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MONDAY MOCHA WITH ELJAY AGUILLO

Where’s your safe place? Is it a physical place you can go to and know that you feel completely ok to be yourself? Or is a space you go to when you meditate or a feeling that takes you there. For me, the feeling and the comfort that comes when I am in New York makes it my place. It’s one of the reasons why I love New York City, and its from this love that lead me to meeting our next guest. Eljay Aguillo was in a long distance relationship with a lady from Chicago who sent him a Joss Stone album request he listen to a song called, “I fell in love with a boy.” After realising that it was her way of telling him that she had fallen in love with someone else, heartbroken, Eljay moved to New York City in hope of one day running into his ex girlfriend in the city she loved so dearly. Three years later, amidst the sadness of his break-up, Eljay finally healed enough to gain the courage to listen to the entire Joss Stone album. As a reward to himself, he went to a party with his friends, leaving his credit card at the bar to shout everyone drinks to celebrate this long awaited milestone. In a twist of fate, that night, Eljay’s credit card got mixed up with someone else’s at the party and this lead him to meet the inspiration behind his amazing photographic turned published book: Why I Love New York City – his wife Maria. Eljay has captured and heard nearly 700 stories of love. One of my favourite Monday Mocha podcasts so far.

“There’s always a romance to being or doing something for yourself that you’ve always wanted to do in your life. If you do that, you should look at it always as a positive. You did this for yourself and you did this because you love who and what you are.”

Follow Eljay: @whyilovenewyorkcity
Available on: iTunes | Spreaker | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Play
Featured Voices: Ginni Saraswati, Eljay Aguillo, Missy Dempsey & Sam Phelps
Produced by: Sam Phelps
NEXT EPISODE: MONDAY MOCHA & WEDNESDAYS RETURN: November 2017
Photos: Joey Middleton
www.theginnishow.com

MONDAY MOCHA WITH ROBYN EXTON

Three more Mocha’s to go folks. I know I say this about all of the guests, but what I love most about the first Monday Mocha series is the diversity of guests. We’ve had equality in the sense that we’ve had the same about of females as we’ve had males. They all have an inspiring and individual story. Monday’s for me have become a day I look forward to than one that I dread. I hope it’s been the same for you as well.

This guest is someone I would say is the equivalent of the modern day cupid. I guess dating site and app creators are like that, right? Meet Robyn Exton – founder and CEO of lesbian/queer dating app – HER. The creation of the app was originally inspired when one of her best friends asked her for some advice on how to meet women. After working with a tech company, Robyn finally decided to bite the bullet and create HER, which is now operating in over 20 countries in the world.

“We look at the struggles and the unique patterns that women have and try and make an app that works best for women”

Follow Monique: @RobynExton
Available on: iTunes | Spreaker | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Play
Featured Voices: Ginni Saraswati, Robyn, Missy Dempsey & Sam Phelps
Produced by: Sam Phelps
NEXT EPISODE: May 1: Monday Mocha with Eljay Aguilo
WEDNESDAY RETURNS: July 2017
Photos: Joey Middleton
www.theginnishow.com

MONDAY MOCHA WITH CHRIS FREDERICK

This Monday Mocha is a story of quite a powerful manifestation. Meet Chris Frederick, a boy from Ohio, middle America. Growing up with the person who left the biggest heart print on him; his mother, he came out to her when he was 17, just a few months before they were set to head out on a trip to New York.

The special moment that was awaiting them both turned out to actually be a moment that would not only shape Chris Frederick’s history…..but the actual history of New York City Pride. Chris experienced his first pride, in New York, alongside his beloved mother. He was immersed in the colour, community and celebration of what it is to be you. Little did this boy from Ohio know that a decade later, he would be the Managing Director of New York City Pride.

I love this story and I hope it gives your Monday just what it needs.

“Pride is the single moment the community comes together and rallies behind this identity and cause for wanting to be accepted by the world.”

Follow Chris: @ChrisFredrick
Available on: iTunes | Spreaker | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Play
Featured Voices: Ginni Saraswati, Chris Frederick, Missy Dempsey & Sam Phelps
Produced by: Sam Phelps
NEXT EPISODE: April 24: Monday Mocha with Robyn Exton
WEDNESDAY RETURNS: July 2017
Photos: Joey Middleton
www.theginnishow.com

MONDAY MOCHA WITH MONIQUE BOWLEY

I know it feels like a long time between Mocha’s. Now that Wednesday’s aren’t returning until July, our catch up time is down to once a week. It sucks but given the fact that I ask you all to invest in yourselves and listen to your inner child, play time and balance is a part of that so I must practice what I preach. At least that means we get Monday’s together right?

