“Apparently There’s a Pre-Game to Menopause” with Omisade Burney-Scott
S1, E4
December 13, 2022

Christine Maginnis (00:00):

Hey, friends. The views of our guests do not necessarily reflect the views of Let's Talk Menopause. Let's Talk Menopause does not provide medical advice. The content in this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions that you may have.

Speaker 2 (00:23):

Liberating experience.

Speaker 3 (00:24):

A lot of times when women reach menopause, they feel very liberated.

Speaker 4 (00:28):

I feel like there's so much pressure put on young women to-

Speaker 5 (00:31):

Procreate, and now that expectation can't even be a thing anymore.

Speaker 6 (00:35):

And I don't give a damn anymore.

Speaker 7 (00:37):

You don't have to go through all the monthly up and downs.

Speaker 8 (00:39):

You just have a vagina and you're vibing.

Christine Maginnis (00:41):

How can older women support younger women?

Speaker 9 (00:43):

Being open-minded to new generations.

Speaker 10 (00:45):

Understand what they're going through and try to relate and.

Speaker 11 (00:47):

Age teaches lessons.

Speaker 12 (00:49):

Women need to support women. We're our biggest allies.

Speaker 13 (00:51):

This is such a Miss America answer, but the best thing that we can do is just support each other. Young or old, who gives a shit.

Christine Maginnis (00:57):

Mic drop people.

(01:02):

This is Hello Menopause! A podcast where you'll hear real menopause stories from real people.

Robin Gelfenbien (01:08):

Whispering behind closed doors? Not here.

Christine Maginnis (01:11):

We promise, it is not just in your head.

Robin Gelfenbien (01:13):

And you are not alone.

Christine Maginnis (01:14):

I'm your host, Christine Maginnis.

Robin Gelfenbien (01:16):

And I'm your other host, Robin Gelfenbien. Let's talk menopause. At the top of the episode, we heard our menopause on the street segment. Now, for those of you who don't know, this is a segment where I go out on the streets of New York and ask total strangers about menopause.

Christine Maginnis (01:45):

Oh, my gosh, Rob, and this was such a good one. You got so many good things. What struck you? What stood out to you?

Robin Gelfenbien (01:51):

I mean, so many right off the bat. I love the woman who says, "I don't give a damn anymore," because that just sounds like this refrain of no more fucks to give that we keep hearing.

Christine Maginnis (02:03):

Exactly. We keep hearing this again and again, this universal idea of how liberating it is to not give a damn. I think that's funny, but empowering, and I know I feel that way.

Robin Gelfenbien (02:14):

Yeah.

Christine Maginnis (02:15):

Okay. So I had to react to, and I don't even know why. You just have a vagina and you're vibing.

Robin Gelfenbien (02:21):

Oh, my God. I mean, first of all, I'm a huge fan of alliteration, so on that alone, I was all about it. But yeah, I thought the same thing. And she just says it so casually.

Christine Maginnis (02:34):

Right, right. I'd like to ask her, what do you mean?

Robin Gelfenbien (02:39):

I try not to interrupt people when I'm interviewing them unless at the end, with that girl who said something about, this sounds so Miss America, but we really need to support each other. What the hell? I'm like, mic drop. I loved her because I think she's told me she was like 24, and she already has no fucks to give. It was awesome. What else jumped out at you?

Christine Maginnis (03:01):

Well, her's also jumped out to me. It made me think there is a powerful notion of can... I've always felt a strong connection to women who are older. You have so much to learn from them, and there's a lot of nurturing in it. But then I flip it too and realize, I think it is a two way street, because I really appreciate being with younger people and learning from them. And I think these intergenerational conversations are great for everyone.

Robin Gelfenbien (03:27):

Totally. I mean, some of the people I talked to, the person who said, "You don't have to go through all the monthly ups and downs," made me think about the fact that aside from childbearing and being objectified and all of that, I was thinking more of the time and money and laundry that you have to put in after not having your period for so long. I'm sure that's a huge part of it too. And I've heard you say it, and I think some other people talk about the, I don't want to have to look all beautiful for somebody else. You want to look good for you, essentially; and I've always been struck by that because I've always felt like somebody who has not been the object of desire, so I've never really felt like people are, men specifically, are looking at me in that way.

Christine Maginnis (04:17):

Yeah, I really hear what you're saying, and I think there's two things. Being liberated from having your period and having the stained underwear and the cramps and the misery is its own unique liberation, but I think it's liberating and not being the object of even unwanted attention, the cat calling or having people objectify you, and now I feel so much less seen, and in a lot of ways, it's a relief. I've raised kids, I've helped sick parents. It's time for yourself.

