When she realized her youngest of three children was gender non-conforming, Martie began keeping a small blog as she sorted through her feelings and tried to make sense of things.
8 years later (and at the urging of her youngest), Martie publicly shared some of that writing before a live audience/national broadcast, when she was cast in the Listen to Your Mother Show (RDU, 2016). She pulled from her background of performing in musical theatre, and her degree in Psychology to highlight and dig deeper into the struggles she and her husband faced as parents raising a ‘gender creative boy’ in the south. LTYM proved to be the most pivotal opportunity in her life, because prior to that, Martie never considered using her voice in the way of writing , speaking, and advocacy.
Eventually, Martie’s social and political commentaries got picked up and front page featured by The Huffington Post, (now, HuffPost). It was there where Martie was met with the good fortune of having HuffPost's editorial director, Noah Michelson, invite her to contribute more, and her articles were frequently featured on the front page of HuffPost’s ‘Queer Voices,’ ‘Parents,’ and ‘Politics’ sections.
Her work was also published in Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, HuffPost Brasil, Red Tricycle, That Odd Mom, and several other media outlets.
Once again, little did Martie know - this was only the beginning.
After an open letter she wrote to the "girls only" clothing store Justice went viral (and the ensuing media whirlwind that ‘5 minutes of fame’ gives you), Martie began receiving hundreds of messages from people all over the world who offered their kind support and solidarity. She was surprised by how many parents experienced "me too” moments because they were also raising trans or gender nonconforming kids. And still, many other trans teens and adults wrote Martie, relaying their deep pain - from not being able to live authentically, or tell their families that they aren't what their parents had hoped for or expected.
Martie continues to hear from new readers all the time, and enjoys keeping up communication with the amazing people she’s met from around the world thus far.
In 2016, Martie and her husband Matt founded a program of their local LGBT Center that serves as a monthly playgroup for trans and gender nonconforming youth ages 12 and under, and concurrent discussion group for parents. She has served on the Family Equality Council, presented in LGBTQ workshops for educators including Safe Schools of N.C., and given guest lectures at local state colleges and universities.
For her work Martie has also been interviewed/seen/heard on SiriusXM’s “Tell Me Everything with John Fugelsang,” NPR StoryCorps, and other NPR affiliates (WUNC’s “The State of Things” with Frank Stasio, WBUR’s “Kind World,” etc.), and has twice been an invited guest on the podcast “Things I Found Online” with Premiere Networks co-founder Louise Palanker, and actor/comedian Jamie Alcroft (and father of Hayley Kiyoko!).
Martie is currently collaborating (slowly but surely) on a multimedia production with award-winning producer Naomi Newman (HBO, ESPN, Lifetime), and award-winning child star-turned actor/writer/director, Jesse Tendler.
Martie remains passionately committed to helping achieve equality for minority & marginalized groups in The United States. She isn’t afraid to tackle researching and writing about the more “polarizing” topics that many of her fellow white/straight/cisgender peers stay away from - like the Black Live Matter movement, and of course, trans rights.
She proudly wears the “SJW” cape whenever needed, and while this was not the path she ever imagined for herself, the timing of it all was too precise and divine to be coincidence. With an open mind, she continues writing and learning, while raising three kids (now teenagers!) with her supportive husband, Matt, by her side.
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