Transgender teen Aiden talks about how he entered high school as a girl, gradually came to understand that he had always been a boy, and how he made that transformation real.
A Live Forum for Courageous Conversations.
Safe Space is a show about subjects that are hard to talk about--a respectful forum for courageous conversations about difficult subjects in order to reduce stigma, provide education, offer hope and access to resources. It is a space for the in depth discussion of matters that touch hearts and yet feel risky to share; subjects that deserve, but rarely get, thoughtful consideration.
The topics on Safe Space often deal with the guests’ courage to accept difference in themselves, especially when they feel afraid or ashamed about that difference. Shame is a painful psychological and emotional experience, but it is also a cultural and political force. All acts of courage inspire others to take risks, to express themselves, to be themselves. Such acts have political force to stand up to silencing, to create change.
Each show attempts to name and acknowledge difficult feelings, and to honor those who have found their own way of putting them into perspective. Listening to Safe Space will introduce you to many who are daring to speak about what is true for them as they find a way to turn their deepest wounds or hidden struggles into a gift for others. Giving voice to the unspeakable is ultimately an act of generosity and courage that makes our world more hospitable and welcoming to the parts of each of us that feel vulnerable.
A conversation with lesbian high schooler Sianna about how she has taken a stand against homophobia in situations where no one else was on her side, and why she’s glad she had to.
A conversation with Samantha, who was outed as a lesbian to her parents by a teacher at her school, about the turmoil this has created in her life. She talks about being rejected by some of the most important people in her life after they learned she was gay, and how that experience has inspired her to be a leader in her local LGBTQ community.
This show is the first in a new series on the experiences of LGBTQ teens in Maine. This episode features a conversation with high school junior AJ, who identifies as gender-neutral. AJ discusses the challenges of not identifying as either a girl or a boy, and the value of finding allies within a new school.
This week’s show concludes our series on incarceration. We speak with Dostoevsky scholar Dr. Robin Feuer Miller about how the classic novel Crime and Punishment is relevant to the experiences of prisoners today, and we hear stories from listeners about how incarceration, and the stigma it carries, have affected their own lives.
A conversation with psychotherapist Sonia about her experience of arrest and imprisonment for possession of firearms and explosives as an anti-Vietnam War activist. In order to get professional licensure, Sonia waited years to get her record sealed, requiring her to keep her past a secret. We talk about what it has been like to live for 40 years with this secret, and the unexpected ways it has shaped her life.
A conversation with Dr. T. Richard Snyder about the inspiring work of restorative justice. This approach brings together the victim, the offender and the community of people affected by a crime in order to find solutions that not only work to repair the damage, but build healing for all the parties involved. Hear how a profoundly different approach to corrections, built on the example of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, actually reduces recidivism and builds community.
This is part two of my conversation with Bobby Payzant, a hospice volunteer and inmate at the Maine State Prison. In this interview Bobby talks more about the deep remorse he feels for the man he assaulted, and how he has had to face himself during the many years he has spent in prison. He describes the decision he made to stop blaming others for his circumstances, and to start taking responsibility for his decisions. He talks about the many ways he is interested in healing, both through victim-offender mediation, but also through working toward a college degree and taking care of the dying. He talks about the importance of all those things that reconnect a prisoner with their own humanity, including being able to attend the wake for their own family members or for fellow prisoners.
This episode features two conversations with people involved in the hospice program within the state prison in Warren, Maine. First we speak with the program’s founder, Kandyce Powell, executive director of the Maine Hospice Council. Kandyce talks about the genesis of the prison’s hospice program, her motivation for starting it, and the difference it has made in the lives of the men who die in prison, as well in the lives of the prisoners who volunteer to provide them care. In the second half of the episode we hear from one of those inmates, Bobby Payzant, who has been part of the program for more than two years. He talks about why he is incarcerated, and how he became interested in joining the hospice program. He also reveals that the hospice volunteers have formed a band called The Sounds of Comfort, and we close the episode with one of their songs.
A conversation with public defender Michael Lepie about the his work with indigent clients, and why he considers criminal defense to be a civil rights issue. He discusses how he tries to seek outcomes for his clients which won’t completely derail their lives, and the obstacles within the legal system that often make this difficult. He also discusses the challenges of defending those with mental illnesses, and which aspects of the criminal justice system he thinks are most in need of reform.