Transgender School


Alicia's Story: Transitioning at 62

Ep. 18
We are so honored to have Alicia Araballo join us today to share her transition story and much more. Alicia has been an educator for 36 years; she is a counselor and former teacher, an LGBTQ+ advocate, and she recently came out as a trans woman at the age of 62.As the oldest of five siblings in a traditional Latino family, coming to terms with her gender identity and sexuality was extremely challenging. The predominant machismo, and the absence of information and role models from the LGBTQ+ community, added to Alicia's confusion about who she really was throughout a big part of her life.When she first attempted to transition over 25 years ago, the lack of family and social support as well as difficulty finding quality gender-affirming medical and mental health care caused Alicia to put that dream on hold, but not forever.In this episode, the first of this two-part interview, Alicia shares her journey of discovering herself through the many "twists," as she calls them, in her life that led to getting in touch with amazing, supportive people who finally helped her rediscover and become her true self.In This Episode, You Will Learn:About how Alicia always felt different since she was a little girl, even without the words to explain it (1:42)About Christine Jorgensen's story and how it touched Alicia's life (4:34)How Alicia's family dealt with same sex relationships and how that affected her in her self-discovery journey (8:01)How Alicia's first therapist told her that she was possessed by a demon (10:20)Feeling like an island and about Alicia's first hormone treatment (16:10)Alicia finally gets in touch with people who really understand her (22:21)The decision and the happiness attached to deciding to transition at 62 (33:31)Connect with Jackie and Bridget:Transgender Support: Becoming a True Ally Video Course on VimeoTransgender School Patreon Membership with all exclusive contentTransgender School on MediumInstagramWebsiteFacebookCommunity Facebook GroupYouTubeConnect with Alicia:InstagramEmail:

The Truth About Anti-Trans Legislation

Ep. 17
Trigger warning… This episode touches on upsetting topics for trans people and allies.Today, we address some of America's most comprehensive anti-trans laws ever approved. The entire package of anti-LGBTQ+ laws was signed on April 8th, 2022, by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and it directly attacks transgender youth, their families, and their medical providers.Amidst the pain and fear these laws are causing, we take a moment to analyze the real reasons politicians are proposing criminalizing parents and professionals for providing necessary gender-affirming care for transgender youth.We debunk the myths and lies that are being spread to promote these anti-trans bills. For example, puberty blockers are a completely safe, proven method to buy some extra time for kids to figure out their gender, with no irreversible effects. And no one is performing surgeries on trans kids or grooming them to be LGBTQ+. These things simply aren’t happening.Anti-trans legislation, which goes against all medical advice and peer-reviewed, evidence-based best practices for transgender care, causes great harm. It protects absolutely no one, though its proponents falsely claim that it’s “protecting children” because they hope to win over ultra-conservative, right wing voters.These politicians know nothing about trans people’s experiences, they’re just playing a political game that will cost innocent lives and tear families apart. As the number of anti-trans bills has been rapidly increasing, calls to The Trevor Project suicide hotline have increased by 150%, which is no coincidence.We urge advocates and allies of trans people to speak up, get involved, send emails, and make phone calls. Ultimately, the transgender community only asks for one thing: to be left alone and given the same rights that cisgender people have.In This Episode, You Will Learn:Some details of the harrowing law recently approved (2:37)The alarming increase of calls to suicide hotlines is an immediate effect of the attacks on the transgender community (6:39)The real reasons why politicians stand behind these discriminatory and cruel agendas (14:01)The truth about puberty blockers and gender confirmation surgeries (18:35)The best ways to support and help the transgender community (25:28)How attacking things like abortion rights and trans rights is used to distract the population from the real issues. Jackie shares her wise perspective on this.(34:15)Connect with Jackie and Bridget:Transgender Support: Becoming a True Ally Video Course on VimeoTransgender School Patreon Membership with all exclusive contentTransgender School on MediumInstagramWebsiteFacebookCommunity Facebook GroupYouTube

