Gender Identity

The transgender rights flag with a healthcare emblem.
GLAAD

Stigma, confusion and outright discrimination shape the health care experiences of many transgender and gender non-conforming people. In a national survey of transgender people in the U.S., 29% said health care providers had refused to see them because of their actual or perceived gender identity. 

On this edition of the Embodied series, host Anita Rao learns about the ways gender-affirming doctor’s visits, home life and classrooms can improve health outcomes for transgender and gender-nonconforming people. 

Bailar half out of the pool.
Sydney Clair Photography

Schuyler Bailar was swimming solo before his first birthday. He learned a love for swimming at Mommy and Me classes, competed in his first swim meet at age 7 and qualified for national competitions before he got to high school. 

People rollerskating on a flat track in wearing team unirforms.
Robert Davezac

The fast-skating, hard-hitting sport of roller derby was incredibly popular in the United States from the 1940s to the 1970s. The sport fell out of favor and into dormancy for several years — until a few punk-rock women in the early 2000s decided to pick it back up again.

Courtesy of Lachlan Watson

Raleigh-native Lachlan Watson got their start in acting by being at the right place at the right time. As the smart, quirky kid who hung out at Burning Coal Theatre while their mom worked front of house, Watson got called in to play all kinds of roles, from a child in the throes of the Enron scandal to a dog. Their acting chops earned them many future roles including the titular part in “Henry VI,” but it was the experience of playing such a wide swath of characters that Watson says helped them learn to express their identity in an authentic way. 

photo of Jacob Tobia
© Oriana Koren

Jacob Tobia grew up a gender non-conforming child in the Triangle. And while many narratives of LGBTQ life in the South are saddled with stories of bullying and strife, Tobia had a different experience.

Duke University’s Divine Divide

Mar 15, 2018
photo of duke chapel
Wikimedia Commons

In 2014, the LGBTQ community rallied around students at Duke Divinity School after former Dean Richard Hays warned incoming students that under the rules of the United Methodist Church openly gay individuals would not be ordained and gay marriage is not accepted. Though Dean Hays is long gone, some students continue to voice discontent. During the state-of-the-school speech last month, Dean Elaine Heath was interrupted by LGBTQ students carrying bullhorns and chanting “I am somebody, and I won’t be stopped by nobody.”

School is full of conflict. This week we explore three conflicts in the classroom. Students and teachers use poetry and stories to reflect on moments of friction at school and help us understand why they matter. 

Stories with a Heartbeat is a new podcast from WUNC hosted by poet Will McIneney that uses poetry and storytelling to explore the complexity of conflict. 

photo of a unisex bathroom sign
Tombe / Wikipedia

North Carolina’s House Bill 2 has stirred up numerous conversations about the lives of transgender Americans. It has also illuminated many misconceptions about what gender identity is and how it is formed.

Groups of scientists have stood up in opposition to HB2, arguing that there are genetic and biological causes of gender differences, and for the vast majority of trans individuals, their gender identity is not a choice.