Episode 17: #SurvivorStories Series Conversation with Autumn
On this episode of en(gender)ed, we speak with Autumn, a junior at Cornell University studying English. In the summer of 2015, when she was 18 years old, Autumn realized that she is a transgender woman, and since then her work and writing have focused on articulating the experience of being transgender. After graduating from college, Autumn hopes to improve the understanding of mental illness and LGBT issues in Asian communities, especially in Korea. We speak with Autumn today about her journey of self-discovery and growth and gives #UpstanderTips on how we as parents, and as members of our larger community, can be affirming and supportive of gender non-conforming children and students and how we can contribute to their mental health and to their developing a positive self-image and sense of belonging. Autumn shares her vision of how we can create a society of true diversity, inclusion and acceptance.
During our conversation, Autumn and I talked about the following topics:
- Netflix's Sense8 show and how the Wachowski siblings serve as positive role models for her
- Jeffrey Tambor's harassment of Jessica Walters on Arrested Development, and subsequent harassment claims on the show Transparent
- Backlash to Scarlett Johansson's acceptance of a role as a transgender man in the new film, Rub and Tub, and her subsequent withdrawal from the role. Since the recording of this episode, Autumn has read more about the casting decision and no longer thinks that Scarlett Johansson should have been cast in the Rub and Tub role.
- A link to an article describing the term "LGTBQIA" and the differences between "gender identity," "gender expression," "biological sex" and whom you are "attracted to" and the more updated and complete list which is included in the "gender unicorn," including "sex assigned at birth" which replaces "biological sex" and breaks out the former "attracted to" into two further categories--"physically attracted to" and "emotionally attracted to."
- Why you should always use "transgender" instead of "transgendered"
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