Being Religious and LGBTQ+ Affirming

Ep. 16
Our guest today, Leah, has a potentially life-saving message for two groups of people. She wants LGBTQ+ Christians to know that they don’t have to choose between their faith and fully being themselves. She also humbly asks religious people who are non-LGBTQ+ affirming to reconsider what they’ve learned about what the bible has to say on this topic. According to Leah, Jesus made it clear that the highest commandment is to love God and to love people, and that includes all people.We are so honored to have Leah on the podcast with us for this critically important and timely conversation. When her daughter came out as transgender two years ago, Leah dove deep into the study of the ways humans have misinterpreted the bible with regard to LGBTQ+ people.We so appreciate Leah’s honesty and openness about her journey to becoming an LGBTQ+ affirming Christian and her struggles with the contradiction between what she felt was right in her heart and what a lifetime of religious teachings dictated. We talk about Leah's massive commitment to educating herself and how she is continuing her studies while speaking out to spread the message that one can be a devout Christian and also fully LGBTQ+ affirming.Some Questions We Ask:Could you talk about the concept of words in a book vs. the intent of the Scripture and faith? (11:04)We're looking at legislation promoting tearing families apart because the family is affirming their trans child. What are the most important things you want to say to parents? (18:20)What would you say to other people who are trying to find their voice and figure out how they can speak up and make a difference without getting too far out of their comfort zone? (22:50)In This Episode, You Will Learn:Leah's journey and commitment to finding an answer in God (4:54)Looking at the cultural and historical context to interpret what is written in the Bible (13:46)The urgency of discussing sexual orientation and gender identity at church (17:26)Why it is necessary to promote conversations even if they feel uncomfortable for many people (21:54)The importance of sharing and promoting educational content about the LGBTQ+ community (35:17)Resources:Blue Babies Pink websiteGeeky Justin websiteCannyonWalker Connections websiteChurch Clarity websiteThe Reformation Project websiteFreedHearts websiteSusan Cotrell YouTube channelQ Christian Fellowship websiteMatthey Vines YouTube channelBooks:Justin Lee -TornMatthew Vines -God and the Gay ChristianKathy Baldock - Walking the Bridgeless Canyon, Repairing the breach between the Church and the LGBT CommunityJulie Rodgers - OutloveStaci Frenes - Love Makes RoomAusten Hartke - Transforming: The Bible & the Lives of Transgender ChristiansColby Martin - Unclobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality

Gender Expression Fluidity and The Butch Boudoir Project with Gabby and Emily

Ep. 15
The ways people express their gender identity are more diverse and fluid than ever before. We celebrate this and want to keep learning as much as we can about how it’s all evolving; especially as younger generations confidently assert their unique identities in a variety of new and creative forms of expression. We encourage all individuals to explore and find their own authentic way of presenting themselves in the world. And our guests on this episode are the perfect loved ones to explore this exciting and nuanced topic with us!Today, we are thrilled to have Bridget's first cousin Gabby and her fiancée and soon-to-be wife, Emily, joining us to talk about the reclaiming of the word "Butch" across not only the LGBTQ+ community but in society in general. Together, Gabby, Emily, and their community work tirelessly in the popular Butch Boudoir Project to empower Butch and masculine people, regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation, to increase visibility, representation, and to celebrate the many ways of identifying and presenting as "Butch."They also educate us on the Femme identity, the different labels attached to the term, and the resistance faced inside and outside the LGBTQ+ community. Gabby and Emily share the moving story of how they met, their evolution as a couple, and how they uplifted and encouraged each other to put their thoughts and energies into this movement while living their love story.As co-parents raising a nonbinary pre-teen, Gabby and Emily help us examine the importance of avoiding the urge to fit our kids into boxes and understanding the fluidity of gender expression and sexual orientation. Gabby and Emily share their stories and experiences of coming out in a world that was very different from our world now, with little to no representation and no affirming terminology to name how they felt about their sexuality and gender identity. They want something better for their child and for all children. And so do we.In This Episode, You Will Learn:About how the Butch Boudoir Project started (5:19)Gabby and Emily explain how being Butch flows throughout the entire LGBTQ+ spectrum (11:19)How those in charge of online spaces should conduct their educational and boundary creation roles (19:17)About Emily's experiences coming out and the realization of being attracted to masculinity that had nothing to do with the one displayed by cisgender men (24:28)About gender identity and sexual orientation fluidity, and why trying to fit our kids into certain boxes is detrimental to their identity discovery journey (42:23)Gabby and Emily share their thoughts on pronouns, prefixes, gender expression, and presentation (50:47)Resources:The Butch Boudoir Project websiteThe Butch Boudoir Project InstagramThe Butch Boudoir Project FacebookThe Butch Boudoir Project PatreonConnect with Jackie and Bridget:Transgender Support: Becoming a True Ally Video CourseTransgender School Patreon MembershipTransgender School on Medium

