July 25, 2022

The Art of Identity and Understanding and Our LGBTQAI2S+ Family

The Art of Identity and Understanding and Our LGBTQAI2S+ Family

We are joined by Gray Baldwin, MA, MT-BC as we discuss the importance of identity in our society. Gray explains the definitions of LGBTQAI2+ and we have a heart-to-heart talk about healing. If you are going through stuff, this episode is for you to know you are loved and that you are not alone.
We are cosmic beings, we are infinite, complex, and simple at the same time, we have infinite possibilities within us, we are the universe kind of beings. We are of the light. We are divine. There's no way you can pinpoint a living being into one thing. We are complex and ever-evolving.
And at the same time, I wonder just how important is identity? For me, I feel it's very important to identify my culture, who I am, my skin color, everything, and embrace that and embrace the beauty of that. I have to do that because I feel so discriminated against, that I have to fully embody what I identify with. In another world, in another kind of situation, I would say, why should I? I'm a human being. But at the same, the way I feel is “No, I'm a human being who is of this culture who is of this background.”And it's really important to stick up for where I come from and for who I am and to fully embody that.

We are joined by Gray Baldwin, MA, MT-BC as we discuss the importance of identity in our society. Gray explains the definitions of LGBTQAI2+ and we have a heart-to-heart talk about healing. If you are going through stuff, this episode is for you to know you are loved and that you are not alone.


We are cosmic beings, we are infinite, complex, and simple at the same time, we have infinite possibilities within us, we are the universe kind of beings. We are of the light. We are divine. There's no way you can pinpoint a living being into one thing. We are complex and ever-evolving.


And at the same time, I wonder just how important is identity? For me, I feel it's very important to identify my culture, who I am, my skin color, everything, and embrace that and embrace the beauty of that. I have to do that because I feel so discriminated against, that I have to fully embody what I identify with. In another world, in another kind of situation, I would say, why should I? I'm a human being. But at the same, the way I feel is “No, I'm a human being who is of this culture who is of this background.”And it's really important to stick up for where I come from and for who I am and to fully embody that.










To find a therapist




The composer I spoke of last week was Arnold Schoenberg. Not Bartok. 
These are two music therapy orgs in the USA
This is the world federation of music therapy, an International org.


Gray Baldwin, MA, MT-BC
Music Therapist

Main Street Music Therapy
Wellness Through Creativity








[00:00:00] Fawn: Welcome back everybody.

[00:00:01] Matt: Hello!

[00:00:02] Fawn: I've been, I've been looking into more of what we started talking about. Has it been a couple years now? Since we spoke with Michael, we did an episode called breaking the sound barrier. Do you remember Matt?

[00:00:14] Matt: I do remember.

[00:00:15] Fawn: Okay. And that's actually, that's one of, everybody's favorite shows.

It has one of the highest ratings when we got into sound and the whole engineering of it and how it all works. So ever since then, I've been trying to get back into reading whatever I can find on how sound connects us and how sound affects us. So I was getting into the whole healing mechanism of it. Not only just for music therapy, but like music or music as entertainment but how we connect emotionally with each other through sound, how we become in sync with each other through sound. And for me, you know, I'm not an expert musician at all. I love music. Matt is a music snob or a heavy metal snob,

[00:01:12] Matt: uh, music snob.

[00:01:13] Fawn: Thank you.

Okay. All right. and music is a big deal for us in the house

[00:01:18] Matt: very much so.

[00:01:19] Fawn: And it comes in different forms for me sometimes, or a lot of the times I really need to have the sound of the TV on. And I know that sounds horrible to most people, but I genuinely think I get the feeling or like the state of mass consciousness through listening to the TV.

I know it sounds crazy, but I get a feel for where we are in society by hearing certain sounds or by listening to a tone, Matt, Matt, and I always fight about tone because I'm like, Matt, you have a tone. I don't appreciate your tone.

[00:02:00] Matt: I think most couples

fight over tone

[00:02:02] Fawn: and you never, you never, so you fight against it cuz you're like, I don't have one, but I'm like, yes, indeed you do.

Anyway. That's veering away from subject. So I was looking into how music affects our brains, how it can cause us to relax or focus. And I was looking into the whole 40 Hz thing, how it's been found to reduce pain and even, reduce the effects of Alzheimer's symptoms. If you listen to a frequency, that's 40 hurts and I'm like, okay, what is a Hz?

It's a, it's usually we get into the etymology of a word. So let me just get into Hertz. What is that? It's the frequency of any phenomenon with regular periodic vibration. And I think our voices are that way. And like I always talked about in my photography studio, when you walked into my photography studio, there would be nothing on the walls.

I worked in the space all day, every day, and I couldn't have anything on my walls, no other artwork, no, none of my artwork, nothing, because I felt like everything was yelling at me or talking to me, like everything has a vibration. Everything has a sound for me. Mm-hmm and I needed quiet. I needed that clear space.

So I could create, in more of an uninterrupted, my own, whatever was coming to me kind of way. So I was looking into how sound goes into the ear and how that translates like the ear has hair cells, it translates into this vibration. It goes into this electric signal.

It touches auditory nerves, carries this to the brain and then the sound also touches the skin, and it reaches your spinal cord and that translates to brain cells. It's really fascinating talking about sound. And as we speak about sound, we're gonna get into music therapy today. I have a new friend to introduce you to,

I would like to introduce you to your new friend and family. Please meet Gray Baldwin. I would like to introduce you to gray Baldwin, your new friend and family .Gray Baldwin has a master's of arts in music therapy.

They are board certified in music therapy. They are from main street music therapy, specializing in working with LGBTQAI2S+ .We'll explain. We'll get into that because I need education on all of what that means. This is for children, teens, adults, and older adults. They have over 25 years of experience with music therapy, clinical experience at behavioral health settings, medical and hospice settings.

They have many, many amazing creatures with them. When you speak with them, dogs and cats, the cats come on their shoulder. It's really quite a beautiful site to see. They also work in schools with schools and, community music therapy, their work centers in humanism, queer theory, and culturally responsive practices.

They practice in queer issues, minority stress, identity development, acute and chronic pain, trauma and stress. In addition, they teach at several universities and colleges courses that focus on research, music therapy in medical settings, practicum supervision, mindfulness, ethics, and culturally responsive practices.

How beautiful is, is this work that Gray does. Gray, welcome to our show. Everyone. Please meet Gray Baldwin. Thank you so much, everybody. Hi, .

[00:06:17] Gray: Hello. Thank you for

having me

[00:06:20] Fawn: before we begin, I want to dedicate this show to a very special someone. This is dedicated to the child of our friend who is exploring their gender identity and not having their parents understand and not having their parents agree with them.

And acknowledge who they are. This show is for you. Gray, welcome.

[00:06:43] Gray: I'd also like

To acknowledge the Wawenock people, the stewards of the land, where I'm coming from and acknowledge their history and the history of how white people have taken over this country and, acknowledge their elders past and present.

[00:06:58] Fawn: Thank you. Could you further explain that please? Gray?

[00:07:02] Gray: It's a land acknowledgement of the people who inhabited this land before the white people showed up and just acknowledging that this is their land first.

[00:07:11] Fawn: Thank you. To begin with gray, can you please explain exactly the meaning, the definition of LGBTQAI2+ what that means, before we get into that, this is what I wanna talk about today, cuz I think we're gonna go everywhere. Really? This should be, this should be a talk we have every single day.

Hello, love so cute. Uh, so this is a talk that we should have every single day. These are the points that I would like to touch on today. So I'm just going to speak them out loud and the conversation will go wherever it goes. Obviously I wanted to talk about how sound connects and touches us. I would like to explore gender roles in our society and where we are with them right now.

