TRANSCRIPT: TransLash Podcast Episode 19, ‘Trans Motherhood’

Imara Jones: Hi, fam. It’s Imara Jones. Welcome to the TransLash Podcast, a show where we tell trans stories to save trans lives. Before introducing today’s show, we’re going to take a moment to ask for your help and brag on ourselves. The TransLash podcast has been nominated for a Webby Award, balloon drop. This is a big nomination celebrating the best of the internet. And winners are decided by popular vote. So if you could take a moment to go vote for us, I would, and all of us at TransLash, would appreciate it so much. Go to vote.webbyawards.com. You can find our show in the podcast category under Diversity & Inclusion. You can find the link to vote in the description of this episode as well. Now, on to our show.

Since it’s time to commemorate Mother’s Day, I wanted to take today’s show to highlight the moms in our communities. Moms, both chosen and biological, shape who we are in fundamental ways. Trans people are often seen as people without families, but today we will talk to those whose love has had a powerful and positive impact on those closest to them and beyond.

First, I have a hard but essential conversation with Terri Edmonds, a fierce advocate for her daughter. Dominique Rem’mie Fells was a Black trans woman lost to violence last year. Terri wants us to hear about the power of her daughter and her legacy. 

Terri Edmonds: You could see Rem’mie from a mile away, she had a light about her, even from the time she was maybe five or six.

Imara Jones: Please know that this part of our show goes to some difficult places. But ultimately, Terri’s love shines through. Either way, I just want to give you a heads up so that you can do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. And after that, I sit down with LaSaia Wade, the founder of the incredible grassroots organization, Brave Space Alliance in Chicago, who is also a new mother. She discusses the importance of both biological and chosen mothers in the fight for trans liberation.

LaSaia Wade: I was like, “I think you’re pregnant because you have been nothing but an ass to me  these last few days.” And then he looks at me, and was like, “Why in the hell is you in my head? I went to the Walgreens today and I got a pregnancy test. And I’m pregnant.”

Imara Jones: Now, before we get into our show, I just want to wish a big Happy Mother’s Day to all the trans moms out there. And the other moms who support and love and fight for their trans kids, especially during this year. You all deserve the world. And I appreciate you so much. Our heart also goes out to those who have had difficult relationships with, or who have lost their mothers. We are lifting you up.

As always, we’re going to start off our show with a little bit of Trans Joy. One thing lifting my spirits this week is the all-important work being done to make sure families have the resources to support their trans children. That’s why I’m highlighting Gender Spectrum. It’s an organization that runs support groups, and does other outreach to make sure trans youth are affirmed and loved. They have specialized groups for Black and PoC trans teens, and also have gatherings for Spanish speakers. Lillian Rivera is Gender Spectrum’s director of family programming. She says they also have meetings geared towards helping parents of trans kids.

Lillian Rivera: Our support groups are really a place for parents to meet other parents on journ–gender journeys, to be able to create the community they need in order to be the best present the parents that affirm and nurture their children’s agender. And most importantly, I’ve seen parents who have been on this journey a little longer, really role model what affirming and nurturing parents for trans children and teens looks like.

Imara Jones: To Lillian and everyone working at Gender Spectrum: Thank you for the work you’re doing to support trans youth and their parents. You are Trans Joy.

One perspective that I don’t think we hear enough is from the families of trans women who’ve been lost to violence. These women had full lives, people who loved them, and community. The loss of their lives is deeply felt by the many people who loved and embraced them. But too often they are dehumanized, reduced to the act of violence against them in media and elsewhere. That’s why for our Mother’s Day episode, I invited Terri Edmonds to sit down to talk to me about her incredible daughter, Dominique Rem’mie Fells.