Understanding Sexual Orientation

Ep. 14
What is the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity? Why are there so many different labels for sexual orientation and what do they all mean? Are the labels helpful or problematic? Can my (or my child’s) sexual orientation change over time? How can I ever begin to understand all this?In this episode, we answer these questions and more in a very frank mother-daughter discussion about sexual attraction, romantic attraction, and emotional and physical intimacy. We wanted to dive deep into this topic because we know it can be very confusing for people.We explore the ways parents tend to make assumptions about their kids’ sexual orientations and gender identities. In fact, in this very conversation, Jackie reveals something new about the history of her sexual orientation that Bridget didn’t know. We offer ideas for how we can all be more aware of and open-minded about the fluidity of the various forms of attraction that a human being may experience in the span of their lifetime.We discuss the importance of understanding that no sexual orientation has definitive, fixed characteristics. This is why parents' efforts to identify and label their kids based on specific behaviors or traits are generally pointless. Unless your child explicitly expresses it to you, you likely have no idea how they experience their own sexual orientation. We also talk about intersex people, how the cisgender community perceives and treats queer people, and their reaction to couples in visibly queer relationships. To close today's episode, we go through some sexual orientation definitions and terminology.In This Episode, You Will Learn:How people express their sexual orientation, and that there are at least 46 terms to define sexual orientation (4:19)The differences between sexual and romantic attraction (5:58)About parents and their preconceived ideas of their children's sexual orientation and gender identity (8:20)There is NO universal way of being gay, bisexual, or experiencing any other type of attraction; it is an individual experience (12:43)How cisgender people perceive and treat queer people (18:34)Some sexual orientation definitions and terminology (27:02)Resources:Article: Healthline - 46 Terms That Describe Sexual Attraction, Behavior, and OrientationTEDx Providence: Emily Quinn - What I've Learned from Having BallsYouTube video: Human Rights Watch - US Doctors Still Do Harmful Surgeries on Intersex KidsConnect with Jackie and Bridget:Transgender Allyship 101 Video Course on VimeoTransgender School Patreon Membership with exclusive contentTransgender School on MediumInstagramWebsiteFacebookCommunity Facebook Group

Conflict Between Parents and Kids

Ep. 13
It's hard to imagine any parent-child relationship without conflict. In fact, a completeabsence of conflict might indicate a lack of trust and honesty.Although it is expected and, in many ways, healthy to have conflict in a parent-child relationship, if not handled properly, conflicts canlead to permanent damage.An unresolved parent-child rift could ultimately result in estrangement, which we’d never want for any family.In today's podcast episode, we have an honest conversation about conflicts between parents and their kids. Although we approach the subject from the perspective of trans kids and their parents, most of the things we discuss in this episode are relatable to all parents and children, of any age.We also share our own personal examples from our experiences as mother and daughter for 24 years. And some of the things that came up in our discussion were actuallysurprising to us!Together, we explore some of the primary sources of tension between parents and kids growing up, such as control versus autonomy, being affirming versus critical, and enmeshment versus independence.We talk about how to navigate these conflicts, focusing on respecting kids' individual identities and understanding parents' conditioning, always coming from a place of love and compassion.In This Episode, You Will Learn:Why a certain level of autonomy is essential for trans young kids (5:38)There is always going to be conflict. It is necessary (9:28)About control versus autonomy, and the "I don't remember that" statement (13:04)How parents can rethink their criticism and practice a more affirming approach (18:12)Pros and cons of enmeshment (27:10)About distance management and the influence of social media on people's lives (35:28)Connect with Jackie and Bridget:Transgender AllyShip 101: 90-minute self-paced rental courseTransgender School Patreon Membership with all exclusive contentTransgender School on MediumInstagramWebsiteFacebookCommunity Facebook GroupYouTube

Transgender Allies, Adversaries, & Everything in Between

Ep. 12
Although most of us might have (or might think we have) a clear idea of what it means to be an ally or an adversary to transgender people, we may not be aware of all the specific choices that can make a huge difference. What might cause someone to be seen as an ally by a trans person? What might cause someone to be seen as an adversary by a trans person? And what about all the people who fall somewhere in between, despite the fact that they may believe that they’re coming from a place of love and support for transgender people?We attempted to answer the questions above, from our perspective, because though the differences can be subtle, they’re deeply meaningful.Today's episode is about clearing up some misconceptions about what it means to be an ally, to not be an ally, and to be an adversary. We go through what is expected from allies when interacting with trans people and even more important, how to be an ally even when a transgender person is not present. We discuss the importance of going beyond superficial performative actions and actually demonstrating true allyship, even when it’s uncomfortable and difficult.We delve into how actively advocating against the transgender community, even if it is only behind a keyboard, validates and encourages continued hate and violence against transgender people. In addition, we share a brief sample of the content we’ve created for our Transgender Allyship 101 course, which you can rent now for only $10.00 at This Episode, You Will Learn:What it means to be an ally, and why getting out of the comfort zone is an essential part of it (9:23)Not allies, the space most cisgender people live in (13:14)About the relationship between mean comments online and physical hate crimes against transgender people (18:18)The ALLY acronym (22:51)Shut up, listen, and find yourself a therapist (26:48)Resources:PFLAG websiteConnect with Jackie and Bridget:Transgender Allyship 101 Course on Vimeo, now only $10.00 to rent!Transgender School Patreon Membership with all exclusive contentTransgender School on MediumInstagramWebsiteFacebookCommunity Facebook GroupYouTubeMedium

