Dana Rudolph

This American Life On Transgender Children

Filed By Dana Rudolph | February 23, 2009 6:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: NPR, This American Life, trans children, transgender

Sure, you're spending the day re-watching Dustin Lance Black's acceptance speech after winning an Oscar for Milk.

Take a few minutes, however, to listen to the second segment on the Valentine's Day episode of This American Life. Each of the show's three vignettes focuses on someone "searching for people who will understand them like no one else does." The first and third segments are about more traditional, straight, romantic love (albeit with the quirkiness of most This American Life stories).

The second segment, however, is about friendship, specifically the friendship between two eight-year-old transgender children, born biologically male, but who identify as girls. The rare and brilliant part is that the producers not only let their parents speak, but also let the girls themselves share their thoughts. It's both heartwrenching and inspiring.

The segment starts 29 minutes into the show. I sat in a supermarket parking lot for 10 minutes listening to it finish the other day.

I can't post about this without also referring you to The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals, by Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper, and 10,000 Dresses, a new picture book with a transgender protagonist. My review of The Transgender Child is at Mombian and my review and author interview for 10,000 Dresses is right here at Bilerico.

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I heard this show last weekend and was very moved by this segment.

ladyiconoclast | February 23, 2009 7:58 PM

That made me cry quite a bit, thank you for posting it.

We met Thomasina at Gender Odyssey kids camp last year. She was so sweet to my son! I wanted to write a fan letter to both girls (and their parents) after I heard this segment.

I'll have to hunt that one down. Sounds cool. Any ideas where I would find it?

Rob: If you mean the This American Life segment, click "Valentine's Day Episode" in the second sentence of the post. Segment on the transgender children starts about 29 minutes in.

If you mean the book, they're both available at Amazon, among other places.

What a great segment. Thanks for pointing us to it, Dana.