Robin Gelfenbien (04:46):

I just think about the people who don't want to have children, so I wonder if they'll feel that same sense of liberation as well. And thinking more of people who chose not to have them or who never necessarily wanted them, what that sense of liberation might look like for them. Because I've never, I love children, but I've never wanted them. Through the different interviews, I often wonder what will make me feel liberated once I've reached menopause. And I'm not entirely sure. I think the worry about periods certainly could be part of it, and so that's what I'm imagining will be the case. I can report back, but right now, that's all I can think of.

Christine Maginnis (05:30):

Right. Well, thank you for sharing that. That is a really a good voice to be heard.

Robin Gelfenbien (05:35):

Well, we talk about how we want our listeners to get to know us better.

Christine Maginnis (05:40):

And I also want our listeners who don't have kids to have a voice.

Robin Gelfenbien (05:43):

Yeah. So welcome, listeners.

Christine Maginnis (05:47):

Okay, so without any further ado, let's get into the conversation with our guest for today. We are so excited to have as our guest today, Omisade Burney-Scott. She's the creator of the Black Girls Guide to Menopause. She's a seventh generation native North Carolinian, a feminist, a healer, a fellow podcaster, and one of the nicest people you'll get to meet. She works to uplift black women's voices throughout their aging journey by collecting and sharing stories. You're going to love her. Thank you for joining us on the show today, Omisade. Could you please introduce yourself to our listeners?

Omisade Burney-Scott (06:34):

Absolutely. And thank you so much for having me. My name is Omisade Burney-Scott. My pronouns are she, her, and her's. I reside on the occupied land of the Occaneechi Saponi Nation, which is also known as Durham, North Carolina. And I am the creator and curator of the Black Girls Guide to Surviving Menopause. So thank you for having me.

Christine Maginnis (06:59):

Thank you so much for being here. We are beyond eager to get into this with you.

Robin Gelfenbien (07:03):

So excited to talk to you.

Christine Maginnis (07:05):

What we hope to do in the show is to hear from all these different women who have different menopause experiences. Can you please tell me how yours began?

Omisade Burney-Scott (07:14):

Oh, sure. I honestly didn't realize I was perimenopausal until I got pregnant at 40. And I was like, huh, I wasn't expecting that. And we had a miscarriage, and when I went in to see my OBGYN, who's this fantastic person, she's now retired, she said, "Well, your perimenopausal; this is not uncommon." And I was like, "What is perimenopause?" And she says, "So menopause is a spectrum, and you go from a perimenopausal experience, and then menopause is a day when you've reached 365 days of no cycle at all, and then your postmenopausal." I said, "Oh, I didn't know that. I just thought that menopause was like this all-encompassing experience," which I still do kind of culturally and societally. I think about it in that way, but physiologically, I had no real understanding of what it was. So it wasn't until I was in my late thirties, early forties that I realized I was perimenopausal. And then I had my last child at 41, and then I had my last cycle at 45. That's how I got introduced to the language and wanting to understand better what was happening with my body.

Robin Gelfenbien (08:29):

Did you tell your friends about this new word that you had learned after you heard the word perimenopause?

Omisade Burney-Scott (08:35):

Absolutely. Absolutely. I am that person. I am that person. So when I found out I was pregnant at 40, of course, I reached out to some of my best girlfriends from college and everybody was like, "What do you mean you're pregnant?" I'm like, "I'm pregnant." They were like, "What?" I was like, "I know, and the doctor said I'm perimenopausal." They're like, "Well, what is that?" I said, "Apparently, there's a pregame to menopause." And they were like, "Well, what's associated with the pregame?" And so we started talking about symptoms and look, maybe I'm perimenopausal too. I said, We're likely all perimenopausal based on what Dr. Artis has shared with me. And so I definitely shared that with my friends. I am that person in our collective. If I have an experience, I want to test it out and see if anybody else experiencing it, and I'm also going to share whatever information I get.

Christine Maginnis (09:23):

But don't you think it's a shame that women don't know the word perimenopausal until they're in it?