Friends have described her as a social butterfly, an aspiring fashion designer, and someone who, quote, “Lived her truth so loud, that you could hear her a mile away,” close quote. Her life was taken last summer, and the man accused in that murder faces a preliminary hearing later this month. Terri, thank you so much for joining me. I know that this is a difficult time of the year, especially as we come up on Mother’s Day, and I know that I speak for everyone who’s listening, and of course, everyone at the TransLash Podcast team, that we send you our condolences at this very hard moment. And one that you should not be facing.

Terri Edmonds: Thank you, today, for having me, for spending your time in talking with parents of Black transgender women who have hearts, souls, and family that love them. And friends.

Imara Jones: Absolutely. So I think one of the things that’s really important is for us to bring her into the conversation for people who didn’t know her. So can you tell us about her, and what would be among the first things we would notice about her.

Terri Edmonds: I’m gonna go back to the statement, she lived her life that you could see it from a mile away. You could see Rem’mie from a mile away. She had a light about her. Even from the time she was maybe five or six. She loved fashion. She loved being artistic with many things in her life. I don’t know if anyone knows, but I used to say she had a talent that I wish that I had when I was her age. At 15, we got a sewing machine. She could make clothing. She could do hair, she could do makeup. She loves people. She loved her Nana, and her PopPop. She loved her sisters, she has two sisters Desiree and Dior. And they were the–her support. And they supported each other. And I was her support through good and bad times.

Imara Jones: One of the things that is so clear, and what you have, even as payment for us is: one, the love that you all had for her. Two the fact that her family was a part of her life and embraced her. And three, just how full of life and talented she was and gifted she was. And I think that’s a really important story. Because so often the idea is that Black trans women are without family and without love and without support. And so I’m wondering if you can just talk to us about how you all were able to embrace her through transition through becoming the woman that she always was.

Terri Edmonds: This is, this is another story within itself. She graduated from high school, and she went off to Cheyney University outside of Philadelphia. And she went to school and she was going for, you know, for fashion And I’d say maybe the second year, she started talking and she came in and she said, “Mom, you know, I want to talk to you.” And so we talked and she just told me at that point she wanted to transition, and my words to her were, “I’m fine with whatever. Whatever you want to do or whoever you would like to become.” I said the only thing as a mother I was concerned, is the outside world. That home. She was my child. She was my daughter.

When she told me that’s it, that’s what we said daughter. We didn’t use any other term for her. When she decided a couple of years later that she wanted to start to transition and you know, do implants, you know, we supported her in that way too. So often, a lot of our daughters are misgendered. They are taught that what they’re doing is not right for them. Her outside didn’t match her inside. And that’s what she was, that’s who she wanted to be and who she wanted to become. I just want her to be healthy, happy and whole doing that.

And being the person that she wanted to be, and doing hair and fashion and talking with people, she could strike up a conversation with anyone that was on the street. One of the things that we did growing up, was, we gave back and my three children would give back and, and do activities with my job, with caring for, you know, children in our community. And the love that I have for her will, again, in good and bad times, would never end for me.

Imara Jones: It sounds like on some level, you weren’t that surprised when she sat down next to you, and wondering if in some ways, you always knew you were preparing yourself or were you…had the thought occurred to you before that, you know, “My child was assigned this gender, but it you know, it sounds like this may not be right.” I’m wondering if you can just talk a little bit about that.

Terri Edmonds: Yes, actually, I have an Aunt Helen, which would be my aunt, which would be Rem’mie’s great aunt. She was one who played another pivotal role in her life. And she had conversations with with her, then those other conversations would spill over to mom. And so at that point in her life, I knew that what she exhibited, on the–the outside wasn’t who she really was, I’m going to go back to a story. She was in second grade. And you know, she would stand up with the, with the girls, she would do different things. And they actually called me in for a conference, they were talking about gender identity. And so there, there were conversations early off.

And as a mother and as a single mother, you love your children. So you’re going through day to day. And one of the things that you don’t really think about is that those feelings happen earlier than we want to think, it’s just what parents do with it: being supportive at an earlier age versus a an older age that makes the difference. So I was prepared in in that sense.

