Monday, 2 October 2017

Interview with Samantha Lauzon


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Samantha Lauzon, a Canadian model, actress, vlogger, transgender rights activist. Hello Samantha!
Samantha: Hello Monika, thanks so much for having me it's an honor.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Samantha: A few words about myself? It's weird right when we are asked about others we have so many opinions but when it comes to ourselves it's almost like pulling teeth to get us to say anything. I like to think I'm a fair person. Open minded and incredibly supportive of my community. Currently working in the Adult Film Industry as an Actress, Director and Producer of my own content. While I'm not filming or editing I'm working on my YouTube and other Social Media content.
Monika: You are also an active YouTube vlogger …
Samantha: Yes samanthalauzon is me. I've had my channel since 2007. It's grown slowly into something I love more and more. Being able to interact with my viewers/fans is amazing and I like to talk about a variety of things from Depression to Sex Work from How To's to What Not To Do. I basically do it all and I'm always asking viewers what they want to see and trying to Incorporate those ideas into my videos.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Interview with Claire-Renee Kohner


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Claire-Renee Kohner, an American transgender journalist, activist, blogger, transgender journalist, activist, and mom of 3 boys. She reports on the positive aspects of the transgender community and reports on everyday issues as well as trans and queer actresses, directors, musicians and the entertainment industry. Hello Claire-Renee!
Claire-Renee: Hi Monika! Thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to interview me, I really appreciate what you do.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Claire-Renee: As you mentioned, I’m a transgender journalist, activist and mother of three boys; I have over 100 published articles on venues like the Advocate, Bustle, PlanetTransgender, GayEssentials, Original Plumbing, Claire Channel and I’ve appeared on HuffPo Live, The Queer Radio Network, and MyTalk107.1 to discuss dating while transgender and current transgender issues.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Interview with Emily Crose


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Emily Crose, an American IT specialist and network threat hunter. She publishes her essays to such portals as motherboard.vice.com, theestablishment.co and upworthy.com. Hello Emily!
Emily: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Emily: Sure! I transitioned medically and socially back in early 2016 while I was working for the US Army as a civilian. I had taken that job specifically because I believed that it would be a good environment for me to do so, and for the most part I was right.
I’ve been out to my family, including my wife (who has been putting up with me in marriage for over 8 years now) since 2014 after a false start in 2010. We have two lovely kids together and have been continuously evolving as a couple since we were married.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Interview with Ryka Aoki


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Ryka Aoki, a Japanese American award-winning author, performer, and professor of English at Santa Monica College, known for her book Seasonal Velocities (2012), novel He Mele a Hilo (2014) and set of poems Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul (2015). Hello Ryka!
Ryka: Hello Monika!
Monika: It has been already 2 years since you published you last book. Can we expect any new publication soon?
Ryka: I’ve had some stories and poems published, most recently in Meanwhile, Elsewhere from Topside Press. But my main work is a new novel, currently untitled, which is set in the San Gabriel Valley, in the Greater Los Angeles area. It centers around a traumatized transgender runaway, and a violin teacher bargaining with the Devil to win back her soul. On their journey, they also meet a family of Vietnamese space aliens escaping interstellar war and trying to run a donut shop. I am trying to convey a world of flux, adaptation, sweetness and loss.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Interview with Robin Diane Goldstein


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Robin Diane Goldstein, an American transgender rights activist, former talk-radio host and stand up comedian, blogger, former Senior Engineering Manager, former Principal Counsel, and currently Senior Manager of Health Special Projects at Apple Inc. in Cupertino, California. Hello Robin! 
Robin: Hi Monika. Greetings from the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Robin: When I started as a talk radio host I described myself as a “Straight, White, Buddhist, Vegetarian, Lesbian Fraternity Boy trapped in the body of a Recovering Transexual Woman Patent Attorney with a Bizarre Sense of Humor and a Master’s Degree in City Planning.” Add in the fact that I make a great New York Style Cheesecake, and I think you’ve got me pretty much figured out.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Interview with Denise Chanterelle DuBois


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Denise Chanterelle DuBois, an American actress, environmentalist, and businesswoman from Portland, Oregon, the author of the biographical memoir book titled “Self-Made Woman” (2017). Hello Denise! 
Denise: Hi Monika and thank you so much for interviewing me today! I really appreciate it.
Monika: You present yourself as a “fortune's favorite daughter”. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Denise: In my memoir I write about so many close calls I had with death, and yet survived basically unharmed. I had huge drug & alcohol problems in “my other life” as I like to call it, and rightfully should either be dead from overdosing, or in a nursing home with no brain left, yet here I am still standing and grateful for that. Indeed, I am “fortune’s favorite daughter.”

