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Jamison Green recently visited Missoula, Montana to speak at conference on transgender lives which meant I had the special opportunity to sit down with him on the red couch. This video is a excerpt from our time together. I was most impressed by his insights on trans healthcare and his commitment to increase awareness for the longterm safety of all genders. To learn more about James check out his website here:

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MATTHEW GAYDOS (director+):
Lindsey: This is James Green. Who are you James Green?

[Sexplanations intro]

James: Who am I? I am an author and an educator, activist on behalf of transgender people. I am currently the president of World Professional Association for Transgender Health.

Lindsey: When you first transitioned... Where you are now... How are those different James Greens?

James: Oh, I'll tell you when I first transitioned, I thought I was just going to go and get a sex change go home and mow my lawn. I did not ever imagine that my life would change at all. Because already people, at least half the time, sometimes more, thought I was male. And so I figured nothing was going to change. I would just feel more comfortable in my body.

Lindsey: And how is that different from now?

James: Well I do feel more comfortable in my body for sure. But what happened to me was I realized there were all these other people out here who were living in fear and shame because of their difference. And I thought that is not right. You know these are good people and they don't need to live in fear and shame. And so I said to them, I'm going to start using my full name in public and I'm going to start talking about who we are. The world will not be safe for us if we are constantly surprising people. People need to know that we are here, that we exist, that it is okay to be us. Because if they don't then we'll always be strangers. And we will always live in fear and shame. I don't think that's right.

Lindsey: I don't either.

James: Right on.

Lindsey: So what does the gender picture look like now? And what would you like to see it expand to?

James: I think what we're looking at is a paradigm that describes gender as a binary. Male and Female and that's it. You know what we're looking at is a new paradigm that expands that into infinite genders.

Lindsey: Infinite.

James: Infinite! I don't even say there's a spectrum anymore I don't even say there's a continuum. It's infinite genders.

Lindsey: If you had one message you could give to a huge group of people, what would it be?

James: I think what the transgender movement is about is asking people to make a paradigm shift in the way they value human beings. It's noting that access to health care is a symbol of humanity. That when you exclude people from access to healthcare, you're saying "You are not worthy, you are inhuman." That's the message. And I don't want people to receive that message ever.

Lindsey: And so what would it look like with full access?

James: People would simply say "Oh, you're a trans person. Okay. Fine." And I think, you know, we should ask every single person on an intake form what is their gender identity and what is their sex assigned at birth.

Lindsey: So those would both be open ended questions that would say "sex assigned at birth" and a line and then "gender identity."

James: Gender identity first because the implication is that gender identity is what you address people with. And it should be what you show respect for. The sex assigned at birth gives you as a medical professional, if it happens to be different from the gender identity, gives you an idea that there may be some questions that you need to ask that are particular to that person, and you find out what that person's health situation is that way.

Lindsey: I see that you have white in your beard and what that tells me is that maybe you've had more experience and have accumulated more wisdom in life let alone being a transgender individual. What can you pass along to the generations who are growing up into that, as a figure who has more experience.

James: One is to, don't be afraid to be yourself. That's really important thing. I think. And don't be afraid to change in all kinds of ways

Lindsey: So don't be afraid to change, Don't be afraid to change.

James: Don't be afraid to be yourself Yeah. Your self can change And we're all different and the strength that we bring to the paradigm shift that needs to happen to make society more free and open for everyone is our ability to accept difference.

Lindsey: I'm impressed by what you've done.

James: Thank you.

Lindsey: It's very cool.

James: Thank you.

Lindsey: Stay curious.

James: Right on.