Imara Jones: It sounds as if as well one of the first thing that came to your mind was a concern for Rem’mie’s safety. And were you concerned equally all along, or after a while it just kind of went away?

Terri Edmonds: As a parent, you know, you always you worry about your children on a day-to-day basis. Mine just had an extra layer to it. And, you know, we always talked about like being safe, being safe in the community. You know, one of the things I will tell you is that, you know, that some of the things that she experienced, they don’t–she doesn’t always, she didn’t always tell me. And one of the things I’d like to say, for parents, it’s important that, you know, your children feel 100% comfortable in being able to talk to you.

And I think for her, a lot of it, she just didn’t want to to scare me. So she held a lot of things in and that’s hard for any mother, you know, to know that your your child is experiencing things that you really have no clue about. It’s important to be supportive.

Imara Jones: Can you talk about the last time that you saw or spoke to her? Do you mind just talking about that?

Terri Edmonds: The last time that I actually spoke to her was she, she called and said, “Mom, I need a ride to to a friend’s.” And we had gotten her a Lyft. And then I got a text message a few days later just kind of telling me that that she loved me and that she was happy that I was a part of her life. And I look at that now, and I think that she was so much more important in my life more than any, any one would ever know.

Imara Jones: How did you learn that your daughter had been murdered? And what were some of the immediate things that went through your mind–if anything, maybe nothing did.

Terri Edmonds: It’s the worst phone call that any parent would ever want to get in their entire life. Let me back up. Because that day I woke up, and I’m gonna tell you, I am a praying mom. And I pray for my children each and every day. And we were in the middle of the, you know, the pandemic, to were home from college. I have my two youngest ones, one goes to went to East Stroudsburg and one to Valley Forge Military College. And of course, they were sent home, they were sitting in the living room, the–my two youngest.

I have an open window. And you can see into my living room, and I was washing dishes, but I looked over. And all I could see was, all I felt was I wanted the three of them together again. And I got emotional. And my daughters looked over and said, “Mom, what’s wrong?” And I said, “I just wish that you were all, you know, little again. And that you were all, we were all here together.” Then I kind of went about my day, just a little bit. And then we got a phone call. And I got the phone call.

And it happened to be a detective that actually called me. He was very kind. But we just, I just screamed. And I remember screaming. And I remember my daughter, my youngest daughter taking the phone, we all cried together. And I just…yeah, we all cried together. And it was the hardest day of my life and…

Imara Jones: What has the impact of her loss been on your family?

Terri Edmonds: It’s been a great loss. No matter where she was, she always would remember your birthday, a special time. Like I said, my kids were close. All three of them. And like I said they supported each other. And so it’s very hard to see my youngest not having a sister. But I’ve lost my first born. She was without siblings for a long time. So my children are six years apart, we kind of grew together. And it’s been, it’s hard. That’s one of the hardest things that you ever have to do is to bury a child.

Imara Jones: After the grief of course, there was a tremendous need to find out who and why. And there was a while and in terms of finding out who and then actually capturing the person who is accused of killing her Akhenaton Jones, who I believe was caught in Los Angeles, when you heard that he had been arrested and brought into custody, how did you feel? I imagine that those months of not knowing was unspeakable. But did it change anything?

Terri Edmonds: It did. Most families don’t get this opportunity, because there was so many before my daughter. And they don’t get the opp–they didn’t get the opportunity. There was anger. There was a relief he was off the street and couldn’t do anything to anyone else, and that there is a chance for justice.

Imara Jones: There have been some conflicting reports as to whether he knew her. And I’m wondering if you had any more detail on whether they did know each other well or not. Because I think that one of the things that people often don’t understand is that so many times these are in instances of intimate partner violence–that is to say, the people that end up murdering Black trans women, know Black trans women, they’re not strangers.

