Oct 24, 2023
When we’re asked to do anti-bias talks at corporations, we’re sometimes asked by the different ERGs if we’re comfortable talking about LGTBQIA+ issues - and we answer with our truth, which is that we are both cisgender, heterosexual women who use she/her pronouns. Nobody in our families is LGBTQIA+. So while the skill sets to tackle bias are related, we prefer to give the floor to folks who can speak from firsthand experience and knowledge.
Enter our incredible conversation partner today - Schuyler Bailar, who many of you may know as @pinkmantaray. We’ve been following him on Instagram, and his new book He/She/They is now on our short list of Best Books to Recommend Ever due to its practical structure and the fact that it’s full of questions he’s received about being transgender. Just like the videos and workshops and all the work that he does, it’s accessible, not shaming; it’s factual, personal and so very meaningful. And bonus - he fits right into our multiracial Asian arc, as a mixed-race Korean and white American!
Remember, your LGBTQIA+ friends are not here to educate you; this isn’t their job. Schuyler has chosen to take on this role, so listen to this episode, read the book, watch his informative factual social media videos and make sure you’re doing the work yourself to be a better, more understanding human being!
What to listen for:
Intersectionality, and Schuyler’s own experience growing up biracial
The importance of exploring why you are who you are, for ALL of us, when it comes to gender
The quick take-down of the arguments from people working to push trans women out of women’s sports
A bullet-pointed list of what NOT to say to transgender folks (timestamp 24.07 - 28.30)
How to remind yourself of joy and a sense of thriving in the world, when it gets rough
What Schuyler wants cisgender, heterosexual women to do differently, once you listen to the episode
Schuyler Bailar (he/him) is the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. By 15, he was one of the nation’s top - 20 15-year-old breast-strokers. By 17, he set a national age-group record. In college, he swam for Harvard University, on Harvard’s winningest team in 50 years. Schuyler’s difficult choice – to transition while potentially giving up the prospect of being an NCAA Champion – was historic. His story has appeared everywhere from 60 Minutes to The Washington Post. Schuyler’s tireless advocacy has earned him numerous honors including LGBTQ Nation’s Instagram Advocate for 2020. In 2021, Schuyler also released his first middle-grade novel, Obie Is Man Enough. And in 2022, Schuyler created LaneChanger.com making gender literacy education accessible to every team, school, and company.
Follow Schuyler on Instagram @pinkmantaray