Monday 13 February 2023

Interview with Mary Ann Horton

Monika: Today I have the pleasure of talking to Mary Ann Horton, PhD, an American transgender activist, computer systems architect, Internet pioneer, entrepreneur, author, and speaker. In 1997, she persuaded Lucent Technologies to become the first Fortune 500 company to add transgender-inclusive language to its nondiscrimination policy, and to add coverage for transition care and surgery. Her work, which was soon replicated at Apple and Avaya, led Out & Equal Workplace Associates to present her with the 2001 Trailblazer Outie Award (since renamed the LGBT Corporate Advocate of the Year).
Mary Ann founded several transgender social and activist groups. She conducted a research study that proved the addition of transgender medical coverage would cost companies virtually nothing. She has been featured in the Daily Beast, Out Magazine, Google Arts and Culture, Salon, Diversity Factor, SHRM, L-Mag, Nokia, Faces of Open Source, and Out TV. Hello Mary Ann!
Mary Ann: Hi, Monika. Thanks for inviting me.
Monika: You give a lot of interviews. What is the most frequent question related to your professional career or transition that you are usually asked and you are already fed up with?
Mary Ann: You know, I get a lot of great questions, but none of them really annoy me. One of the most challenging questions is “Are you treated worse professionally as a woman than you were as a man?” After all, many professional women are talked down to, looked over for promotion, or asked to make coffee.

Saturday 11 February 2023

Interview with Dana Day

Monika: Today I have invited Dana Day, an American transgender woman that documents her transition on social media. Hello Dana!
Dana: Hi Monika! And thank you for your interest in my journey!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Dana: I'm 42 years old and rebuilding my life. Essentially starting life over but this time, as myself. It's taken me a long time to find self-acceptance, but when I did, the decision to transition was an obvious one. The real me has always been creative and imaginative, but somewhere along my many lost years, I sold my soul for security and financial gain.
I buried my identity because of my desperation for acceptance from others. So in a broad sense, my journey to transition involves much more than just medically transitioning. It is a long walk down a path where I eagerly relinquish my past burdens and expectations and take my newfound energy to grow, to blossom, to finally... buy my soul back.
Monika: What inspired you to share your intimate life moments on social media?
Dana: In my opinion, the most powerful tool for any transgender person, to bring to bear, is simply being visible for others to see. It is a statement so moving, that the foundations of society crumble at the edges. Just the acknowledgment of our existence pushes civilization to grow up.

Tuesday 7 February 2023

Interview with Jillian Rae Celentano

Monika: Today I would like to present to you Jillian Rae Celentano, LMSW (Licensed Master Social Worker), an American author and advocate for the transgender community, a mentor for trans youth, and has organized support groups for transgender children and young adults. Jillian co-authored two published transgender studies at Yale University and is a Community Liaison at the Yale Gender Program. Her book "Transitioning Later in Life: A Personal Guide" was published in 2021. Hello Jillian!
Jillian: Hello Monika! Thanks for having me.
Monika: Given my own experience as well as that of many girls and women that I interviewed, I wonder whether we should be called ‘runners’ instead of transwomen. We run, run, and run away from our feminine self until it catches up with us. The only difference is how long we can run away. Was it the same in your case?
Jillian: I have never thought of it that way, but that does hold a lot of truth. I knew something was different since the age of 5. When I told people I felt like a girl they made it very clear that I was a boy. This made me feel shameful, so I never spoke of it again. So my “running” journey was a 55-year run. But as you said, “she” finally caught up to me. I was so afraid of my feminine side and thought she was the enemy, but when confronted, I found out my feminine side was my savior and was the beginning of my true happiness.

Saturday 4 February 2023

Interview with Claudine Griggs

Monika: My guest today is Claudine Griggs, an American writer and college writing instructor. She earned her BA and MA in English at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and she has worked as the Writing Center Director at Rhode Island College and as a visiting professor of communication skills at Soka University of America.
She is currently a part-time writing specialist at the Bush School of Government and Public Service in Washington, D.C. Claudine is known for her science fiction stories, including "The Cold Waters of Europa," "Growing Up Human," "Firestorm," "Maiden Voyage of the Fearless," "Death after Dying," "Informed Consent," "The Gender Blender," and "Raptures of the Deep."
One of her stories, "Helping Hand," was selected for The Year's Best Military and Adventure SF 2015 and was adapted as an episode in the Netflix series Love, Death and Robots. Her most recent book, Firestorm, a collection of twenty-three of her short stories, was released in March 2022. Her novel Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was published in June 2020.
Hello, Claudine! I am so happy that you have accepted my invitation!
Claudine: Thank you. It was a pleasure to hear from you.
Monika: You are a very prolific writer. What do you think makes a good story?
Claudine: If I knew the precise answer, I’d probably write more stories like “Helping Hand.” But it’s difficult to predict what will interest a publisher or a producer, so I focus on creating stories that interest me. The most important aspect is the narrative itself. I know that character is important, too, but for me the story carries more weight. I love journeys and optimism along with a bit of the heroic. I also think that humans are a pretty good species, overall, and I often reflect this in my work. And if narrative surprises happen along the way, even better. But again—story, story, story.

Saturday 28 January 2023

Interview with Niya

Monika: Today I have invited Niya, an American transgender woman who documents her transition on social media. Hello Niya!
Niya: Hi Monika, thank you so much for inviting me to do this!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Niya: My name is Niya and I'm a 26-year-old transgender woman. I started my transition at 18 and here I am now I guess.
Monika: What inspired you to share your intimate life moments on social media?
Niya: I'm pretty much an open book, but I like to share a lot of myself on social media because it's not only good to show others the progress you can make, but to also keep track of it yourself. Transitioning can be a very daunting task, and I think seeing others succeed in their transition can drive you to do the same in yours.

Saturday 21 January 2023

Interview with Ashley Adamson

Monika: Today I have a special guest for you. Ashley Adamson is an American speaker and writer on transgender personal growth and advocacy, YouTube vlogger, and transactivist. She is the founder of the Trans Resiliency project and Trans Club - a community dedicated to supporting the transgender community. She has spoken at conferences and for NGOs, including UNICEF, universities, and corporations, and appeared in major media outlets such as MTV, USA Today, and DW. Ashley is the author of Trans Kung Fu: Awakening of Self Acceptance (2021). Hello Ashley!
Ashley: Hello Monika!
Monika: You seem to be a woman of many talents. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Ashley: Thank youuuuu! I'm glad you see that. I actually have no talents haha! I am just good at teaching myself whatever I need to do and that makes me appear like I have many talents but honestly, I'm just decent at a lot of things. Uhm, I dunno I guess the most important thing in my life's mission is to help thousands of people questioning and/or trans figure out who they are and then follow their path or life's purpose.

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