Terri Edmonds: I…I don’t really know. She may have known, you know, known him. Whether he knew my daughter or not did not give him the right to to what he did. And again, so often, it happens to Black trans women. And they’re undervalued. You know, there’s so many opportunities for us to get life right in helping others. And, you know, whether she knew him or not, I can’t bring her back. I wish I could. But my goal is that, Black trans women will be able to be heard, be seen, and be protected. That’s, that–that’s the point here: protected.

Imara Jones: If you have the opportunity, first of all, you may not want the opportunity. But if you have the opportunity and wanted the opportunity to either tell him something, what would you…What would you say to him?

Terri Edmonds: You know, you go over in your mind over and over again what you would say. I want him to just look me in my face. I want him to know that she was loved. And she had a family that loved her. I just want him to see me. And know that she just she wasn’t a piece of trash that was just thrown out and away. She was someone’s child. And I want him to know that. She was someone’s child. She was someone’s sister. She was someone’s niece. She was someone’s daughter. She was someone’s friend.

Imara Jones: My last question is, you know, during a period of so much difficulty…of loving your daughter, and then losing your daughter last year, and now being able to see the person who did it held to account, I’m wondering if you have an idea yet, of what healing looks like for you, and healing looks like for your family?

Terri Edmonds: Healing looks like that he will never be able to hurt someone else again. Healing looks like my family advocating for change. Healing looks like taking some things that I’ve found from Rem–that I found of Rem’mie’s that she had and how she wanted to help others in the community. I have that. That’s my healing. I want to move forward, advocating. And for change. That’s, that’s gonna be my healing space.

Imara Jones: Well, I think that everyone listening is 1,000% with you and behind you, when you underscore the need for change. And for us to have a world as you said, where Black trans women have supported and are protected. I know that the love that you have for your daughter is something that everyone will be able to hear and connect to. And I think, again, we all just honor you and the way in which you love your daughter and we’re sending you the best as you continue to advocate for a world where there won’t be many more obituaries like Rem’mie’s.

Terri Edmonds: Again, I–I thank you for allowing me the space to be able to talk today. And to be able to uplift her, her name in a different light. And to let everyone know that there’s love in families of Black transgender women. And if you don’t feel that, my arms are wide open, to give love to Black trans women.

Imara Jones: Thank you so much. And thank you for joining us. That was Terri Edmonds. The mother of Dominique Rem’mie Fells, a vibrant Black trans woman who was murdered last summer.

In the movement for trans liberation, there are many mothers. People in our communities creating resources and supporting us in profound ways. One such woman is LaSaia Wade. She’s the founder and executive director of the Brave Space Alliance, the first Black- and trans-led LGBTQ center on the Southside of Chicago. It’s an organization committed to creating and providing affirming, culturally competent resources, programming and services for and by the communities they serve.

LaSaia is also known for her powerful activism, which includes being the central organizer for the largest march for trans rights in Midwestern history: the Trans Liberation Protest Chicago. And she’s a new mother. For all of these reasons, LaSaia, I’m delighted to have you on the show today. I just wanted to let everybody know that we will be focusing on you today. But it is also the case that in addition to having an infant, you have a husband, who is also trans, you all are recently married. But today, as I said, we’re going to focus on you. And I’m so happy that you’re joining us.

LaSaia Wade: Thank you. Thank you. I’m excited to be here.

Imara Jones: I’m wondering if you can just describe your journey into motherhood? Is it something for yourself that you saw for yourself when you were young?

LaSaia Wade: No, I did not. I wanted the new shoes. I wanted the new cars, I wanted the new Louis Vuitton bag that came out, the exclusive bags. I never thought I will be a mother.

Imara Jones: It’s so funny because Precious Brady-Davis said the same thing, almost exactly to a tee. When did you decide, “This is something that I want to do?”

LaSaia Wade: I was thrown into it.

Imara Jones: How do you get thrown into it?!

