Monday, 30 June 2014

Interview with Mina Caputo

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Mina Caputo, an American singer, the lead singer and a founding member of the New York heavy metal band Life of Agony. Please redraft the introduction if I missed or twisted something. Hello Mina!
Mina: Hi Hun!!! Greetings! Blessings!
Monika: I have just listened to your first solo album as a woman titled “As Much Truth As One Can Bear” (2013) and I like it a lot. I love both lyrics and music. In the first song “Identity” you sing “… I’m sure that I’m not a woman…” It is rather a surprising line from the woman you have always been …
Mina: Well the correct lyrics to one of the versus are: I am not a man/I am not a woman/all I could taste is my burning heart/I’m sure I’m not a man/I’m sure I’m not a woman/all I could wear is a willing smile... It’s true, I identify completely with the feminine, but…
To me spirit has no gender. I truly identify with spirit, or consciousness, which is all energies, all knowing, and all not knowing. So to place myself inside of a boxed word(s) or language doesn't really sit well with me.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Interview with Antonette Rea

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Antonette Alexandra Rea, an inspirational transgender poet and activist from Canada. Hello Antonette!
Antonette: Hi Monika, thank you for your interest.
Monika: We are having this interview in the time when you are recuperating from the car accident. How is your health, Antonette?
Antonette: I am in a far better mental space than I had been due to the pain and limited mobility while I heal. I was hit by a car and dislocated a shoulder and my other hand remains numb though the feeling returned in my shoulder and the sciatica has settled down at the moment.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Antonette: I was a street surviving Queen of the night. My street poet handle used to be “Miss Understood.” My poetry was a coping mechanism when working the stroll and then it became a useful healing vehicle for processing so much adversity. Adversity that I didn't think had affected me until I had stopped using drugs and escaped from a life of prostitution. Sex and drugs go hand in hand it seems in some form or another.
My writing has allowed me to process so much negativity, where family and friends were nowhere to be found. Performing these difficult poems in front of an audience is like taking the bandage off a wound because It’s almost healed. There will always be the scars, but I can now let the past go and live more in the moment.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Interview with Rachel Mann

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Rachel Mann, the Church of England priest in charge of St. Nicholas’ Church Burnage in Manchester, and Minor Canon of Manchester Cathedral. She is a broadcaster, published poet, theologian, and music journalist specializing in metal, prog and folk. Her memoir of being trans, lesbian and Christian, “Dazzling Darkness” (2012) was a Church Times bestseller. Hello Rachel!
Rachel: Hi there, Monika. Lovely to chat to you.
Monika: I must say you are one of the most charismatic women I have ever interviewed. Heavy metal, priesthood, feminism, lesbianism and poetry. Quite a mix!
Rachel: You mean not everyone shares my passions? ;-) I guess I’ve always been incurably curious. I suspect this means I can be a bit exhausting to be around – a bit like a two year old toddler. I feel sorry for my friends and family sometimes. They’ve really had to put up with my endless interest in knowing and thinking about new stuff. I guess ‘religious people’ often get stereotyped as a bit dumb, but I’ve always been driven on by a desire for knowledge and the creative.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Interview with Lianne Simon

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Lianne Simon, an American Christian writer, social activist, housewife, and the author of “Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite”. Hello Lianne!
Lianne: Wow! Hi. Thank you so much for asking me. I’m amazed at the number of interviews you’ve done. You go girl!
Monika: It has been two years since the release of your debut novel titled “Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite” about an intersex teen named Jamie who must ultimately choose between male or female. Were you satisfied with the readers’ acceptance of the book?
Lianne: Confessions was very personal to me, since quite a bit of it was drawn from my own childhood. I wanted to show people, especially fellow Christians, what it felt like to grow up between the sexes. I was a bit disappointed that no major Christian publisher would consider a book about intersex.
However, the reception by readers has been encouraging. I’ve had positive feedback from a wide variety of people, including conservative Christians and LGBT book critics.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Interview with Michela Ledwidge

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Michela Ledwidge, artist, director, and most recently the co-founder of Mod Productions, a production studio focused on interactive entertainment. Hello Michela!
Michela: Hi Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Michela: I’m a 40something artist and director living in Sydney, working on multi-platform media productions. I transitioned when I was 25. 
Monika: You are said to be a geek since you have been involved in the development of so many inventions…
Michela: That’s fair. I’ve been a technologist since the 80s when I used to sneak into my parent’s bedroom to play with Dad’s Commodore 64 which I wasn’t supposed to touch without supervision. I’m still mucking around with new tech all these years later and enjoy writing words, code and music. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to the internet early on and networked communication been the basis of my approach to media making ever since.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Interview with Alison Grillo

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Alison Grillo, a New York City comedian, guest on NBC's Last Comic Standing in 2010, named by The Advocate as one of “Five Hottest Transgender Comics of 2013” and one of "Seven LGBT Comics You Should Not Have Missed in 2011," and a celebrity judge of the 2013 NYC Pride March. Hello Alison! 
Alison: Hi, Monika. I like the way you spell your name with a k.
Monika: This is how my name is written in my mother tongue. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Alison: I do stand-up comedy, sometimes about trans-related issues, sometimes about general issues involving the phenomena of our lives as humans. I like to read literature from 100 or so years ago, go to movies, including those at New York City’s Film Forum, and take long walks in the City.
Sundays will sometimes find me in a pew of a Methodist church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where I’ll be struggling with questions of spirituality, seeking comfort and guidance in the preacher’s sermon, and very often mentally critiquing his/her rhetorical project.

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