transcript

I’m Seeing My Liberation Right Now

Transcripts Podcast

Episode 1: “I’m Seeing My Liberation Right Now”

LASAIA WADE: It pops in my head. It was a clip of Nina Simone sitting at a table. She said, I had never felt liberation, but in this moment I’m around other Black people. I feel liberated.

ANDREA JENKINS: That’s LaSaia Wade. She’s talking to oral historian Myrl Beam in Fall 2019. And she’s talking about freedom.

WADE: It’s always going to be a bill that needs to be paid. It’s always going to be a water bill that’s being turned off. It’s always going to be a car note that you missed. It’s always going to have it be that particular stress, but I feel liberated when I’m around other Black people. I feel liberated when I’m around other trans people.

JENKINS: From the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project, this is TRANSCRIPTS, a new podcast series about how trans activists are changing the world. My name is Andrea Jenkins.

MYRL BEAM: And I’m Myrl Beam. I’m the one who spoke with LaSaia, who you heard at the top of the show, and all the other voices you’ll hear on this episode. I work on an oral history project where I collect stories of trans activists from all over the U.S.

JENKINS: I actually started that oral history project back in 2015. I wanted to hear the stories of trans people in their own words–and preserve those stories for other people to learn from.

BEAM: And I’m so glad you did because those stories are amazing. Those stories are especially important right now because so many trans people are dreaming of a new world–one without gender discrimination, or racism, or economic injustice.

JENKINS: And we’re figuring out what exactly it’s going to take to get there. We’ve been asking folks: what are the tools you’re using to make change? Who’s leading the struggle? And how in the world are people getting enough money to live and do all this work?

BEAM: So in this pilot episode, we’re going to tackle a question that sounds simple, but is actually really big: is life actually getting better for trans people?

JENKINS: Like, it’s not just LaSaia’s vision of liberation–of being around people like her, other Black people, other trans people–that got us thinking. It’s also what she was saying about her daily struggles…

WADE: It’s always going to be a bill that needs to be paid. It’s always going to be a water bill that’s being turned off.

BEAM: So when I interviewed LaSaia, I asked her: what about the fact that things seem to be getting better for some people?

BEAM IN TAPE: What’s your sense of that paradox? That, at the same time we have this visibility, there’s also been more Black trans women killed last year than, I think, ever in my lifetime. How do you explain that? What do you think is going on?

WADE: We allowed our enemies to know where we at. We have allowed our enemies to know where we’re at.

BEAM: This answer was so compelling that I wanted to back up and learn more. How did we arrive at a place where some trans people–especially white trans folks, people like me–think of things as getting better, but life is actually getting a lot more dangerous for Black trans women like LaSaia?

JENKINS: To answer that question, we talked to so many different people, and we want you to hear their stories directly from them. You’ll hear folks describing the barriers that they face, but you’ll also hear what they are doing to change things.

BEAM: That decision to try to change things, to devote your life to a larger struggle, it isn’t always an easy choice. Activism wasn’t exactly LaSaia’s plan A. For a long time, she was just trying to live her life.

WADE: I was director of communications in Tennessee, Nashville, Tennessee, at BellSouth when it was slowly switching over to AT&T.

(SOUNDBITE FROM BELLSOUTH ADVERTISEMENT)

WADE: Good job, after I graduated college! I was like, ooh, nailed one.

BEAM: She wasn’t out as trans at work.

WADE: As a trans feminine person, it’s easier to live as a stealth person. And especially trying to live a healthy life or also live a wealthy life. And what I mean by wealthy, going through school, getting a thriving job, not just a surviving job, but a thriving job, a good career.

JENKINS: But about a year into the job, she rolled into work after she’d been out the night before, at the club.

WADE: You know, I’m still young. I’m still vivacious. I wanted to have fun.

(SOUNDBITE OF “VILLAIN,” BY JUPITER GRAY)

So I came back to work that following Monday with my stuff on my desk packed up.

