Episode #27: Stephanie Davies-Arai – Seeking the truth without fear
26 March 2019
In this episode, I talk to Stephanie Davies-Arai.
Stephanie is the founder of Transgender Trend, a parent effectiveness trainer and the author of the book ‘communicating with kids’. She was shortlisted for the John Maddox prize, which recognises individuals who have promoted sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, with an emphasis on those who have faced difficulty or hostility in doing so.
In this interview, we talk how she got to where she is, and the journey she took from being a sculptor who wanted to change the world through art, to someone who now achieves that goal through words. We talk about the delicate balance of raising kids, and the complete imbalance of the debates around transgender children specifically.
In a world where we’re committed to change, we have to be able to treat everybody with compassion and respect, whilst at the same time looking dispassionately at facts and basing our actions on what those facts tell us.
As you’ll be aware, there are some highly fraught issues here that many would simply prefer to duck for fear of saying the wrong thing, being labelled as a bigot or worse, and having a twitter mob calling for retribution. Stephanie Davies-Arai has faced all of those and worse, and has had the courage to stand up anyway. And that’s sometimes the choice that a committed change maker has to make.
This is an important interview, I think you’ll find it fascinating.
What did the world look like to the young Stephanie when she left school and looked ahead to adult life? (2:12)
What were the early influences that pushed Stephanie towards sculpture? (3:59)
At what point did Stephanie’s path deviate from the traditional path of a sculptor? (8:33)
The chain of action that led her to parent effectiveness training (10:44)
The tricky balance of raising children (13:01)
Writing the book and the feedback that came as a result (18:02)
How Stephanie came to found Transgender Trend (18:45)
The current situation with regard to advice to parents regarding transgender kids (22:00)
Why Transgender Trend produced a school pack (25:20)
When did the transgender issue become so controversial that it’s become so hard to discuss? (27:18)
What was the recent story relating to the Tavistock Clinic, which is the only one in the country to deal with transgender children? (34:08)
Are the recent high profile cases of conflict part of a trend or just us trying to work out what we think about the issue? (37:56)
What advice would Stephanie give to companies grappling with the issue within their own commitment to diversity in the workplace? (44:13)
Stephanie’s personal purpose (46:46)
One single change Stephanie would like to bring about before hanging up her gloves (47:22)
Advice she would give to her younger self (48:14)
An impressive change maker that has inspired Stephanie (48:55)
A habit Stephanie would like to change (49:50)
A book that changed Stephanie’s life or thinking (50:00)
Advice to young would-be change makers (50:30)
Stephanie on Twitter https://twitter.com/cwknews
Transgender Trend http://transgendertrend.com
Beyond Human Nature, Jesse Prinz https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Human-Nature-Culture-Experience/dp/0141019344/