LaSaia Wade: The reason why I was thrown into it is, when I was younger, I had to raise my two younger sisters, I had parents that were very much so drug addicts. And then I had to learn how to grow up really quick. I took started taking care of my younger sisters, when I was the age of 16, I had to drop out of high school to actually make sure the bills are paid, make sure they were fed, make sure they went to school. So I was quickly thrown into parenthood in that motion. And I had to learn very much so quickly what motherhood actually really would look on myself. And ever since then I’ve been mothering, either my sisters or my community.

Imara Jones: Wow. So can you explain the process of how you were thrown into this version of motherhood with a child that you and your partner created together as a trans couple? I wanted to just have a sense of when you went from, “This is something that I want to do,” to “This is something that I want to do, and that we will do.” I mean, it totally makes sense against your your life and the backdrop of your life that this was something that would not be on the scheduled agenda. So when did it get on the scheduled agenda for you?

LaSaia Wade: It was about three years ago, we were having conversations around, we are parenting community, we are parenting everyone else, but our own, and what did it look like for us to have our own? Or what did it look like to start a family of our own? And it came to a point of like, should we? Is it possible? The work that we do is very scary. Will we bring a child in this world? Should we bring a child in this world together? So it was multiple questions that we asked each other, it was multiple points of like, we wanted to adopt, and we’re still going to adopt, but we wanted to have something that was me and his, a connection that me and him have.

Imara Jones: And was it his idea? Who started the conversation? Or did you both, say, at the same time look at each other and be like, you know, “There’s something else we want to do because we’re…we are parenting, so let’s parent together with the child that we create,” or was it someone’s idea first?

LaSaia Wade: No, it was both of us. We both have been pa–he was the parent of his younger siblings as well. I was. And then I had multiple gay kids and he had one. And it was just like, yo, all this knowledge that we’re spreading around and all this knowledge that we’re giving to everyone else, we can cultivate our own and then actually really taking our knowledge and leveling it up.

Imara Jones: So you decided to go on this this journey together. And what did you two learn in the process of getting ready to create, of waiting for the child to get here, and then the early months of of infanthood? What have you two learn or how has it shifted you all as a couple?

LaSaia Wade: It was a headache, I’mma be honest, it was very stressful. He’s getting older. I am getting younger. 

Imara Jones: You mean, your partner’s getting older–

LaSaia Wade: Yes, yes. As long as they have retinol, I will always get younger.

But yeah, I, we, we–and time was ticking. So it was a point of either we’re gonna do it now or we’re not gonna do it at all. So once we had that conversation with ourselves, it’s like, okay, now we need to dive into it. And then it became a stressful moment of like, figuring out the times to make sure that we can try to conceive or What did it look like or this, then sex wasn’t fun anymore. It was it was so many things that was like, “Oh, I love having sex with you. But now I hate having sex with you.” Because now we have to have sex at particular times, right? And we didn’t have people to actually have a conversation with to like, What–what did it look like for two trans people to actually try to conceive or in explicitly, two Black trans people? Trying to conceive.

So, yeah, it was stressful at the beginning. But after one morning, it was a long week of him, like really moody at me. And I’m just like, “Why is he flipping these last few days,” and “what is happening?” And he was in the kitchen. But I came around the corner. I was like, I think you’re pregnant, because you have been nothing but an ass to me these last few days. And he looks at me and was like, “Why the hell is you in my head? I went to Walgreens today and I got a pregnancy test. And I’m pregnant.” And I’m like, “Are you serious?” I’m like, then I went into are you going to be nice to me? I’m like, I don’t know. So that’s how we found out. A few months later, after December or March hit the pandemic hit. And then that’s when our journey started.

Imara Jones: You touched upon this intersection I think is really important, of being a Black couple and a trans couple and conceiving. How do you think that parenting is different as a Black trans couple? And as a Black trans woman? How is it–how is it different?