BEAM: One of LaSaia’s cis gay coworkers had seen her at the club, and from there, he figured out she was trans. Then he outed her to the rest of the office.

WADE: The coworker that wanted my job told my boss at that time that I was a trans person and it was multiple layers to that, right. I was a Black person in a high position at a company that is not really known for a Black person to be that high in a position that I was in. And also I was a trans person. And then they fired me for non-disclosure of my transness.

JENKINS: LaSaia was fired for being Black, trans, and powerful. And there was nothing she could do. She was in Tennessee, where there aren’t many protections for workers.

WADE: They could fire you because your hair is purple and they don’t like the color of your hair. So in the moment, I was depressed, I was like, what am I gonna do, how dare they treat me this way, I was a good worker…

Then I was just like, how can I take my language and my education and take it to the next level for communities, my community, that is not seen.

So I joined Black Lives Matter. And ever since then [CLAP] I took off.

JENKINS: Joining Black Lives Matter was how LaSaia found activism. And that transformation–from being fired to becoming an activist–that’s a familiar story for the trans folks we spoke with.

DIAMOND STYLZ: I’m just literally coming to work doing my job and I don’t know if I’m going to be fired or not.

BEAM: That’s Diamond Stylz. By the time she was fired from her job, her life was already shaped by racism and discrimination.

STYLZ: My mother had been caught up in the prison industrial complex as a Black woman. She was one of those “super predators.”

BEAM: We should probably explain “super predator,” for folks who weren’t around in 1992.

JENKINS: Ok, yes. “Super predator” refers to a now discredited theory from the 1990s. The idea that some people were just naturally violent and lacked empathy. Most of those supposed “super predators” were Black.

BEAM: The concept was made popular to the nation by the Clinton administration. They used that terminology in campaigns, ultimately passing a racist “tough on crime bill” in 1994.

(SOUNDBITE OF FORMER FIRST LADY HILLARY CLINTON)

JENKINS: That fake science was part of a trend of mass incarceration of Black and brown people– people like Diamond’s mom.

STYLZ: And so she got caught up in that and I got custody of my brother. And so I’m at home, a single trans woman with an 11 year old.

BEAM: As a Black trans woman, Diamond knew she had even more stacked against her.

STYLZ: When I went to college–first trans person to go to Jackson State University–I didn’t plan to go there. I didn’t know what the history was. I was just trying to get out, I was stuck in Walnut Grove, Mississippi with my mom who was going through an addiction and I wanted to get out of this country, rural town because this is not fun for me. And so the only way I could go is to go to college.

BEAM: But living in a male dorm wasn’t safe for Diamond either.

STYLZ: People were trying to throw scalding hot water on me in the dorm trying to burn me. I’m sitting here, I have no power in the situation, I’m just reacting to everything that’s happening to me.

JENKINS: She hoped that leaving college, and moving out of a male dorm, things would get better. But…

STYLZ: I worked for Hewlitt Packard and when my transness came out, one of my family members worked there, like a distant cousin, and she told people that I was trans.

JENKINS: Her coworkers started harassing her.

STYLZ: One of the supervisors lost their keys and they gave me the keys to give it to the supervisor so they can take pictures of us interacting with each other and make fun of him.

I didn’t have any political recourse, I didn’t have any legal recourse because of the state that I lived in. We didn’t have the protection for trans people. And so I, I was forced in to survival sex work at the time. And, you know, it just changed the trajectory of my life.

JENKINS: Sex work is something that some trans women do to make money. But it wasn’t that Diamond wanted to. She felt isolated. But then she found something that changed her life: YouTube.

STYLZ: And I wasn’t trying to be an activist, but because of those situations and because of technology, I started to be a YouTuber.

(MIX OF SOUNDBITES FROM DIAMOND STYLZ’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL)

And because I was a little bit older in my transition–I was 26 at the time, but I had been living my truth since 13, 14. And so at time, a lot of people, their videos were about, I was on T for three months, I was on T for six months, these are my surgery results, these are my top surgery results, this is my FFS result.

