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Fifty Shades of Gender

Author: Esther Lemmens

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We get curious about all things gender, sex and sexuality, as well as relationships, feminism (the inclusive kind), mental health and kink, and all that makes us humans unique and diverse. From body positivity to body dysmorphia, it’s all welcome here. Come with us on a journey of inclusion, acceptance and respect.
20 Episodes
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Ela is an artist from London, who epicentres her work on classics, binarism and horses. Ela's pronouns are she/her or they/them. She identifies as a transgender woman and is an anti Intersex Genital Mutilation activist. Find out what that means to Ela in this episode. 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. Please be aware we talk about the myth of Cybele and Agdistis in which there is mention of castration. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/ela 
This is a slightly different episode than usual. It’s Transgender Awareness Week this week, and 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. We also talk about how to introduce pronouns into conversations and what to do if we get it wrong, the power of names and their importance in identity, ignorance versus privilege when it comes to wanting to be an ally, why we need more unity in the LGBTIQA+ community, how small actions can make a big difference, and that being willing to be wrong and have awkward conversations is essential. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/allyship 
Sophie is a forty-something married parent of three kids and somewhere on the trans spectrum. Sophie's pronouns are she/her. She uses the words transsexual and transvestite of herself, but considers herself to be a work in progress and very much Sophie. Find out what that means to her in this episode. We also talk about finding the balance in family dynamics, having two different personas, and being yourself no matter what labels you use. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/sophie 
Sam Bettens is a musician and lead vocalist of the Belgian band K's Choice (founded in 1992) and also of new Belgian electropop band Rex Rebel. Sam's pronouns are he/him, and he identifies as a transgender man. Find out what that means to Sam in this episode. 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. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/sam 
Katy Jon Went is a public speaker and educator on gender, identity, sexuality, mental health, human rights, diversity and inclusion. Katy's pronouns are they/them or she/her. They are transgender and identify as non-binary and asexual. Find out what that means to Katy in this episode. We also talk about adolescence and development, religion, conversion therapy, crossdressing, being outed, depression, aesthetics, sex workshops, hormone therapy, being a reluctant transsexual, gender reassignment surgery, going on a journey towards authenticity, and freedom of expression. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/katy 
Kyl Myers is a sociologist, educator, and globally recognized advocate of gender creative parenting. Kyl's pronouns are they/them or she/her. They identify as a genderqueer woman and are a gender-creative parent. Find out what that means to Kyl in this episode. We also talk about being raised with conventional gender roles, trying on different gender labels and pronouns, how names fit or not, what it’s like to bring up a child without gender expectations, and the start of a gender revolution. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/kyl 
Allan came out in 1980 as an identity he distilled on his own, as nothing of the sort was being discussed anywhere that he could find. As for pronouns, Allan says "they are all wrong and I'm not picky”. He now identifies as genderqueer and gender invert. Find out what that means to Allan in this episode. We also talk about sexual orientation versus gender identity, feminism, double standards, gender expectations, finding people like yourself, and listening better to stories that are not like our own. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/allan 
Theo is an aspiring queer writer and lover of memes and video games. Theo's pronouns are they/them (or fae/faer online) and they identify as genderfluid, non-binary, asexual, and a grayromantic lesbian. Find out what that means to Theo in this episode. We also talk about pronouns and neopronouns, the asexuality scale, the difference between sexual attraction and romantic attraction, platonic crushes, queerplatonic relationships (QPRs) and boundaries. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/theo 
Kit is an ex-high school teacher and a passionate educator, blogger, author and performer – focusing on environmental and LGBT+ issues. Kit’s pronouns are they/them, and they identify as non-binary, trans-feminine, demigirl and genderfluid. Find out what that means to Kit in this episode. We also talk about football, privilege, teaching, altruism, politics, the NHS, finding common ground in unexpected places, and what it’s been like being publicly and visibly trans. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/kit-2 
Charlie Caine is a theatre composer, lyricist and LGBT+ and political activist. Charlie's pronouns are he/him and he identifies as a gay trans man. Find out what that means to Charlie in this episode. We also talk about gender identity & expression vs sexual orientation, gender roles, transitioning, dysphoria, gender identity clinic (GIC) waiting lists, trans visibility and activism, and how there is no such thing as a universal trans experience. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/charlie 
Bonnie is a multimedia artist working with themes of gender, body horror, psychosexuality and trauma. Bonnie's pronouns are he/him or they/them and he identifies as trans-masculine, non-binary and graysexual. Find out what that means to Bonnie in this episode. We also talk about Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID (previously called Multiple Personality Disorder or MPD), gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, drag, self-expression, body autonomy, radical tenderness and vulnerability, choosing kindness, being a flawed being rather than good or bad, spoon theory, and how the body could be considered a forest rather than a temple. Please be aware that throughout this episode, we talk about dental trauma, sexual abuse, exposure therapy, fetish, and extreme body modification including piercing, scarification and nullification. We also mention self-cannibalism, which we talk about in more detail near the end of the episode. I’ll add a note when we get there, so if you find this disturbing, you may choose to skip the last five minutes. If you find any of these subjects disturbing, you may wish to skip the episode altogether. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/bonnie 
