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'The Reconstructed Man' Podcast Tackles Issues For The Transgender Community

Layne Ingham looking up while holding a microphone on a stand. He looks like he is about to say something
Courtesy
/
Layne Ingram
'The Reconstructed Man' is in the middle of its second season.

The podcast explores stories in the transgender and queer community from a trans masculine perspective.

This year Republicans in state legislatures across the country, including here in Michigan, introduced bills that would make it harder for young transgender people to compete in sports that matched their gender identity.

This has been just one of the issues tackled on the podcast, The Reconstructed Man.

It’s hosted by Layne Ingram who is the Head Women's Basketball Coach at Lansing Community College.

WKAR's Sophia Saliby spoke with him about the podcast.

Interview Highlights

On Why He Decided To Share His Story

For those of us who have the support systems [and] who feel like they're able to stand up and stand out, we must do that, so that people know that, yeah, we exist. Yes, we're out here. Yes, we're living great lives. We're good citizens, you know, because if it helps one kid to know that they're going to be okay, then it's worth it.

On The Impact Of Legislation Targeting Young Transgender Athletes

I didn't even know I was trans when I was younger, you know, but there was something different about me. And if I didn't have basketball as my anchor, I don't know where I would be right now. And so, the people who are so upset, you need to understand that we're talking about kids. [It's] an opportunity to learn teamwork and confidence and determination and passion and to build character and other important traits to have as an adult.

On What He's Heard From Listeners

People that have reached out and said, "I found your show, and you are talking about things that I've gone through." Or "It's so nice to see somebody who's doing alright or whose family came around." And it matters, I mean, I can't imagine if as I was growing up, I had seen or interacted with one trans person like maybe I would have been like, "Oh, that's what's going on." But yeah, I mean, it's special.

Interview Transcript

Sophia Saliby: This is All Things Considered on WKAR. I’m Sophia Saliby.

This year Republicans in state legislatures across the country, including here in Michigan, introduced bills that would make it harder for young transgender people to compete in sports that matched their gender identity.

This has been just one of the issues tackled on the podcast, The Reconstructed Man, which explores stories in the transgender and queer community from a trans masculine perspective.

It’s hosted by Layne Ingram who is the Head Women's Basketball Coach at Lansing Community College.

He joins me now. Thank you for being here.

Layne Ingram: Thank you for having me.

Saliby: What made you want to start this podcast?

Ingram: You know, I think the journey that transgender people go through is something that needs to be shared.

I think the journey that transgender people go through is something that needs to be shared.

And so my friend Daniel and I, we're both transgender men, we thought, how could we tell our story? How could we connect with other people? How can we tell other people's trans stories to make sure that there is awareness, that we're out here. So, that's kind of where it started.

Saliby: What made you want to make that choice to be visible with your own story, whereas some people might want to leave that more as a private part of their life?

Ingram: I came out in 2017, and I came out in Lansing. And I'm from Lansing, and it was going to be kind of difficult to do it privately or keep it a secret because people would see me.

It's important that kids can see us. It's important that they can see that they're going to be alright.

And so, I think for people who have the opportunity [and] for people will have the support and the chance to be out and be visible, it's important. It's important that kids can see us. It's important that they can see that they're going to be alright.

Everybody doesn't have that luxury, and that's totally fine. But for those of us who have the support systems [and] who feel like they're able to stand up and stand out, we must do that, so that people know that, yeah, we exist.

Yes, we're out here. Yes, we're living great lives. We're good citizens, you know, because if it helps one kid to know that they're going to be okay, then it's worth it.

Saliby: Were you able to find that community to bring you that support when you were coming out and first transitioning?

Ingram: It's difficult. It's like, you have to be able to say it to yourself, first. You have to be able to say it to yourself and accept it before you can tell anybody else. And for me, it was important to be in the right relationship. I think the fact that I was 36 years old, definitely helped.

You have to be able to say it to yourself and accept it before you can tell anybody else.

I mean, I was grown, you know, living on my own, paying my own bills, I have own insurance. And so, those things matter. I had a little bit more support around me. My family, you know, was supportive of my relationship.

And so, I also knew that it was right, so it didn't matter, you know? And when you're in that place in your life, it makes a little bit easier.

When you're talking about younger people who still depend on their parents or are in college and don't have a strong relationship, you know, it's a lot more difficult.

Saliby: For our listeners who haven't heard your show yet. What's a great episode or an interview with a guest to get started with?

Ingram: Well, let's see, you know ... we're in season two right now. But in season one, we did a family show, and I had my dad and my sister come on. And that was interesting because, you know, when you think about a dad, and you know, having a daughter and now you have a son, right? Some of the things he missed. And I had a younger sister, and what that looked like for her looking to me. That's an interesting show.

We also talked about puberty which people might like. It's funny. It's cringey for me, but, you know, it's like, you have to go through puberty again almost. You know, I mean, my voice changed. So, those are two good episodes in season one.

[In] season two, I'm doing a lot more talking with other transgender people. And so there's just some really, really great interviews. There's an award-winning journalist I talked to. There's an author of a trans children's book. If you want to hear something that you don't know much about, then definitely take a listen.

Saliby: You've spoken out against this wave of legislation that would bar young people from competing in sports matching their gender identity if it doesn't align with what they were assigned at birth. You also work in sports.

How do you think these bills could impact young athletes? And I'm not even talking about them being passed, but just them being introduced and out there in the universe.

Ingram: I just, you know, I wrote a blog about this. And it's just like, if I didn't have basketball, I don't know how I would have made it. You know?

If I didn't have basketball as my anchor, I don't know where I would be right now.

And I didn't even know I was trans when I was younger, you know, but there was something different about me. And if I didn't have basketball as my anchor, I don't know where I would be right now.

And so, the people who are so upset, you need to understand that we're talking about kids. [It's] an opportunity to learn teamwork and confidence and determination and passion and to build character and other important traits to have as an adult.

Saliby: And you mentioned this earlier, if just one kid listens to your show and finds something in it, that would make it kind of all worth it.

Have you had those listeners reach out to you and say they feel that you've helped them with their journey?

Ingram: I have, and it's the most beautiful, those are the most beautiful moments, right? It's, like, that's the point of this. People that have reached out and said, "I found your show, and you are talking about things that I've gone through." Or "It's so nice to see somebody who's doing alright or whose family came around."

People that have reached out and said, "I found your show, and you are talking about things that I've gone through."

And it matters, I mean, I can't imagine if as I was growing up, I had seen or interacted with one trans person like maybe I would have been like, "Oh, that's what's going on." But yeah, I mean, it's special. It matters. It makes it worth it.

Saliby: Layne Ingram hosts the podcast, The Reconstructed Man.

You can find it on YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts. Thank you for joining me.

Ingram: Thank you for having me.

This conversation has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

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