I want to share, talk about sharing emotions, all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly, how to do it safely and how to be heard. This is something that has always touched me, especially because I'm very open to sharing my emotions, especially in friendships. And what happens is when you try to share something, people, regardless of their status in society, like they could be a therapist and Gray,

I'm not talking about you, but I have known people you would assume have it all together. But when you share something with them, that's going on with you personally, they hear a word and they get triggered. And most of the times it, it explodes the friendship. They get triggered by their own stuff. And they're not able to communicate because they're the kind of person

doesn't express their emotions. We don't talk about things. By the way, Gray, welcome to our kitchen table, where we talk about everything. And I think this is a big problem with our society right now. So I'd like to touch on that. I would like to touch on community emotions, meaning how as mass consciousness, we're feeling these days.

I would love to hear what Gray thinks about this. I would like to touch on how to move through what is happening now, especially in the United States, with all the violence, the war, the disillusionment, the fear, the anger, the hate you name it, everything that we're experiencing. And I'm not saying the United States is the only one, but, uh, we are living here and it is outrageous.

One other thing is to talk about what to do when one feels such disappointment, hopelessness, sadness, and disgust about our current state in society and politics. How can we turn things around? Like when you're, and I'm only saying this because listing, we have so many friends around the world listening that are not in the United States, but I don't know if you know what's going on with our Supreme court and every day another human right is totally abolished, not just human rights, but the right of nature is being shut down.

It is absolutely insane what is happening. And I, I, for one, I thought I was feeling rage and I realized I'm not feeling rage. It is sheer, disgusted and disappointment. And. anger. Yes. But at the same time, I just feel hopeless. Like, what am I supposed to do? How do you do when you have these emotions? They they're kind of conflicting because usually when you have anger, it moves you, anger can help you get out of bed.

So it's not an emotion that I would like to say, you have to get rid of that. It's not good. But having said that, I'm very cautious about that because I know that going back to gender roles, there are so many young, angry men out there that feel like they can just explode and do whatever they want in society, because they're mad.

They're not they're these boys who feel like they're entitled and they're entitled to say and do whatever they want. So I don't wanna use anger in saying anger is good. I don't know what to say anymore, because no matter what I say, I feel like it can be misconstrued and taken over by a certain group or certain groups that are out

[00:11:37] Matt: there.

Well, I think we're better off saying there's a lot of frustration and anger. Yes. About people who aren't being heard. And this is all segments. I don't think anybody feels enfranchised. Everybody's trying to get enfranchised, but the message overwhelming message that's I think is getting pushed towards everybody is you are not.

So I think that the people who would keep other people down feel like they can't do that, or, they're starting to understand maybe they have power to do that. And the people who feel marginalized are starting to organize and try and feel more empowered. And there's a lot of that going on. I don't think that there's any one group that says, yes, we're in charge.

Everybody is feeling threatened and everybody is backing off into their corner with their fists up. And, and that's why we're seeing so many incidents of extremes extremes happening.

[00:12:38] Fawn: Um, yeah. I don't know how to respond to that though.

[00:12:41] Matt: I know

[00:12:41] Fawn: because I, I don't think it's that simple. I think that there is a certain group that refuses change because they've been in power and I think it's become radicalized.

Like, and it has been radical for many centuries. I, I hate to say it's the patriarchy, because I, I don't know if that's fair because , I just think as much as. Uh, I don't know, you know what? We need Gray, we need Gray, Gray.

[00:13:14] Matt: we need the voice of reason.

[00:13:15] Fawn: Yep. Um, first let's well, cause I was gonna get into women's roles and men's roles and the patriarchy and the matriarchy and everything that exists within humanity with our identities.

However, I feel very angry with the patriarchy that is trying to control everything with their religious, uh, fanatical, whatever it is is going on. I, it is beyond disturbing and disgusting to me. I can't, and I've, you know, I've experienced it my entire life being marginalized by that group. Anyway. But can we please, Gray, can you please explain the definition of LGBTQAI2+ , thank you.

And welcome. And I'm gonna stop talking.

[00:14:12] Matt: welcome.

[00:14:13] Gray: Well, first I wanna say if we're gonna cover all of that, how long is this podcast?

[00:14:20] Fawn: well, it's our kitchen table. It's as long as it needs to be for us to connect and communicate and be with one another.

[00:14:30] Gray: Well put on your seatbelt, everybody, that's gonna be a long recover all that. That's gonna be very long. no. Uh, so no, thank you so much for having me. This is really quite an honor.

[00:14:42] Fawn: Oh, I'm going to interrupt you once again, because I just wanna make sure before we get into this, that you all know how amazing Gray Baldwin is.

Their work is so incredibly profound and helpful, and I want you to be able to reach out to them. Please Gray. How can people reach out to you?

[00:15:10] Gray: Oh, sure. They can, uh, reach out to me through my website, which is www.mainstreetmusictherapy.com yeah.

And they could also reach out to me at gray that's with a G R a Y dot Baldwin dot mt like music therapist, gmail.com.

[00:15:30] Fawn: Thank you.

[00:15:32] Gray: Yeah, it's a, it's quite the word salad. And there's a lot of disagreement right now within the queer communities about how to do it and how to put which letters first to, acknowledge and empower different groups. And so if some people do it differently than how I do that, I am open to hearing your feedback. I'm just one person trying to figure this all out.

What's happened is that there's a bunch of different groups of people that the majority cultures of heterosexism and gen cisgendered people, meaning CIS meaning is a Latin word, meaning same. And so like if you're cisgendered, that means that your gender identity is in line with your body.

And so they were like, you guys are all really different, so we're gonna put you into one little box. But we're actually many, many different cultures and groups. So to go through it, there's both gender identity, which means there's the sex you're assigned at birth, which is you're male or female, and then there's also intersex.

But then there's also gender identity, which is how we understand ourselves. For many people, it's if you're born a female, you identify as a female, or if you're born a male, you identify as male, but there's a group of people that when they're born female or male and they identify differently than what their body says.

So there's gender identity and then there's sexual orientation, which is who you are either physically and or romantically attracted to. And those can be different too. We could talk about that forever. Going through the letters L is for lesbian, which is, people who identify as female who are attracted to other females.

G is for gay male, which is men who are attracted to other men. B is for BI plus, which is an umbrella term for all the different identities that people use for being attracted to more than one gender. And so that could be bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual and there's other terms as well. T is for trans, which is also a, um, umbrella term. And that is for people who are transgender, who are, those are people who are born assigned one gender but feel that their gender identities is that, that they are the other gender. And so they will transition and in whatever way they want to, to become the gender that they identify with. And so that's transgender. And it also includes non-binary people who are people who identify outside of the gender binary systems. Seeing that that's just ridiculous. Like we assign little boxes for people to fit into and that people don't fit in boxes. Those are people who either identify like maybe in between male and female, or just completely in a different way. Q is for queer, which is a word that's been reclaimed by the communities. Not everybody likes that word still because it has been used as a word to, discriminate against people.

Queer can be an umbrella term for everybody. Queer can also be a sexual orientation, meaning that you're attracted to people in a way that's different than heterosexual attraction. it can also be for gender identity, which is again similar to the non-binary gender ID, queer gender identities or people that don't function within the gender binary system. A is for asexual and aromantic.

And so to be asexual means that you don't have sexual attraction to people. And to be aromantic means that you do not have romantic attraction to people. It doesn't mean that you can't be sexual or romantic if you're asexual or aromantic. It's of course a spectrum in the sense of that can be diminished or none. I is for intersex. No, not all intersex people identify within the queer community, but I include it for the people who do identify within the queer communities and to, make space for them

as well.

[00:19:37] Fawn: What is, what does that mean though?

