As new generations increasingly have the knowledge and social acceptance to explore their identities, the number of openly transgender people in our world—especially transgender youth—is rapidly rising. Yet despite these recent spikes— the transgender community is still comparatively small: making up roughly 0.6% of the global population. As a result, many cisgender people (meaning those of us whose gender aligns with the one we were assigned at birth) have little to no lived experience interacting with transgender people. What we’re exposed to instead is whatever our media, political, and social leaders choose to tell us about them, resulting in a perilous gap between actual transgender people and a series of cultural stereotypes. This gulf in our understanding not only endangers the trans population, it harms all of us, discouraging marginalized demographics from working together, making it even more difficult for us to dismantle oppressive structures, and denying cisgender people the chance to love their trans neighbors.
Fortunately, some transgender people are stepping forward to help bridge this divide, sharing their personal stories, dispelling dangerous myths, and helping us envision a more egalitarian future for all. On today’s episode I’m happy to say we’ll be joined by two such voices: Sam Rose Preminger and Domi Shoemaker
Sam Rose Preminger (they/them) is a trans-nonbinary, Jewish writer and publisher. They hold an MFA from Pacific University, serve as the Editor-in-Chief of NAILED Magazine, and are a contributing editor at Lightship Press and Write Bloody Publishing. Their poetry has appeared in numerous publications online and in print. Their debut collection of poems —'Cosmological Horizons' — is forthcoming from Kelsay Books (Summer 2022). They live in Portland, OR, where they've acquired too many house plants.
Domi J Shoemaker (they/them) is an Idaho-born gender flexer who founded the quarterly reading series, Burnt Tongue, after cutting teeth in Tom Spanbauer’s Dangerous Writers workshop. While finishing an MFA in Writing in 2015, author Lidia Yuknavitch asked Domi to help her create the Corporeal Writing Seasonal Workshop Series. With a resounding yes, Domi is now the Corporeal Writing Seasonal Workshop Co-Facilitator. Domi has published at [PANK], Nailed Magazine, Unshod Quills, Gobshite Quarterly, and has a story in the anthology, The Night and The Rain and The River, from Forest Avenue Press. They were recently featured in the literary radio theatre podcast, Storytellers Telling Stories.