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Podcast: What Does It Mean to be Transgender?

Gender transitioning has always been a topic that makes many people uncomfortable. And ever since Bruce became Caitlin, it’s been a frequent topic of conversation. Most of the discomfort comes from unfamiliarity, from presumptions, and (of course) from bigotry. In this episode, two transgender women explain what it means to be transgender, both generally and personally. They talk about their experiences going back more than twenty years. They discuss how transitioning, and the science of it, changed over the decades. And they offer their views on what they believe are the most important things for society to know about it.


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Transgender Show Highlights:

“If you take a look at the statistics for parental support for trans youth – with unsupportive parents, 57% of the individuals will attempt suicide; with supportive parents, 4%. Parental support is huge.” ~ Rev. Emma Chattin

[3:45]   What does it mean to be transgender?

[8:58]   How transitioning is different today vs. 20 years ago.

[14:08] The most difficult aspects of transitioning.

[15:27] How the science has advanced in 20 years.

[19:52] What society should know about being transgender.



About Our Guests

Rev. Emma Chattin currently serves as the Executive Director of the TransGender Education Association of Greater Washington DC, whose mission is to support individuals in transition and the communities into which they are transitioning.   She is a founding co-facilitator of several support and community building groups for the Trans community, including Parents of Trans-youth, Trans & Gender Non Binary Tweens & Teens, as well as Spouses of Those Who Identify as Trans.  Emma is also an ordained minister, currently serving as Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia, a GLBTIQQ affirming community for all people- “No exceptions, No kidding.”  She was recently named one of six OUTstanding Virginians for 2018 by Equality Virginia.  In late 1996, she met Heather James, who has long worked in the technical field, including dish technology, fiber optics, web design, etc. Once it became legal in DC, the couple got married in 2010. As of 2018, they have been together over 21 years. They live in Northern Virginia.

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Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar and anxiety disorders. In addition to hosting The Psych Central Show, Gabe is an associate editor for He also runs an online Facebook community, The Positive Depression/Bipolar Happy Place, and invites you to join. To work with Gabe, please visit his website,




Vincent M. Wales is a former suicide prevention counselor who lives with persistent depressive disorder. In addition to co-hosting The Psych Central Show, Vincent is the author of several award-winning novels and the creator of costumed hero Dynamistress. Visit his websites at and









Podcast: What Does It Mean to be Transgender?

The Psych Central Podcast

The Psych Central Podcast is a weekly podcast hosted by Gabe Howard. New episodes are released every Thursday at 7 am and can be found at or your favorite podcast player.

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APA Reference
Central Podcast, T. (2019). Podcast: What Does It Mean to be Transgender?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 30 Mar 2019 (Originally: 21 Jun 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 30 Mar 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.