Episode 22

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Published on:

7th May 2021

22 — An Unexpected Gender Evolution: A Conversation with Lauren

“Lauren” is a 32-year-old lesbian who has moved with ease across the gender spectrum over the course of her lifetime. Lauren offers a positive story about how being gender non-normative and having a complicated gender experience can be a pleasant and interesting experience. Cautioning against the heavy and urgent discussions about medicalizing gender expression, Lauren wonders if we can become more playful and even joyful about gender?

Links:

Lauren’s Blog: Theanxiousskeptic.wordpress.com/

 

Extended Notes

  • A little bit about Lauren and her experience with gender.
  • The way our society is handling trans children is completely different from when Lauren grew up.
  • Lauren feels a bit betrayed by the LGBTQ community.
  • What was Lauren’s childhood like?
  • How did Lauren’s family deal with her and her older sister’s masculine gender?
  • Can you be gay and Mormon?
  • Lauren was always the good child and her older sister was the problem masculine child. So it threw everyone for a loop when they found out Lauren was a lesbian, and not her sister.
  • When Lauren dressed in drag, she felt much more comfortable in her own body.
  • Men’s clothing was just easier to understand and when Lauren took on a more butch persona, it was a lot easier for her to date.
  • Lauren was a butch lesbian for about 10 years before switching back to a more “feminine” look.
  • In Lauren’s mind, being butch is almost like a third gender.
  • At one point, Lauren identified as trans.
  • The trans community has really affected the way lesbians see themselves. Lauren knows several people in same-sex relationships who have identified as trans at one point in time in her friend group.
  • When it came to having children, how did Lauren and her wife decide who should have a child?
  • A lot of Lauren’s friends who were butch were transitioning, either to a more feminine persona or trans. And she felt like she could not grieve this sense of loss. She just had to be happy for her friends.
  • When random people were shouting slurs at Lauren and her wife, it only really started to bother her as she got older and was going to become a parent.
  • What’s it like being a mother?
  • Eleven-year-olds are being asked if they want to preserve their fertility. It’s crazy.
  • Lauren has gone through many different gender identities and went on to have children. She gets fired up and passionate when young children are forced to “choose.”
  • We have to think about the long-term well-being of children and teenagers first. Not our politics.
  • Can we be more playful with our gender? Why do we have to always pick a side?


This podcast is partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics:

Rethinkime.org


Learn more about our show: Linktr.ee/WiderLensPod


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About the Podcast

Gender: A Wider Lens Podcast
Two therapists explore the expanding concept of "gender" from a psychological depth perspective.
Gender dysphoria has become a minefield for public discussion, with many afraid to express their views or question the narrative. Our mission is to examine this important and complex topic from a range of perspectives, but always through a psychological lens. By openly considering and examining gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella, we hope to give all interested parties permission to engage these fascinating topics with less fear and more honesty. Interviews and discussions will involve clinicians, medical professionals, academics, transgender people, parents, detransitioners and other interesting individuals whose lives have been touched by the concept of gender.

Conversations between two practicing therapists give listeners an opportunity to contemplate gender from a depth perspective not currently taken up in most of today’s accessible debates. As a result of their work with gender dysphoric therapy clients as well as their personal divergent experiences with gender, Stella and Sasha hold a refreshing and informed perspective.

Is gender identity a facilitation of development and expression of creativity, or can it be a defense against painful existential realities of living in a human body? What can we discover about masculinity, femininity, identity, gender performance, and sexuality when we peer beneath the surface and dive into a deeper psychological exploration? What is the relationship between body, mind, identity, culture, and psyche?

This podcast engages listeners in an intimate and fascinating behind-the-scenes inquiry about a topic as taboo as it is salient today.

* We are partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics. ReIME is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving long term care for gender variant individuals. To learn more, visit https://rethinkime.org/
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About your hosts

Stella O'Malley

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Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist and author who works in private practice in Ireland. Her work focuses on parenting, family dynamics and working with teenagers.

Much of Stella’s counselling and writing focuses on mental health and the importance of well-being and she is a regular contributor to the media. She is also the resident psychotherapist for the current TV series, Raised by the Village, a family programme that helps troubled teenagers reconnect with themselves and their families.

Stella's first book, Cotton Wool Kids, was released in 2015 while Bully-Proof Kids: Practical tools to help kids grow up confident, resilient and strong was released in 2017. Stella’s latest book Fragile, was released in 2019 and focuses on overcoming anxiety and stress.

Stella was the presenter of the documentary Trans - Kids: It’s Time To Talk broadcast on Channel 4 in November 2018 and she contributed a chapter to the 2019 book, Inventing Transgender Children and Young People.

The Jungian analyst, Lisa Marchiano, and Stella launched Secrets of the Motherworld in September 2019, offering thoughtful exploration of the most intimate aspects of motherhood in a bid to help mothers feel less alone.

Stella is a Clinical Advisor for the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners. She is also the lead facilitator for the Gender Dysphoria Support Network.

Stella holds a B.A. in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a M.A. in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.



Sasha Ayad

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Sasha Ayad is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works in private practice, and has treated adolescents for over 10 years. Her work focuses on teens and young adults struggling with issues of gender dysphoria and gender identity.

She became interested in the sharp rise in teenagers who declare a trans identity for the first time during adolescence. She discovered, through working with hundreds of families, that many teens were developing gender dysphoria only after adopting a transgender identity. She questions the practice of medical transition for children and teenagers, and her clinical work focuses on developmentally appropriate, least-invasive-first talk therapy.

Sasha is also a founding member and Clinical Advisor in the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners.

Sasha’s previous work experience includes:
- School counselor for middle and high school students at a charter school for underserved communities

- Behavioral therapy with children on the autism spectrum

- Individual and group counseling for women and children impacted by domestic abuse and sexual violence

- Developed and ran the first counseling program at a large state supported living facility for adults with intellectual disability

Sasha holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology.