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How to Be a Girl

Author: Marlo Mack

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How to Be a Girl is an audio podcast I produce about life with my six-year-old transgender daughter. It stars the two of us -- a single mom and a six-year-old "girl with a penis" -- as we attempt together to sort out just what it means to be a girl.
39 Episodes
It's been over two years. I wanted to let you know how we are doing. Thank you for your patience. (Spoiler: My daughter is still amazing.) MUSIC CREDITS:Tides (instrumental) by Benjamin Mullins (Courtesy of Audiosocket)Lost in the Dark (instrumental) by Forest Sun (Courtesy of Audiosocket)
For years, people have asked me what I would do when my daughter hit puberty. Was I going to let her do... the "medical stuff?" Well, right after the pandemic struck, so did puberty. And this is what my daughter (and her mother) decided to do.
This episode is different from any of our previous episodes. It’s also a do-over, because the first version of this episode overlooked the fact that my daughter is growing up, fast. She’s almost a teenager, and we both agree that it’s time she took charge. So that’s what she did. (Here’s a little more about how this episode came to be.) Listen to the book! How to Be a Girl on Audible OriginalsFind us on Twitter: @girlpodcastSupport HTBAG on PatreonMUSIC CREDITS: “Edge of the World” (Instrumental) by Dot Dot Dot (Courtesy of Audiosocket)Filesharer's Lament by Podington Bear
I want you to meet my good friend, Emma. When she was a little girl, she was just like my daughter. But no one knew her for 60 years. I'm so glad she's here now.
Episode XXIX: Eleven

Episode XXIX: Eleven


I sit down for a talk with my (almost) 11-year-old: Cliques, gossip, fashion, puberty, and how it feels to be a transgender tween. MUSIC CREDIT: “Little Girl” by Jetty Rae (Courtesy of Audiosocket)
Episode XXVIII: The Tell

Episode XXVIII: The Tell


A new friend at school. A poker lesson. A 10-year-old hatches a plan.MUSIC CREDITS:“Ganef” by Vagabond Opera and “Moonlight Love Affair” by Steve Rice (Courtesy of Audiosocket)“Chill Wave” by Kevin MacLeod “The Reckoning” by Podington BearPlease consider checking out our Support Page. Your help keeps this podcast going!
Are the new next-door neighbors going to let their daughters play with mine if they find out she's transgender? To attempt to answer this question, I seek expert advice from a new friend in the Bible Belt. MUSIC CREDITS:“Morning” by Nicole Reynolds, “Shall We Gather at the River” by Pat Holmberg, “Amazing Grace Solo Piano” by Lana Palmer (Courtesy of Audiosocket)"Canoe" by Podington Bear"Amazing Grace," piano and vocals by Miss M. MackPlease consider supporting us on Patreon. It really helps keep this podcast going!
Need to hear a positive story about politics? I know I do. Here's the inspiring story of Sarah McBride, the young transgender activist who gives me hope (and is my personal pick for the first transgender president). MUSIC CREDITS: "Halflight," “G Piano," “Across the River, and "Triste" by Podington Bear; “Asturias” by Isaac Albeniz (Courtesy of Audiosocket).Please consider supporting us on Patreon. It really helps keep this podcast going!
In the last episode, I asked my listeners to help me answer this question: Should my daughter tell the kids at her new school that she's transgender? In this episode, you will hear the wisdom that came back to me. My cup runneth over.MUSIC CREDITS: “Den," "Floating in Space," "Surface Tension," and "Threshold" by Podington Bear; "You Are a Memory" by Message to Bears (Courtesy of Audiosocket); and "Leave Them" and "Telling Me So" by St. Paul de Vence. Please consider supporting us. It really helps keep this podcast going!
My daughter starts fifth grade at a new school next month.  It's a fresh start, where no one knows that she's transgender.  How do I handle this? How do I advise her?  Should she keep her transgender status to herself or be more open? At the end of this episode, I'll be asking for your advice: What should I do?MUSIC CREDITS: "Sensitive" and "Constellation" by Podington Bear (licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0) and "Bloom" by Jahzzar (licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0).
We've moved.  To the suburbs.  We're getting to know the new neighbors, and we're wondering: Will they accept us here? MUSIC CREDITS:  "Glitter" and "Chauncy" by Podington Bear (licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0) and "Bloom" by Jahzzar (licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0).
Did you know there's a wedding coming up, uniting an Englishman with an American bride?  Listen now for ALL the juicy details on this intercontinental couple's forthcoming nuptials! (And hear what my daughter thinks of her soon-to-be stepdad.)MUSIC CREDITS: "Lord of the Land," "Evening Melodrama," "Master of the Feast," "The Rule," and "Bossa Bossa" by Kevin MacLeod
Episode XXI: Going First

Episode XXI: Going First


In this episode, my daughter and I get to talk with two of our heroes.  Jazz Jennings is a reality TV star, LGBTQ activist, and arguably the most famous transgender teen in the world.  Her mom Jeanette is as brave as they come. MUSIC CREDITS: “Springtime,” “Quartrefoil,” and “Blue” by Podington Bear (licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0)“Helice” by Monplaisir (licensed under CC0 1.0)“Comedie” by Jahzzar (licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0)
Episode XX: The Betrayal

Episode XX: The Betrayal


Of course I knew this was going to happen eventually.  But that didn't make it any easier when it did.  Music credits: “Chicxuclub” and “Transient” by Podington Bear“Undaunted” by Kevin MacLeod“Dormir rien de plus” by Monplaisir
After a pretty lengthy hiatus, we're back!  The first episode of the 2018 season comes out next week.  Here's a little taste of what's to come.   Music credits:  "Lode Runner" and "Sorrento" by Podington Bear.
We Shall Overcome

We Shall Overcome


This mini-episode contains: One VERY excited little girl awaiting Santa, news of the big changes coming to our lives, my plans for the future of this podcast, and... a miracle! Music credits:Dee Yan-Key,  "Santa on Tour" (licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)Borrtex, "Buying Presents" (licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0) 
When it rains it pours

When it rains it pours


How can the best of times also be the worst of times? This spring nearly washed me away... but not quite.  M. tries her hand at TV journalism. Music credit: David Mumford, “Singing in the Rain (Instrumental)" (licensed under CC BY 4.0) 
I thought I was pretty brave until I met my counterpart from a red state. Music credits: "Telling Me So" and "Spring" (instrumental) by St. Paul de Vence  
This tiny episode is mostly silly, and a little bit serious.  I also have some news.  Plus, cat videos. (KUOW is hosting a How to Be a Girl listening party in Seattle on February 26! Reserve a seat at MUSIC CREDITS:"Quirky Dog" by Kevin MacLeod ("Mama" (instrumental) by St. Paul de Vence (Thank you, Benjamin Doerr!!) 
Comments (16)

so so

poor kids

Jul 31st

Serena Schmitt

You are an amazing mother to your daughter and I'm so sure your own mother is more than proud of your accomplishments as a mother. God bless you for all you have done!

Dec 31st

Jason Herterich

I just found this podcast and just...WOW. Such a beautiful story that serves a huge purpose in today's day and age. I wish that every doctor, teacher, politician would listen to this so that we could live in a more inclusive society

Jan 4th

TK Ultra

I am so thrilled to get an update! I have been thinking about this family since I binged this pod when it first came out. Middle school girls are a different kind of evil, I know because I was one. I really feel for Marlo and her daughter. I hope they make it through it all.

Sep 22nd

Sjsymary Santos

uma música

Sep 1st

jessie brewer

A beautiful story about a strong girl, her mother, and their journey togather.

Oct 9th


I feel like I know your daughter! Oh I just want to hug her! She is such an inspiration! She’s so young but understands so much already about life. She has a beautiful heart and soul. As a young early 20’s girl myself, I hope to become a wonderful mother like you Marlo! You give your daughter so much support and love and it’s so amazing! Please keep up with the podcasts and I hope to hear from you both wonderful ladies soon! I love you both so much! I feel like you are apart of my family!

Oct 6th

Adam Itinerant

This whole series gets me on so many levels. The clarity, openness and effectiveness of your and your ex-husband's communication is inspiring. I work in CAMHS and this will help me, my colleagues and the beautiful, scared families I work with. Thank you.

May 11th

Sandy Kabobel Walker Chickerneo

I like the interaction between mother and daughter. As far as the transgender thing not so much. Why and how does a 10 year old even know about wanting to change sexes.

May 8th
Reply (5)

Kaitlin Hines

Love the real approach. This amazing mom documents her daughter's journey with a beautiful grace. She provides an exceptional educational opportunity for those who may not have been exposed to the reality of our changing world when it comes to gender identification. Love this so much!!!

Aug 21st
Reply (1)