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How to Be a Girl

Marlo Mack

Kids & Family

4.81.2K Ratings


How to Be a Girl is an audio podcast I produce about life with my six-year-old transgender daughter. It stars the two of us -- a single mom and a six-year-old "girl with a penis" -- as we attempt together to sort out just what it means to be a girl.

36 Episodes

Episode XXXIII: How We Are Now

It's been over two years. I wanted to let you know how we are doing. Thank you for your patience. (Spoiler: My daughter is still amazing.) MUSIC CREDITS:Tides (instrumental) by Benjamin Mullins (Courtesy of Audiosocket)Lost in the Dark (instrumental) by Forest Sun (Courtesy of Audiosocket)

Transcribed - Published: 25 December 2023

Episode XXXII: The Medical Stuff

For years, people have asked me what I would do when my daughter hit puberty. Was I going to let her do... the "medical stuff?" Well, right after the pandemic struck, so did puberty. And this is what my daughter (and her mother) decided to do.

Transcribed - Published: 6 September 2021

Episode XXX: Emma at last

I want you to meet my good friend, Emma. When she was a little girl, she was just like my daughter. But no one knew her for 60 years. I'm so glad she's here now.

Transcribed - Published: 23 September 2019

Episode XXIX: Eleven

I sit down for a talk with my (almost) 11-year-old: Cliques, gossip, fashion, puberty, and how it feels to be a transgender tween. MUSIC CREDIT: “Little Girl” by Jetty Rae (Courtesy of Audiosocket)

Transcribed - Published: 25 January 2019

Episode XXVIII: The Tell

A new friend at school. A poker lesson. A 10-year-old hatches a plan.MUSIC CREDITS:“Ganef” by Vagabond Opera and “Moonlight Love Affair” by Steve Rice (Courtesy of Audiosocket)“Chill Wave” by Kevin MacLeod “The Reckoning” by Podington BearPlease consider checking out our Support Page. Your help keeps this podcast going!

Transcribed - Published: 31 December 2018

Episode XXVII: Playdates with Christians

Are the new next-door neighbors going to let their daughters play with mine if they find out she's transgender? To attempt to answer this question, I seek expert advice from a new friend in the Bible Belt. MUSIC CREDITS:“Morning” by Nicole Reynolds, “Shall We Gather at the River” by Pat Holmberg, “Amazing Grace Solo Piano” by Lana Palmer (Courtesy of Audiosocket)"Canoe" by Podington Bear"Amazing Grace," piano and vocals by Miss M. MackPlease consider supporting us on Patreon. It really helps keep this podcast going!

Transcribed - Published: 29 November 2018

Episode XXVI: Sarah McBride

Need to hear a positive story about politics? I know I do. Here's the inspiring story of Sarah McBride, the young transgender activist who gives me hope (and is my personal pick for the first transgender president). MUSIC CREDITS: "Halflight," “G Piano," “Across the River, and "Triste" by Podington Bear; “Asturias” by Isaac Albeniz (Courtesy of Audiosocket).Please consider supporting us on Patreon. It really helps keep this podcast going!

Transcribed - Published: 6 November 2018

Episode XXV: To Tell or Not to Tell? (Advice from HTBAG listeners)

In the last episode, I asked my listeners to help me answer this question: Should my daughter tell the kids at her new school that she's transgender? In this episode, you will hear the wisdom that came back to me. My cup runneth over.MUSIC CREDITS: “Den," "Floating in Space," "Surface Tension," and "Threshold" by Podington Bear; "You Are a Memory" by Message to Bears (Courtesy of Audiosocket); and "Leave Them" and "Telling Me So" by St. Paul de Vence. Please consider supporting us. It really helps keep this podcast going!

Transcribed - Published: 30 October 2018

Episode XXIV: Moving & Marrying, Part III - New School

My daughter starts fifth grade at a new school next month.  It's a fresh start, where no one knows that she's transgender.  How do I handle this? How do I advise her?  Should she keep her transgender status to herself or be more open? At the end of this episode, I'll be asking for your advice: What should I do?MUSIC CREDITS: "Sensitive" and "Constellation" by Podington Bear (licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0) and "Bloom" by Jahzzar (licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0).