Monday, 4 September 2017

Interview with Fran Fried


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Fran Fried, an American editor, writer, blogger, DJ, music fiend, friend, daughter and, accidental civil rights activist from Prospect, Connecticut. Hello Fran!
Fran: Hi, Monika! Thanks for finding me and thanks for the interview. I’m honored and flattered to be in some pretty good company here! 
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Fran: Well, I’m a writer, an editor, a DJ, a daughter, a sister, a good friend – and, oh, yeah, by the way, I’m trans. I’m out and about in the everyday world, and if you don’t know me, chances are you won’t read me. As far as I can tell, with my friends, being trans is just incidental; first and foremost, to them, as well as myself, I’m Fran. The gender dysphoria is just one facet of an interesting life – a big, honking facet, but still, just one nonetheless.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Interview with Jaime Erin Fivecoat


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Jaime Erin Fivecoat, a retired American benefits manager from Taylors, South Carolina. Hello Jaime!
Jaime: Hi Monika, Thank you for the opportunity to tell my story to you. What an honor to be included with such a great group of women.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Jaime: I guess one way to describe myself is that I am an optimistic volunteer advocate. I volunteer for four organizations. I’m a Board Member of The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), which is a patient advocacy organization for the treatment of obesity, Secretary of Upstate Pride SC (UPSC) for the LGBTQ+ community, I facilitate two SMART Recovery meetings for dealing with any form of addiction, and work on projects with Gender Benders a local Trans Support Group.
I feel deeply that we are all equal and I do what I can to fight for the rights of those that are marginalized, discriminated against, or are victims of any form of stigma. I am fortunate to have a loving wife and to be mom to three dogs. Karen and I have been married for 43 years.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Interview with Aleana Robins


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Aleana Robins, a former skier, grave digger, performance car driver, small business owner, farmer, artist, radio announcer, blogger, parent of 7 children from Riverside, California, and the author of the biographical book titled “The Shadow of Ally” (2016). She lives in Launceston, a city in the north of Tasmania, Australia. Hello Aleana!
Aleana: Hello and thank you for taking the time. I promise you can ask anything but I will not promise you will like my answer (((smiles))). Though I would love to say that the start of my Journey’s began in California but I have lived all over the western side of the US. I moved to Australia in 2002 to be with my former spouse.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself? The number of your talents and jobs is really awesome …
Aleana: I grew up in a middle-income family with a mother who did not know how to care and a father who was lost in his battles with PTSD from Vietnam. I think in some ways my teenage years while dysfunctional was also a place where I gained so many talents. I have enjoyed playing several musical instruments learned to have a love for music and the arts that has only grown in age. I love skiing and the sound of fresh powder under my skies. I am a proud parent of seven children, I know people think wow a breeder, lol. But I would not change their love and the experiences that come with them in my life for all the Tea in China.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Interview with Tuesday Meadows


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Tuesday G Meadows, an American transactivist, blogger, retired grocery store manager from Lexington, Kentucky. Hello Tuesday!
Tuesday: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Tuesday: My name is Tuesday Meadows, I live in Lexington, Kentucky. :)
Monika: I saw your short story in The New York Times series titled “Transgender Today.” Why did you decide to come out to the general public?
Tuesday: The purpose of the series was to tell stories of transgender individuals from varied backgrounds. The first 10 I read were people who had achieved great things such as scientist, doctors, lawyers, actors, and business leaders. I thought, “I wonder were the ordinary people like me are?” So I decided to give them a profile of me because there is no one more ordinary than me.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Interview with Kristen Aaquist


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kristen Aaquist, an American legal secretary from Reno, Nevada. Hello Kristen!
Kristen: Hello Monika and thank you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kristen: I’m a mother of two. I have a cat. I enjoy running, beading, watching movies and playing video games.
Monika: I saw your short story in The New York Times series titled “Transgender Today.” Why did you decide to come out to the general public?
Kristen: As I’ve gotten more comfortable being myself, I have found myself wanting to be more outspoken and try to help educate the public about the trans community, which includes humanizing us to the rest of society. By telling our stories, we can show everyone that we are truly just like everyone else.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Interview with Becca Benz


