Gender dysphoria has become a minefield for public discussion, with many afraid to express their views or question the narrative. Our mission is to examine this important and complex topic from a range of perspectives, but always through a psychological lens. By openly considering and examining gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella, we hope to give all interested parties permission to engage these fascinating topics with less fear and more honesty. Interviews and discussions will involve clinicians, medical professionals, academics, transgender people, parents, detransitioners and other interesting individuals whose lives have been touched by the concept of gender.
Conversations between two practicing therapists give listeners an opportunity to contemplate gender from a depth perspective not currently taken up in most of today’s accessible debates. As a result of their work with gender dysphoric therapy clients as well as their personal divergent experiences with gender, Stella and Sasha hold a refreshing and informed perspective.
Is gender identity a facilitation of development and expression of creativity, or can it be a defense against painful existential realities of living in a human body? What can we discover about masculinity, femininity, identity, gender performance, and sexuality when we peer beneath the surface and dive into a deeper psychological exploration? What is the relationship between body, mind, identity, culture, and psyche?
This podcast engages listeners in an intimate and fascinating behind-the-scenes inquiry about a topic as taboo as it is salient today.
* We are partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics. ReIME is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving long term care for gender variant individuals. To learn more, visit https://rethinkime.org/
34 - Gender Dysphoria & Suicide
Sasha and Stella tackle the complex subject of suicide. They reflect on the many emotional and relational difficulties involved and parse out the differences between suicide risk and suicidal ideation. While terrifying, it sometimes offers an escape fantasy and desire for control, making suicide an existential issue. Furthermore, they point to the stark lack of data available relating to gender dysphoria and suicidality and discuss how the fear of suicide is used against families wishing to safeguard their children.
33 - Beyond the ‘Gifted’ Label: A Conversation w/ Jessie Mannisto
Stella and Sasha sit down with Jessie Mannisto, the Editor in Chief of Third Factor Magazine, a publication for and about uncommon people and their uncommon paths through life. Jessie expands on the many overlapping experiences of gifted, creative, intense, and gender dysphoric individuals. They explore some critiques and uses of terms like ‘queer’ and ‘asexual.’ Stella and Sasha ask Jessie about androgyny, loneliness, ordinariness, and exceptionalism in dysphoria people. And what’s up with anime and fan fiction amongst gender-questioning youth?
32 - Stereotypes
Are stereotypes always harmful? Should we use stereotypes to predict and impose behaviors and preferences onto others? Some people believe transgender identities defy stereotypes while others believe they reify them. And where does stereotyping come from? This is a mental shortcut with complex roots and crucial implications for the gender debates.
31 - Silencing Thought: A Conversation with Heather Brunskell-Evans
Heather Brunskell-Evans is a philosopher and sociologist who studies the intersection of medicine and culture. She joins us today to trace the ways in which queer theory evolved in academia and moved into the broader culture, including the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) in the UK. Explaining how a social justice angle is key to the ‘affirmative model’ of care for gender dysphoria, Heather recounts a few key moments when she realized there were authoritarian elements at play in silencing thought and conversation around the topic of transgender, even for parents trying to protect their children.
30 — Sasha & Stella Answer Your Questions: Part 2
Sasha and Stella answer listener questions… again! They start by highlighting recent episodes inspired by listener feedback. Next, they discuss the financial implications and complexities involved in adult children using their parents’ medical insurance. They reflect on the different roles that can emerge between mothers and fathers of gender dysphoric youth. Other questions address the similarities between body dysmorphia, gender dysphoria, OCD, and other ruminative anxieties.
29 - Conversion Therapy: A Conversation with Bob Withers
Jungian Analyst Bob Withers joins us to discuss the differences between gay conversion therapy and gender identity conversion therapy. We examine the possibility of misinformed therapists “transing the gay away” and suggest that perhaps the dark history of conversion therapy may not be over. Bob delves into his view of psychosomatic symptoms and draws on his background in philosophy and medical history to understand our current fixation with one’s subjective sense of identity. Bob also defines what he calls “detrans-phobic” responses to the experiences of detransitioners.
Thought provoking and enlightening. I have struggled for years to understand the appeal of trans ideology, especially in kids and young people. This podcast really digs deep and helps me to see the ‘why’ from a mental health perspective. These conversations are absolutely essential and I thank the creators for their bravery and resilience to continue uploading and discussing.
Not where anyone looking to understand their child should look
This feels like a conversation between two people who don’t understand the left/woke view on gender going back and forth about how confusing it is. I think they have a valid perspective. As someone questioning it can feel like in a rush to affirm other potential reasons for these feelings get dropped by the wayside, but the bit I listened to (about half of the first episode) doesn’t really teach me anything new it just repeats the frankly mildly anti trans thoughts I already have. I’m leaving such a negative review because I’m seeing many reviews from parents with questioning children and I really feel confident this isn’t the right podcast for you or at least it isn’t the only podcast you should explore. Look you want to understand them right? This podcast is just going to clap you on the shoulder and be like actually I was right all along. You should at least look for someone to give their perspective. Honestly despite this review I might give them a bit more a listen, but please don’t use these musing by two cis women to try to understand what you’re children are going through. Talk to them and listen to people who have actually gone through this instead
a highlight of my week
It is such a relief to hear two professionals discuss gender dysphoria openly and rationally. I look forward to this show each week. It helps me feel less alone in dealing with this issue and helps me think about how to best help my daughter.