Intersex. Okay.

[00:19:40] Gray: Intersex is some people are born with aspects of both genders and it could be like physical aspects like on your external body or it can be, like your hormones or gonads or chromosomes or lots of different things. In the medical community, they call it a condition or conditions.

There's about 32 conditions. The thought within the intersex community is that this is naturally occurring variations within human sexuality or human sexual like gender. People who are intersex are about as common as redheads.

But it's been kept very hush hush. People used to be called hermaphrodites, but that's not a nice term to use. And so it's intersex now. And so people are starting to speak out about it. There's a really great Ted talk that I could send you the link to if you'd like about, uh, this really cool person speaking about their intersex identity and their experiences.

When I was young. And, and you guys too, like mostly when people, when children were born this way, doctors either made the decision about what gender they should be assigned and would do surgery on. Or sometimes the parents were asked to be a part of that, and so then children were assigned gender and grew up in, but just never felt quite right within their gender.

And it was very emotionally painful for them. And so now the practice has changed or is still changing to where children are allowed to grow up with the bodies that they have and, and then decide what they want to do with their bodies when they're old enough.

That's I, and then the last is two, well, almost last 2S which stands for two spirit. Which is a native American term. There was large, meeting of multiple tribes and they decided to use that term to describe people within their culture, the way they talk about people who in our, in my white culture would say, or with gender, who are gender creative or have different sexual orientations. They talk about them as two spirit.

And then the plus is for anybody else we've left out

[00:21:49] Fawn: so, and more to come more, to explore more to, yeah, as we come together as a family, we can explore everyone's experiences and understand, oh, there's another experience here. There's another culture here. So there's always more to explore.

We are infinite beings. Mm-hmm and we're all infinite beings living in universe, in universes together, coming back together. So it's very important to have identity and, and explore different identities and share and realize your own identity once you're amongst family.

[00:22:32] Gray: Yeah. One of the problems comes when we think that everybody else experiences the world the way that we do. And that's not. What's right, what's happening. And so, and it's, this is a silly analogy, but it works really well, so we have our point of view because of the way, like, because of the cultures and because of who we are, like our different identities, help to shape the way we understand the world.

And if you were to put a, like the three of us in a dark room, like in a blacked out room with an elephant, like we would all have different experiences of, and we didn't know what elephant was. We had to all have really different experiences of what that is. And so like, you know, Fawn is standing next to the elephant's side and is reaching out and touching it and being like, wow, this is a big imovable thing. It's very rough and I can't even move it. It's just not, it doesn't move. And, and Matt's by the, The trunk and Matt's like, well, yeah, it's rough, but it's not that big, you know, it's like the size of a fire hose and it's very flexible and it's moving everywhere. And I'm up on top of the elephant and I'm touching its ears and I'm like, oh, you guys are wrong.

Like, this is a big, very thin and flappy thing that moves very easily and I can flap it around. And we're all experiencing aspects of the elephant, but because we can't see the whole of it, we, if we get into our camps of saying, this is what reality is, then we are discounting what each other is finding out about the elephant and we can't understand the elephant in its entirety. And so the same sorts of thing happens, like because of our biases and biases used as like, like a really bad thing. Like your, like your bias is showing like your slip is showing in the fifties, you know, which is terrible. But it's not a bad thing. It's just like the lenses we view the world through and they color the world in a certain way. But other people have different lenses. For us to truly understand other people's experiences, we need to take those off or take as be best we can take off our lenses and be open to understanding, to hearing about other people's experiences.

Like we, I don't know that I'll ever understand, each of your experiences in the world, but I'm open to hearing and open to the idea that we have very different experiences.

[00:24:52] Fawn: Thank you, Gray. That was such a beautiful way to explain it. The elephant in a dark room. That is amazing.

I was gonna say that for me in my little way that's how I describe friendship and how to have a true friendship is by the way you just described it is I describe it as watching a movie. So when I have someone in front of me, I will try, take away my past everything. And not put anything on that person.

Not put anything on what they're saying. So I'm not triggered that I'm just watching a movie and I'm, but not the way Matt watches movies, by the way, cuz he'll analyze everything and like, say, this is what's gonna happen. Or, you know, I noticed this and this, no, I just wa I like to watch a person. Like I watch a movie and let things unfold.

It's heartbreaking for me when they don't do that for me. And they misunderstand or they lash out and sometimes I don't have the capacity to deal with that, but the way you just described it, Gray is perfect. I love that. That way of speaking and working deserves a Nobel peace prize.

Honestly, that's how we should be with one another. Know that there are so many aspects and be open to fully hearing and seeing this amazing human in front of you without judgment without your baggage, what Matt? Nothing. .

[00:26:30] Gray: So I just wanna acknowledge, like, this is not like, uh, like I came up with this amazing idea or anything.

This is based on the research and writings of, of many, many people and teachings of many people, from black feminist authors, like Patricia Hill Collins and, Kimberlé W. Crenshaw and so many other people. And, um, yeah, that, that, that this is not just like that. I'm so fantastic.

It's just, it's actually been my area of scholarship because of my own experiences as a queer person and that I've wanted to understand the intersections of different identities and also the systems of power and oppression within our country and to better understand than to, to be able to connect with people more in a more authentic way.

[00:27:19] Fawn: I know that you work with so many different kinds of people, teens in particular, what is going on? Gray? What can we do? what can we do to help? It feels like we've gone backwards or is it just my perspective that I don't feel hopeful? I feel danger. I feel like everyone's rights are trampled on. I, I don't know if it's safe for our kids to congregate and be out

amongst family out there because there's so much hate out there. What do we do? What is happening? Why is all this angst and hatred out there right now? Or is it just my perspective? And for our friend who's listening, who, who just bravely said to their parents, please, I would like to be identified as they/ them and their parents are not having it.

How, how to deal with that? What should they do? And I know you work with music, how does music help in this situation? How do you work with people? How can you help our friend? Let's I know there are so many questions. Like I said, like how Gray said. This is a conver Matt, stop laughing.

[00:28:40] Matt: I'm sorry, babe.

[00:28:42] Fawn: But there's, it's, it's a huge conversation and it's a conversation I feel like we don't really have, so there's a lot to talk about, but, uh, I have all these questions and all these thoughts in the air. And can I just throw you all these balls and see where you go Gray?

[00:29:01] Gray: Sure. Yeah, I, yeah, I'll do my best.

Uh, so I didn't take notes, but I'll do my best and you can come back with whatever questions too. So, with your friends, I just wanna, if they're listening into, to any other kids out there who, for whatever reason aren't being heard or validated by their parents, I want you to know that there are others in this world who will see you and validate you, and know you and love you and you need to hold on. Hold on. If you're queer and feeling really alone and in a difficult place, and maybe even suicidal, you can reach out to organizations like The Trevor Project. They have a call line as well as a text line. You can reach out to them in those moments that are very dark. But you're not alone. There's so many of us, other queer people. I identify as trans-masculine non-binary and queer, and I, and many other people are out there for you. And yeah. Yeah. You're not alone. And then other children and teens who are experiencing other things like abuse or things like that.

Also, you're not alone. There's lots of other people who've experienced that and you can live through this and make it to adulthood. And to find trusted people to talk to about things it's so important, not to hold things in, cuz we only have so much space within ourselves and it will cause us like to explode, you know?

And so it's so much, it's so important to find a trusted adult and that could be a teacher or a coach or a family friend, or, somebody trusted that you can talk to a therapist, and to share what's really going on with you. When bad things happen, one of the ways that humans respond when we've had trauma, whether it's big T trauma, where we have PTSD and everything, or even small, smaller traumas, not to make them sound lesser, but that don't cause like full PTSD. They're still very awful, terrible experiences. Our brain starts telling us that we're alone and that nobody else understands us and that nobody ever feels this way.

