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The Tide of Change in Tuscaloosa

It’s been 18 years since I stepped on campus as a freshman at the University of Alabama as a teenage queer kid. A lot has changed since that day. On this episode of The Strong Stance, I explore the strides the campus and the town of Tuscaloosa have made, while celebrating the 15th anniversary of UA Safe Zone, which I co-founded in 2002, Homecoming, and speaking at Druid City Pride that’s still in its early years of existence. Resources: Instagram:...


Both Sides Now

Experience changes your life. It changes how you see things, how you perceive the world and your future expectations. With experience, you may look at life, in the words of Joni Mitchell, from Both Sides Now. On this episode, I’m bringing you stories from three trans folks about seeing different sides of their own personal life events. Story Tellers: JB Fuoco [“Seeing Both Sides (and the Middle Too)”] Julian [“It’s Hard to Understand, I Know”] Kris McElroy [“Fears and Joys”] JB Fuoco...


Chris Jennings, The Coffee King

This month’s Spotlight is focused on Chris Jennings: drag king, photographer, podcaster and host of the new weekly Facebook Live show, Coffee with Chris. They are truly an all around entrepreneur. We discussed what has gotten them to this point, what keeps them going, and their previous and current ventures, including a drag king-focused photo book called Kingxtaposition. We had such a great time with this conversation, so I hope you enjoy it. Resources: Fierce!:...


The State of Queer Public Health

With the recent House passing of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the state of queer public health is even more unsure and in danger. Part of what AHCA does, and what has caused the loudest outrage, is make it more difficult for folks with pre-existing conditions to get and keep adequate and affordable health insurance, and by extension, health*care*. A few items that have been listed as pre-existing conditions by the Kaiser Family Foundation include AIDS, HIV, “sexual deviation or...


Angela Dumlao & Call Me They

On this episode, I am honored to have the brilliant Angela Dumlao as my Spotlight guest! We discussed their wildly popular trans and non-binary versions of the #ShePersisted memes, as well as the rest of their projects including Call Me They, Post Traumatic Super Delightful, and @MenswearSelfCare. We had a great discussion about gender, individualized healing, fashion, and self-care. I had such a wonderful time talking to Angela and I hope they will grace the show again soon. You can find...


Kendra Brill

On this episode of The Strong Stance Spotlight, I speak to Kendra Brill about her life, her time in prison, her struggle with addiction, her transition, her faith and her new book, ‘The Kendra Brill Story: From Out Of The Ashes A Phoenix Emerges’. You can purchase the book here: You can connect with Kendra on Facebook here: Download Episode… The...


Angry, Broken, Processing, and Trying to Heal

A lot has happened in the country, in the trans community, and in my own personal life in the last 5 weeks. The bulk of it has left me very angry and broken. Join me on this episode of The Strong Stance, as I discuss the events of the past month, including the Transgender Day of Remembrance, the election and its aftermath, my recent move and the toll that it’s all taken. If you would like to donate to the work of the Trans Women of Color Collective, go to and click ‘Donate’ in...


Adjusting to Southern Intersections

Moving to any new environment always means adjustment: Taking a new job, starting a new family, moving to a new city. With each of these shifts often comes a new culture and a new social circle. And while building that circle can be at least somewhat difficult for most people, it’s particularly more onerous if you belong to a community that is not widely accepted or even understood. Combine that with any other minority status and the intersectionality of those identities can compound those...


Benny’s June

The month of June was particularly eventful for a lot of the queer community: Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, Pride, the Pulse shooting in Orlando and more…and clearly not all of it was positive. These events affected people in different ways and, in the case of Benny Rodriguez, they weren’t the only events that made June emotionally taxing. So we sat down for a chat about…Benny’s June. We discussed the Latinx community, the anti-blackness found at many of the aforementionedevents,...


Basil Soper & Transilient

My wife and I recently took a trip down to New Orleans for a week. Just before we left, I was introduced to this month’s guest via a mutual friend on Facebook, and in a bizarre turn of events, he happens to live in New Orleans. So long story short, I got to meet him and talk about this amazing adventure he’s about to embark on…and I had to have him on to share it with The Strong Stance listeners. My guest is Basil Soper and he is joining us to discuss his life and his newest project,...


