Podcast episodes

Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Bella Cascarini

40. BELLA CASCARINI – trans woman

Bella is a trans woman – with more emphasis on the woman part than the trans part. We also talk about what effects how we’re perceived, how noticing small moments of genuine happiness can help us embrace our identity, finding a name that feels right, what settling into femininity can look like, how films and tv are problematic in hindsight, hurdles on the coming out journey, working through shame, trusting your gut, and accepting your light and your dark, to your bones. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Genevieve

39. GENEVIEVE – trans non-binary, genderqueer

Genevieve says the easiest terms are non-binary and queer, and they definitely identify as trans as well. We also talk about being born into activism, performing womanhood, reframing feminism, women’s spaces vs LGBTQ spaces, how what’s ‘normal’ is rigid and idealised when it comes to sex and relationships, teaching consent from a young age, and why we should all consider therapy. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Devi Irony

38. DEVI IRONY – non-binary, dominant

Devi is a non-binary person. We also talk about the freedom that can come from embracing a label, how certain body parts are not necessarily gender markers, societal conditioning and standards and playing with gender presentation, how gender fits into BDSM and kink, what ‘sex work’ can include, kink trends in times of a pandemic, and the importance of touch and human contact. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Charlie Orriss

37. CHARLIE ORRISS – transgender FTM

Charlie identifies as a FTM (Female To Male) trans man. We also talk about labels as a protection as well as a hindrance, how gender and mental health go hand in hand, the therapeutic benefits of cosplay, and what Dissociative Identity Disorder can be like. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Yas Necati

36. YAS NECATI – non-binary

Yas identifies as non-binary. We also talk about detaching activities from gender, pre-colonial gender identities, the importance of writing a will and letter of wishes, why it is essential for public health policy to accurately record trans and non-binary gender identities on death certificates (which is currently not possible), and what we CAN do to respect and honour a person’s gender identity after they have passed away. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Jareth Nebula

35. JARETH NEBULA – transgender, agenderflux, demiboy, alien

Jareth is transgender and also likes to use the labels agenderflux, demiboy and alien. We talk about the nuances of gender labels, the difference between gender identity and gender expression, modelling before and after coming out as transgender, what we’ve made masculine and feminine mean, and turning yourself into a walking piece of art. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Cassian Lodge

34. CASSIAN LODGE – non-binary, agender

Cassian identifies as non-binary and agender. They started the Gender Census in 2011 and talk about their main learnings and insights in the nine years of running it. We also talk about finding gender inside (or not), navigating public toilets, passion and experience versus education, the overlap between gender identity and sexual orientation, finding common ground where there appears to only be contradiction and conflict, and microactivism; how small actions can have a big impact. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Rachel Lange

33. RACHEL LANGE – non-binary, queer, autistic

Rachel is a non-binary queer autistic person. We talk about questioning everything and looking at things differently, being gender non-conforming in different cultures, freeing yourself from gender roles, being a non-binary parent, and giving yourself permission to do things the way you want. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Cameron

32. CAMERON – female but trans, trans-feminine

Cameron is a newly discovered woman. She refers to herself as female but trans. We also talk about gender roles in society and relationships, how life has changed after coming out only a month before this conversation took place, and the role of loss in embracing your true self. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with CN Lester (photo credit: Raphael Neal)

31. CN LESTER – trans

CN is a trans person. We talk about the importance of strategy when it comes to gender education, effects of testosterone on the singing voice, books, and the queer history of opera. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Cassie Brighter

30. CASSIE BRIGHTER – Latina woman of trans experience

Cassie is a Latina woman of trans experience. We talk about the subtleties and challenges of inclusive language, internalised transphobia, being the best of both worlds, toxic masculinity as a cult, sex positivity and freeing ourselves from shame, female anatomy, consent, and leaving a legacy. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Joe

29. JOE – femme boy, non-binary, trans

Joe identifies as a femme boy, non-binary and trans. We also talk about socialisation and reinforcing gender stereotypes, performing gender versus living gender, medical versus social transitioning, mental health struggles, how being willing to get it wrong is better than staying silent when it comes to supporting people, and the benefits of simplifying life. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Rachel Lawson

28. RACHEL LAWSON – no gender labels, thank you very much

Rachel is not fond of using gender labels for herself. In her words, she is a woman and identifies as a motorcyclist, a technologist, and many other things. We also talk about being something versus identifying as something, coming out at work, riding a motorbike, travelling solo, and how safety is a relative thing. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Ray