Now, before you freak out when you listen to this podcast and say, “I’ve heard this voice before.” Other than my dulcet tones, my guest for this week, Australia’s Queen of Podcasts herself – Monique Bowley, frequents the airwaves, currently on the Mamamia Podcast Network. Her work is award winning and her witty, quick whips and natural flair for conversation is apparent. What I loved about this particular podcast is that I got to see a deeper side of Monique, even when she told me she “Mutes it when the plop happens.”  What I loved learning about her was that she is engineered from a place of gratitude; which comes doing what she does….and having a pair legs. Much wisdom, laughter and Monday Motivation in this one, my friends.

“I go to mass every Sunday. There is no where in life anymore that tells you not to be a dickhead, as an adult. The one hour on Sunday morning, tells me to be a better person.”

Follow Monique: @MoniqueBowley
Available on: iTunes | Spreaker | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Play
Featured Voices: Ginni Saraswati, Monique Bowley, Missy Dempsey & Sam Phelps
Produced by: Sam Phelps
NEXT EPISODE: April 17: Monday Mocha with Chris Fredrick
WEDNESDAY RETURNS: July 2017
Photos: Joey Middleton
www.theginnishow.com

MONDAY MOCHA WITH CURTIS WONG

Just when you thought The Ginni Show was over for another season, I surprise you with yet another Monday Mocha. YAY! Well technically, the Wednesday part of the show will return in July 2017, but we still have quite a few Monday Mocha’s up our sleeves. So in episode two, I took a trip to Huffington Post Headquarters where I caught up with Executive Editor Noah Michelson. Taking yet another trip back, I caught up with Senior Editor Curtis Wong. What I love about Curtis is he is so wonderfully genuine in how he answers his questions. I love chatting with him because I learn so much and look at life in a different way. The man has also met Madonna. Just saying.

“With as many friendships as you leave behind, you gain new ones.”

Follow Curtis: @CurtisMWong
Available on: iTunes | Spreaker | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Play
Featured Voices: Ginni Saraswati, Curtis Wong, Missy Dempsey & Sam Phelps
Produced by: Sam Phelps
Photos: Joey Middleton
www.theginnishow.com

WHEN YOU TALK A LOT

I used to be very quiet in my pre-teen years. I was the quiet, unassuming student; the one that would be called “oh so obedient,” during parent/teacher interviews.

Even in my first month of kindergarten, I was so shy that the teachers tried to get me to talk by distracting me with sesame street toys and shiny objects.

Then one day, I was on the school playground and it was my turn to go on the swing. The teachers were delighted because they all seemed to be playing a game of, “Let’s see who can get Ginni to talk.”

I was the shy, chubby Sri Lankan girl who kept to herself and played quietly with the other kids. One of the teachers began her schmoozing; buttering me up so I would finally saying something out aloud. She tried asking me about television, my parents, food – she played all the right cards. Then, she finally exhausted all attempts and said, “Do you talk at all, Ginni?”

I finally gave in and shouted “Yes!” This was met with a look of relief on her face. She probably had gloating points for a whole year and was made the “Diversity Co-Ordinator,” at that school after that moment. You go girl.

Since then, for me, it’s gone from “Let’s see who can make Ginni talk,” to “Let’s see who can shut Ginni up.” What a journey.

And the same goes for podcasting! A lot of entrepreneurs now are turning to podcasting. It’s a great way to share the great knowledge you already have and network with other professionals, experts and colleagues in your industry.

As one of my favourite leaders – Gary Vaynerchuck says; with business these days; it’s likely that you’re a media company first. And podcasting is one of the many, many digital mediums we can use to be that kind of company. To commentate, inform and share key points of information about our industry.

Having worked for both live to air broadcast radio at commercial and community stations, I’ve found that podcasting is a great platform that breaks the usual censorship and red tape you have to be mindful of when it comes to the industry regulators the station faces. How you distribute your content and allocate time for your guests and sponsors is entirely up to you – if there is no affiliation with another station or broadcaster.

Podcasting allows you to share all your information with potential customers and existing clients in a more personalised way. The human voice has an influence and a tone of emotion that cannot be conveyed by text – no matter how much you can channel Hemmingway or Shakespeare in your writing.  This way, you have your listener’s attention. You have an exclusive human connection.

This is the place where The Ginni Show is different from your entrepreneurial podcast. Firstly, the content on the show is not really selling you any product, other than stories of myself and ridiculously large family. It’s these things that got you to my site and to the podcast in the first place. The fact that you take time out to listen to the show;to listen to me. In my shows I try to provide content in a way that’s unique but also universal in how it connects us all through it’s themes. Even though I’m telling my story – in my story, there is a shade of your story. That’s the most valuable connection we will have; more than any further leads or revenue; the connection of humanity.