Like we do. And we can't share it with anybody, that shame steps in. That's absolutely the opposite of what we need to, we really need to talk to other people and that will alleviate things.

[00:31:18] Fawn: Why

does that happen? Why do we get to that state where we think no one else is feeling what we're feeling?

No one else must know. No one else is going through what I'm going through. Why does the brain do that?

[00:31:31] Gray: I think it's because, When you've experienced like a trauma, many people in your life, unless if they were right there with you in it, they don't have the understanding. They don't understand what happened to you.

If you're like in a car crash by yourself and it was, you know, really, really terrible, nobody else can understand what you went through in that moment, you know, and you feel, and even though like friends and family are supportive and stuff, there's no words to fully describe what happened.

And they may not fully understand why you wince every time a car comes in the same direction. But if two people or three people went through the same accident and everybody's fine, then you can talk to each other and you can feel better. And so, but when you're in that place where you're surrounded by people who don't quite understand what you went through, and you feel like nobody can really understand, because this is such a unique experience.

And also you wanna protect the people you love from the difficult, you know, just the, just how horrible things are. You don't wanna, you know, I don't, I don't wanna tell you, like, I don't wanna tell you all this cuz it's, it's awful, you know, and I don't wanna tell you what I saw or, you know, cause it's just horrific.

[00:32:46] Fawn: Can I interrupt? So that helps

[00:32:47] Gray: to isolate us even more.

[00:32:49] Fawn: There was there's I, I, I wanted to interrupt and then Matt's like, what about me? I wanna say something go on. Oh

[00:32:53] Matt: my Lord. I, I just actually, and I've been wanting to say this now for minutes, but, um, going to the parents of these children who, you know, Are expressing themselves, , I, the, it doesn't on some level you kind of, as a parent, you kind of have to throw your preconceived notions and everything out the window because yeah.

Especially teenagers, lots of hormones, lots of everything. You know? Um, I remember when I was a teenager, you know, I would burn the building down over anything. I was so much rage and anger and it was very, ah, you're either with me or you're against me. And, and as a parent, I think it behooves us to try and, or be tolerant because if you're not, these kids are just gonna flee and never look at you again.

And you know, when they, when they come out, they're these perfect things and guess what? They still are these perfect things.

[00:33:55] Gray: Yeah. They, yeah. I like the book Brene Brown says that we're all perfectly imperfect, that we have imperfections, but that makes us perfect. And that we are wired for struggle, that our children are wired for struggle and that, um, and it's hard as I'm a parent myself.

And I just wanna like create a giant bubble around my child to keep their safe forever. Yes. And they can't do that. And, um,

[00:34:21] Matt: right. But, but to, but for a child to feel rejected by a parent, I know. I mean, yeah. How do you come back? How do you come back from that as a parent, you it's, it's incredibly difficult

[00:34:32] Fawn: or impossible.

How do you come back from that as a, as a child? How do you come back from that? That's the main important, important question. . I

[00:34:44] Matt: think it it's a lot of therapy on

[00:34:45] Fawn: both sides. Yeah. We all need therapy. We all need to speak. And I think that's the main problem is we don't share our emotions. And what I was gonna say was it's interesting that people don't wanna share their dark thoughts, but our culture has no problem sharing movies where people get hurt and decapitated, and like this, all this violence, they share that.

And is that maybe? Yeah. It's, it's

[00:35:12] Gray: a curious juxtaposition, isn't it? But then like, but that's a movie and you can separate yourself from it

[00:35:20] Fawn: mostly, but maybe that's also something, is that, is that also sharing? Those are my deep dark thoughts as an artist, creating this movie with all this violence, because that's where you're coming from.

And maybe because we don't share, we turn to movies or to music to hear someone else is having these thoughts or this rage or this sadness, whatever emotion is in is inside of that music. Like I was saying. Yeah. The art. Yeah.

[00:35:48] Gray: Yeah. The are all of the arts, like from visual arts, I mean, including movies, cuz I think that that's an art too.

Dance, music and everything, poetry and writing; the creative process allows us to express things that maybe words can't ever say fully. I think musically, if I go to classical music, there was a composer who lived through world war II in Europe, and just had a lot of horrific things happened. And with what happened in the concentration camps and, and he couldn't find a way to express it. And so then he expressed it through his music and, and his music is very difficult to listen to.

I, I find it very difficult to listen to because it's, it's also, you know, 20th century, like no tonality, like all that stuff that I'm like, Ooh, you know, and it's super unsettling. But then when I learned the history of it and I was like, oh, that makes a lot of sense because it was totally unsettling, like chaotic world he was in. He experienced just horrifying things and saw horrifying things happening around him. And so of course his music shares that and he turned those really awful experiences into a beautiful piece of music. You know, whether, we listen to it and we're like, I don't know if , that's beautiful.

And still is it's art. It's beautiful. You know, we go to whatever museum and we look at art and some paintings, we're like, you know, you look at Monet's, water lilies, and it's just like, oh, that's so beautiful. And you just like, want to just live there forever, but you might look at something else like maybe Picasso and, and you're like, oh, this is very unsettling.

But it's still a beautiful piece of art and they're sharing their experiences. Cuz our human experience is like emotions that go from the most beautiful, peaceful, amazing feelings, all the way to the very dark and awful feelings. We have to experience them all if we're gonna be fully human, I think, it's Eastern philosophy, talked about how, if you don't have the suffering and the valleys in your life, you'll never understand the happiness and the peaks in our lives. You know, cuz if everything's just smooth, like then you don't have any.

And we find that in, in therapy that if we're like you go through a terrible experience and then you try to cut off those feelings, you end up cutting off all your feelings and you just have this very unpleasant experience for a long time, until you reconnect with all your feelings and let yourself feel them.

[00:38:10] Fawn: This is so true. Humans are complex intricate beings and there's more than one way to communicate. There's more than one way. If you don't have anyone to talk to. There is always a way, if you can't use words, there's always a way to communicate what's going on. And I think that's when society is in big, big trouble is when you notice that the arts are shut down, that no one is producing anything in the arts, because that's when there's danger in society.

Because that means that we're not expressing our emotions. It's not just with words. No, there's music, there's visual aspects. There's an infinite possibility of being heard and being seen. And so going back to this child whose parents are not supporting them, if they can't reach a therapist, because everything goes through the parent, right?

Like what do you do?

[00:39:14] Matt: I think people find their communities, hopefully cross fingers. I think people try and people, you know, particularly when they're in that position where they feel so alienated inside of what's supposed to be a safe environment. I think people reach out and people try and find, and if they can't, then that's a huge problem.

But there are resources and they need to understand that they need to start seeking out their community and finding that support. Okay. You know, growing up for me personally, you know, which is a terrible example, but it's the only example I have. There were those people along the way who told me, you know what Matt, you're gonna be all right.

You know what, Matt? I like you, you know what Matt and it's about finding

those people,

[00:40:01] Fawn: but you were very lucky.

[00:40:02] Matt: I was

[00:40:03] Fawn: Gray, what happens when there are groups out there that thrive that seek out like predators, people that need help. And I'm talking about like, you know, the people who feel like they have no one, there are groups out there that will try to embrace them that embrace them and give them a family to belong to.

But I'm thinking of certain cases where, or certain groups where they're destructive, that they're filled with hate. And it's a certain gang that just, uh, it it's very destructive. So how can you tell the difference and this brings us back to, how can you tell the difference between a good friend and someone who is a quote unquote friend?

That's not really a good friend. It's not good for you. Because it's so hard when you are in need, when you, yeah. I don't know how else to put it, but you're in need and someone is there and you think, oh, I've found someone. How can you tell a good person from a bad person?

