Last June I had the absolute pleasure of standing in the back of the room watching my husband Mike share his heart and wisdom on a panel of incredible men at the BirthFit Summit.
I was so freaking proud of him.
Mike shared the stage with a man who spoke about something that really touched me.
This man was raised as a woman and transitioned to being a man in his early twenties.
He shared that he was the only person on the panel who knew both what it was like to be perceived as female during one time of his life and male after a certain point.
As a result, he had a unique perspective because he understood the experience of being a woman in our culture in a way that most other men cannot.
Aydian Dowling is a transgender man, a trans activist, a speaker, an entrepreneur, a husband, a dad, and someone who is impressively fit, compassionate, and articulate.
His wife, Jenillee, is an intuitive, a healer, a (MSW) social worker, a mother, a wife, an entrepreneur, and someone who is impressively empathic and transparent.
Together with their son Antler, they’re a family.
Not everyone understands what it means to be a trans person. Not everyone thinks they’re worthy of all of the things that everyone deserves.
But everyone deserves to be loved and to feel a sense of belonging and to be a family.
We wanted to feature the Dowlings on The Kate & Mike Show for a number of reasons, including that we really resonated with them as parents navigating being independently employed with a young child while also being committed to personal growth and awakening.
It’s also important to make configurations of family that challenge the status quo more visible, so the world can see that love comes in all forms and configurations and that everyone is worthy of it.
Listen in to this week’s episode of The Kate & Mike Show to learn:
How Aydian, the first transgender man ever to be on the cover of Men’s Health or any other mainstream magazine, first realized who he was.
What Aydian understands about women that many men don’t because he was raised female.
What the t-shirt that our daughter Ruby wears says that makes Mike uncomfortable and why.
The love story between Aydian and Jenilee and what baking had to do with it.
How becoming parents has challenged them and made them grow.
What’s next for both of them career-wise (they were both beautifully transparent about the moment they’re in right now in co-creating the future).
Once you’ve listened in to this important episode, we’d love to hear from you.
What did you learn from this episode? How can you apply that to your life and community?
Let us know in the comments!
In This Episode
The sweet story of how Aydian and Jenilee met and got together 10 years ago [7:31]
Why they celebrate the new year in October, not January [11:23]
How sexual orientation and gender identity differ [15:37]
When Aydian realized he was transgender and why his experience was so unique [19:04]
His insights from being born and raised female to now living in society as a male [21:48]
Jenilee’s dating history prior to being with Aydian and why trying to be a lesbian didn’t work [29:11]
Her perspective of being partners with a transgender person and the challenges she has faced in this role [31:06]
How they both handle the critics and the way that hate actually helps them grow [36:58]
What it’s been like for Jenilee to enter life as a public figure [47:26]
What both of their businesses now look like and the ways they are continuing to explore working together [50:31]
Aydian’s evolution as an activist, what is Jenilee’s true superpower, and more [56:46]