Transcribed - Published: 20 August 2018

Episode XXIII: Moving & Marrying, Part II - Won't you be my neighbor?

We've moved.  To the suburbs.  We're getting to know the new neighbors, and we're wondering: Will they accept us here? MUSIC CREDITS:  "Glitter" and "Chauncy" by Podington Bear (licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0) and "Bloom" by Jahzzar (licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0).

Transcribed - Published: 31 July 2018

Episode XXII: Moving & Marrying, Part I - The Prince

Did you know there's a wedding coming up, uniting an Englishman with an American bride?  Listen now for ALL the juicy details on this intercontinental couple's forthcoming nuptials! (And hear what my daughter thinks of her soon-to-be stepdad.)MUSIC CREDITS: "Lord of the Land," "Evening Melodrama," "Master of the Feast," "The Rule," and "Bossa Bossa" by Kevin MacLeod

Transcribed - Published: 17 May 2018

Episode XXI: Going First

In this episode, my daughter and I get to talk with two of our heroes.  Jazz Jennings is a reality TV star, LGBTQ activist, and arguably the most famous transgender teen in the world.  Her mom Jeanette is as brave as they come. MUSIC CREDITS:  “Springtime,” “Quartrefoil,” and “Blue” by Podington Bear (licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0) “Helice” by Monplaisir (licensed under CC0 1.0) “Comedie” by Jahzzar (licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0)

Transcribed - Published: 10 May 2018

Episode XX: The Betrayal

Of course I knew this was going to happen eventually.  But that didn't make it any easier when it did.  Music credits: “Chicxuclub” and “Transient” by Podington Bear“Undaunted” by Kevin MacLeod“Dormir rien de plus” by Monplaisir

Transcribed - Published: 26 April 2018

We're back! Welcome to a new season!

After a pretty lengthy hiatus, we're back!  The first episode of the 2018 season comes out next week.  Here's a little taste of what's to come.   Music credits:  "Lode Runner" and "Sorrento" by Podington Bear.

Transcribed - Published: 19 April 2018

We Shall Overcome

Transcribed - Published: 15 January 2018

A little girl, a holiday, big news, and... a miracle!

This mini-episode contains: One VERY excited little girl awaiting Santa, news of the big changes coming to our lives, my plans for the future of this podcast, and... a miracle! Music credits:Dee Yan-Key,  "Santa on Tour" (licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)Borrtex, "Buying Presents" (licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0)

Transcribed - Published: 25 December 2017

When it rains it pours

How can the best of times also be the worst of times? This spring nearly washed me away... but not quite.  M. tries her hand at TV journalism. Music credit: David Mumford, “Singing in the Rain (Instrumental)" (licensed under CC BY 4.0)

Transcribed - Published: 6 July 2017

Episode XIX: Red State Mama

I thought I was pretty brave until I met my counterpart from a red state. Music credits: "Telling Me So" and "Spring" (instrumental) by St. Paul de Vence  

Transcribed - Published: 22 February 2017

A little update from Marlo

This tiny episode is mostly silly, and a little bit serious.  I also have some news.  Plus, cat videos. (KUOW is hosting a How to Be a Girl listening party in Seattle on February 26! Reserve a seat at http://kuow.org/post/join-us-how-be-girl-listening-party) MUSIC CREDITS:"Quirky Dog" by Kevin MacLeod (www.incompetech.com)"Mama" (instrumental) by St. Paul de Vence (Thank you, Benjamin Doerr!!) 

