LOGO asks the hosts of ‘Nashville Gender Talk’ about life as a ‘T’ in Tennessee

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In celebration of Independence Day and in keeping with their signature “Your Network. Your Stories” programming style, LOGO has combed America, documenting the lives and stories of everyday GLBT people along the way.

The chosen few will be featured on the channel in their very own vignette, composed of a photomontage that is soundtracked by their own words. Here in Nashville, the national network asked local radio talk show hosts Roxanne (Roxie) Fox and her fiancée Sara Gibson about “Nashville Gender Talk” and about life as transgender women in the Bible Belt, especially in a city that is home to the world’s largest producer of Bibles. Sara and Roxie shared some of those same thoughts and experiences with “O&AN.”

O&AN: How long have you [Nashville Gender Talk] been on the air now?

Roxie: We’re going into our second year. Actually – the inspiration came from 2003 – the 2003 Pride Festival. During that Pride Festival, Chris Lugo came by and took some pictures and wanted to know about the T-Vals. He said, “By the way, have you considered radio.” He said, “Well, you know there’s this radio program…” and he talked about WRFN. They were in their seventh year of putting it together and they were also looking for producers. So I contacted WRFN thinking that I was gonna be on someone else’s program. It turned out that they were looking for producers and I ended up producing a program instead. Now into our second year—Sara has joined my staff, and we’re kind of like the Nashville transgender “The View.”      

O&AN: Tell everyone about the transition process, what’s it like?

Sara: It’s very much like [being] a genetic female in female puberty, from – oh, I don’t know – say 10 to 18 [years of age], somewhere in that area. So I’d say, on that scale, I’m probably about a sixteen year old girl now. [Roxie and Sara laugh]

O&AN: So LOGO contacted you?

Roxie: They sent an e-mail out to anybody who wanted to be part of the television spot that they’re starting up July 4. They’re starting up – I think – a two week spread where they’re going to give snippets of people’s lives in a picture. We had a return e-mail sent to them by one o’clock, and at two o’clock our cell phone rang – it was LOGO saying they wanted to interview us. They asked for pictures, and kind of… [about] our lives. So we sent candid pictures from the radio program, and our singing at night, and other things like that. 

Sara:  What they’re going to do is make sound bites to go with the pictures.

O&AN: What was it initially that made them contact you two?

Sara: Well, I think they found us because they located the T-Vals. I guess they did research, and in the research, they found the Transgender groups here in Middle Tennessee. And they were really interested in what it was like to be ‘Trans’ in Tennessee. I lived in Delaware—and there, you were kind of like the third gender. It’s not that they were openly hostile toward you, they were just not accepting of you. In Nashville, I have tons of gay friends, and tons of lesbian friends, and T-girls, and bisexuals. We run the whole gamut in Nashville. 

Roxie: The transgender community hides in the closet, so people don’t get to know us. But what we’ve discovered is, the few of us that do go out, is that they get to know us as people. They don’t just see us as Friday night cross dressers or something like that. Outreach in Nashville has brought us together more, not to mention how much we party with each other.

“Nashville Gender Talk” with Roxie and Sara airs 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. every Thursday on WRFN 98.9FM (Pasquo/Belleview). Everyone can listen on the web at www.transfm.org and www.radiofreenashville.org. Set your TIVO to catch these hometown girls on LOGO during the first part of this month.