It was more about the physical, but because I had already physically transitioned years ago, my narratives were about just relationships and stories…

And everybody was like wow, this is, they just kind of related to it. So that’s how it started…

Got like 4.5 million views and it just grew from that…

People started to say I was an activist and I really wasn’t for sure if that hat fit because at the time I was still in sex work, I was doing all the non-respectable stuff. And I was like, I’m not no activist, that’s for the goody two shoes, that’s not me.

BEAM: But the more Diamond worked in activism, the more she realized: it actually was her.

(SOUNDBITE FROM DIAMOND STYLZ’S PODCAST, MARSHA’S TABLE)

STYLZ: And so, what this last five years has taught me and being in this work is you have the power to build community to keep you safe, you have the power to build community to give you the support that you need so you can do the things you want to do. And if you build that infrastructure in that family and that community, that can be a part of your support system to be able to fight when you need to fight, to give you the power to change your own trajectory in your life.

And so that’s literally what activism had done for me. You want to be that structure for somebody else and you want the people in your life to be that structure for you.

BEAM: Rikke Mananzala is another person who’s been that support structure for others. He was inspired to build community power by watching his mom, an immigrant domestic worker, struggle with xenophobia and racism on the job.

RIKKE MANANZALA: I definitely remember her coming home from work tired, exhausted, angry, frustrated, and hearing that things just weren’t right.

BEAM: When he got older his queerness became yet another challenge that his family had to face.

MANANZALA: When I was a teenager I came out as queer and that was something that was really important to me, and it’s a part of my identity, and although it was challenging to come to that conclusion, what was more challenging was that my parents didn’t accept that and so I lost their support.

And that set me on a different path. As a teenager I had to quickly figure out life, as a ward of the state, as someone that needed to finish high school and hopefully move on to other ways of taking care of myself.

And so that fire in my belly, I think, attached to my personal experience to set me on this path of believing that if there are challenges, not only in my personal life but in the world, that they’re our responsibility to challenge them and to make change.

BEAM: But what does that change look like? When I asked her how things had changed in the last few decades, LaSaia had a pretty frank answer.

WADE: It’s a lot of assimilating politics. And what I mean by assimilating politics is–as a Black revolutionary, as a Black person, to deal with Black politics and Black power and Black liberation–we think that if we want to be a part of society, we’re still using our master’s tools to be a part of society that deem us not normal.

BEAM: In the U.S., being in a quote normal society means being in white society. A lot of trans people have this idea that if we get more visibility, we’ll do better. And some of that has worked for people like me.

JENKINS: But we heard very different stories from the folks working on the front lines of Black and trans people of color led movements.

STYLZ: You have to understand that visibility does not change the heart and minds of the people. It doesn’t give anybody any survival mechanisms.

So Pose, amazingly brilliant for sharing narratives and being in people’s homes week after week. They’re doing an amazing job. Love them.

(SOUNDBITE FROM THE TV SHOW POSE)

BEAM: Pose is an FX show about the African American and Latinx ballroom scene in the 1980s. It’s got trans producers like Janet Mock and Our Lady J, and a lot of people like it, including trans people.

STYLZ: But if I’m still in Texas or Indiana and I’m getting fired and I don’t have the legal recourse to protect myself against workforce discrimination, it doesn’t matter if everybody’s seen us on the TV because I don’t have the protections in policy.

The normal, typical, social safety nets that a cis person has access to that we literally don’t have access to. So say you’re down on your luck and you, you’re unsheltered. Okay? A cis person can go to the shelters in the city.

When I was homeless, I couldn’t go to the cisgender women’s shelter because they’re uncomfortable and whatever rules that they have. I couldn’t go to the male shelter because that’s a liability for them. Like they literally asked me on the phone, can you take your breast off? On the phone. Well, if you can’t take them off then you can’t come here.