[00:41:16] Gray: So sometimes those predatory people, will seem like they're there for you.

And they act like they're there for you at the beginning. But then when they start, when the dynamics change and they start, oh, like making it about like wanting things from you that you don't want to give like that that's, that's not good. That's something to get away from as quick as you can. Also when you have, I've had friends like that were maybe they were there for me at one point, but then things have changed and now they're not able to be there or, you know, the interactions are.

Not, you know, you, you realize that, oh, they're really not hearing me. And that this is more about them or, you know, that then, and as hard as it is, then it's good to like, to let go of people like that. Um, again, like from Eastern philosophy, like if we hang onto things like the more we hang tightly, we hang onto things.

The more the grains of sand fall through our hands mm-hmm . But if we can relax and open our hands, then we can hold a lot more. And, but I struggle with the whole letting go. I will absolutely admit that, that letting go is very hard. Um, but you know, for queer youth out there, like schools are often a.

Unless you're in some sort of religious school. And what if

[00:42:41] Fawn: you're in Florida? Gray? Yeah. What if you're at schools

[00:42:44] Gray: there's like GSAs there's most many schools have like gay, straight alliances or other sorts of groups, and that's a place you can go to another good place to go to is P flag parents and friends of lesbians and gays.

And so it's an outdated name, but we love PFLAG. So I don't think they'll ever change their name, they support people of all gender identities and everything and their parents and friends, and they they're trust. They're trusted adults you can talk to. There's chapters all over the country and the world.

Those are opportunities and it's.

[00:43:17] Fawn: Yeah. Gray, would you send me these links so I can put 'em in the show notes so people can just click on them. Um, they'll uh, we'll have these links for you. Uh, when you go to our website, Or in our show notes, wherever you're listening to our show, there are in the description of our podcast.

It'll be right there. You'll have links to every resource that Gray is turning us onto. You can just click on to those.

[00:43:46] Matt: I was explaining to Fawn that, uh, you know, I wanted to make sure that when I brought up the parents, it wasn't to discredit the child.

It was to say, yo, if you wanna lose your child, then by all means, you know, completely invalidate them. You know, they will figure out they will figure you out and they will run from you. And you'll, it'll be a miracle if you reconnect with them in any meaningful way. Yeah. And that's just in general that has, you know, in my mind that has nothing to do with, uh, well, it's gender identity is part of it, but just if you completely invalidate your child, for whatever reason, you know, boom, there's that whole lack of trust that happens.

And you know, they're not gonna trust you with, things that you can hurt them with, because guess what? You just showed them that you're gonna take it, use it as a club and beat 'em over the head.

[00:44:41] Gray: Yeah. It's yeah. It's, it's hard. It's tricky as parents and I'm, I'm a parent too. So I can appreciate this, but it's uh, like yeah.

When our children are born, even if we try not to, we do like. We start assigning who they putting them into boxes of like identities and who we want them to be and who we think they are. Yep. Yeah. Like as

[00:45:04] Matt: they grow up, my kids need to become computer programmers. I've already let that one go, but still

[00:45:10] Gray: yeah, yeah.

That can, can be really small things or it can be really big things, but as they grow up and, and figure, and they become who they are, mm-hmm, as parents, we have this grieving process of like letting go, we have to let go of what we think they are and to see who they really are.

And, and yeah. And so, and it's sometimes it's a beautiful thing and you're like, wow, this is so spectacular. But there still is also loss. And we do need to acknowledge that loss. And we do not process it with our child because that's not the right person to process it with. Right. We need to process it with our partners or friends or therapists or whatever mm-hmm , but, uh, and remain solid and be: I am so glad you're sharing this with me and that I love you, period. You know, that's all, I just, I love you, right? I love who you are and that's super important. The other thing I did want, so yes, parents, we need to acknowledge that grief. And again, like letting go and acknowledging what we feel we've lost, you know, cuz it is a loss and then opening our hands and our hearts to our, to who our child really is.

And that's super important.

The other thing I wanted to say, just so it doesn't seem so bleak and awful is that the research on children who are in really difficult situations; the research has shown that if they have one significant relationship with a kind and loving adult, that that will help them to make it through to adulthood.

And so. Any of us could be that one adult. You never know who they, and it doesn't have to be like a long term relationship. It could be like your third grade teacher and that they were kind to you and they were invested in you. And they took that extra time with you. And then you can continue on through school and, and you still have Mrs.

Jones or whatever, you know, and how she was kind and loving to you. And that will sustain you to get you to adulthood. It's just one person. It's, isn't that amazing?

[00:47:09] Matt: It is.

[00:47:11] Fawn: Yeah. Like when people say you just need one friend, that one friend, just, you just need one and going back to the parenthood thing, thank goodness.

This thought came to me before we had kids. But this thought came to me that in having children and having, having a child, you're not having it. You're not, you're not giving birth and you're not having. This cute little baby. There's another human. There's another being that's coming into your family with infinite experiences from the get-go.

So you're not, it's not a baby. It's another human coming through with infinite, like I said, experience and history. So you just came in a couple minutes before they did. So I don't look at my kids as our babies that we give birth to they're these complex beings. And like how, and I don't know if that's correct to live that way or to be that kind of a parent Gray, please, please correct me.

But you know, I have a lot of friends who don't agree with my style of parenting because I have really open talks with my kids. Like I, I just wanna talk about everything with them. But, you know, age specific with vocabulary, but whatever comes up, I feel like if I don't talk about it, they are still sensing it.

And so if I don't talk about it, if we don't communicate, then they are left in this kind of void in this kind of free, free, fall uncomfortable thing where they, you know, like what's really going on. Cuz if, if you're gonna pretend this, uh, elephant doesn't even exist, then isn't that crazy making. So I talk to my kids about everything.

And so many times Gray, I have had other mothers say, oh my God, you're saying that in front of your kids, you better be quiet. I'm like, no. And it's something about, it's something that I'm talking about that affects our family that is happening. That's one of the issues I have as a parent is like, am I wrong?

I feel wrong so many times being around other parents. I feel scolded. Yes. .

[00:49:34] Gray: Yeah. There's so many people who, instead of being open to like learning, like how do you do things? Like, people are very quick to be like, I don't do that. So you're wrong. And maybe, yeah. In thinking about children, I, it made me think of, um, hill Kahill kil Kail,

Kahlil Gibran

[00:49:53] Gray: uh, yes. Thank you. His, thing on children, if you don't mind, I'll read it really quick. Your children are not your children. They're the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. They come through you, but not from you. And though they're with you, they belong not to you. You may give them your love, but not your thoughts for they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies, but not their souls for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but not seek to make them like you For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

[00:50:34] Fawn: I love Kahlil Gibran. Ah, yeah. Yeah. That's so true. So true. Thank you for, for that reminder. There's so many things I wanna talk about and if you have the, uh, the time great, it would be so great. If you could come back on our show, but to just wind things down just for today and by wind things down is can I ask you a whole bunch of other questions really quick?

And get your insights. Let's go for it. So get it's a lightning round. Well, not so lightning cuz it's me. I'm not a fast person like that. Like I'm slow, I'm a slow driver, you know, but certain things I'm really fast on anyway. Okay. So Matt just gave me the like hurry up.

[00:51:15] Matt: cut to the chase woman.

[00:51:16] Fawn: See, but when you do that, like, I, I, my, I freeze, I don't know what I'm my mind is blank now, but I want from your heart and from your experience Gray, why do you think there is so much violence in the United States and why is it that so much of the violence and I'm talking about the mass shootings is occurring with young men, like do, where do I put that identity on them?

