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Season 1, Episode #5: Shaving Away at Toxic Masculinity

 

Join us this season as The Conversationalist’s Founder and CEO, Sophie Beren, sits down with artists, authors, thought leaders, influencers, and experts to have conversations that matter! At The Conversationalist Podcast, you can expect the unexpected, and no topic is off-limits.

 

On this episode of The Conversationalist Podcast, we’re talking about mental health and toxic masculinity.

We kick off the show by chatting with two athletes, Jason Collins and Schuyler Bailar, who discuss how the sports industry perpetuates toxic masculinity, but also the support they both received from coaches and teammates when they came out as gay and transgender. Our guests also discuss Gillette’s “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” short film, as well as how the NCAA and Harvard University are both moving to provide mental health services to athletes, and why that’s so important. As always, we take to the streets of New York City and Philadelphia to hear your thoughts, this time on whether or not Gillette missed the mark with their messaging. We close the show with our expert, Ellen Friedrichs, author of Good Sexual Citizenship: How to Create a (Sexually) Safer World. Ellen fills us in on her thoughts about whether or not society is making space for men to be vulnerable, the often unnoticed subtleties that underpin how we view masculinity, and how we can have conversations about toxic masculinity in a way that will drive change.

Follow our guests on social media to continue the conversation:

Jason Collins is a retired NBA player who came out as gay in 2013. The following year he signed with the Brooklyn Nets and became the first openly gay athlete to play in any of the four major U.S. men’s professional sports leagues –– Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), and National Hockey League (NHL). Jason is now an ambassador for NBA Cares and is doing wonderful advocacy work for the LGBTQ+ community.

Schuyler Bailar was first recruited by Harvard University to swim for the women’s team. After he transitioned during his gap year, he was also offered a place on the men’s team, which he accepted. He became the first openly transgender NCAA Division I swimmer as well as the first publicly documented NCAA D1 transgender man to compete as a man in any sport. Bailar is an LGBTQ rights activist and member of the NCAA Common Ground initiative, where he promotes inclusion in NCAA activities. Schuyler now teaches emotional intelligence in Seattle, WA.

Ellen Friedrichs is a health educator based in New York City and holds a master’s in health and human sexuality education from New York University. She’s the author of, Good Sexual Citizenship: How to Create a (Sexually) Safer World, and also answers questions on the okayso app, which allows people to ask experts questions they have about sex, dating, identity, and more. Her workshops teach parents and educators how to talk to kids about sex, puberty, consent, sexual violence, sexual health, community building, gender, and sexual orientation.


We enjoyed going out on the streets of New York City and Philadelphia to ask young adults their perspectives on our topics. Our goal is to feature multiple points of view to give our listeners a well-rounded understanding of this week’s topic. Want to be featured on an upcoming episode of The Conversationalist podcast? Here’s what to do:

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Interested in joining Sophie on her mission to unify the world? Follow @theconversationalist on Instagram to give your perspectives on the topics we cover this season! Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you next week!