Friday, 3 October 2014

Interview with Heli Hämäläinen


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Heli Hämäläinen, a married woman from Helsinki, Finland, Senior Customs Officer in Finnish Customs, and a father. Hello Heli!
Heli: Hello Monika, it is my pleasure to meet you.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Heli: I am soon 51 years old. I have worked the most of my career as a public servant. I graduated in 1991 from Helsinki School of Economics which is nowadays a part of Aalto University. I got married in 1996 in Keuruu Church that was built in 1892. I am Evangelical Lutheran. My daughter was born in 2002.
In Autumn 2004 I felt that I could no longer suppress my female identity. My life was awful because even the advertisements in bus stops reminded me about my gender. I couldn’t read women’s magazines.
My wife gave me advice to seek professional help and I did. A referral was written to official transsexuality investigations in November 2004 and I met the psychiatrist in February 2005. I was diagnosed transsexual in April 2006 and I changed my forenames in June 2006.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Interview with Shelley Bridgman


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Shelley Bridgman, a British stand-up comic, presenter, actress, and writer who started stand-up in 2004 under the stage name Shelley Cooper before reverted to her real name, the 2012 Silver Stand Up honoree, transgender activist, the author of Stand-up for Yourself: And Become the Hero or Shero You Were Born To Be (2014). Hello Shelley!
Shelley: Hello Monika!
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Shelley: Not sure what is most relevant. I have several roles as in addition to Stand-up I am a Psychotherapist working with children and adults who have issues with their gender identity. I also do a weekly podcast when I interview people. 
Monika: I have conducted over 200 interviews and I find it striking that so many of my transgender interviewees are stand-up comics: Alison Grillo, Sally Goldner, Natasha Muse, Julia Scotti and now you …
Shelley: I think it is something about having a voice. Many of us, especially transwomen, lose status when we transition but I think I reconnected with my love of comedy after transitioning. It helped me find a vehicle to express myself.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Interview with Bobbie Lang


Monika: Today it is my pleasure and honour to interview Bobbie Lang, a transgender activist from USA, businesswoman, blogger, Viet Nam veteran, the author of "Transgender Christian in Chains". Hello Bobbie!
Bobbie: Hi Monika, thank you so much for asking me to be part of this wonderful group of people who are doing so much to advance the acceptance and civil rights of the trans community.
Monika: Could you say a few words about yourself?
Bobbie: Well to start with I started my transition in 1981 and had GRS in 1984. At that time the term “transgender” had not even been coined yet. We were called transsexuals and even the professional community knew very little of this dysphoria. Many of the medical and therapeutic specialists thought this disorder could be alleviated with extensive and lengthy psychological treatment. Sadly, I find this approach is still widely believed within most denominational Christian churches.

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