Went to the LGBT–LGBT–went to them and they said, well, our funding only covers people with HIV. Are you positive? No. We can’t help you.

So the cisgender ones and the LGBT ones couldn’t help me. Now, because of the work that we’ve done, the LGBT one now is open for all. But in the time that I needed it, the normal social safety net that I could go to, that a cis person could go to, I didn’t have access to them. And they weren’t safe places for me.

MANANSALA: Trying to raise the visibility of criminalization, and police brutality, and gentrification as an LGBT issue was an uphill battle. To try to get support from our other LGBT movement allies that maybe had more resources, or that we thought should be paying attention to these issues as just as relevant as gay marriage.

JENKINS: Like Diamond, Rikke found that even LGBT organizations weren’t much help when he was kicked out of his home.

MANANSALA: We have kind of two parallel LGBT movements, one of which at that time was very, very deep in the gay marriage movement, and the other one was the rest of us, which was intersectional justice movements. We didn’t necessarily identify with the LGBT movement because it wasn’t really speaking to our most immediate needs.

JENKINS: Even in supposedly progressive New York City, mainstream organizations were paying lots of attention to marriage equality and not so much to trans people experiencing hunger or homelessness.

MANANSALA: It’ll be a statement on racial justice or racial equity, and then when you look at their actual programmatic work, their campaigns and advocacy were largely focused on very, very narrow issues that certainly impacted LGBT people, but those ones that had the least to lose.

BEAM: That’s how Rikke started questioning whether the strategy that the mainstream LGBT movements had used to win legal recognition–get some nice-looking spokespeople, go on TV, convince straight people that “we’re just like you”–was that really a good idea. Maybe it could actually backfire.

DEAN SPADE: I’ve heard countless stories about a trans training happening at a police department, and then the police in that department more easily identifying trans people to harass.

BEAM: That’s Dean Spade, founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project in New York, an organization that offer legal support to trans and gender non-conforming people. He argues that queer and trans visibility can cover up the fact that inequality is still growing.

SPADE: Civil rights legislation doesn’t really work to resolve systemic harm against hated groups. It hasn’t for any of the hated groups that are supposedly covered. Conditions continue to worsen for all of those groups.

JENKINS: In other words, marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws may make it seem like things are better for LGBT people, but they don’t make poor people less poor, or get prisoners out of prison.

SPADE: Rents are higher, pollution is worse, schools are worse, people work more hours for less money.

BEAM: So for Dean, that means that just changing laws isn’t the answer. If resources are still being hoarded by some people, then the rest of us are less free, no matter what the law says.

JENKINS: Even though the connection and community that Diamond has created through her media presence is incredibly valuable, especially for young people, Diamond pretty much agrees.

STYLZ: Those key bottom line factors to be able to eat, sleep and chase your dreams–those are the changes that can keep trans women off the streets, in housing, in good health care. Not just visibility.
JENKINS: Still, Diamond Stylz has hope that legal protections and anti-discrimination laws can improve the lives of people like her.

STYLZ: You get people who are in the trenches and in those back rooms who are putting policies to work that protect us and are not creating this perpetual cycle where we don’t have the care.

BEAM: But LaSaia Wade–the former BellSouth employee–she says trans people need to work outside the system.

WADE: I want to see more of us building our own power instead of trying to be a part of their power.

Assimilation ain’t gonna do nothing but try to disempower the trans community in a way of, oh, now we’re a part of society. We need to forget about the movement. And also that’s a white lens, right, of assimilating.

As a person that is not of white culture–who tries to maneuver from white culture–we need to realize assimilation is not healthy or good for the Black body, period. It never was. It means death, automatically.

So, what does it look like for us to build our own system? What does it look like for us to build our own power? What does it look like for us to build our own methods of funds that we tunnel back into our own community.

