Sasha & Stella take a walk down “memory lane,” recalling the evolution of events and circumstances that lead them each towards a deeper concentration on gender identity exploration in their work. With very different stories to tell, they each share their observations of society at large and describe their individual experiences within the culture of their communities and in their workspaces. They explain what intrigued them and led them to explore deeper questions about identity development, dive into the research behind gender affirmative care and gender reassignment surgery, gender stereotypes, and basic human development in general.
They also reflect on how they began working with families and individuals impacted by gender. Their stories both lead up to how their work around gender identity development connected them and ultimately inspired the creation of this show and its rapidly-growing listener base. In its first two years, their collaboration podcast, Gender: A Wider Lens, has curated over 100 hours of in-depth interviews, personal stories, and psychological exploration. Together, Stella O’Malley and Sasha Ayad probe the gender landscape within contemporary culture, considering the implications of prioritizing personal identity over other aspects of the self.
The show has endured some pretty pivotal shifts in the cultural and political climate involving gender dysphoria and its treatments in practice on a global scale. In this episode, Sasha & Stella share their vision for the future of the show as well as the opportunities they anticipate which might broaden the scope of resources available to families and gender dysphoric individuals: resources that go beyond the affirmative approach. Together, the hosts of the popular podcast celebrate the pathways that lead them to each other, the development of the show, and the trajectory ahead for their continued exploration of gender from a wider lens.
Stella’s Film: Trans Kids: It’s Time to Talk:
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- Sasha led her school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) when she witnessed confusion about identity in the kids she worked with.
- Sasha was compelled to make a difference but was overwhelmed by the response she received.
- As a child, Stella was uncomfortable being a girl and knew she would be better as a boy. She was filled with shame and embarrassment.
- When Stella encountered a trans person she presumed their experience was like hers but they had transitioned.
- In Ireland, Stella has released three best-selling books, Cotton Wool Kids, Bully-proof Kids, and Fragile.
- In 2018, Stella’s husband encouraged her to take part in the movie Trans Kids: It’s Time to Talk.
- Sasha reached out to Lisa Marchiano after hearing her being interviewed on Feminist Current.
- When Stella and Sasha first began there was no support and shortly after they realized they were lonely pioneers.
- When all of her speaking engagements were canceled during COVID-19, Stella created the Gender Dysphoria Support Network.
- This podcast was an opportunity to disseminate important gender information to the masses instead of a few.
- The Gender: A Wider Lens podcast has 830,000 downloads.
- Stella and Sasha share some listener reviews.
- Sasha shares the next steps for the podcast, YouTube, and a new community.
- Brilliant volunteers have been integral to the current and future success of the podcast.
- Listener support for this podcast makes a difference to all interested in the gender subjects covered on this show.