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Episode 23: The JV Club
Julian Melson
The JV ClubThe JV Club

The JV Club #23: Julian Melson

In an unusual departure from the standard JV Club routine, Janet interviews her first male guest: Julian Melson, who also happens to be transgender. In other words, teen Julian was a teenaged girl. Technically. Together they discuss Burt Reynolds’ magnetism, the allure of professional wrestling, and being honest about who you really are.
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  1. rotunda says:

    This is an amazing gift from Janet Varney and Julian Melson. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Shmoo says:

    I absolutely loved this episode! I’m extremely fascinated by gender, and I’ve probably done more research on this topic than the average person. I went to 2 conferences my senior year in college, and I went to the transgender workshops that they had. I’m gay, so I figure I already know pretty much everything. lol. I actually prefer to identify as pansexual or just plain queer, but my track record says I’m a lesbian. haha. I just loved hearing your story, Julian. I’m so happy you had supportive people in your life. When you said your Mom said “You’re not like that are you?” It took me right back to high school when my Mom told me “I don’t want you to be like that.” when we were talking about my new friend(who was actually my first gf) and the fact that she heard she was a lesbian.

    The website link I added is actually to a video I did on a youtube channel I was on about lesbian life primarily. We had some questions about our opinions on trans individuals and dating primarily.

    Janet knows I can ramble on and on, but I won’t. I just loved this episode! 🙂

  3. Leigh R says:

    Thank you for embracing your cousin! One of my best friends has recently transitioned from female to male, and I couldn’t be happier for him. We’ve been friends for 20 years, and finally he is getting to be fully and completely himself!

  4. Jason says:

    I love this podcast. I am a gay man who came out in a very safe and loving environment and only really had one person who threw a drink in my face and called me a fag and that was a girl who was 2 years older than me. I live in a very accepting and loving family and have a great core group of friends. I love your podcast and love the light and acceptance I feel when I listen to it. I’m watching Mad Men right now and want to reach through the screen and hug Christina Hendricks! Seriously, from Minnesota – you are on my mind and and I smile every time I run across a new episode. Keep it up!!

    • janet says:

      Hey Jason! Thank you so much. That fills my heart up! And thanks again to those of you who left comments. And to YOU Julian for coming here to answer and comment. I love you so much!

  5. Julian Melson says:

    Wow, what great feedback! Im so glad that you all seemed to get something positive from the interview. Im still amazed with how open minded and kind people have been regarding my transition. Im really touched by your comments.To Evan, I’m so glad that our conversation helped you to feel connected and not alone.I very much related to your post and know that the beginning of this journey can be scary and sometimes lonely. I definitely reconmend an FTM support group in your area or going to one of the amazing gender conferences that are held annualy across the nation. Connecting to other guys was invaluable to me.I wish you well brother.To Alec, I’m legally male now so our marriage is legal in the state of Arizona where my wife and I live. However there have been cases in the Uninted States where marriages of trans folks have been contested and each one was found to be invalid. We still have work to do with changing laws but I do feel it will happen soon. Again thank you so much for the comments and questions and please feel free to keep them coming!

  6. janet says:

    Guys! Thank you so much for the feedback. Amazing thoughts and stories. I sent all of this to Julian as well. I think he’ll weigh in! Shout-outs coming at each one of you in next week’s podcast!!

  7. Amanda says:

    What a delight. Thank you to Julian for sharing his story, and especially to the incomparable Janet for bringing him on the show. It was refreshing and honest, and truly appreciated.

  8. Evan says:

    As a youngish person who’s about to transition (like Julian, I’m ftm), I found this conversation to be comforting and helpful. Growing up, I didn’t even know living as a man was an option; it’s as if the narrative of being trans and just a regular girl/guy was (and is) nonexistent. But conversations like this certainly help to remedy the silence. It’s reassuring that there are many smart, kind, down-to-earth transguys like Julian. Thanks so much for the chat!

  9. Alec says:

    Did the government offer legal recognition of Julian’s gender and let him marry without any fuss, or did he and his wife have to travel abroad to tie the knot?

  10. Kiara says:

    This is one of my favorite episodes. I love listening about a close family. I love Janet and Julian’s relationship because a love from cousins, especially cousins this close is so refreshing to find, and listen to. It would be great to have Julian again! Or other members from the family, because they sound awesome!

  11. Mark says:

    Incredible episode. My heart was ready to leap out of my chest by the end.

    Please have Julian on again, this was just jam-packed with fascinating snippets and I’d love to hear some things get fleshed out more. (Bedridden for two years!?) Your family sounds endlessly wonderful. Have them on too 🙂

  12. Curtis says:

    So I mentioned to Janet on Twitter that I had a story to share that was too long for there, so here it is –

    A few years ago in college I had the wonderful opportunity to be neighbors with one of my classmates and friends. Every now and then her sister would drop off her kids to be babysat my said friend and we would go visit and play video games with them and whatnot. They’re great kids and we always had fun with them.

    Come to find out, about 7 months later, that one of kids – Jayden – whom I’d always thought was a girl, was actually male-bodied. Apparently this rather awesome 9 year-old had decided around the age of 4 or 5 that he would rather be a she. Jayden sat down with her parents and discussed that she felt that she wasn’t comfortable being labeled as male.

    She wanted to do the more girly things, pretty much the opposite of what Julian described he wanted to do in the podcast. Jayden would rather play with dolls, liked putting on makeup, would rather be “Mom” while playing house, etc.

    Thankfully, despite being raised in an area of Washington state that’s not known for being… let’s say “accepting”, Jayden’s parents are extremely open-minded. They discussed for a long time whether or not this was something Jayden really wanted. They then began adjusting their lifestyle based upon that. They started buying female clothing and the toys more geared at little girls and embraced who Jayden felt she wanted to be. They informed her teachers about it and they were able to work out a game plan, the most important being where to go to the bathroom. Since Jayden didn’t feel comfortable using the boy’s bathroom, and since technically she isn’t able to use the girl’s room, the principal offered to let Jayden use the faculty restroom. A small step forward, but something that meant a great deal to her parents.

    Fast-forward a few years to when I’m introduced to her, Jayden seems like a rather unisex name to me, so I didn’t think twice about it. She has long hair, wears dresses and the like, and identifies fully as female. Upon learning of the situation and all that went behind it, I gained a massive amount of respect for her parents and a bit of hope in the world. They’re teaching their daughter that you should be who you are, not what society is telling you to be.

    That’s the story I wanted to share; as to the podcast – Top notch, I’d like to learn more about Julian’s story because there’s obviously so much more than can fit in to an hour.

  13. Monia says:

    I gotta say, as someone who leans toward radical feminism, I definitely approve of this approach. Can’t wait to listen!