Bathroom Bill Breakdown

In the last several weeks, both the state of North Carolina and the city of Oxford, Alabama have passed legislation limiting or prohibiting the trans community from utilizing the public facilities of their correct gender. These bills are HB2 in North Carolina and City Ordinance 2016-18 in Oxford. Join me as I breakdown some of the points, counterpoints and realities of these bills and the harm they inflict on the trans community, as well as the complete lack of protection that they provide...


Christian Zsilavetz & Pride School Atlanta

If it’s felt lately like there has been a large number of anti-trans bills proposed across the country…it’s not your imagination. There has. NCTE is currently tracking some 49 proposed and inactive bills in 19 states in the 2016 legislative session. And a vast majority of those laws affect transgender and gender non-conforming students. These are the bathroom and locker room bills you’ve likely heard about: That a student must use the restroom that matches their sex assigned at birth, or...


Family Matters

Each of these segments will feature a story about events involving a family member or members. I have some amazing stories for you today, about pain, about joy, and hopefully you’ll laugh a bit along the way as well. Story Tellers: Eli Strong [“Expectations”] Julian [“Black and Blue”] Ari Agha [“Aunt Miriam”] Julian [“Black and Blue”] is a 30 something year old black trans man navigating life as a mental health professional in Washington, DC on a non-profit salary. When he’s not...


About Face

The stories in this episode showcase a few of the ways in which we present ourselves to the world around us and how those performances and presentations affect our lives moving forward. Is the face that we show to the world the same one we see in the mirror? How do we view society and how are we viewed in it? And will these experiences change the trajectory of our future and how we move through our daily lives? Welcome…to The Strong Stance Stories. Story Tellers: Eli Strong...


FTMFitCon 2015

I recently presented at the FTM Fitness Conference in Atlanta. It was three days of speakers, breakout sessions and events focused on the acknowledgement, discussion, education and celebration of transgender fitness in all forms: physical, emotional, mental and financial. This was the second year for the FTMFitcon, which will soon be going thru a rebranding of sorts…but we’ll get to that later. For most people that have heard of FTMFitCon, they know it as the ‘First FTM Bodybuilding...


The Injustice of Incarceration

In the last few years, there has been ever increasing media attention on the subject of incarceration, particularly in how those institutions affect transgender inmates. From CeCe McDonald’s imprisonment for defending herself in an assault, to Laverne Cox’s portrayal as Sophia Burset in Orange Is the New Black, to Jennicet Gutierrez’s White House protest of transgender detainee treatment in ICE custody. Today we have two guests joining us to discuss the current state of the American prison...


The Rampant Murders of Transgender Women

For all the advancements that the transgender community has seen over the last couple years, there are still staggering statistics of discrimination and oppression that our community faces on a daily basis. We face employment and housing discrimination, the outright denial of adequate healthcare or the coverage thereof, bullying, suicide and murder at alarming rates. Tracee McDaniel of the Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, Cheryl C. Courtney-Evans of T.I.L.T.T, Inc. (Transgender...


The Trans-lation of Marriage Equality

A month ago The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that same-sex marriage is now legal nationwide. NPR’s Nina Totenberg said that this case, Obergefell (OH-ber-guh-fell) v. Hodges is a landmark ruling that is “right up there with Brown v. Board of Education, and Roe v. Wade.” Facebook exploded with rainbow flags and the White House was lit up in rainbow spotlights; and people celebrated in the streets, in their homes and at events. But how does this decision affect the transgender and...


Did We Leave Pride, or Did Pride Leave Us?

It’s Pride season again and while so many people are attending festivals, parties and parades to celebrate the equality gains that have been made in the LGBTQ community and rejoicing in the existence of any space that allows us to truly exist in the comfort of our own skins without the judgement and burdens that come with daily life in the non-queer world, I have to ask the question of where the trans community fits into this schema. It’s ironic that we have to have a conversation about...


Is the T Transitioning Out of LGBT?

When it comes to the referring to larger “gay” or “queer” community (and I’m using air quotes here), most people and organizations have settled on the acronym LGBT, or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. While each of these individuals are not identical, nor do they sometimes even share some of the same characteristics, they have found themselves grouped together as one collective community. But why is that? And what are the benefits of the collective versus the individual, or rather the...