JENKINS: What does it look like to build that power ourselves? If trying to just be visible in the mainstream–showing the powerful that we are just like them–if that doesn’t work, what does?

To find out we spoke with Gabriel Foster. Like Rikke, Gabriel had starting doing activism pretty early in his life

GABRIEL FOSTER: After I dropped out of high school I was like I don’t know what I’m doing. But I just dove in and I said yes to everything.

JENKINS: That “say yes to everything” attitude meant that Gabriel was already a pretty seasoned activist by the time he grew up and moved to New York City. But one day, he was out in the middle of a protest when he literally ran into someone who would change his whole worldview.

(SOUNDBITE FROM TRANS JUSTICE MARCH, NEW YORK CITY)

FOSTER: We were at the Trans Day of Action march and rally which happens every year, where trans and non-binary folks and allies and queer folks and lots of different people fill the streets of New York…

And this woman, named Karen Pittleman, she was trying to talk to me while we were marching, and we’re really angry, and we’re like, carrying these signs around, and there was a lot of feelings, and she’s asking me, she’s like, “I have an idea,” and I was like, “What?” She’s really trying to have this conversation with me, and I’m like, “I can’t,” you know, I couldn’t give her my full attention…

And she’s like, “I just wanna put money into a paper bag and I want to drive around the country in a van and give it to trans communities so they get the money more directly.” And I was like, “I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.” I had never heard of anyone in my whole life talk about just giving trans people money.

BEAM: So that was Gabriel’s first meeting with Karen Pittleman. Karen Pittleman’s a writer and poet and the lead singer of a queer country band, Karen and the Sorrows.

(SOUNDBITE FROM KAREN AND THE SORROWS, “GUARANTEED BROKEN HEART”)

She’s also a part of a movement of people working to give away their inherited wealth. And although Karen isn’t trans herself, she recognized that trans people were on the front lines of social justice struggles–struggles that she wanted to support.

So eventually, Gabriel and Karen did have another conversation–this time, not in the middle of a march.

FOSTER: You know I had no background in philanthropy. I think I didn’t know what that word meant for a long time. But she was like you’ve worked with a lot of communities and you know folks around the country and then she brought her checkbook, but she also brought a lot of time and dedication and worked for, I don’t know, 60 to 80 hours a week for at least 3 years.

BEAM: And that’s how the Trans Justice Funding Project was born.

JENKINS: And man, I am so proud that I was able to work with Gabriel and Karen because the idea sparked something that would end up supporting hundreds and thousands of trans people and organizations.

FOSTER: And now we are moving into our eighth year. The first year we made grants and were able to raise a little over $55,000.

BEAM: $55,000 wouldn’t be a lot of money for big LGBT rights organizations. It’s like a tiny fraction of the budget for a big, mainstream organization like the Human Rights Campaign–you know, the organization that gave out all those yellow and blue “equal sign” stickers.

JENKINS: But for trans organizations, trans people, that’s a lot of money. And today, the Trans Justice Funding Project has funded hundreds of small-budget, trans-led community groups–the kind of groups that provide care and support for trans migrants, trans youth, indigenous trans people, undocumented trans people, trans veterans, trans people of color… just really just all sorts of transgender-identified people.

BEAM: And not just in big cities or so-called progressive places. Trans groups in Alabama and Texas and Montana and South Carolina have all gotten funding too. It’s a big, coordinated, mutual aid project, where money goes to those most in need, outside of the big non-profits.

JENKINS: And what’s so beautiful is that it is trans people who choose who to give that money away to.

FOSTER: We bring six individuals together from across the country who are trans or non-binary or gender non-conforming, and they are the ones that make the grant-making decisions.

So they read all the applications, they get online and they vote and they share their notes and then we bring them to New York to meet for a very long, very rigorous, very emotional weekend to determine who the grantees will be and how much they’ll be awarded. And we use community folks who are actually doing this work everyday as the experts who know what’s best and allow them–give them–the power to make decisions around where the money should go.

