Addressing Transphobia and Creating Affirming Spaces[Podcast 038]

In Episode 38 Amber Karnes sits down with Tristan Katz and Maygen Nicholson to address a few common transphobic talking points and discuss how we can support our trans and gender expansive community members. Tristan and Maygen are both educators who focus on LGBTQ+ awareness, advocacy, and wellness at the center of their work. In this interview, Tristan and Maygen discuss gender identity, why we should all be invested in dismantling the gender binary, and why representation matters. They debunk many commonly held, harmful narratives about trans and gender non-conforming folks, and talk about action steps for learning and beyond. This conversation invites us to take a deeper dive into understanding gender identity and creating affirming space for our trans siblings.

Note: This conversation was recorded in response to the March 22nd J. Brown yoga podcast interview with Katchie Ananda on the topic of “Gender Spectrum and Biological Sex.” Both J. and Katchie are cisgender individuals. The conversation they shared was rooted in biological exceptionalism, trans* exclusionary feminism, transphobia, homophobia, racism, and tokenization. We found it deeply hurtful and problematic and felt the need to address it publicly to stand in solidarity with our trans* and non-binary siblings.

Download Episode 38 Download Transcript

This week on the podcast:

  • Tristan and Maygen introduce themselves and talk about their work. They also discuss how the past few weeks have affected them personally
  • Basic language definitions - cisgender, transgender, nonbinary, intersex, AMAB, AFAB
  • Why these aren’t “labels” or boxes, but ways of affirming our students and one another
  • Origin of the gender binary and its racist roots
  • How dismantling the gender binary helps everyone be liberated
  • How colonization has affected the visibility (or invisibility) of trans people who have existed across cultures, continents, and throughout history
  • Why the narrative that “trans folks are in the wrong body” is harmful and how we can speak about this instead
  • Why representation matters
  • Trans folks in sports
  • Action steps for learning and beyond
  • How this relates back to yoga and equity

About Tristan Katz

Tristan Katz (they/them) is a writer, educator, and digital strategist specializing in business and marketing coaching-consulting, web and graphic design. They serve a wide range of clients in the wellness industry, including yoga teachers, healing arts practitioners, and other prominent change-makers. As an equity-inclusion facilitator, Tristan offers workshops and trainings centered around queer identity and LGBTQ+ awareness with an anti-oppression and intersectional lens. Through their podcast, articles, digital workbooks, and marketing workshops, Tristan supports those who seek to grow their work while staying aligned with the practices of yoga, equity, diversity, and inclusivity.


About Maygen Nicholson

Maygen Nicholson (she/they) is dedicated to helping liberate hearts and minds free of biases and beliefs that inevitably hold us back from our true, authentic selves. They particularly focus on issues related to their LGBTQIA+ family. They do this through facilitating spaces that focus on LGBTQIA+ inclusion and affirmation education with an intersectional lens all while remaining rooted in wellness. They believe that being well is inherent to our collective liberation and are always exploring and integrating where wellness and education intersect. Whether through their workshops, trainings, one on one sessions, their Patreon, or other platforms that they have the honor of educating on, Maygen is honored to guide wellness practitioners, movement professionals, businesses, entrepreneurs, and beyond into becoming a part of making this world a safer, better, more affirming place for Queer, Trans*, and non-binary people everywhere.

Resources from this episode

Trans* and non-binary yoga teachers to follow and support:


Educators to learn from:


Intersex Organizations to support

Intersex Justice Project - @intersexjusticeproject
interACT - @interact_adv

Connect With Us

Jivana Heyman: Website | Instagram | Facebook
Amber Karnes: Website | Instagram | Facebook
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