LaSaia Wade: We were already seen as a trans woman we already received a particular type of violence towards people of like our womanhood or, explicitly him at, around his manhood. We were very careful around posting particular things because I have a huge following on Facebook and explicitly around my feminism and, and I knew there would be a particular type of attack that will come towards our identities, right. So you were very careful around having particular language for being in particular spaces, but it was a plus. Because we we had a baby during a pandemic. So we were already home. And we wasn’t in a lot of spaces, we didn’t have to deal with a lot of things that most pregnant people have to deal with outside of society. It was like a double edged sword back then. And it’s still a double edged sword right now. But we were very careful to navigate this space.

Imara Jones: Yeah, it’s so important. I’m wondering if you have thought about, or what resources you think need to be created for Black trans people and Black trans couples who are creating families and wanting to create families?

LaSaia Wade: So with that is, it is very rare. And what I mean by it is, as a lot of us out there trying to have kids or trying to conceive or even in partnership with other trans people. So we really had to figure out what queer spaces that we actually are feeling comfortable going into without the, the oohs and ahhs of like Black trans people are in this space, they’re pregnant. And then oh, we have to talk about what it looked like to be anti Black.

Well, we’re just trying to really have a baby right now. And focus our energy on that and making sure that he is okay through this moment, less stress, please, less talk. But how do we make sure we move through this moment of having a baby right now, and explicitly navigating a system where Black pregnant bodies are constantly under worry around, “Will I make it out on the other end throughout this medical system?” So we’re lucky enough that we had his sister, his sister is a midwife, and also a nurse and that was a pinnacle point for us. And also one of our good friends is, was a midwife as well.

So we really had the support that we needed to navigate the medical system if we had to go to the hospital or if we had to go to see a nurse in particular moments, but we really had a system there. So in that moment, it was just less stress around that.

Imara Jones: Yeah, I think that it’s a really powerful point that we know that infant mortality and Black people who give birth dying are at epidemic and off-the-charts level. And the reason why they’re the highest is, according to the CDC, this is not me making it up, is almost exclusively due to racism when you isolate for everything else. And then if you layer being on trans on top of that, and the stereotypes, I think that it’s a really powerful point that you make, and one that we, we need to focus on even more, and I’m glad that you were able to have the support to navigate that.

As you raise your son, as you touched upon before, you all have been very intentful and focused on creating this being, and a certain type of being in the world. What do you hope to impart to him as he grows up?

LaSaia Wade: When you ask that I go into the thought that my gay mother Valerie Spencer tells me is you’re literally creating liberation as a Black trans person. This is the pinnacle of a child being liberated from all types of chains, the understanding that trans people cannot give birth or have kids, the understanding that queer people cannot give birth or have kids, the understanding that Black queer, and trans people and the parents fighting are freedom fighters too, right? So this child or children, therefore after that are raised by us are able to live with, with, chains that we have broken, I call our generation, the chain breakers. And that call the next generation the ankle breaker–breakers. The reason why I say that is because we brought in, our generation brought in, what it looks like to rest. And next thing you know it the next generation is to come in and run and understanding what rest looks like while running without having to worry about the traumas of our parents and our ancestors.

So I am excited to see this little liberated mind just to be able to give all types of pushback. And the reason why I say I’ll types to push back because I’m excited to see what they, what they talk about or how they push back in school, when they’re talking about historical things in school or talk about Blackness because his father is so involved in pan-Africanism and the understanding around Blackness, I can just imagine the force that he will have when he gets older.

Imara Jones: Wow. Well, one thing I should say is that you mentioned Valerie Spencer, who is an amazing person and figured out community, but if she’s listening, she’ll be very upset if we don’t say the Reverend Valerie Spencer. We will hear about it. You’ll hear about it first.

LaSaia Wade: I won’t, because she’s my mother. But she knows I honor her daily. Respectfully, but yes, that: Reverend Valerie Spencer.

Imara Jones: Exactly. So I wanted to end kind of where you began in thinking about this stage of your parenting journey, which is how you are a mother in a community and how your leadership and executive directorship flows out of a sense of caretaking and motherhood. And I’m wondering how parenting has shifted your activism, or what you want to achieve with Brave Space Alliance?