27. RAY – binary transgender man, FTM, gay

Ray identifies as a binary transgender man, who also happens to be gay. We talk about how feminism includes everyone, why some men need reproductive health care, the difference between male and female banter, approaching the gender journey from a neurodivergent perspective, and the distinction between using labels as part of your identity versus part of your journey or experience. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Angus (Annie) Brown

26. ANGUS BROWN (ANNIE) – transgender woman, butch lesbian

Angus (Annie) identifies as a transgender woman and butch lesbian. We also talk about the balance of masculinity and femininity, the evolution of the word ‘lesbian’, that labels can resonate whatever their original meaning, how gender identity influences self-expression, navigating being a teenager again, sexuality and attraction, and that moving from one side of the line of androgyny to the other side is only a small step. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic for Reflections (part 1) with Katy Jon Went & Esther Lemmens

25. Reflections (part 1) – discoveries so far

We are reversing roles, so Katy is interviewing Esther as she reflects on conversations she’s had with gender-diverse folks, what she’s learned about gender, as well as her own journey and how she evolved through it. We talk about what it means to Esther to be cisgender, what gender diversity (or a lack thereof) was like growing up, how the podcast is a way of expressing her identity, recovering perfectionism, Vulcan philosophy, and that in the end, we are all more alike than different. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Alf Ravn

24. ALF RAVN – agender, transgender, non-binary

Alf is transgender and identifies as agender and non-binary. We also talk about observing gender from a distance, the obstacles on their transition journey, hormone imbalances and the effects they can have, and asking the question ‘what makes a man a man, and a woman a woman?’ [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Robin Rice

23. ROBIN RICE – parent of a transgender adult

Robin is the mother of two sons, one of whom is transgender, and runs a project called Your Holiday Mom, which is all about offering LGBTQ youth a loving mother’s support between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. We also talk about the journey you go through as a parent as you support your child through their gender journey, the importance of a parents’ acceptance, how gender colours everything we choose for ourselves, our children and our world, and just being who you are. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Hannah Watson

22. HANNAH WATSON – transgender

Hannah is transgender, and although not fond of labels, the terms non-binary and asexual semi-resonate with her as well. We also talk about gender identity versus biology versus sexuality, to what degree gender defines you, why the term ‘gender confirmation surgery’ is a better term than ‘gender reassignment surgery’ and ‘sex change’, conforming to society’s norms, and ‘unconventional’ types of love, attraction, intimacy and relationships. [Transcript coming soon.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Felix

21. FELIX – non-binary, transgender, queer

Felix is non-binary transgender and describes their sexuality as queer. We also talk about the difficulty with fitting in boxes, having to perform gender, how body and identity are different, the binariness in teaching and sports, and how you can figure out your gender at any age. [Transcript coming soon]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Ela Xora

20. ELA XORA – transgender woman, anti Intersex Genital Mutilation activist

Ela identifies as a transgender woman and is an anti Intersex Genital Mutilation activist. We also talk about the roots of the word hermaphrodite, how the gender-critical movement is far from new, Hippocrates as a gender critical pioneer, the blatant suppression and erasure of transgender and intersex gods – and human beings – in art history and modern museums, and how history is starting to be unmasked. CW: castration. [Transcript coming soon]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic about Allyship with Katy Jon Went, Tiga-Rose Nercessian, Ophelia and Esther Lemmens

19. How to be a better gender-diverse ally

Esther has a conversation with two cisgender LGBTIQA+ people; Tiga-Rose, an intimacy coach and sex therapist in training, and Ophelia, an historian, archivist and conservator, under the watchful eye (or ear) of project co-creator Katy Jon Went, who is transgender and non-binary, about how to be a better gender-diverse ally. [Transcript coming soon]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Sophie James

18. SOPHIE JAMES – transsexual, transvestite

Sophie uses the words transsexual and transvestite of herself, but considers herself to be a work in progress and very much Sophie. We talk about finding the balance in family dynamics, having two different personas, and being yourself no matter what labels you use. [Transcript available.]

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Fifty Shades of Gender podcast graphic with Sam Bettens

17. SAM BETTENS – transgender man

Sam identifies as a transgender man. We also talk about music and creative expression, self-identifying, the benefits of ageing, family and relationships, hormone therapy, body image, self-acceptance and being proud of who you are, and finding your voice in a whole new way. [Transcript available.]

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