Philadelphia Young Playwrights has teamed up with award-winning Daily News journalist Yvonne Latty for a new podcast series, "Mouthful," which launched this month, focusing on the experiences and perspectives of young people.
“I really love the work Philadelphia Young Playwrights does,” Latty said about her collaborators. “I think it’s important to give kids an opportunity to express themselves that way, especially as a mother of teenagers. There’s so much going on and it’s really hard for them and I thought it would be really amazing to work on a project that gave kids an opportunity to get their voice out there.”
The first episode of "Mouthful," "One Hundred Sleepless Nights," shares the perspectives of a transgender student and features a monologue performance by Emmy Award nominee Scott Turner Schofield, who stars on “The Bold and The Beautiful” as is the first openly transgender actor on daytime TV.
Latty said that while the podcast is focused on teens, adults and parents can also learn a lot.
“It’s especially helpful for older people because we don’t usually get a chance to hear kids express themselves that way, especially on the episodes we’ve done on transgender issues, kids of color and eating disorders,” she said. “To hear kids talk about these things in an honest way really helps you understand what they are going through and where we are headed. There’s so much turmoil in the country right now ad it’s really important that we listen to them and understand.”
Latty said she found the experience of talking to the actor and local LGBT teens enlightening.
"My daughter goes to school with transgender kids and [teens] are very accepting, but parents have a hard time with it,” she said. “You open up a newspaper or watch television and you hear all this arguing over bathrooms and it makes you feel bad. The thing that was really eye-opening for me about the transgender podcast was how open and honest the kids were and how proud they were of who they are. They went through these journeys and they’ve come to a place where they accept themselves. Their confidence was inspiring and I felt like it educated me. I consider myself an extremely liberal, open person and I realized I never had the opportunity to talk to transgender people and a chance to explore their journeys with them. It’s really helpful when you hear it. It takes out a lot of the stigma and what you assume when you consume media. So what I’m hoping for is, as people listen to these podcasts, parents will open up a little bit and maybe instead of judging will talk to their kids and have an open mind and an open heart. Not many people have the opportunity to talk to kids who are transgender or questioning and to get to hear them talk about it in a real and honest way educates adults who maybe haven’t had the experience or haven’t had friends go through that.”
The "Mouthful" podcast series is available by subscription on iTunes, Soundcloud and Google Play. For more information visit www.mouthfulpodcastphilly.com.