In recent episodes of Fierce — a podcast from iHeartRadio and Tribeca Studios, which highlights the extraordinary women who never made it into our history books — host Jo Piazza introduces you to two incredible women whose names you must remember: Transgender pioneer Christine Jorgensen and Madam C.J. Walker, one of the country’s first female self-made millionaires.
Tabloid headlines about Christine, the first American woman to undergo surgery to medically transition, turned her into an overnight celebrity in the 1950s. She used her platform to host lectures on gender and sexuality at a time when such conversations were rarely discussed openly — a significant step towards normalizing transgender identities in the United States.
In the episode below, Jo talks about the state of transgender rights with Sarah McBride, the National Press Secretary of the Human Rights Campaign and State Senate candidate for the First State Senate District in Delaware. She’s one of the many activists working today to continue the work Christine began.
In another episode, learn about Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove to freed slaves in 1867. She used her creativity, determination, and brilliant mind to transform herself into a business mogul who traveled the country and employed legions of saleswomen. She successfully grew her business and gave thousands of Black women the skills and confidence to create generational wealth and follow in her footsteps. Jo chats with guest Melissa Butler, founder of The Lip Bar, for a journey into the incredible life of this self-made woman.