Like, is it okay for me to say that? Why are these young men, resorting resorting. Is that the word, like, is that okay to use? Like, why mm-hmm why are they shooting? Why are they the ones that are, what, what are, what is happening?

[00:51:58] Gray: So I, I like back to the elephant, I only have like my little limited view of this.

And, it's, it's, uh, a horrific thing. Like my daughter was in kindergarten when Sandy hook happened and we had to talk to our 6 year old about school shootings. And that was like the most awful experience I just, you know, uh, um, so yeah, I've, we I've watched my child grow up in this time of this and both to have like the hardening to this violence, but also deeply fearful of it as well. And it's just, it's horrible. And, uh, so, um, I don't know, like there's a lot of, I think there's a lot of ills in our society and it, a lot of,

[00:52:48] Fawn: what do you

[00:52:49] Gray: think it comes from? Um, I think, uh, I think I, I, I don't know, like, there's like, there's like, there's expectations of how people are supposed to be and if, but they're so limited and that people, not just around gender and stuff, but like just, you know, that the way you have such limited like little boxes of where people are supposed to be.

And, and that, that causes a lot of stress in people who don't fit those like toxic masculinity sort of stuff. And, I think that the mental health services in our country are absolutely underfunded. And, and there's a crisis in children's in teenagers. Um, like having enough therapists, there's just not enough.

And since COVID, it's just that crisis was preexisting and now it's even higher because since COVID, there's been a greater, awareness of mental health needs of children and isolation that happened with COVID. It was really difficult on children.

There's a mental health crisis and we don't fund it and we don't, we don't, we don't, I don't know. There's a, I there's a lot of things. I just, I don't wanna get too political, but I have lots of strong political beliefs around, like, I don't know. I was one of my clients. One of my adult clients is a vet.

And we were talking about this just the other day, about how Some of the guns that are allowed to be sold in this country are guns that are created by the military to hunt people and they talked about their training with those guns and, and how there's no need for that. Like, we don't use those kinds of types of guns when you're hunting animals and you don't use those types of guns and ammunition for hunting animals because of the way they're created and how they work and the destruction they create.

And so why do we need those? It's easier to access guns like that than it is to access a therapist. And, it's accepted in our society to access guns like that rather than to Access to mental health services, you know, and I hope that this isn't too political

[00:54:54] Fawn: to say all this.

Oh, Gray. I know. And this is the thing it's like, people don't talk about money. People don't talk about sex people don't in America, especially we don't talk about that. We're such puritanical hypocrites seriously, and it's generation after generation. So I think we should talk about it. I, I, for one always grew up thinking I will never be involved in politics or talk about politics or be so passionate and angry about politics like these lunatic I'm watching that are screaming about politics. But here I am. I mean, I don't do it on our show, but at. Oh, my goodness. I'm yelling and so upset and, and the fact is that we have to, because it is affecting us as human beings, it is affecting our planet. It is affecting everything.

And for people to say, I don't wanna talk about politics. I think for me as a person, that's that never thought of themselves as political. We need to talk about it because this is it's. It's like talk, not talking about Hitler coming in and, and getting, you know, wiping people, wiping out your neighbor and you are just sitting there going, huh?

I wonder what happened to Mrs. Smith. Hmm. I'm just gonna keep on drinking my tea minding my own business. No, we can't do that.

[00:56:16] Gray: Yeah. The personal is political, you know? And so it was like, we live. So like when we get into like, talk about biases and oppression and all that, and people get really defensive, cuz they're like, I didn't get, I don't have privilege.

I didn't get any help. And I was that way too. Until many years after my first DEI training, I realized, oh, I do have privileges. And, and so the thing is, is we have to realize is that we're in these like systems and I don't even know who created these systems, but some groups of people benefit from them and others absolutely don't benefit.

And then there's some people in the middle who are like, I, you know, don't, it's hard to see how much we benefit from it. But these systems that we're in are absolutely have gone like so haywired that they're absolutely damaging to us. And so like expectation gender roles are assigned to people and girls are supposed to act this way and boys are supposed to act this way.

And boys are put into this category where they can't have any emotion except for anger. Anger is accepted, but any other sort of like sadness or anything like that, it's not accepted. And so then they have to bottle this up and they can only express it through anger. And then you add like teenage hormones and stuff and girls and boys and other genders, like when you got all those hormones going on, one of the main emotions you have is anger.

And if there's not a supportive system around you to help you out, then you're gonna just like keep going, you know? And, and then you have that trauma stuff going on of not being able to talk to people about things, you just keep going darker and darker. And then if you're not, well, then you might resort to violence.

And, um, and so like, I don't know, we need to look at our priorities and to support the humans around us and our everybody's wellness and society's wellness, if we would like to get out of this system that we're in. And politics is like the main way to, to change those systems.

Um, yeah. But, uh, but yeah, I think that there's, that's, that's part of it. I think there's other things going on. It seems like over the last three years, I don't know, just, uh, it just in my own personal life and my friends' lives and in my client's lives like that, it's been a very much of a dark night of the soul sort of time of like, things are very bleak and hard and, and just, and just like being, you know, hardship after hardship or piling on people.

And I don't know what's going on with that. I've heard people talk about the. Part of the you know, the transition to the age of Aquarius. And I've heard other people talking about other spiritual things that are going on and, and other transitions. And, and I, I, I have no idea, like that is not my area of specialty, but I do know, I do see that there's lots of suffering and that life is affirm.

Some people right now, life is tremendously hard with like that dark night of the soul moment. And yeah.

[00:59:24] Fawn: Yeah, yeah. And it's, you know, you were talking about we don't know what system it is like who created this. And I'm just thinking about one of the things that has been created is this overwhelming blanket of fear.

And now, especially in the United States, there is not only the fear of, I don't want my child to go to school because my child can die in school. There's the fear of the grocery store. I might get shot at the grocery store. There's a fear of like, there's just this massive fear, not just with gun violence, but with violence period, people are not reacting the way they used to.

It's been escalated the way of, I don't know if you can call it communication, but like, you can't communicate with anyone without bearing in mind it could turn violent over a simple something.

[01:00:18] Gray: Yeah. I was like, I was driving in Boston like two months ago. I was trying to go into a turning lane and the turning lane was full.

And so I was kind of half in the turning lane and half sticking me out. And so I was like, kind of blocking the traffic in my lane. But it was like, there was a red light and I couldn't move forward. This person got so angry and went around me and threw their burrito at my car. I was just like, dude, like it's traffic.

Like, why are you so mad at me? Like, right. But, uh, you know there's a lot of anger and emotions right now. And, and there's been, I think I don't, I don't, and again, this is not my area of study, but I just, I I've watched things since we had to isolate because of the pandemic and which, you know, dude, I, I haven't caught COVID yet and I really don't want to knock on wood.

Cool with that. Yeah. Knock on wood. But, and so I. Say that that's wrong. But the isolation, and then the way the algorithms work on social media and how there's so much information out there that you can pick and choose the information you want to receive.

[01:01:27] Fawn: Mm-hmm

[01:01:28] Gray: and it's. And so much of it is biased and fear is used by people in power to keep people in line. I that's something we've seen throughout human history that when people in power, want to keep everybody in line, they use fear, fear through religion or fear through other things or fear of the "Commis" or fear of whatever, you know? And so fear of the people who are different from you. Like xenophobia is super strong in the United States, not just xenophobia based on race, but xenophobia based on queer and trans people or xenophobia based on language or xenophobia based on political affiliations. And that fear of each other keeps us more separated.

And when you separate people, then the people in power stay in power. When people come together, then the people in power are then challenged more. So we're being separated and I don't know that there's like, like a group of people who are super in charge of us or, you know, I don't know that that's really true, but, this is a tactic that is being used.

