Episode 73: Jodie Patterson

On womanhood, excellence, Blackness, and our crucial collaborations in parenting, partnership, and creativity.

  • Rebirthing many times throughout life [3:57]
  • Women, Southern culture and power [5:15]
  • Demonstrating Black Excellence [12:10]
  • Seeking out Black culture [18:14]
  • Not letting the dominant culture confuse you [21:52]
  • A different kind of leadership [24:55]
  • Detaching from things that define us. Coming back different [29:51]
  • Finding the upside of the split [38:11]
  • Representation matters. How we treat people is cultural [42:05]
  • Penelope’s poem. Listening fully when people tell us who they are [52:38]

Author, activist, beauty explorer and mother of 5, Jodie holds the position of Chair of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Board, our nation’s largest LGBT organization. As a globally recognized activist, she speaks on topics of radical parenting, identity, and gender.

When her son announced at the age of 3 “Mama I’m not a girl. I’m a boy”, Jodie set out to inform herself, shift her own bias and change the way her community understands gender. Chronicling that journey in her memoir, The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation, hailed by Alice Walker as “Marvelous.” Cosmopolitan Magazine filmed a mini-documentary on her family in 2016, garnering over 11 million views.

Jodie’s second book, Born Ready: The True Story Of A Boy Named Penelope allows her childrens’ voices to be heard. They show us how an entire community can be flexible and change for those they love.

She’s also a long-standing entrepreneur, co-founding two beauty companies, receiving Beauty Skin Expert of the Year award by Cosmopolitan Magazine. Jodie co-owns Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, the iconic live performance venue in NYC.

Along with the work she does with the Human Rights Campaign, Jodie is on Mount Sinai’s Institute for Health Equity Research Task Force, the Advisory Board of the Ackerman Institute’s Gender & Family Project, and Mount Sinai’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery Advisory Board. The United Nations has recognized me as a Champion of Change.

Jodie lives in Brooklyn where she co-raises her children with love, education and family solidarity.


Jodie Patterson
The Bold World, Jodie Patterson
Born Ready, Jodie Patterson
The Human Rights Campaign
Points of Pride
Ackerman Institute for the Family
Jazz Jennings

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