and the first transgender) member of the Board of Directors for the Stonewall National Museum and Archives; a two-time national Lambda Literary Award finalist for her pioneering books on transgender spirituality topics; and the author of the groundbreaking business book, "The Complete Guide to Transgender in the Workplace." Hello Vanessa!
Vanessa: Hello Monika, and thank you for this invitation. I'm delighted to be with you and am very honored to be included with some of the other amazing individuals whom you have previously interviewed. I appreciate the opportunity to share some thoughts with you and your readers.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Vanessa: I'm a fairly boring person and don't think I'm all that interesting. I am passionate, however, about doing what I can to help the transgender community achieve equality in society. I've been committed to that goal since 1991 and will continue until we get there or until I die, whichever comes first.
Toward that end, I write, speak, consult, train, and do as much as possible to educate the public about the transgender phenomenon. We transfolk are a legitimate asset to the world, and the rest of the population needs to learn the truth about us.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Interview with Rachel Coy Blunk

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Rachel Coy Blunk, an American transgender activist, the former Sheriff's Deputy in Pasco County. Hello Rachel!
Rachel: Hello Monika!
Monika: Are you a twin sister of Geena Davis?
Rachel: LOL, I wish I was, but I do get a lot of people who ask me that all the time.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Rachel: Well, I graduated from Goshen High School in Goshen, Ohio. I went into the Army after graduation and served for 4 years before I was medically discharged under honorable conditions. I’m a disabled veteran.
I attended PHCC community college and graduated from the Police Academy and now I’m retired from law enforcement. I then went back to school, graduated, and became a certified Microsoft technician.
Monika: Being a police officer, you worked in a very macho environment. How could you cope there as a woman?
Rachel: It was the most terrifying, but most rewarding experience I had in my life. I started out working as a male officer, but I then transitioned on the job. It was very hard to do. I lost everything at first, but in the end, I have gained everything back.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Interview with Melissa Marie Alexander

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Melissa Marie Alexander, an American transgender activist, Vice-Chair of TransOhio, businesswoman, lawyer, and college teacher. Hello Melissa!
Melissa: Greetings Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Melissa: Sure. I have had the pleasure of working three careers in my life following my education. For over twenty years I practiced law in a law firm primarily doing litigation, employment, and labor law and building my client base. I spoke at my conferences and seminars.
Upon leaving the practice of law I began a new career as a business owner in the meeting and event planning industry. I served on the Board of Directors for Ohio MPI and received my CMP designation from the Convention Industry Council. Following the same, I reentered the teaching field which I had also done in the 1990s on a part-time basis, and now have 13 years of teaching experience either at Adjunct or full-time status. I truly adore teaching and love working with students and take great pride in my work and the preparation for my classes.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Interview with Arianna Lint

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Arianna Lint, a native of Peru. Arianna is a transgender activist and advocate from Florida, and is the Director of SunServe's Transgender Services Department, and co-president of Translatin@ Coalition. Hello Arianna!
Arianna: Hello Monika and thank you for giving me the opportunity to be on your blog; I am honored.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Arianna: I am a very happy and blessing person at this time of my life.
Monika: What is the goal of Translatin@ Coalition?
Arianna: Our goal and mission are to advocate for the specific needs of Trans Latin@ immigrants who reside in the US and plan advocacy strategies that would improve our quality of life.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Interview with Renee James

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Renee James, a Chicago-area writer, former magazine editor, and owner, the author of "Coming Out Can Be Murder" (2012), a veteran of the Vietnam conflict, licensed hairdresser, blogger, and wilderness adventurer. Hello Renee!
Renee: Hello Monika, and thank you for your interest!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Renee: I am a grandparent, now in my sixties, married and still devoted to my wife, and trying to be a successful novelist. My understanding of my transgender nature is a still-evolving mystery, but I'm finally at a point where I enjoy the complexities it brings to my life (except when I use the ladies' room in a straight restaurant).
Monika: Is there anything like transgender literature? What does it mean to be a transgender writer?
Renee: It seems to me that there is a very rich body of transgender non-fiction, especially autobiographies. I haven't found much in the way of transgender fiction, and I think this is a terrible shame. Storytelling is the best way to connect the straight world with our world, and it's not happening. That also contributes to the dearth of screenplays and stage plays that feature strong, effective transgender women.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Interview with Treva Angelina Askey

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Treva Angelina Askey, a British army veteran who completed tours in Kenya and the Falklands Islands and operational tours of Bosnia; her story was featured in the book titled “Too Deep: My journey as my husband becomes my beautiful wife” (2013), written by her wife Victoria Askey. Hello Treva!
Treva: Hello Monika, a pleasure and a privilege to complete this interview for you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Treva: I am a retired British Army veteran going through the transition. I am very shy and quiet; I also keep myself to myself outside of the family home. I have taken on the role of housewife since marrying my wife Victoria in September 2011 allowing her to achieve her goal of becoming an author.
I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen trying out new foods for the family to enjoy or hate depending on how many chilies I use lol. I am also trying to become a gardener so I can grow my own vegetables but I am failing at that one lol. I have a couple of old Lambretta scooters that I enjoy fixing and riding as my hobby.
Monika: What inspired your wife to write a book about your transition?
Treva: I will let my wife answer this one.
Victoria: After researching about the transition road I found it was all negative, I wanted to show people that it’s not all bad, that love can overcome any obstacle that’s put in your way. I was also amazed at the number of partners that run when they are told that their other half is transgender and it doesn’t have to be like that. I was also inspired by Treva’s courage and how she could have lived her life not telling anyone until she told me.

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