Saturday, 8 February 2014

Interview with Rose Venkatesan


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Rose Venkatesan, an Indian talk show host and celebrity, filmmaker, politician and transgender activist. Hello Rose!
Rose: Hello Monika!
Monika: Rose, having so many talents, which fields you are most interested in: talk show hosting, radio, film making, politics, transgender activism or maybe something different?
Rose: I prefer film making to everything else, as it gives me the opportunity and almost total freedom to say what I want to say, to bring out that women/transwomen’s perspective to the Indian movie, which is largely a patriarchal, male-centered, male-glorifying, gay-ridiculing, trans-ridiculing, female-abusive item of entertainment.
I have tried my hands at TV, radio and politics, all of which force you to work under or for a male owner/controller, who himself has many of the same prejudices that I wish to fight/expose/expel. The entertainment industry/politics in India is highly sexploitative of women and any transwomen that might want to make it up the ladder.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Interview with Kerri Cecil


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Kerri Cecil, a young American film director, student at Los Angeles City College in Hollywood, and transgender activist. Hello Kerri!
Kerri: Hello Monika! Thank you for inviting me to do this interview. It is an honour to be included on your website with such inspirational transgender women.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Kerri: Well I am a transgender filmmaker making films that empower, educate, enlighten as well as entertain. I see the beauty and power in all transfolks and work with incredibly talented transgender people to not only shed light on the darkness many of us suffer in but to bring to the world a sense of who we are and where we are going in life.
Monika: Which film directors or movies are your inspirations?
Kerri: I am a huge fan of Lana Wachowski’s work. Would love to one day make a Transgender Super Hero film using her film techniques. I personally loved Harmony Santana in ‘Gun Hill Road’ and love Laverne Cox in ‘Orange Is The New Black.’

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Interview with Debra Soshoux


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Debra Soshoux, an American transgender advocate and activist, participant in such projects and productions as “The Vagina Monologues”, “Beautiful Daughters” and "Trans Sister Tales". Hello Debra!
Debra: Hi Monika! Thanks for inviting me to your webpage.
Monika: In 2004 you appeared in the 2004 V-Day production of “The Vagina Monologues”, featuring an all transwomen cast, including: Lynn Conway, Andrea James, Christine Beatty, Verba Deo, Calpernia Addams, Leslie Townsend, Valerie Spencer and Asia Vitale. How did you find out about the project?
Debra: By chance, on the Internet. I was instantly excited when I read about it but I’m not a trained actor, I had terrible stage fright (still do) and after laser voice surgery my voice was very weak and uneven so I never thought to be in the cast. I knew I wanted to be part of it and it was in LA! Then my friend Christine auditioned so I did too and voilà! I got an absolutely plum role as the old lady.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Interview with Hannah Warg


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Hannah Warg, a Swedish transgender vlogger and adult actress, known for her YouTube vlog called “Ask a Transsexual”. Hello Hanna!
Hanna: Hello Monika! :)
Monika: On 8 July 2010 you recorded your first episode of “Ask a Transsexual” YouTube vlog series. Since then you have had 195 videos, 5,868,923 views and 15,340 subscribers (as of 5 January 2014). This is a fantastic result …
Hanna: I wasn't really aware I had so many subscribers and views, but yes, that is amazing and I'm very happy people enjoy what I do! 
Monika: Who is the average inquirer?
Hanna: I put them in two categories, males attracted to transsexuals, usually asking questions of sexual nature and the other category is of other transgendered people, who want help in one way or another. Usually to help make up their mind, or how to get practical help on how to transition.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Interview with Michelle Enfield


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Michelle Enfield, a Navajo transgender activist and advocate, Program Coordinator, in Los Angeles, and the winner of the 2012 Alexis Rivera Trailblazer Award. Hello Michelle!
Michelle: Hello Monika. Thank you for your time and effort to connect with the many transgender advocates and activists throughout the world.
Monika: Could you say a few words about your career so far?
Michelle: I’ve been in the HIV field, professionally, for over five years, although I’ve been involved in HIV for many more. I was introduced to HIV/AIDS via a story in Reader’s Digest when I was a freshman in high school. At the time, I had a boyfriend whom I was intimate with. After the first time we had sexual relations, I read the article and got scared of sex. I learned some information on HIV/AIDS through magazines but they didn’t make me an expert, by any means.
Later on, after high school, while still living on the Navajo Reservation, there were a couple of people I knew, close to me, that died from complications of AIDS—but it wasn’t talked about. My friends and I were told by our departed friends’ family that they died of walking pneumonia. Of, course, there was more to those stories, but no one insisted on getting more than the half-truth that was told.
In 2008, after moving to Los Angeles, I had an opportunity to further educate myself in the field of HIV and became an HIV test counselor. I love talking about safe sex and learning about the complexity of relationships, including sexual practices. As I began to counsel individuals and their partners I began learning more about myself. Through this process I became more aware of myself and this term ‘transgender’ and thus began my advocating journey.

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