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“You can hold someone accountable and hold them at the same time.”

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

by Brettany Shannon

Welcome to the sixth and final installment of Los Angeles Hashtags Herself. This season we have had the great privilege to speak with USC Professor Lisa Schweitzer, LA-Más’ Elizabeth Timme and Helen Leung, urban journalist Alissa Walker, public art curator and incoming Vancouver Art Gallery Associate Director and Chief Curator Rochelle Steiner, and Native American artist, entrepreneur, and activist Joanelle Romero. For our final episode, we are joined by Ashlee Marie Preston, civil rights activist, writer, speaker, and host of the excellent podcast, SHOOK with Ashlee Marie Preston.

In her work, Ashlee Marie writes, speaks, speaks out, and serves. She is the first transgender woman editor-in-chief of a national publication, the first openly transgender person to run for the California State Legislature, and among many other accolades she’s received in recent years, Ashlee Marie was named as one of The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans of 2017.

Ashlee Marie’s come to this place of much deserved praise and recognition after years of trauma, homelessness, and substance abuse, after which she determined to turn the “painful experiences that made me feel broken [into] symbols of beauty and strength and courage.” Ashlee Marie has many talents, but she is, above all, a communicator. She conceived her podcast as a “platform that is intentional about unpacking the accurate narrative of not just LGBTQ people or trans people, but being intentional about creating the world in which you wish to live in.” Ashlee Marie creates such a world by advocating for social justice through constructive and frank dialogues about intersectionality, inclusion, lateral oppression, privilege, love, and hope. “How can we say, ‘We wanna do better’? Well, start searching. I can easily find good things that we’re doing in our daily lives that are leading to the liberation and the progressiveness of our country.” Listen to Ashlee Marie discuss her activism and learn how you can be an ally.

A million thanks to Ashlee Marie for hosting me in her apartment for this inspiring conversation and to you for listening. Leave us a review on your favorite podcatcher and connect with us on Twitter (Bedrosian, me), Facebook, or email.


Follow Ashlee Marie on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Subscribe and listen to SHOOK with Ashlee Marie Preston and watch her conversation with Rose McGowan. Finally, read these great pieces Ashlee Marie and I discuss: A Transwoman of Color’s Guide to Survival and Hope Hicks Isn’t a Victim.

LA#Herself is produced by Aubrey Hicks, Jonathan Schwartz, and myself and mixed by Corey Hedden. Stream the interview on this page, or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or GooglePlay.

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