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Becca Benz, an American model, writer, blogger, adult movie actress, Army veteran, trans advocate, and columnist for Transformation Magazine and her weekly column Through The Benz on Grooby.com, and formally for TransGlobal Magazine. Becca also has her own blog at BeccaBenz.com Hello Becca! You look fantastic!
Becca: Hello Monika, and thank you! I was fortunate to be born with good genes and a fast metabolism! Healthy living has also helped, along with working out at the gym six days a week to keep this old body in decent shape!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Becca: People know me mainly for my modeling and writing under the name Becca Benz, but my real name is Rebecca Pell. The past several years have been full of amazing experiences, but I also led an interesting life before I ventured into modeling. I served in the United States Army, worked at a university managing a research center, managed environmental remediation projects for the federal government, worked as a seasonal wild-land firefighter during summer breaks while in college, and worked several summers for the National Park Service on a backcountry trail crew.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Interview with Cassidy McGuinn


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Cassidy McGuinn, an Irish-American blogger from Boston, Massachusetts, that rambles on life, love, music, and baseball (not necessarily in that order) on her blog Cassidy's Quest and YouTube vlog. Hello Cassidy!
Cassidy: Hello, Monika! Thank you so much for this invitation. I am beyond flattered! 
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Cassidy: Let’s see… as you mentioned in your introduction, I’m an Irish-American gal from the Boston area. I’ve also been fortunate enough to live in Seattle and Newport, Rhode Island, two of the most beautiful places in the United States. (For your readers: be sure to try a Del’s frozen lemonade if you ever visit Newport. You can thank me later!)
I am indeed a die-hard baseball fan – not just the Red Sox, the team from Boston, but also the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners. To be honest, I’ll watch any baseball game. :c)
Hmm… what else? I’ve gotten into running the past few years, and absolutely love it. It’s also very peaceful; I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve finished a run and realized I had worked out the solution to some issue I’d been wrestling with!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Interview with Laura Smith


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Laura Smith, a transgender woman that documents her transition on Reddit.com as inharmony123. Hello Laura!
Laura: Hi Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Laura: I'm 49, single, and have been on hormones for nearly 3 years, and I live in the UK 
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on Reddit?
Laura: As an older woman transitioning, I wanted to inspire others who transition later in life, and show them, that there is hope even for those late bloomers. So, what better way, was to show people what could be done, with makeup, and our appearance to make it possible to pass and blend in public? 
Monika: I am sure you get many questions from your Reddit audience. What do they ask for?
Laura: Where did I get my hair? What makeup do you use?

Friday, 7 July 2017

Interview with Sheri Swokowski


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Sheri Swokowski, an American advocate for transgender rights and former U.S. Army colonel. She is the highest-ranking, out, transgender US Army veteran in the United States. Hello Sheri!
Sheri: Hello Monika!
Monika: I am so happy to have you here! Let me start with a question about your professional life. You can boast a fantastic military career …
Sheri: I enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard after high school and shortly thereafter started working full time as a federal employee. A dozen years later, I had the best of both worlds, as I was offered an opportunity to go on active duty in support of the WI National Guard.
I was a career infantry soldier who spent almost 35 years in uniform. I advanced through the enlisted ranks, attended the WI Military Academy and earned a commission as a Second Lieutenant. I made the most of many opportunities and served as a Company Commander with two deployments, although in my day they were to Europe. I served on a two star staff and was the Force Integrator, Strategic Planner and finally the J1, Director of Manpower and Personnel.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Interview with Ísabel Pirsic


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Ísabel Pirsic, an Austrian transgender rights activist, member of TransX, a Vienna based organization that supports the transgender community in Austria. Hello Ísabel!
Ísabel: Hello Monika! Pleasure and honour is mine as well.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Ísabel: I started my public transition about 4 years ago and am engaged in activism since 2 years. I work as a scientist at university, doing research in mathematics.
Monika: What are the goals of TransX?
Ísabel: We aim to give personal support for trans people in their individual processes and also do political activism for naming laws, depathologization, trans prisoners' rights etc. The most visible part are our bi-monthly meetings, where we usually also have talks about dedicated topics; these are meeting places as well as a means of establishing what trans culture can be.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Interview with Roxanne Manzone


