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Women of Impact

Jun 12, 2019

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What is it like being black and transgender in the United States foster care system? What is it like growing up queer in Iran? Nia Clark and Mahdis Rezaei join Lisa Bilyeu for a challenging and empathetic conversation. The adversity these two extraordinary queer women faced made them experts on discovering and celebrating their own sexuality and gender. They share their stories of continual transition, constant struggle and joyful self-love on this episode of Women of Impact.



Nia explains that she always understood that she was not a boy [5:41]

Nia describes the effect of abuse and social disapproval [7:43]

Mahdis describes the effect of growing up female in a traditional Iranian family [9:51]

Mahdis recounts her initial attractions to women [11:11]

Nia shares her path to self-acceptance [13:04]

Nia explains why she chose her authentic self over safety [16:36]

Mahdis answers questions about the hijab and why she took it off [17:22]

Nia describes her own very negative religious experiences [19:29]

Mahdis talks about meditation and how it led her to come out [20:46]

The panel discusses the journey to self-love [22:31]

Nia describes her continuing gender identity and sexuality transitions [24:58]

Nia illustrates how new terminology eliminates genitalia as the standard of attraction [28:55]

Mahdis advocates that sometimes labels like queer are necessary [29:47]

The panel considers gender as a spectrum, not a binary system [31:28]

Nia illuminates the connections between judgment, fear and oppression [33:52]

Nia talks about the transphobia she has faced from gay men and lesbians [36:30]

Mahdis advocates for more media images of queer people [37:43]

Nia expresses ambivalence about visibility, that it is not equality [38:18]

Nia contrasts tolerance with acceptance [41:21]

The panel discusses the benefits and dangers of coming out, disclosure and visibility [42:21]

The panel talks about respectful questions [44:07]

Nia and Mahdis describe their super-power [48:15]