The fear of each other is real, but it's also something that I think that we're being manipulated with. And I have thought long about like, how do we bring people back together? But then I also am like, don't, don't you take away my rights. I don't you take away the rights my daughter. And so then I find myself getting very, I see myself both wanting to bring people together, but also being very in my camp of like, you know, I, I wanna live in this country free too.

I want my kid to live in this country free, you know? So stop it, you know? Right. But, uh, yeah. I don't know. It's um, yeah, I'm not, I don't know how to fix it. I'm just one small person. I

[01:03:19] Fawn: mean, from this small person over here, me, that's why I have this podcast. That's why we have this podcast. I say me because I'm the one who has the mouth.

So, and Matt is, you know, Matt is sweet Matt. I just think that that's totally the problem and it's a microcosm. It happens in everything. Here we are separated, but really, truly we are connected when someone is in pain over here on this one side of the planet, guaranteed it's still felt it still vibrates over here.

Going back to sound isn't that how sound works? The vibrations, you may not see it, but you feel it correct. Mm-hmm or sometimes you do see it depending on what you're doing, but we aren't alone. And, but we think we are alone. And I think that's such a tool to keep people suppressed is to think that we are alone because when we come together, when we are actually communicating our experiences together, I think we're able to be such a beautiful, massive, wonderful force for good.

And, I think it's a tool that's been used through fear through hate, which is fear that creates this disillusionment, this illusion of we are separated and we're so radically different that it keeps us from communicating and it keeps us from expressing our emotions. And then we've gotten into such a state where we don't even know how to express our emotions.

This kind of miscommunication that happens happens because we're not sharing our emotions. There are so many people that are so afraid of expressing what they're going through. That it turns volatile because of one word because of a one word trigger. Am I, am I wrong?

Gray? Like we, we forgot how to communicate.

[01:05:20] Gray: Yeah, maybe. I think our society teaches us to live in our heads and to count ourselves off from our bodies and our bodies is where are super important to us. And I mean, they're the things that carry us around through life.

And I'm absolutely someone who did that. Like I lifted my head and I like worked crazy hours and did research on top of that. And like, and I was happy doing all that. But now I'm paying for it with my body. There was a point where my body was like, stop you gotta change your focus. I hope that people are able to make that change before they get to where I was.

Our bodies are where all of our feelings live. We can think about our feelings, but we feel them in our bodies. And the more we can be in our bodies and embody ourselves, we can then be with our emotions and feel our emotions.

And then the other thing about emotions that we need to remember is that emotions are temporary. Things are like waves that come over us. And sometimes they're like those giant waves that come over us and like we're tumbling around in the ocean and we're like, I'm not ever gonna come up again, but they're just temporary.

And sometimes we hang onto them and when we do, and we identify with them, like I'm depressed, or, I'm anxious , and we hang onto it and we don't allow it to come and then go. And the more we also, when we live in our heads, we try and push off all those emotions, but they're still there.

And then they come and overwhelm us. And so the more we can be in our bodies and to be like, oh, I'm feeling this feeling in my body and I feel it as happiness, I feel it in my heart or I feel it in my belly as I laugh or I feel I'm crying and this is how my body feels, and this is sadness for me, and to, just to let that come through us and to express it and to again, to keep that our hands open so things can come and go and come and go

[01:07:13] Fawn: beautifully said Gray.

With our emotions, we hear when you're going through something, if you let it sit with you for 90 seconds, it will move through you and even Winston Churchill said when you're going through something, by all means, please keep moving, go through it.

Don't try to go over it around it. Just move through it. Just keep moving. If you're going through stuff, if you're

[01:07:36] Matt: going through hell by all means. Keep going. Thank

[01:07:39] Fawn: you, Matt. Mm-hmm . And so before we go, and again, please reach out to gray. Go to www dot

[01:07:50] Gray: main street music therapy, like yeah, like main street, cuz I live on main street

[01:07:57] Fawn: and um, the links are below in our show notes. Matt wants to say something. Uh, Matt has

[01:08:03] Matt: a question. Okay, good. Oh my goodness. And this is the question. I think that vexes people who are really desperately trying to understand and not understanding.

, it seems like, and this is, this is the fun words, right? Because we're playing word games now, but it seems like, uh, you know," in my parents' day and my grandparents' day, we just didn't have all of this that we have today," which is I think a common theme that goes around the world.

Like, you know, LGBTQAI2S + that just didn't exist. Is that true? Is that not true? What are we really seeing? Are we seeing a more hopeful world where, you know, we're at least acknowledging that these things exist, or somebody is acknowledging that these things exist?

[01:08:49] Fawn: Are we transcending as human beings to the point where we're more than female and male, that we are these evolved beings?

[01:08:58] Gray: Oh goodness. That's a tough question. So I'm gonna go to Matt's question first um, yeah, so we've always existed. We've always been there and in some societies we've been accepted and be revered, even in other societies we've been not accepted and we're hidden. And yeah, no, there have been queer people.

There've been trans and non-binary people throughout, history, but we didn't use the same words, and we didn't have the same culture, so we didn't have the same cultural understanding of this, but these people have existed throughout time. There has been. So in the last like 20 years or less well, about 20 years, probably there's been an explosion of understanding around gender identity.

And it's been like, I mean, my fifties, so it's younger generations who've done that at work and they have a much better understanding of gender identity than we've ever than had before. Just briefly about me when I was 19, I came out as a "dyke" cuz I thought that that's cuz I was born signed female at birth and that cause I thought that that's who I was.

And that was the best way I could find to describe myself because there weren't there wasn't knowledge about gender identity at that time. There was gender affirming surgery. But all I knew about was like people who are male to female, and I didn't know that it could go the other way.

And so I lived that way. And, but then over the years, like we've had this, you know, just explosion of understanding of gender identity because of younger generations just really understand it so much better. And I've learned from them and was able to find out, oh no, that's why being a Dyke can never quite fit.

And that I'm actually, transmasculine non-binary. That's why it feels like there's a huge surge in this, because younger generations just understand it so much better. Like I think, um, I'm part of the generation that was like, if you don't like it, just suck it up and deal with it, you know?

And just, you know, it's pretty much what I was taught to do. And I, and I keep wanting to teach that to my kid, but I'm like, Nope, trying to do it differently, you know, ,

[01:11:05] Matt: it is hard. So you would say that we're as a society, that we are evolving to be more tolerant, which is a, a word my wife hates

[01:11:18] Fawn: I hate, I hate the word

[01:11:19] Gray: tolerant.

So I think we're, we're more evolving to understand ourselves more from the, those really narrow definitions of male and female. And if you look at Beckett , in their writing there was a time like, there was some gendered job stuff, but there was a lot more flexibility in gender roles earlier in different societies in history.

But somewhere around, I don't know, like I don't have my dates down. Right. But there was a, there's a shift to where we started having more and more narrow gender roles for male and female. And that, that was all there is. And like, and it just got very, very narrow. And so this younger generation has helped to be like, no and they've exploded the language and the language continues to grow.

And so there's all sorts of identities out there. And, uh, that's why I talked about the umbrella terms more because there's just so many and people are coming up with new ones every day. I think there's just an explosion of understanding and this younger generation, because of maybe all

my generation next generations have gone through to expand our thoughts around things like they're able to then like we lifted the ceiling a little bit and they're able to grow and expand in ways that we couldn't. And I've heard that said Fawn, about like, this is the age of Aquarius and stepping out of like, you know, the age of Pisces and moving into like transcending into a newer ways to being human.

And I have no idea, like, I just, that is not my area of study or anything. I listen to people and they can appreciate their ideas. And, but I don't know if that's true. I just know

[01:13:02] Fawn: this is where we are. I never really, I mean, I love astrology. I'm, I'm a very woo woo person, but I'm just coming at this.