LaSaia Wade: Parenting has always shifted my activism, like I stated before is, it came from a young age of understanding that you have to take care, you have to be able to not love, but also be this, it’s a certain type of Black stern love that you have to give. And it doesn’t come with malice. It doesn’t come with any type of like pain, it doesn’t come come from that at all. But it’s a particular type of vibration that Black and brown bodies actually can carry. When we actually really intentionally are loving and care for the people that are around us without judgment. My mother told me a while ago, a long time ago, she said, “I don’t care if you run around with a tutu. All I’m going to do is ask to make sure you got water. You got socks or shoes on to make sure you don’t get cuts. And I’m not going to judge you. I’m going to make sure you walk you’re running up and down the street. And I’m going to sit on the porch and enjoy myself like while you enjoying yourself while on your run.”

And that is a good placement of non-judgmental care. Right. And that has always moved into how I maneuver throughout this world, is “I don’t care what you do, who you are, how you come into the space, I just want to make sure you’ve got enough food, resources and water and clothes if you need them, um, when leave this door.” And now what that’s always how I’m going to maneuver throughout this world with enough love to make sure that you understand that this is always gonna be a place where you are loved, cared for and it’s gonna always feel like home when you walk through these doors.

Imara Jones: I think that I can speak for everyone that we can’t wait to see not only how motherhood continues to to shape your leadership, but your family and through what you all have been able to create, both in terms of your work, and your family. And I just want to thank you for taking the time, out of incredibly busy time as a new parent, and a leader and as a wife to talk to us today. I’m so grateful.

LaSaia Wade: No problem. Thank you. I appreciate being in this space. And I’m excited to listen to it as well.

Imara Jones: Thank you. Thank you, and happy Mother’s Day. 

LaSaia Wade: Thank you. 

Imara Jones: That was LaSaia Wade, the founder and executive director of the Brave Space Alliance. She’s also a new mother. Thank you for joining me on the TransLash podcast. Now listen all the way through to the end of this show for something extra. I’m Imara Jones.

If you like what you heard, please go to Apple Podcasts to rate and review us. You can listen to TransLash wherever you get your podcasts. Check us out on the web at translash.org to sign up for our weekly newsletter. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @translashmedia, like us on Facebook and tell your friends. The TransLash podcast is produced by TransLash Media. The TransLash team includes Oliver-Ash Kleine, Montana Thomas, and Yannick Eike Mirko. Our intern is Miranda Munson-Burke. Alexander Charles Adams does the sound editing for our show. Jay McCullough helped with production for today’s episode. Our digital strategy is handled by Daniela Capistrano. The music you heard was composed by Ben Draghi and also courtesy of ZZK Records. The TransLash Podcast is made possible by the support of the Heising-Simons foundation.

Alright, TransLash fam. What am I looking forward to? Well, the reality is that my birthday is on Sunday, May 9th. So I’m looking forward to that. Of course, it’s gonna be a weird one. It’s on Mother’s Day. And sadly, I lost my mother to cancer 10 years ago. So it’s always hard. And I actually learned of her cancer on Mother’s Day, excuse me, I was in New York, and I was flying to Atlanta that weekend because we were going to celebrate Mother’s Day, because that weekend that that year was over a weekend. And I called my mom on my birthday. And she was really, really, really ill that day. And I basically forced her to go to the hospital. And I think I flew down the next day and she was in the hospital. And that began a year-long, almost a year-long journey into her ailment–illness and eventual passing.

So that’s always a mixed day for me. But I have to say that there’s so many people, nearly 600,000 people that will not be here this year. And although I won’t be able to celebrate with my friends in the way that I wish, I’m in New York, and we could do it outside. It’s going to rain this weekend. I’m grateful to be alive. And I will find other ways to celebrate perhaps later in May or June, but I’m just grateful to be alive and I don’t feel the need to make a massive splash about that because um, there’s been so much loss and and sometimes breath is the gift. That’s what I’m thinking about.

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