Jodie Patterson is a born maker. A mother of five, she’s made her way through eighteen homes, nine careers, two marriages, and two books (and she’s working on a third).
A native New Yorker, Jodie grew up in a family of activists: her uncle is Gil Scott-Heron, the poet and musician best known for his composition “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised;” her grandmother was a civil rights activist; her father owned Wall Street’s first Black brokerage firm.
And yet, this seemingly unflappable woman found herself unmoored when her child, Penelope, began acting out as a toddler. At the age of three things came to a head, and Jodie finally asked what was going on. Penelope answered with perfect clarity: everyone was treating him like a girl even though he was a boy.
“I wasn’t prepared for that type of change; change normally comes easy to me, but not that. Over the last seven or eight years, I’ve had to learn to think about gender differently. Gender is so ingrained in everything we do that it changed the way I looked at everything in my life.”
Today, Jodie is a fierce and tireless LGBTQAI advocate, activist, and author. She taught herself. She listened. She wrote down her experiences, and she published the stories. Her work is driven by a desire for understanding, and the need to bring her world closer to that of her children.
“Understanding my children, being with them where they are in their lives — and acknowledging the gaps between us — is what drives me.”