Jackie’s Grandparents’ Unconditional Love

Ep. 11
Today’s episode is very special; we have the pleasure of welcoming my parents and Jackie's grandparents, Kath and Bill, to the podcast. As the holiday season is drawing near, we thought it made sense to talk about our experience navigating Jackie's transition as a family, and more specifically, from my parents' standpoint. Although my parents were young in the '60s, and they were, as they call themselves, “weekend hippies,” they weren’t exposed to much information about transgender people until recently. So we thought it would be fascinating to hear about what it was like for them when their granddaughter Jackie, who they’ve always been very close to, came out as a transgender woman at 19.In this episode, we get to hear about the experiences my mother, a retired nurse, and my father, a successful business owner, had throughout Jackie's transition. We reflect back on what they thought and felt on the day Jackie came out and explore what they’ve learned since then.We also discuss the difficulties that people, especially from older generations, often have as they try to understand a family member's transition. We talk about the power of acceptance as a first step and the importance of committing to a deeper level of support by becoming a true ally over time.In This Episode, You Will Learn:Kath and Bill's reaction when they found out what Jackie was going through (4:29)Jackie's transition united the family. Bill and Kath evolving from being accepting grandparents to becoming allies (10:15)Avoiding the use of the word "grief" when referring to dealing with a person's transition (17:38)At some point, people have to choose between losing a relative or coming around to fully support that relative's transition (22:49)Don't f*ck it up! Transgender people are not obligated to bring relatives who hurt them back into their lives (31:28)The hardest part for transgender people is to accept that they are trans, which is known as “coming in” (32:50)Connect with Jackie and Bridget:Transgender Support: Becoming a True Ally Video Course on VimeoTransgender School Patreon Membership with all exclusive contentTransgender School on MediumInstagramWebsiteFacebookCommunity Facebook GroupYouTube

The Phluid Project with Founder and CEO Rob Smith

Ep. 10
After spending over 30 years leading multi-billion-dollar brands in the fashion industry, and despite his tremendous success, Rob Smith felt he wasn't doing what he was supposed to do. During the day, he was a successful designer in corporate America, and at night, he would work with the LGBTQIA+ youth community. Rob found the answer he was looking for after a shamanic experience, an epiphany during a trip to Peru. That day Rob knew he had to create a gender-free, non-binary shopping environment, which would be the first of many steps to creating The Phluid Project.Rob Smith is a Futurist, Activist, Educator, Retailer, Entrepreneur, Community Builder, Speaker, and the Founder and CEO of The Phluid Project. After his trip to Peru, Rob reconnected with his heritage as a third-generation Native American from the Ojibwa tribe, which inspired him to merge his 30 plus years of experience in fashion with decades of fighting for human rights and social equality.In this episode, we talk about Rob's extraordinary journey that led to creating The Phluid Project, a space that today is a little about selling shirts and a lot about educating, adding value, and advocating for the LGBTQIA+ community. We explore Rob's vision, ideas for the future, and his view on the best way to be allies of underrepresented communities. We also talk about how interesting it would be to eliminate gender from language, especially in the workplace, where formalities can lead to misgendering gender-nonconforming folks.Some Questions We Ask:Could you tell us more about you and about The Phluid Project, please? (6:34)Can you talk about how the initial vision of creating a physical space collided with COVID and what you had to do to pivot? (11:25)What is your bigger vision? What world do you see that's possible if we all get to work in human rights and social equality? (18:25)Your company is an excellent example of prioritizing the mission over the profit. And how do you feel it's best to operate in those spaces? (30:38)In This Episode, You Will Learn:Education is a massive part of being an advocate (10:43)About Rob's experience with Ayahuasca and the revelation that would give new meaning to his life (15:09)The Phluid Project is more about education than about selling products (29:12)About Rob's policy of picking The Phluid Project partners based on their social media and vision of the world (33:49)Resources:The Phluid Project websiteThe Phluid Project InstagramThe Phluid Project FacebookG.E.T Phluid websiteG.E.T Phluid LinkedInConnect with Rob:InstagramFacebookLinkedInTwitter