Cover art for podcast How to Be a Girl

How to Be a Girl

38 EpisodesProduced by Marlo MackWebsite

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.

episodes iconAll Episodes

Episode I: Mama, I'm a Girl

June 7th, 2014

7:16

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 …

Episode II: Daily Life in the House of Girls

June 7th, 2014

10:00

What's it like raising a transgender child?  How did your family respond?  What about school?  How in the world does this work?  This episode gives …

Episode III: How Old is Gender?

July 8th, 2014

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.

Episode IV: Tom Boy Trans Girl

August 24th, 2014

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" …

Episode V: Looking for Love

November 20th, 2014

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 …

Episode VI: The Interview

December 25th, 2014

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 …

Episode VII: THE FACTS (about transgender kids)

June 30th, 2015

28:05

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. 

If you'd …

Episode VIII: Meeting Laverne

August 5th, 2015

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.  …

Episode IX: School (Part I)

March 9th, 2016

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 …

Episode X: School (Part II)

March 24th, 2016

This is a continuation of Episode IX. It tells the rest of the story of what happened when my transgender daughter started second grade at a new …

Episode XI: Bathroom Bill

June 30th, 2016

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 …

Short and Silly

September 4th, 2016

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 …

Episode XII: How to Be a Dad

September 28th, 2016

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 …

Episode XIII: Play Date

October 19th, 2016

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.  

Episode XIV: My Friend Lauren

November 9th, 2016

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 …

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

November 21st, 2016

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. 

Episode XV: Just Maybe

November 30th, 2016

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? 

Episode XVI: How to Be a (Teen) Girl

December 21st, 2016

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?

Episode XVII: The Window

January 11th, 2017

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 …

A little update from Marlo

February 18th, 2017

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

Episode XIX: Red State Mama

February 22nd, 2017

I thought I was pretty brave until I met my counterpart from a red state.

When it rains it pours

July 6th, 2017

How can the best of times also be the worst of times? This spring nearly washed me away... but not quite. 

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

December 25th, 2017

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 …

We're back! Welcome to a new season!

April 19th, 2018

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.  

Episode XX: The Betrayal

April 26th, 2018

Of course I knew this was going to happen eventually.  But that didn't make it any easier when it did. 

Episode XXI: Going First

May 10th, 2018

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 …

Episode XXX: Emma at last

September 23rd, 2019

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.

(Note: I recorded this interview early this year, when my …

Episode XXXI: M is for Middle School, Take Two

November 2nd, 2020

This episode is different from any of our previous episodes. It’s also a do-over, because the first version of this episode overlooked the fact that my daughter is growing up, fast. She’s almost a teenager, and we …

Episode XXXII: The Medical Stuff

September 6th, 2021

42:52

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 …

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