How to Be a Girl

36 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 XXIX: Eleven

January 25th, 2019

I sit down for a talk with my (almost) 11-year-old: Cliques, gossip, …

Episode XXVIII: The Tell

December 31st, 2018

A new friend at school. A poker lesson. A 10-year-old hatches a plan.


Episode XXVII: Playdates with Christians

November 29th, 2018

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, …

Episode XXVI: Sarah McBride

November 6th, 2018

Need to hear a positive story about politics? I know I do. Here's the …

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

October 30th, 2018

In the last episode, I asked my listeners to help me answer this question: …

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

August 20th, 2018

My daughter starts fifth grade at a new school next month.  It's a fresh …

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

July 31st, 2018

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" …

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

May 17th, 2018

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 …

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 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. 

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.  

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 …

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. 

Episode XIX: Red State Mama

February 22nd, 2017

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

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 XVIII: Big Sister

February 1st, 2017

I'm not transgender, but my daughter is. That means she needs someone to model the future who isn't me:  A transgender big sister. 

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 …

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 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? 

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 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 …

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 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 …

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 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 …

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 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 entering …

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 VII: THE FACTS (about transgender kids)

June 30th, 2015


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 like to …

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 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 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" and "Eastern" by …

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 II: Daily Life in the House of Girls

June 7th, 2014


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 I: Mama, I'm a Girl

June 7th, 2014


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, …

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