Mac S. McGregor is a member of the Seattle LGBT Commission; an educator and activist on gender, sexuality, and LGBTQ issues; and one of the highest-ranking martial artists in the world.
What question would you most like to be asked by a journalist about trans issues?
The first thing that comes to mind: "How can we better understand the transgender community?" Admit that you don't understand and ask for help. The average trans person walks around like they've had the crap beat out of them, and admitting your own lack of knowledge helps people open up.
What is the biggest obstacle to your day-to-day happiness as a trans man in Seattle?
I feel very privileged in Seattle, especially after the many years I spent in the Deep South. But there's still a lack of understanding here, even in the gay and lesbian community. It's tough being shunned in your own community.
If you could change one thing about the cisgender world, what would it be?
The idea that gender is all about genitalia, and the notion that we've got gender and sexuality all figured out.
If you could change one thing about the trans community, what would it be?
To be more compassionate to the cisgender community, because we've all been brainwashed by churches, schools, society. Everyone is walking around trying to figure it out, and it takes some work. I don't think people are generally trying to offend us—many people are just uneducated. If we're operating on the perception that everyone's out to get us, that's what we're going to find.
What is your greatest source of joy?
Speaking at colleges. I speak every semester at the UW, and it boggles my mind that students have the opportunity to ask questions and talk to us openly. Gender panels, kink panels—I would've loved to have all this stuff when I was young! It's wonderful to see the lightbulbs go on, to educate people in a way that opens their minds.
Who's your celebrity dream date?
Pink. I hate to break it to Carey Hart, but that baby is mine.
What's the last great movie you saw?
August: Osage County. As someone who grew up with a mentally ill parent, I thought Meryl Streep was amazing. Gave me some flashbacks.