Transcribed - Published: 18 February 2017

Episode XVII: The Window

In 2013, Obama opened a window for transgender people when he made it easier to change the gender on your Social Security record. But with Trump coming into office, it looks like that window is about to close.  I hadn't been in much of a rush to change my 9-year-old transgender daughter's Social Security record, but I sure am now.  MUSIC CREDITS:“Dubakupado” by www.incompetech.com“Homeless California” by Monplaisir (public domain) “King Thumbscrew The Third” by Doctor Turtle (CC-BY-NC 4.0) 

Transcribed - Published: 11 January 2017

Episode XVI: How to Be a (Teen) Girl

It’s still five years off, but I think about it all the time.  What’s it going to be like when my transgender daughter becomes a teenager? Music credits:Andy G Cohen, "Land_Legs" (licensed under CC BY 4.0)David Mumford, "Twinkle Twinkle Instrumental" (licensed under CC BY 4.0)Loch Lomond, "Elephants and Little Girls" (licensed under CC BY 4.0)Kevin Macleod, “J.S. Bach, Prelude in C” (licensed under CC BY 3.0)

Transcribed - Published: 21 December 2016

Episode XV: Just Maybe

She hasn't got a womb or ovaries but she wants to be a mommy.  How do I tell my young daughter that she won't ever be a biological mother?  Music credits: "Child Come Home" by Michael Howard (Licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0)"Flagger" by Blue Dot Sessions (Licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0)“That Old Harpoon” by Gillicuddy (Licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0)

Transcribed - Published: 30 November 2016

A post-election message from my 8-year-old trans daughter

My 8-year-old transgender daughter is not giving up.  She's eating popcorn and singing and telling jokes and she has some advice for you. 

Transcribed - Published: 21 November 2016

Episode XIV: My Friend Lauren

When I first realized I had a transgender child, Lauren reached out and told me it was going to be OK. Ever since, she's been the one I lean on when I'm terrified. She's the bravest woman I know.  My friend, "Lauren," in 1979.  Music credits: “George Street Shuffle” and “In Your Arms” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) “Evenhanded” by Podington Bear “From here to Iceland" by Loch Lomond“I Enjoy Being a Girl,” performed by Christine Jorgensen"Mars Landscape: Moon Set” by Julie Maxwell (Source:  Free Music Archive, CC License)Thank you to my new supporters on Patreon.com: Brady Houck, Shaleece Haas, Rona So, Jennifer Zuber, Emily Hoff, Andrew Weisner, and Damiana Day. 

Transcribed - Published: 9 November 2016

Episode XIII: Play Date

My daughter has lots of friends, and she's big on play dates with other little girls.  But sometimes we need to book a special play date, because sometimes you just need to hang out with somebody who's just like you.   Music Credits: "The Temperature of the Air on the Bow of the Kaleetan” by Chris Zabriskie, “Hélice” by Monplaisir, and “Rainbow Street” by Scott Holmes.Thank you to my new supporters on Patreon.com:  Ann Frossard, Lorna McCarthy, Maricia Scott, Lyle Mattson, Ryann Grove, Jessica Gaab, and Risa Cyr.

Transcribed - Published: 19 October 2016

Episode XII: How to Be a Dad

When my husband and I split up four years ago, we agreed to share custody of our...."son." Four years later, we have a transgender daughter, and the crazy truth is that I've never really asked him how he feels about this.  So I did.  And this is what he said.  (I asked him a few other questions, too.)   Music credits: “The Father’s Name” by  Gianluca SgalambroThank you to my new supporters on Patreon.com:  Chris Wright, David Roswell, Laura Kivlen, Britt Tanner, Robyn Kanner, Nicole Villacres, Henry Richardson, Natasha Mooney, Spokane Trans* Map, Krystal Barrett-Jones, Remi Taylor, Michaela Friedman, Avery Shroeder, Ashley Page, Bergie and Brandon, Lindsey Wallace, Lily Krueger, Jonty Levine, Sam Calandra, Andreas Moesch, Genie Gratto, Michael Nessa