You. From the point of view from my heart in that we are cosmic beings, we are infinite, complex and simple at the same time, but like infinite possibility within us, we are the universe kind of beings. And I say that for the planet, I say that for all living beings, for plants, for all creatures, you know, we are animals, human beings are animals, all of us plant life, everybody, I feel like we are of light that we are divine and that I'm seeing it as a stage of realizing that there's no way you can pinpoint or, or yeah.

Pinpoint a, a being into one thing. They are complex and ever evolving. And that's how I see people. And at the same time, I'm like how important is identity? Like I find myself asking that question. I'm like, whoa, are you crazy for even stating that question? Because for me, I feel it's very important to identify my culture, who I am, my skin color, everything, and embrace that and embrace the beauty of that.

But I have to do that because I feel so discriminated against, that I have to fully embody what I identify with. In another world, in another kind of situation, I would say, why should I? I'm a human being. But at the same. The way I feel is no, I'm a human being who is of this culture who is of this background.

And it's really important to stick up for where I come from and for who I am and to fully embody that.

I teach, I'm a homeschooler. Years ago, we started to learn about the intricacies of what brought about world war I and what happened after world War I, and if you really study that, I mean, I'm not a scholar by any means, but what I came to realize was, oh my goodness, I can see why we have certain organizations that are terrorist or certain organizations that are screaming to be heard.

And if you're not heard, if you're not recognized, it will end up in violence. And so I saw how certain countries were broken up after world war I, and so without thought put together, like all these different cultures with different languages and different ideas were put together as one totally D disregarded.

And because of that turmoil, it created it, it led into world war II and it led into the middle east, the, the conflict in middle Eastern culture. It's because we, we, when we don't hear one another, when we don't recognize each other's value and each other's cultures and identities, it creates a major explosive, big problem in our society.

I mean, that's my own layman like version to look at it. I see us as infinite beings that ultimately don't need identity because we're all, all of it at the same time. But living in this space in this moment, I feel identity is super, super important and it needs to be communicated and loved and appreciated.

[01:17:00] Gray: Yeah, I think it would be really like, it would be really nice to be in a post identity world where we can just be, but we're not there yet. We're in a place where we really have to be like to be identifying who we are understanding, looking and seeing other people's identities and then taking the time to try and to do our best to enter into their experiences and to let go of our own experiences, to be able to hear


[01:17:29] Fawn: and ultimately having compassion and respect and really love

[01:17:35] Gray: mm-hmm

Yeah, you know, I was thinking, as you start talking, I was thinking about the recent research on trees and how we as humans, we think we're so much further evolved than trees because trees just, they just stand there and have leaves and flowers and stuff, and they don't do much, but you know, the recent research shows how they are super interconnected and that how they share resources with each other and take care of each other.

And I'm like, gosh, I kind of wonder are trees actually more evolved than we are. Like, you know, like the trees have got it down. Like, did they take care of each other but we're not in a place to do that right now. Although we can do things like space travel and trees don't, but you know, you know, there's, I don't know.

Yeah. There's a, I don't know. There's just a, there's a. I think we there's all the beings on that we share this planet with. I think we can all learn from each other and

[01:18:34] Fawn: yeah. Yeah. We need to have respect for all life. What was that place we used to walk through, in Northern California with the trees, the forests was that where

[01:18:46] Matt: Muir Woods

[01:18:46] Fawn: Muir Woods

so, oh yeah. That's gorgeous thing. So when you go through and you look at the trees and you look at the trees that have been around, and when you go through Muir woods, outside of San Francisco, you look at the red woods, they have these plaques and any tree, actually, any tree in the neighborhood, they're usually much bigger than the buildings we've built.

They have been around and they've seen stuff. And speaking of being around, so these trees in Muir woods, for example, There are plaques and you look at the rings to see how old they are. Many of these trees existed before Jesus Christ walked on the planet. They have seen everything. It's just, it's incredible.

It's incredible. Yeah. And it's incredible that our political system is trying to destroy all of that and destroy themselves. I don't understand. Do they have access to leave the planet? These people that are making these laws to go against the EPA to go against keeping respect and keeping our planet alive.

Forget that the planet will still be alive. Human beings won't is my theory. But what is that? It's self destruction? Do you understand what I'm saying? These people that are

[01:20:01] Gray: it's greed,

[01:20:02] Fawn: is it greed because, or do they have an, a ticket to take them off the planet? Like do they some, do they have something we don't have.

Are they not gonna be here? I know ,

[01:20:12] Gray: I, I have no idea, but I think the greed and I think it's having the short game in mind and not the long game and the very, very long game of like, oh, we're, let's take care of everybody and everything so we all flourish in this planet, you know, that would be the longest game.

But, I think other people have what seemed to be like one group has been playing a long game of getting people in places to start changing laws that we've had for 50 years and or less, and exerting like one viewpoint over all others. That was a long game, but the very, very long game of millennium, I wonder if that's where we need to be focused, you know?

The care for us and others. That's where I'm coming from. But then, you know, I'm a therapist and so , I think care is really important.

[01:21:07] Fawn: I agree. Care is the most important. I have a question I'll just speak for myself, but let me know out there, listening or friends listening. Do you feel the same way I do. I started to say, I feel rage and I feel helpless. And what was the word I used?

Like I can't do anything like helpless, but then I started looking at it and I don't think I have rage. I'm not violent. I started breaking it down. I'm like, what do I really feel? And I think it's anger. And I thought, no, it's really disappointment.

I'm like, no, it's also disgusted. Like I I'm disgusted . But when you're feeling that kind of anger, disappointment, and you're feeling helplessness at the same time. I feel like they cancel each other out into non-action I think.

What do you do? Is there any advice you could give to me when or someone like me that feels outraged and angered and helpless at the same time? What do we do when we're in that state?

[01:22:14] Gray: For me, I think we all need to find what helps us. For me, it's to find the creative process to express all those feelings to move through those, cuz those can be very heavy and hard to move through.

I turn to creativity, but if it's things in my community that I'm unhappy with, then I turn towards activism as much as I can. But it's hard when you're in that place of that helplessness takes over, either just cuz it seems so overwhelming or because of experiences that you've had of trying to change things and things never changing. That's a very hard and heavy emotion to work with because it does paralyze us. But the more we can get back into the moment that we're in and yes, these terrible things have happened. But like right now I'm looking out at like my tree that's flowering and it's so beautiful. And in this moment, everything's okay.

You know, and the tree is pretty and it's a lovely day and trying to, be in the moment that I'm in and not in my head and the spinning futures that I have going on in my head. When I get to that point, I try to like get back, right. Let me get back to this moment. And I don't know what tomorrow's gonna bring.

And humans are terrible at predicting what's gonna happen. So I'm just gonna live in this moment right now. Right now I'm into woodworking. And so then I go and I. Carve a piece of wood, because it helps me move a lot of that rage and anger, and then turn into something really beautiful.

[01:23:40] Fawn: Thank you. Thank you for that Gray we respect you and love you so much, Gray thank you for being with us. I hope you can come back and speak with us more because we need, we didn't cover music

[01:23:54] Gray: at all.

[01:23:56] Fawn: yes, we need you. Yeah. I'd love to talk with you again. Yes, please. All right, well, we're gonna schedule a time with you.

Thank you so much. For those of our friends listening, please reach out to us. Absolutely. You are not alone. You are not alone and you're loved and cared for. We love you. Talk to you in a few days

[01:24:18] Matt: and make sure you take a look at the show notes for resources and more

[01:24:22] Fawn: information. Yes.

There are people with open embraces, ready to hold you. You are okay. Everything's gonna be okay. Talk to you in a few days. Love you be well.