About the project

The Fifty Shades of Gender project started with a book idea.

When the Fifty Shades of Grey book was all the rage (to be honest, I (Esther) got bored halfway through book 2) a variety of projects started to emerge, such as Fifty Shades of Gay, and Fifty Shades of Feminism.

Then, we (Esther and Katy) had an idea.

Why don’t we collect fifty stories of local gender non-conforming people, to show how much diversity there is in just one place?

At the time, we wanted to call it Fifty Shades of Trans – until a friend suggested we call it Fifty Shades of Gender. When we got over the fact that we wanted it to be one syllable (because we’re pedants), we agreed that they had a point 🙂

For those who think this will be a book full of whips and sex and red rooms of pain – that’s not our focus (sorry to disappoint). It’s actually going to be a collection of stories from people in various places in their gender journey. That said, if they happen to be into BDSM, it may come up in conversation (here’s hoping 😉 )

After starting the interviews, I (Esther) thought, why not use the audios rather than just have them transcribed for the book? And so, the idea for the podcast was born.

About the people behind the project

Picture of Esther Lemmens

Esther Lemmens

Pronouns: she/her

Creator. Artist. Rebel with a cause. Budding writer and podcaster. Magic maker. Healer. Mother of cats.

Cisgender, queer, and a dedicated ally to the gender-diverse.

“I don’t believe in “giving people a voice.” Most people have a voice. But I do believe in providing a platform for authentic, unapologetic – and even radical – self-expression. My vision is to see more love and acceptance in the world. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m now.”

Picture of Katy Jon Went

Katy Jon Went

Pronouns: they/them
or she/her

Katy is a writer, commentator, educator, speaker and activist on equality, diversity & inclusion, intersectionality, news & politics, arts, language, literature, theatre & culture, history & science, religion & philosophy, LGBTIQ+, sex and gender, mental health, human rights, DASV, photography, and many more things besides.

“I am passionate about learning, change and humanity’s potential. I am somewhere between a realist and optimist, whilst I warn about negative outcomes, I like to believe we will avoid them. I love reading about dystopias in order to imagine a better utopia, so long as it is a varied and diverse one, and not a dull uniform one.”

katyjon.com  |  genderagenda.net  |  humanlibrary.org

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