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Roxanne L. Manzone, a Florida Department of Transportation Roadway Inspector from Ocala, Florida. Hello Roxanne! 
Roxanne: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Roxanne: I retired from Law Enforcement here in Ocala, Fl, and have lived here for over 40 years, and grew up in New York. I am a “Car Girl” and enjoy displaying my car in car shows. I volunteer at a local soup kitchen once a week. I am a model train enthusiast, and I custom paint scale model trains.
Monika: I saw your short story in The New York Times series titled “Transgender Today.” Why did you decide to come out to the general public?
Roxanne: My attitude is that there is so little information about the Transgender Community, we are all responsible to be visible in a positive way, many people have never met a Transgender person, and I want people who meet me to have a positive impression. I wanted people to see that we are everyday people too.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Interview with Jemma


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Jemma, a transgender woman that documents her transition on Reddit.com as SuddenlyJemma. Hello Jemma!
Jemma: Hi! Thanks for the opportunity!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Jemma: Sure! I'm in my early 30's, started transitioning at 30 years old. I currently work in a tire manufacturing factory that makes the tires for the giant off road mining equipment. Our smallest tire is 9.5 feet tall and weighs almost 2 tons! Definitely not the easiest job; but it pays the bills. I have 2 rescue dogs and a handful of guinea pigs at the moment.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on Reddit
Jemma: The trans communities on Reddit really helped me to come to grips with my gender issues and help to give me a little bit of hope that transition might be a big help to me. At first, I was terrified that transition and hormones wouldn't have much an effect on me. The Q&A posts, timelines, and information there were so helpful and inspiring that I'd like to be able to contribute something back for people at that same early stage and needing a little hope.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Interview with Faye Seidler


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Faye Seidler, an inspirational American transactivist, educator, and writer from Fargo, North Dakota.
Faye: Hi! :)
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Faye: I’m a trans activist, writer, and nerd with a strong belief in a better future. My work primarily focuses on my experiences, humor, and research, all of which seeks to create positive change for the transgender community.
Monika: I saw your short story in The New York Times series titled “Transgender Today.” Why did you decide to come out to the general public?
Faye: I saw a serious lack of visibility in our community and that most people were getting their information about trans people from stereotypes they saw on television. I also saw a medical network that told trans people to blend in, to deny, or to hide their identity. I saw a tremendous amount of erasure for what it meant to be trans and the identity itself controlled and enforced as a stereotypical binary by the medical industry.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Interview with Jessica Harrington


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Jessica Harrington, an inspirational American woman from Reno, Nevada. Hello Jessica!
Jessica: Hi Monika. Thank you for having me. 
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Jessica: I am a 42-year-old trans woman. I have been in transition for almost 5 years and while it’s has been amazing being free, it’s also been the hardest time of my life.
Monika: At what age did you transition into woman yourself? Was it a difficult process? 
Jessica: I started transition when I was 38. The process itself wasn’t that difficult. I did my research for years before hand. I knew what I needed, who I needed to talk to and about what everything would cost me.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Interview with Charlotte Flanigan


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Charlotte Flanigan, a British writer, the author of the biographical book titled “The Whole Shenanigans: Charlotte's Story” (2017). Hello Charlotte!
Charlotte: Hello!
Monika: You were born in Germany? Could you say a few words about yourself?
Charlotte: Well, I wasn't as such born in Germany but went there from a young age and fell in love with the country and for some strange reason I found speaking the native tongue natural and was surprised how comfortable it felt.
Monika: Your most visible hobby is tattoos … :)
Charlotte: Yes, tattoos are a big part of my life from a young age. I fell in love seeing the stories behind the tattoos people had got whilst young.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Interview with Ella Marques


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Ella Marques, a Portuguese / American writer living in Boca Raton, Florida, the author of the biographical book titled “I was born a boy, from Venus. It’s time to be yourself” (2017). Hello Ella!
Ella: Hi Monika, Thank you very much for the interview, and for thinking about me. I like your blog very much.
Monika: You describe yourself as an “international” woman. Could you say a few words about yourself?
Ella: Sure. I was born in Portugal, at the age of 14 I went to an international boarding school in Switzerland, and since then I lived, worked and visited many countries. I lived in London, Paris, Fortaleza, a city in the Northeast of Brazil. Lived over 30 years in various cities in Switzerland and moved to the USA 6 year ago.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Interview with Molly Cutpurse


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Molly Cutpurse, a British writer from Stratford in the East End of London, one of the most prolific writers for the Amazon audience. Her portrait, as a transgendered writer, is now hanging in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and is a part of the museum's permanent collection. Hello Molly! 
Molly: Hello to yourself!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself? When did you decide that writing will be your vocation?
Molly: I wrote my first novel in 1984 when I was thirty-two. It was an enormously lengthy piece of rubbish that eventually was rewritten several times and was finally published about 1996 as, Daffodils in Autumn. I wrote it because it was a novel that I wanted to read.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Interview with Ava


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Ava, a transgender woman with a strong social media presence via her Instagram, Reddit & YouTube pages. Hello Ava!
Ava: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Ava: Of course! I work for Carnival Cruise Line as an entertainer; I travel the world, meet people from all around, and get paid to have fun. I’m also an insufferable nerd and gamer. When not working, I’m either gaming or finding a recipe to cook up to share with my family. I also run a YouTube channel for people who experience the phenomenon ‘autonomous sensory meridian response’, also known as ASMR.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on Reddit?
Ava: It began as a place to reach out to people in similar situations to me, trying to gauge how the community thought my transition was going. I have few friends who are trans themselves, and so this became a window to the community in which I felt the validation I felt I needed at the time to help me along.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Interview with Danielle Pellett


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Danielle J Pellett, an inspirational American woman, New Deal Democrat, trans rights activist. She is running for the Democratic nomination to represent Texas 32nd district in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018. She was the founding President of the first Transgender student organization at a Texas University, and later on she worked with the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance and the Progressive Alliance. Hello Danielle!
Danielle: Howdy, Monika, and thanks for the opportunity to get my message out there.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Danielle: I think you covered a lot of it in the introduction; I was born on the border in Brownsville, Texas to a mixed race couple: David Ellsworth and Maria del Rosario.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Interview with Melissa Jensen


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Melissa Jensen, a writer, novelist from New South Wales, Australia, the author of “Mel's Fantasy Life” (2016) and “Mark's Real Life” (2017). Hello Melissa!
Melissa: Hi Monika, Thanks, I now reside in Melbourne, Victoria, which is an awesome place to live.
My novels have been renamed for a new broader website I have discovered. The names are now “Mel’s New Life” and “Mark’s Pathetic Life”—that is due for worldwide release July 30th, 2017 as I have made some minor adjustments.
“Mel’s Fantasy/New Life” is the first in my series, each part allows the reader to use their imagination as I stop sections abruptly. I also end each part on a Cliff-Hanger to hopefully maintain interest.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Interview with Lois Simmons


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Lois Simmons, an American tax preparer and writer from Suffern, N.Y. She writes posts for the blog titled “Being Christian and Transsexual: Life on Planet Mercury.” Hello Lois!
Lois: Hello Monika. To be included with such an illustrious group of trans women who you have interviewed is quite an honor.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Lois: This is the toughest question you asked me, as it is difficult to limit myself to a few words on almost any subject! But here goes.
I’m 64 years old. I was born in New York City (borough of Queens) and have lived all my life in the city or its suburbs. I went to Cornell with plans to be a Civil Engineer/Urban Planner/designer of roads and rail systems. I ended up with a degree in Government.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Interview with Roxanne Edwards


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Roxanne Edwards, an American architect and activist for LGBTQ issues from Washington, DC. Hello Roxanne!
Roxanne: Hello, Monika! Greetings from the United States Capital city, Washington, DC! It has always been an interesting place to live, but now more than ever, it is a critical place to be involved in issues that affect all our citizens.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Roxanne: I am a professional architect who has done projects nationally and in the Middle East. My entire life has been lived in the Washington area except during my degree studies at my university, Virginia Tech, where I met my spouse. We have been married for 43+ years and we have seven grandchildren. My activism started in 2000 with the beginning of my transition to my authentic self.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Interview with Meredith Guest