Alys Wilfred (or Fred, for short) is a writer, storyteller and folklorist. This is our second conversation, just over 20 months after our first conversation in December 2018, which was episode two of the podcast. Fred's pronouns are still they/them or xie/xir (or he/him if you insist), and they identify as trans-masculine, non-binary and genderfluid. We talk about the minor and major effects of testosterone (or T) injections including voice changes and mental health, body dysmorphia versus gender dysphoria, recovering from top surgery and being topless, options for bottom surgery (phalloplasty versus metoidioplasty or meta for short), and why the term ’sex change’ doesn’t do it justice. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/alys-wilfred-2 
Mel is a former professional Jockey who sold her house and most of her possessions in 2015 to follow her dream of living and travelling America in an RV. Mel's pronouns are she/her and she identifies as non-binary, asexual and aromantic. Find out what that means to Mel in this episode. We also talk about fitting in and trying to be ’normal’, living life on your own terms, and how just being you is an evolution as well as a revolution when it comes to soul alignment. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/mel 
Ange de Lumiere is a Spiritual Lawyer and Intuitive Business Strategist. Ange moved to the UK from Paris in 2001. She has four children, one of which is transgender, and she started the Parents of Transgender Adults support group earlier this year. We also talk about souls, reincarnation, past lives, choosing your life experience and law of attraction; We talk about gender roles in society, the Silk Ring Theory of support, home schooling, The Hero’s Journey and the ins and outs of running and moderating a support group. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/ange 
Sophia is a speaker, singer, mentor, transformational storyteller, visionary, and prayer of prayers. She is also the host of several podcasts, including “Vagina Talks with Sophia Wise One”, “Medicine Caller”, and “Temple Erotica: Stories of Sacred Sexuality”. Sophia identifies as gender-transcendent and welcomes all pronouns. Find out what that means to Sophia in this episode. We also talk about the physical experience, spirituality, vibration and energy, the divine feminine, the female body, menstruation, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), sex, and embodying the genital energy of both sexes. We talk about gender as a role, archetype or presentation, and also conditioning, oppression of the feminine, reclaiming identity, healing, and a vision for the future. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/sophia 
Sarah's pronouns are she/her or they/them. She found out she was intersex at 19 and subsequently got involved with local charity Evolve, which supports transgender, genderqueer, gender-questioning and intersex kids and young adults. Sarah also identifies as non-binary. Find out what that means to her in this episode. We also talk about Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), gonadectomy surgery, Queer Britain, being different and getting attention, being queer and bisexual, Differences in Sexual Development (DSD) and Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM). More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/sarah 
Edalia Day is a spoken word artist, video designer and theatre maker. Edalia's pronouns are they/them. They are transgender and identifiy as non-binary. Find out what that means to Edalia in this episode. We also talk about acting, clothes, the tv show The Good Place, the gender binary, support groups, visibility and the term ‘passing’, gender options on forms, Hamlet, free speech, representation of trans people in the media and in comedy, and films like Silence of the Lambs and Ace Ventura. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/edalia 
Harri Elouise was a couple of years into their gender journey when we recorded this conversation in January 2019. Harri’s pronouns are they/them, and they identify as trans-feminine and non-binary. Find out what that means to Harri in this episode. We also talk about the difference between gender identity/expression and sex, gender clinics and the medical transition process, use of singular ’they’ and getting pronouns right, coming out to family, friendships, being a shy kid, and fitting in versus belonging. More on http://www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/harri/
Alys Wilfred (or Fred, for short) is a writer, storyteller and folklorist who specialises in orality, and medieval and early modern textual cultures. Fred's pronouns are they/them or xie/xir and they identify as trans-masculine, non-binary and genderfluid. Find out what that means to them in this episode. We also talk about parenting, transitioning, top surgery, hormone therapy (Testosterone or T for short) and the effects on the body, adolescence, binding, bisexuality, relationship, fertility, writing, storytelling and pronouns. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/alys-wilfred 
Kit Rackley is an ex-Geography high school teacher, now working as an education and program officer for a non-profit that promotes and facilitates collaboration between the climate and energy sectors. Kit’s pronouns are they/them, and they identify as genderfluid, trans-feminine, non-binary and demigirl. Find out what that means to Kit in this episode. We also talk about labels, gender presentation, parenting roles, the journey of gender discovery, USA thrift stores, San Francisco, Harry Potter, feminism and privilege. More on www.fiftyshadesofgender.com/kit/
Comments (2)

Sam Ruddock

Great podcast. Beautifully produced and hosted. Fascinating, perspective enhancing conversations.

Sep 25th
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Alex Bauschard

I can see myself in some these examples they were talking about. I feel a little bit more empowered and confident in being more self. Thanks to your guest I love them for coming on to your show.

Jul 29th
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