Transcribed - Published: 28 September 2016

Short and Silly

This isn't a full episode.  Just a little update on what we've been up to, with some very silly audio of my daughter. (What can I say? It's been a silly summer!)  There's also an important announcement about the future of this podcast and some news on my daughter's love life (and mine too!).  Music credits: "Fudge" by Gillicuddy

Transcribed - Published: 4 September 2016

Episode XI: Bathroom Bill

I never thought a bathroom bill - the kind they passed in North Carolina - would come to my home state.  But it did.  They're trying to pass one where I live, and this is the story of my fight (so far) against it.  (You can see more photos related to this story on my blog, gendermom.com.)Music credits: "Heartache" by Broke For Free, "Golden" by Little Glass Men, "A void" by johnny_ripper, "Pure Attitude" by Kevin MacLeod (www.incompetech.com), "The Tallest Man in Idaho" by Michael Howard, "Blessed Instant" by Oilvia chaney.Thank you to my new supporters on Patreon.com:  Cindy McGahee, Amanda Minor, Rene Justin Dado, Nanette Fok, Kristen Albright, Molly Tanner, Rae-Louise Enno, Lazbreath, Gina Trapani, Katelen Michelle Kellogg, Caitlin Pierce, William Shafer, Allison Lefrak

Transcribed - Published: 30 June 2016

Episode IX: School (Part I)

This episode has been six months in the making, because that's how long it took for this story to play out. It's the story of my daughter entering second grade at a new school where we knew no one, almost no one knew her secret, and I had no idea how I was going to keep her safe. Music credits: "Blackbird" and "Light Thought Variation 2" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), "Chiaroscuro" by Zé Trigueiros, and "Piano Symphony No. 1" by Miss M. Thank you to my generous supporters on Patreon.com!  Three cheers for Nicholas Harrigan, Sebastian Riisgaard, Krystal, Andrea Sackett, Andy Moore, David, Dustin Andres, and Mary Anne Sedney!   

Transcribed - Published: 9 March 2016

Episode VIII: Meeting Laverne

Earlier this year, my daughter got to meet the transgender TV star Laverne Cox. I wrote about it for my blog, and that heart-warming, feel-good post went crazy viral on the internet.  But there's more to the story.  Here it is. My daughter gave her first interview (to Amy Poehler's Smart Girls website): Check it out!Music credits: "Hearts Mend (Prelude)" by Rebecca Foon, "EDM Detection Mode" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), "nu pop2" by Plusplus.

Transcribed - Published: 5 August 2015

Episode VII: THE FACTS (about transgender kids)

When my "son" first started saying that "he" was actually a "she," I went looking for information. I wanted hard numbers. I wanted data. I wanted science to tell me to do. This is what I discovered.

Transcribed - Published: 30 June 2015

Episode VI: The Interview

This episode is a little different from the others I've made. It's mostly just my daughter talking, answering my questions about what it's like being a transgender six year old.  

Transcribed - Published: 25 December 2014

Episode V: Looking for Love

She's six years old and transgender.  I'm a single mom.  This is what happens when we both hit the dating scene and compare notes about it. Music credits: "Night Owl" by Broke for Free, "Is This What Mama Meant" by Michaela Anne.

Transcribed - Published: 20 November 2014

Episode IV: Tom Boy Trans Girl

How girlie do you have to be to secure your spot in the girl club?  And what happens when your own mother questions your girl credentials?  Bonus: The Origins of Acrobat Girl: Music credits:  "Action" and "Eastern" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), "Xena: Warrior Princess - Main Title" by Joseph LoDuca.

Transcribed - Published: 24 August 2014

Episode III: How Old is Gender?

Am I insane?  How can I be so sure that my young child is transgender?Music credits: "Her Love Comes in Air" by soundZcapa, "Gato" by Rod Hamilton, "Kaikou" by Satori.

Transcribed - Published: 8 July 2014

Episode I: Mama, I'm a Girl

When he was three years old, my son informed me that she was actually my daughter. I'm now the mother of a happy, confident little transgender girl, but it took a while to get here.

Transcribed - Published: 7 June 2014

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