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Meredith Guest, a teacher, writer, and author of the memoir titled “Son, I Like Your Dress” (2015). Hello Meredith! 
Meredith: Greetings, Monika.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Meredith: Well, I think of myself as a rather unremarkable person who finds great pleasure in doing rather ordinary things. I’m a writer who loves to write, but you’re not likely ever to see my work on the New York Times best seller list – and that’s okay.
I’m an educator who feels passionately about education, though no one’s beating down my door to get my ideas. I’m a parent, and now a grandparent, who loves her children and grandchild. I love this beautiful planet and grieve what we have done to it. And I also happen to be transgender.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Interview with Holly


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Holly, a transgender woman that documents her transition on Reddit.com as mikah_rowan. Hello Holly!
Holly: Hello Monika and thank you for this opportunity to share a bit about myself and my experiences.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Holly: Okay, so I was born in 1962 in Connecticut USA, not too far from New York City. My father died when I was only six months old, and my mother remarried before I can even remember. I had a brother six years older than me and a sister three years older. I realized that I was transgender at a very early age, even though to me, it had no name yet.
As soon as I was aware of being a human being and seeing the differences between boys and girls, men and women, I knew that I was a girl and that I would grow up to be a woman. But something was wrong. My mom kept dressing me in little boys clothes and giving me boys toys to play with. I would take my boys clothing off and go to my sisters dresser and put on her clothes.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Interview with Ana


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Ana, a transgender woman that documents her transition on Reddit.com as MontanaPython1993. She describes herself as a writer and role playing hobbyist. Hello Ana! 
Ana: Hello Monika! 
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Ana: For me, summing myself up is a bit of a chore, but I’ll try. I’m in the sticks of Washington state, I do a lot of reading and one of my favorite past times are tabletop role-playing games. I am actually quite invested in world-building for my own settings to use for Dungeons and Dragons.
I’m also a bit of a writer, in the process of regaining my momentum following a long and drawn out writer’s block. I am also sort of between unemployment and not-very-stable employment. For this interview I’m probably going to end up with long responses to questions.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Interview with Shemiyia O'Bannon-Sweeney


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Shemiyia O'Bannon-Sweeney, an inspirational young woman originally from Louisville, Kentucky, who now resides in the Greater New York area. Hello Shemiyia!
Shemiyia: Well Hello There!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Shemiyia: Wow.. Well, I like to refer to myself as "The Jacqueline of all trades"! I am a very busy bee! First and foremost I am Wife to my amazing Husband of 2 years, Bobby. I have been a medical professional for the past 13 years, I now work for a very big hospital organization here in New Jersey that prides itself on its advocacy with the LGBT Community.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Interview with Bishesh Huirem


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Bishesh Huirem, an Indian model and beauty pageant queen. Hello Bishesh, you look absolutely beautiful!
Bishesh: Hello Monika! Thank you so much for this compliment and opportunity to share my story to the readers of your blog.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Bishesh: I am Bishesh Huirem. I am a transgender woman who follows her dream, yet being simple, frank and enthusiastic.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Interview with Kate Bornstein


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kate Bornstein, an American author, playwright, performance artist, and gender theorist, the author of many influential books, including: “A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir”, “My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity” and “Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us”. Hello Kate!
Kate: Hello, Monika. Thank you for welcoming me into the amazing company of trans folks that you’ve pulled together here.
Monika: My first question must be about your health. Are you felling OK now? The media were full of information about your fight against cancer, and the $100,000 crowdfunder campaign…
Kate: Ah, you’re sweet to ask. Thank you. Yep, I’m feeling very well thank you. In 2012, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. And this was on top of a leukemia diagnosis from back in 1996. Surgery didn’t get all the cancer out of my lung, so the next step was chemotherapy and radiation. But because of my two cancers, there was no approved chemotherapy being used by any doctors on my health plan. The only doctor who was working on that kind of combination of cancer was not covered by my insurance, and cost a lot of money that I didn’t have.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Interview with Galen


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Galen, a transgender woman. She runs the website Trans Substantiation, where she discusses trans issues and philosophy, and documents her reflections on transition. She has also documented her transition on Reddit.com as asthepenguinflies. Hello Galen!
Galen: Hello!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Galen: In short, I’m a 29 year-old trans woman. I originally came out at 17, before going promptly back into the closet and resuming the binge/purge depression/repression cycle that a lot of trans folks are familiar with. I finally came out to my wife and started transition steps in late December of 2015. I write a lot about various trans related topics on my website, Trans Substantiation, which started as a personal blog to help me process things, and has since gone on to become a place where I attempt to engage people in in-depth conversations related to gender and the philosophical issues surrounding gender.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Interview with Juliet