 

THE ORIGINAL GAYS: A HOLIDAY GUIDE TO FAMILY EVENTS

If you’re someone who identifies as LGBTIQ and are from a very traditional and conservative family like mine – the holiday season can sometimes drum up a bit of anxiety and awkwardness. While we all are finishing up work, school or are trying to squeeze in parties, packing, shopping and cooking; the last thing we need is to add layers of contemplation, awkwardness and anxiety on top of everything else.

There was a moment not too long ago that family functions would make me feel so uncomfortable that I would simply find an excuse to avoid going to them around the holiday season or during the year. When I ran out of excuses, I had to think of ways to try and manage the holiday awkwardness. I came up with a temporary Three Step Plan.

  1. Your gay husband. You could always take him to many a family event. He does your hair, make up, he dresses you up and chooses the most banging outfit for you to wear. It’s a perfect plan. The Aunties and Uncles just think he’s just a very “cultured” person amidst his colourful persona. This can buy you at least 20 family functions. Cash them in as MUCH as you can. Just a forewarning…be prepared as after a few, he may do this.

                 

2. Talk to the most subdued single and eligible bachelor that may be at the party. Usually, these bachelors are NOT there by coincidence. They may be introduced as someone who’s here from out of town and has no family here but you can bet any money that one of your aunties or uncles has done a full interrogation and background check on his eligibility and invited him in the hope that he clicks with one of the single daughters or nieces. Knock yourself out.

3. Be as traditional as you can be, in every single way, on that day. Nail it, sister. Better yet, be natural at it.

I hope that helps you with at least 5 years worth of events? Yes?

In my inner and extended family, no one has publicly “come out” or declared to ever have been in love with someone of the same sex. Well….no one that we know of anyway. This is the case in most families – the fact that we have no precedence to work with. As great an example Ellen is, we can’t keep using her! You can even ask her yourself – It can be quite the task to be the original!

If there are any closeted gays in my family, they’re perhaps going through a similar sense of anxiety that I did, and are waiting for it to be all unravelled when an Aunty or an Uncle to see them out at some Gay club or festival…or in my case, hosting a Gay TV program. If you didn’t know my coming out story to my family – check out episode two of my podcast here:

EP #2 We all have closets to come out of

As difficult as it was dealing with the immediate aftermath of my entire family finding out because one of my Aunty’s had decided to switch on Bent TV: Melbourne’s Gay TV Show on Monday nights at 10pm and watched the entire episode to draw her assumptions and narrative from it – I actually had the easy way out. I didn’t have to relive the anxiety 170 times, telling each and every individual in my family (can you imagine how long that would take with all them cousins?) – I, instead, had a way of telling them in the comfort of their own home on a HD screen with 2 million other people in Melbourne joining them. The only thing missing was the glitter.

Now that my family know, the next step is actually trying to integrate my life into the holidays.  That is, when you have a significant other, how do you take them to family events with you? How many times can you get away with saying, “Aunty, Uncle, this is my FRIEND,” before they figured out exactly what kind of a “friend,” she is. My mind would think of scenarios of their reactions. Being a Sri Lankan family, these reactions would 99.8% of the time be behind my back. So when they did the math, this would be their reaction on the inside:

Accompanied with a bit of:

The phone calls to the extended family and entire community would begin.

But to my face, during conversations and catch ups amidst the festivities, food, underlying friction and other politics between the many other relatives, we would all be like:

As I said before, it’s not an easy task being “the original gay,” of your family. In Sri Lanka, homosexuality is still criminalised. Most of my family, especially the older generation migrated to Australia so are still living and breathing the customs and the ways of what it was like back in the motherland. Whether it be a fear or the unknown or a religious reason, at times there may be resilience to it. But carrying the burden of hiding who I am, cutting myself off and shrinking myself so that others would feel comfortable was too greater baggage for me to carry. The relief of everyone knowing, even though they may not acknowledge it to me personally and I may be the subject of gossip for a few more family events, the sense of relief that I feel now that the fear, anxiety and crippling effect of anticipation is gone is amazing.

So, to all the original gays of the families out there, congratulations! You’ve done a huge service to the future generations of your family and paved the way to anyone else who may identify as LGBTIQ in your family. Parents will have other parents to talk to about their gay child and connect in a deeper way than before; your cousins can say that they too, “have a gay cousin.” Aunties or Uncles can related to others when they say, “My niece or nephew is gay.” The dialogue is now open. Even though you’ve taken the lion shares of criticism, gossip and judgement – the reward you get for that is: No one ever forgets the original. And your story will be told for generations with a few, or many alterations to it.

At the end of the day, no matter the venue or conflict in politics, religion, marriage or whatever, after a few scotches and a shot of the holiday spirit, we all end up dancing the same dance.

This one.