As staff, I have no say about where the money goes, which is not easy, but that’s our politic. That’s us practicing that politic about it being fully community-led.

BEAM: And unlike most grant-making organizations, the Trans Justice Funding Project doesn’t just give money to organizations with official non-profit status.

FOSTER: We know some of the most radical and critical and amazing work doesn’t happen in offices, and doesn’t happen because the government says it should happen. People do a lot of work at kitchen tables and community centers and parks or wherever they can meet, and it doesn’t have to be validated by the government to matter.

BEAM: So, this isn’t about fundraising. It’s about what people do when they rely on each other, instead of on mainstream politics.

JENKINS: In the absence of social services and support from the mainstream movement, trans people of color are keeping each other safe and are doing the work.
Today, Diamond Stylz is the executive director of Black Trans Women, Inc. And she builds her work around foundational Black feminist principles.

STYLZ: Black feminists have already laid out foundations like this. Black women have never had a vision of liberation that didn’t include everybody.

If you built your policy around caring for me, regardless of what I got going on, out of all the things, all the labels–trans, Black, woman, if I was disabled, if I was positive–if you revolved around caring about my humanity, regardless of the label… I just think by centering us it just pulls everybody up.

BEAM: Pulling everybody up. It’s a big task. And we don’t know if we’ll live to see the end of things like incarceration or policing.

JENKINS: But we can see glimpses of liberation already in the work that trans people are doing right now.

BEAM: Like in LaSaia Wade’s new job. After she was fired from BellSouth, LaSaia began organizing a direct action protest group in Chicago called the Transgender Liberation Collective, TLC.

WADE: It was a complete blackout. No one wanted to say anything. Everyone refused to say anything. And I was angry. I was angry, I was livid, like, you say you want liberation, but you exclude trans people from that liberation because you’re not talking about everyone’s liberation. You’re talking about your liberation and what your liberation looks like. That’s not what liberation is.

JENKINS: LaSaia was angry because Black trans women in Chicago were being murdered. She was angry because no one was doing anything about it–not the city and not the big, white, gay and lesbian organizations either.

WADE: So TLC said, fuck this, we need to get out and do something.

BEAM: The Collective banded together with organizations like Black Lives Matter Chicago and Jewish Voices for Peace. Together they put together a march to call attention to the murders of Black trans women in the city.

WADE: I’m getting chills right now because the Midwest showed up and showed out in Chicago.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUDIO FROM TRANS LIBERATION MARCH, CHICAGO, RECORDED BY TOM CALLAHAN)

We had over 2000 people in downtown Chicago, below zero degree weather, marching for trans people…

And that’s where BSA was created. That’s when we knew that BSA needed to be in Chicago.

JENKINS: The BSA. The Brave Space Alliance. That’s LaSaia’s job now–running her own activism organization in Chicago.

WADE: Ain’t that about a bitch. There it was, Brave Space Alliance. And then we started building.
JENKINS: Today, the Brave Space Alliance is a Black-led, trans-led, LGBTQ center located on Chicago’s South Side. It holds events and support groups, helps people find jobs and get training, and even runs a free produce program.

BEAM: During the first few weeks of the COVID-19 crisis, the Brave Space Alliance delivered bags of food to over 1000 households, and gave out over $40,000 in direct mutual aid through the Trans Relief Fund.

JENKINS: And through all of this work, LaSaia brings a clear vision of the future.

WADE: To center trans people through the leadership of Black and brown trans people, and then everyone else can come and join the liberation.

BEAM: It’s worth saying again: that’s a really different strategy than the mainstream LGBT movements have used. Those movements–mostly led by white, wealthier people–are built on the idea of finding LGBT people who are most like other people in power, except for this one difference. Then, they’re making sure everyone sees that we’re “just like you.”

JENKINS: But what Black Trans Women, Inc. and Brave Space Alliance are doing–it’s not about centering the people who are the most mainstream.