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Juliet, a transgender woman that started transitioning after discovering herself in sensory isolation. She is a prominent figure in the float tank industry and has regularly documented her transition through her blog as well as on reddit under her username, jungletigress. Hello Juliet!
Juliet: Hi. Thanks for interviewing me.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Juliet: I’m a 31-year old trans woman and activist. I came out to myself in a float tank during an intensely introspective session. We’re being pulled into the limelight right now and I think that education is hugely important for trans people that feel comfortable enough in that role. I’m currently organizing my local pride event where I will host a booth letting people “Ask a Trans Person Anything.”

Monday, 24 April 2017

Interview with Tessa Fisher


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Tessa Fisher, an American PhD student, astrobiologist, blogger, and occasional aspiring science fiction writer. Hello Tessa!
Tessa: Thank you for having me, Monika!
Monika: You call yourself “perhaps the world’s only queer trans astrobiologist.” What does an astrobiologist do? Could you say a few words about yourself?
Tessa: Well, first off, I must confess, that title is no longer accurate- I recently discovered there’s at least one other one out there (though she works on a different area of the field then I do).
In brief, astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life throughout the universe. It’s an extremely broad, interdisciplinary field, and astrobiologists study topics ranging from how life evolved from inanimate chemicals, to how habitable Mars might be, to looking for signs of intelligent civilizations in other star systems.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Interview with Hailey


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Hailey, a young aspiring creative writer, student and transgender woman that documents her transition on Reddit.com as the_forsaken_queen. Hello Hailey!
Hailey: Heya!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Hailey: Honestly, it’s hard to answer since I’m still discovering myself every day! I feel a little overwhelmed since I’m being interviewed alongside so many inspirational women that are a lot further along in their transitions and more experienced than me in general.
I lived the first 16 or so years of my life without direction or purpose, and felt like a detached spectator of the world rather than someone with an actual identity. It was only recently that I figured out why and took the first step towards becoming the person I truly am.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Interview with Lyra


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Lyra, a young American video blogger that documents her transition as ButterfLyra on YouTube. Hello Lyra!
Lyra: Hello Monika! 
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Lyra: My name is Lyra and I'm a 20 year old transgender woman. I love music, fashion, flowers, and most of all I love people.
Monika: Why did you decide to share your transition details on YouTube?
Lyra: I was tempted not to, but the reason I did was because of the amount it inspired me to see other transwomen who transitioned on YouTube. People like Violet, Princess Joules, and other amazing women really helped me discover who I was. I wanted to give back to the community who made me the person I am today.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Interview with Emma Shinn


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Emma Shinn, a transgender woman that documents her transition on Reddit as ScoutSeven. Emma is a retired US Marine Corps officer and a now is an award-winning civilian attorney in Denver, Colorado. She is a LGBT activist and a member of the Board of Directors for the Colorado LGBT Bar Association. Hello Emma! 
Emma: Hi, Monika! Thanks for the opportunity to share my story.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Emma: Sure! I am a criminal defense attorney, representing US service members across the globe at courts-martial and administrative separation hearings. I also represent Colorado residents at criminal proceedings in state and Federal hearings.
Monika: What is the main agenda of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association?
Emma: The Colorado Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (“LGBT”) Bar Association is a voluntary professional association of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender attorneys, judges, paralegals and law students and allies who provide a LGBT presence within Colorado’s legal community.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Interview with Diana García


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Diana García, a Mexican transgender woman that documents her transition on Reddit.com as aprilight, a programmer by day, co-host of geek podcast @abajoadelantea and general nerd by night. Hello Diana!
Diana: Hi Monika, I was surprised at first to learn that you wanted to interview me but I’m very happy to be able to share my story with others. Thank you for this opportunity.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Diana: Certainly, I am a 32 year old trans woman originally from Tijuana, Mexico but now living in Mexico City. I’m a computer programmer who works from home, I am very interested in games and fun so I have also dabbled in creating videogames and the latest side project I’m developing is a board game.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Interview with Anna Kouroupou


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Anna Kouroupou, an inspirational Greek woman, transgender right activist, writer, blogger, the author of the biographical book titled “Γιατί δεν έχω σαν το δικό σου, μαμά” (2011). Hello Anna!
Anna: Hi Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Anna: I’m afraid it’s difficult to talk about myself. If I talk about my positive aspects, I’m afraid it would seem like I’m boasting. On the other hand, if I mention my quirks, an imaginary line will present itself, meaning that I’m searching for compliments, therefore, I let others speak for me. 
Monika: Many transwomen in Greece regard you as an icon and relentless activist fighting for rights of Greek transwomen. Do you accept this title?😃
Anna: No, I don’t consider myself an activist, in the classical sense. A person who is an activist has no personal life. Rather, his life is only that. I don’t belong in that category. I support trans individuals and their problems, taking into consideration a change for the best, especially for the younger generation. Believe me, these kids draw strength from me and my actions, despite a “whole” trans personality. Meaning that after their own experience as a trans individual who has been sidelined socially, I find it logical they seek help.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Interview with Lauren Foster


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Lauren Foster, a South African model, actress, party promoter, transgender activist, marketing consultant, blogger on JustAnotherGirl.org and now the new Director of Concierge for all things LGBTQ at the University of Miami Hospital. Hello Lauren! You look absolutely gorgeous …
Lauren: Good morning Monika. Thank you for your sweet words.😃 
Monika: You are mostly known as a successful model. Do you sometimes look at the glossy magazines in which you were featured as one of the most beautiful models in the world …😃
Lauren: Growing up in South Africa, it was my dream to be a model and travel the world. I never thought it would happen. Looking back, I wish I had taken it all in more but I was young and it was Life just unraveling. I definitely appreciate it more now.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Interview with Milene


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Milene, a young transgender woman from Canada that documents her transition on Reddit. Hello Milene!
Milene: Hello! It’s very nice to finally speak to you!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Milene: Well first of all, I would like to say that English is not my first language. I was born and raised French in Moncton, New-Brunswick and was living with my mom, dad and two brothers, both younger than I am.
I’m not in school at the moment but I plan to apply for next September to eventually go to medical school! Other than that I currently work full time at a Starbucks in Halifax Nova-Scotia, where I’m working towards my coffee masters! (The black apron you occasionally see on a barista)

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Interview with Brianna Tuerff


Monika: Today’s interview will be with Brianna Tuerff, a transgender woman who makes electronic and instrumental metal music under the alias ‘Brianna and the VSTs’. She documents her transition on Reddit.com as Neonnimrod and on YouTube with her channel BriannaIsGreat. Hello Brianna!
Brianna: Hello! Thanks for having me!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Brianna: Well, my love and passion is music. Everything to do with writing it, playing it, recording and producing it, etc. The science of sound has always fascinated me. My first serious musical project was a comedy punk band called Thunder Stump that I fronted years before I figured out that I was transgender. This helped me let out some rage.
My life pre-transition isn’t real fun to look back on, but I do have a comfortable nostalgia in listening to a wide variety of music and playing Super Nintendo games as they both remind me of the bits of my childhood where I could zone out of reality. I was born in and currently reside in Phoenix Arizona in the United States, but I feel that my future in creative success lies elsewhere.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Interview with Mya Byrne


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Mya Byrne, an award-winning songwriter, poet, actress, and trans/queer activist. She made her stage debut at NYC's Dixon Place in 2014. She’s played some of North America’s best music festivals, and her art has been featured in The Advocate, Time Out, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, MSNBC, and many other media. Hello Mya!
Mya: Hey there Monika! Thanks for having me.
Monika: You can boast so many talents. Which vocation do you regard as most appropriate for you?
Mya: When it all comes down to it, I’m a rock-and-roll poet to my core. I mean, that encompasses everything I do.
Monika: Is there anything like transgender art? What does it mean to be a transgender artist?
Mya: I don’t think there is anything that can be compared to transgender art. So much great art has come from trans people, and it’s beautiful to witness this being recognized -- from the music of Wendy Carlos, Ahnoni, Lynn Breedlove, Star Amerasu, and Laura Jane Grace to the celebrated writing of so many here on your website, the brilliant films of the Wachowskis, actress Mya Taylor, and all of the people before our time who might have been considered trans today -- especially in the Black lesbian and blues music scene pre-World War 2, and of course the countless people who were living openly as gender-variant in Weimar Germany. Lili Elbe was an artist and a muse, too, openly celebrated in her time.

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