Saturday, 4 January 2014

Interview with Drew-Ashlyn Cunningham

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Drew-Ashlyn Cunningham, a talented woman, British celebrity and model, make-up artist and participant of Channel 4’s reality documentary "My Transsexual Summer". Hello Drew-Ashlyn!
Drew-Ashlyn: Thank you so much for doing this interview. I'm excited to see what kinda questions you thought up for me!
Monika: It has been 2 years since you appeared on "My Transsexual Summer". Did the documentary change your life?
Drew-Ashlyn: Haha, definitely I think it's fair to say my life is completely different now and for the better. I moved on from the coffee shop I was working in while the show was being wrapped up and started working for Illamasqua in their stand alone store in Leeds as a make-up artist. I moved on from an abusive relationship and met a lovely guy in my hometown. I no longer have people shouting nasty things at me down the street.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Interview with Vanessa Victoria

Monika: Today’s interview is with Vanessa Victoria, a Puerto Rican transgender woman, activist, model, and entertainer. Hello Vanessa Victoria!
Vanessa Victoria: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about your career so far?
Vanessa Victoria: Well I currently work full time for the Research Foundation Of the City University of New York. In a research study/intervention for trangender women, it is very empowering to be able to promote resilience, provide coping skills and discuss in individual and group session settings issues that we face as women, but also issues that we face especially as transgender women.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Interview with Tracee McDaniel

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honor to interview Tracee McDaniel, an American transgender activist and advocate, the CEO and Founder of Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia, the author of “Transitions: Memoirs of a Transsexual Woman”. Hello Tracee!
Tracee: Greetings Monika, thank you for your interest in my story.
Monika: Could you say a few words about your career so far?
Tracee:I believe that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing as far as my career is concerned. I enjoy helping others.
Monika: What are the objectives and current agenda of Juxtaposed Center?
Tracee: Our current objective is to continue fighting for human rights, equality and justice for transgender and gender non-conforming people. Our current community initiative includes a membership on the Working Group on Prostitution, which was formed by Mayor Kasim Reed to address and make recommendations on how to address street prostitution in our city.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Interview with Samantha Valentine

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Samantha Valentine, a British transgender activist, model, actress, and member of TEAM TG. Hello Samantha! 
Samantha: Hi Monika, It's a pleasure and an honour to do this interview. Thank you for asking me to do this.
Monika: Together with Lisa Heart, you are involved in the TEAM TG project. Could you say a few words about it?
Samantha: Well, I heard about Team TG on the Sparkle 2013 website where they were looking for volunteers to help handing out leaflets and modelling with KITT. The website itself helps anyone who is trans to find the right website for them relating to trans issues. I think this is important, especially, in the early days of transitioning. It can be a jungle and you can get lost quite easily. So something like this is a great idea.
Team TG goes to transgender events to promote itself. Having KITT certainly helps to bring attention to us and then people ask about team TG, it's all good.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Interview with Kara Nicole Hays

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kara Nicole Hays, an American talented woman and celebrity, known for her emulation for Britney Spears. Hello Kara! 
Kara: Hello Monika! Thank you for reaching out to me to do this Interview. I’m excited to answer what you have in store for me. I’m also honored that you have taken the time to set up this interview to feature myself on your site. I greatly appreciate it.
Monika: A year ago the media were full of information about your operations to get the look of Britney Spears. Were you satisfied with the way you were portrayed by the media?
Kara: The media twisted a lot of things around for the sake of a shocking headline. It worked in the sense that it caught people’s attention. I was hoping other people in the media with an above average IQ would do enough research to see that most of what I said was misconstrued. It was a little disheartening when journalists and television producers would interview me, only to then drop my story when they realized the Britney angle was completely fabricated.
If anyone followed me on Twitter then, they would have seen that I was not going along with that story. I am Kara Nicole Hays, not Britney Jean Spears. I look nothing like her. So in short, I was not satisfied with how I was portrayed. It was honestly one of my biggest fears coming to life; being the Jerry Springer of the tabloids at that time. That’s life. Things don’t always work out to your benefit, so ya gotta move on!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Interview with Rosalyne Blumenstein LCSW ACHP-SW

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Rosalyne Blumenstein LCSW ACHP-SW, a woman of many talents, film director, writer, social worker, activist, former director of the Gender Identity Project at the LGBT Center in Manhattan, the author of Branded T. Hello Rosalyne!
Rosalyne: Hello Monika! First I want to thank you for having this website and bringing a variety of voices together to share with others. And second, thank you for asking me to participate. Hopefully, even after my responses to your questions you will feel the same way☺.
Monika: Having had so many talents and jobs, which profession do you enjoy most?
Rosalyne: The one that pays the rent of course!☺
There have been many phases in my life and within those stages of life and my varied professions. There was enjoyment and struggle within each and every phase. What I can say is that I have learned so much about myself and the world around me within each phase and each profession. I’ve been involved in professions that had tremendous stigma attached to them at the time I was involved.
There were many gifts within those times as well as costs. The ‘Cost and benefit’ analysis has not been a tool I’ve utilized in my life as much as I should. I may have reaped more benefits if I was less impulsive. As one gets older we do slow down and I am less impulsive but not to the extent of really thinking things through at all times! Within those professions one would consider suitable there were exactly the same experiences as the more stigmatized professions. Again there were costs and benefits.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Interview with Şevval Kılıç

Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Şevval Kılıç, a Turkish LGBT activist, a member of non-governmental organizations such as Istanbul LGBTT Dayanışma Derneği and Trans-Blok, co-organizer of the Istanbul Trans Pride parade. Hello Şevval! 
Şevval: Hi Monika!
Monika: You come from a country that is notorious for transphobia crimes, just to mention the murder of Neşe Dilşeker in 2012 and Dora Özer in 2013. Is Turkey not a country for transgender women?
Şevval: I wouldn’t say it that way but at the same time yes, the number of trans hate crimes is rising as never before. However, transphobia is everywhere with different levels, of course, from Japan to USA, maybe Turkey is more gender-based-hypocritical.
Monika: What are the current issues on the agenda of such organizations as Trans-Blok and Istanbul LGBTT Dayanışma Derneği?
Şevval: I’ve recently resigned from Istanbul LGBT, and now I am working for Trans-Blok. Our first issue is to stop hate crimes against trans people. Our government is still resisting and ignoring the fact that we are living in the different age. It is still ignoring the existence of LGBT movement, they don’t even articulate the term “LGBT”, because if you do not exist then your human rights do not exist either.
However, our all Turkish LGBT organizations are working hard at that moment to gain more power everyday and we know we will have our democratic rights eventually.

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