The first interview I’ve given (Thanks, Monika)

The Facebook friend request came early this summer. It was from a transwoman in Poland named Monika Kowalska. She told me she had a blog called The Heroines of My Life, she had seen the online “Transgender Today” piece I wrote in The New York Times two years ago, and she asked if she could interview me.

Naturally, I checked out the blog before I said yes. What I found shocked me. In four years-plus, she has done a fantastic job of shining spotlights on our worlds. interviewed over 400 transwomen from many corners of the globe, famous and unknown, across the age, experience and ethnicity spectra.

And I can’t believe the company in which she’s included me: Kate Bornstein, former Army Col. Sheri Sorkowski (the highest-ranked out-trans American military veteran), Caroline Cossey (aka Tula, the first trans Bond girl), Kristin Beck (ex-Navy SEAL and bestselling author), Carla (Lewis) Combs (an Army veteran and trans activist whose defiant meme went viral after Trump’s military ban), Alexandra Billings (the first trans actress to play a woman on TV), Jennifer Leitham (renowned jazz bassist), Calpernia Addams (actress), Dana Beyer (well-known trans activist), Annie Wallace (UK soap opera star and the first trans actress to earn a BAFTA nomination), MJ Rodriguez (TV and film actress), Erin Swenson (the first-known mainstream Protestant minister to come out and keep her position), Deirdre McCloskey (economist, historian and trans activist), Riki Wilchins (noted activist), Pauline Park (longtime NYC trans/human rights activist), Michelle Diamond (the first trans Australian rules football goal umpire), Karine Solene Espineira (noted French trans activist), KarenAdell Scot (Yosemite High science teacher and trans advocate), Mina Caputo (singer for Life of Agony), Nancy Nangeroni (longtime trans activist from Boston), Donna Rose (educator and activist), and Eden Lane (the only known U.S. trans broadcast journalist).

Not worthy! Not worthy!

Anyway, life happens, and some of the narrative changed in the course of writing the interview, and there was the back-and-forth of (ahem) trans-continental emailing corrections and revisions. (The story has even changed since it was posted; I moved to another position at the company where I work part-time.)

But it’s the most I’ve ever talked about my life in print – a pretty solid overview of who I am and where I am at the moment (don’t ask me about the future; I have no clue right now, and everything’s wide-open). And here it is – the finished piece. I’m interview No. 426.

One good turn deserves another. And I recommend you turn to Monika’s blog and check out some of the other women she’s interviewed through the years.  And thanks again, Monika, for all you do.

 

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