Episode 23

Published on:

14th May 2021

23 - Sasha & Stella Answer Your Questions

In today’s episode, we begin to answer some of the many questions sent to us by listeners.

Can we be born in the wrong body? Do parental role models influence children to reject or seek transition? What is the impact of a trans partner on a teenagers’ sexuality? How do siblings of trans people experience these changes in the family?

Listen in to see if your question was answered and how Sasha and Stella plan to explore these topics in future episodes.


TED Talks — “Own Your Face” Happiness isn’t found in your appearance:


“My Philosophy for a Happy Life”:


My Left Foot Film: Imdb.com/title/tt0097937/

The Crying Game: Imdb.com/title/tt0104036/

Dr. Lisa Diamond: Youtube.com/watch?v=m2rTHDOuUBw&t=5s

Extended Notes

  • Thank you so much for sending your questions! Let’s talk!
  • Born in the wrong body? How is that different from those with disabilities?
  • What does it mean to be in the “wrong body”? Stella and Sasha discuss.
  • You cannot let yourself be defined by your disability or your abnormal face.
  • Stella asks some interesting questions about people who undergo drastic cosmetic surgery.
  • Is it the new normal to just drastically change your appearance?
  • Sasha shares interesting cosmetic surgery trends that we’re now seeing in our society.
  • How do you really know you’re born in the wrong body vs. just being unhappy with your body?
  • Next question! This listener’s teenage daughter is dating a girl that identifies as a boy. This mother has some questions on what this all means.
  • This listener is curious if her parenting style has had an impact on her daughter’s rebellious tendencies to reject her own gender identity.
  • It’s normal for a daughter to not be a carbon copy of the mother.
  • Don’t blame yourself for your daughter’s gender identity.
  • Parents often put their own needs on the backburner when they have a child.
  • Next question: How do you talk to siblings about their gender dysphoria?
  • Birth order is important. Was the child who is transitioning older or younger? This can affect siblings differently.
  • Parents are trying so hard to give their resources to their trans child, but siblings are sitting on the sidelines keeping their questions to themselves because they see how much conflict this is giving everyone.
  • Listeners share some of their favorite episodes, and even ones they’ve shared with their children.
  • Sasha and Stella share some upcoming episodes that they have in the works right now!

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


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 sponsored by ReIME and Genspect.
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/

Genspect is an international alliance of parent and professional groups whose aim is to advocate for parents of gender-questioning children and young people. Parents are concerned that their kids are not receiving appropriate treatment and support; many do not feel free to speak out about their concerns.
To learn more, visit https://genspect.org/
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About your hosts

Stella O'Malley

Profile picture for Stella O'Malley
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.