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One Small Step: John and Olive

Illustration by Blake Behrens

KOSU has recorded 24 conversations between Oklahomans with different beliefs for StoryCorps’ One Small Step project.

One Small Step participants John, a Libertarian from the Stillwater area, and Olive, a democratic transwoman from the OKC metro, met for the first time virtually in early September.

In their conversation they talked about healthcare, the LGBTQIA+ community and how they view the two-party system. While differing on fiscal policy, they both felt left behind by that system.

Listen to hear Olive's concerns as a trans woman in Oklahoma and John's perspective as a parent and what he hopes for her moving forward.

Olive and John
The more I lived with it, the shorter my life I was worried would become

Olive: You know, I think a lot of it is that me and my community are kind of becoming a primary target. There's like one year, like 2014, 2015 that they call the transgender tipping point. At the same time, you know, you get the increased visibility and increased awareness. But also with that comes a lot more people who didn't know about trans people before knowing about them and being very scared.

So I've been very lucky that I haven't had too much problems, but that's definitely a fear that I'm just trying to pee. And then because, you know, everyone and their sister has a gun in Oklahoma that someone might hurt me.

So that's scary at the same. But at the same time, I'm very happy that I did it and I'm very happy and it does bring me a lot of joy.

John: It kind of makes me sad that you have to be afraid. I mean, you know, I think about it in terms of my own kids. I would want them to know that no matter what lifestyle they chose or what life they chose or how they felt about things that they were loved and supported by me, no matter what

Hopefully you won't be afraid one of these days.

StoryCorps’ One Small Step is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Kateleigh Mills was the Special Projects reporter for KOSU from 2019 to 2024.
Matthew Viriyapah is KOSU's production assistant and host of the music podcast Songwriters & Tour Riders.
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