WADE: We want BSA to be understood as a method of liberation. And we’re centering the lives of the most marginalized within our community.

JENKINS: So even while full liberation for trans people might be a ways off, this Black feminist vision about centering the most marginalized in your activism–it isn’t just theory. It’s happening now.

BEAM: And it’s already changing the world around us.

JENKINS: So for the next six episodes, we’re going to bring you voices of the people doing the work, and offer you tools for how you can join in too, whoever you are.

BEAM: We’re going to ask big questions.

JENKINS: What would a world without transphobia look like?

BEAM: What would the world look like if trans people were able to make decisions about their bodies, their livelihoods, their relationships?

JENKINS: What would it take for Black trans people to live out liberation, to live joyfully?

STYLZ: My hope is that people click in their mind how helping us build this movement to where we’re free to do what we want to do, helps women, helps Black people, helps same-gender loving people and help other gender nonconforming people. If you get us free and liberate us, it liberates everybody else to do whatever they want to do it.

If we have agency over our body, that means that you should be able to get an abortion. Because you have agency over your body and if you have policies that protect us doing whatever we want with our body, it should be a policy that protects you doing whatever you want with your body.

JENKINS: So these days, LaSaia isn’t angry anymore.

WADE: And a lot of people look at me like, why are you smiling, ain’t you supposed to be angry? But I’m next to you. Why I need to be angry? What I need to be sad about?

I need to figure out this particular type of joy that I’m feeling in this particular moment because I’m standing beside someone that probably would never been able to stand beside. Because in this particular madness, I’m connecting to you.

JENKINS: This is TRANSCRIPTS, a podcast from the Tretter Trans Oral History Project. We’re a program of the University of Minnesota. And I am Andrea Jenkins.

BEAM: And I’m Myrl Beam. And there’s more to come. After all, trans activism, it touches so many aspects of our world.

FOSTER: It’s actually literally everything: it is access to homeless shelters, it is having alternatives outside of the police… It feels endless to me.

BEAM: We’ll have episodes that follow all these threads–criminalization and policing, medical systems, violence–while also keeping our eyes focused on the goal of freedom for everyone.

We’ll be on hiatus for a little while we’re putting together those episodes. But in the meantime, there’s a lot of ways to support us, and the organizations we spotlighted here, at our website. You can find us at big.ly/transcriptspod.

JENKINS: At that URL you can also find the full interviews with all our oral history participants, as well as additional material to help you explore concepts and themes related to this episode.

BEAM: One last note: while we’re on break, we want to bring you a whole bunch of amazing new trans podcasts through our channel. There’s a whole world of trans audio out there on every imaginable topic. So if you subscribe to our feed, you’ll get one episode of a new show, every other week.

JENKINS: Thanks so much for listening and we’ll speak with you again soon.

CREDITS: The lead producer of TRANSCRIPTS is me, Cassius Adair. Myrl Beam is the senior project scholar and also a producer. Rachel Mattson is the managing producer. And Myra Billund-Phibbs is the production assistant.

Sound design in this episode is by Ariana Martinez. Musical direction by Casper. You heard music by Jupiter Gray and Carlx: go support these amazing trans artists wherever you get your music. And go check out the artist féi hernandez, who designed our podcast logo.

Special thanks to Vidhya Aravind, Hideo Higashibaba, Juliet Hinely, Kelly Jones, Anja Kanngieser, LaVelle Ridley, Erisa Apantaku, and Tuck Woodstock. Thanks also to Tom Callahan at Sensitive Visuals and to Karen and the Sorrows for additional sound in this episode.

The TRANSCRIPTS podcast is a project of the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project, which is based at the University of Minnesota Libraries. Funding for this podcast came from the TAWANI Foundation and the Minnesota Humanities Innovation Lab.

WADE: I know I might not be able to see your liberation in your time, but I’m seeing my liberation right now.