When she realized her youngest of three children was gender non-conforming, Martie began keeping a blog as she sorted through her feelings and tried to make sense of things. She'd always enjoyed writing for "therapy," but with an extensive background performing in musical theatre and a degree in Psychology, Martie never considered pursuing a writing career.
8 years after starting her small blog, at the urging of family (and her youngest) as well as a theatre friend, 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 highlighted struggles she and her husband faced as parents raising a ‘gender creative boy’ in the south.
Little did she know that only a day before the first LTYM cast meeting & read-through, her home state of N.C. signed the transphobic “bathroom bill,” HB2, into law. HB2 was considered the most sweeping anti-LGBTQ law in modern U.S. history. Even as the bill was repealed later in 2017, it was also unnecessarily replaced with an equally egregious law.
Martie knew there was always the possibility her ‘gender creative boy’ could be transgender - or anywhere on the LGBTQ spectrum. Suddenly, the issue was more urgent. Now it was personal, and it was too close for comfort.
During this time, Martie became more politically active. She networked and connected, but more importantly, she began reading, learning, and absorbing everything she could about the struggles of minority & marginalized communities in America.
This was what it took for Martie to recognize, understand, and reconcile her relative privilege in a society that lived, looked, and loved just like she did.
Deeply troubled by what she learned regarding transphobia, homophobia, systemic racism, and more, Martie felt it was no longer good enough to fight for the rights of one protected group, if she wasn't willing to fight for the rights of all protected groups. (A lofty goal, which Martie admits she'll never completely fulfill. But she remains dedicated to doing whatever she can to help others who live, look, and love like her what life is like for "everyone else."
Eventually, Martie’s social and political commentaries became featured on The Huffington Post, (now, HuffPost). It was there where Martie had the good fortune of HuffPost's editorial director, Noah Michelson, inviting her to contribute more content. Over the next couple of years 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 a person), 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.
Martie continues to hear from new readers all the time, and enjoys keeping up communication with the amazing people she’s met from all over the world.
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.
In 2019, Martie founded Gender from the Trenches (GftT), a publication on Medium that's dedicated to amplifying voices from the trans community. In addition to GftT, Martie is also editor in chief of The Evolver, a culture/politics/equality publication on Medium.
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 steer clear of - like the Black Live Matter movement, and of course, trans rights. She proudly wears the “SJW” cape whenever needed.
While this was not the path Martie ever imagined for herself and her family, the timing of everything 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.