Omisade Burney-Scott (09:29):

Yeah, I think there are a lot of things that are a shame for women's bodies, women identify, gender expansive people's bodies. I think it's a shame that we live in a society that is frightened of having honest and candid conversations about our bodies, about the way our bodies change or our sexual expression. We're just kind of fraught with a lot of hangups and taboos around bodies. And I think we also actually problematize and pathologize women's bodies. It's just this constant narrative that says to people who are women or appear to be women. "There's something wrong with you. I can fix it for you though. Let me fix you." And I'm grateful that my OBGYN, my primary care physician, never used language that made me feel like they wanted to fix me, but really gave me the space that I needed to be curious around. Something's changing; I don't know what's going on, but something's changing. They're like, "You're right. Something is changing and how do you feel and what do you need?" And that's one of the reasons why I think this conversation that we're having today, but also the conversations that are really starting to be widespread around menopause is necessary because we need to normalize that conversation. Right?

Robin Gelfenbien (10:48):

Absolutely. You were talking about your symptoms and how your body was changing. What was one of the first things that you noticed? I mean, you went in because you found out you were pregnant. But were there other things that you were experiencing before that?

Omisade Burney-Scott (11:04):

Truthfully, Robin, I didn't start having what I would consider, honest to goodness, menopause symptomology until after I gave birth to Taj. And then after that, that's when I started experiencing hot flashes and weight fluctuation and night sweats and brain fog. I still have brain fog nine times out of 10 during the week. I can't find my keys. I just can't. So that kind of roller coaster of experiences, both physically and emotionally, started to happen when I got maybe 42, 43. I had Taj at 41, then my oldest, he went off to college, and then I got a divorce. So I always think about my menopause experience in the context of who I was and who I am as a person and everything that was going on. And I don't try to disaggregate it and say, well, that's the menopause, so let me focus on that. I'm like, no, I had a whole experience as a whole person, and there were a lot of things going on that kind of made those symptoms either really intense or really clear that I needed some support.

Christine Maginnis (12:14):

I've heard you talk before about being hit with depression. Do you think that was linked to your perimenopause?

Omisade Burney-Scott (12:22):

I think that my depression has a lot of tentacles. There's a lot of connective tissue for my experience with being diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. Certainly being perimenopausal and then menopausal was absolutely connected to that. I also think that my work life balance, which was for crap at that time, and I was working in a job that had me traveling quite a bit. I've only ever worked in social justice work in the non-profit sector. I've never worked in corporate America, and so I was doing a lot of work in rural parts of North Carolina and driving a lot. And it just felt like I had a whole lot going on at that time. I try my best not to disassociate the opportunity that my depression and my diagnosis with depression gave me to really listen to my body even more deeply. I think that menopause gives you an opportunity to listen to your body.

Christine Maginnis (13:18):

I myself experienced early menopause. I was 34, so it was then called premature ovarian failure, and now it's called POI. But the first thing I noticed was my affect, my mood changed. I've had anxiety all my life. It's like a constant companion. I kind of know it. I know what it does, but I wasn't prepared for this mood change, this feeling of depression that was so... I felt so lethargic. And I went to my gynecologist, again, I was 34, I said, "Something's wrong. I'm putting on weight. I have no energy. I'm irritable. I'm so quick to tears." And my doctor literally patted me on the arm and said, because she knew me, she said, "How long ago did you get married?" I said, "It's about a year now." And she said, "Well, the honeymoon doesn't last forever," because I had told her my libido was low and I was just dismissed.

Omisade Burney-Scott (14:12):

That makes me sad. That makes me really sad. I hate to hear that. And also, it makes me sad that unfortunately, I've heard this way too many times. Christine, way too many times. It is almost the paternalistic dismissiveness where it's like, "Oh, there there, there there, sweet girl." And you're like, "Wait, wait. Something's legitimately happening to me, and I need you to take it seriously, and I need you to be curious about what I need." This thing you just lifted up too about libido; I've had a conversation with more than a few people about how their libido and how they experience pleasure and sexual expression as they navigate perimenopause and menopause, and one of the things that I keep hearing from people is that when they go to their doctor and they express something's up with my libido, I'm not feeling like I want to have sex, I'm not feeling pleasure.

(15:05):

And when we do start to have pleasure, it might not be comfortable. And they're like, "Well, is that really that important At this stage?" Yes, it is, actually. If we can remind ourselves that in society, we talk so much about menopause as it relates to our reproductive health and our reproductive life and our ability if we were going to have children and under what kind of circumstances we wanted to have children. But you not being able to have someone have a conversation with you around, what do we need to do for you? Do you want to have sex? Is this something you want to tackle? Let's tackle this together. Here are all of your options, and let's pick the option that works best for you. And that really annoys me to hear that kind of like, well, the honeymoon's over. What does that mean?

Christine Maginnis (15:52):

I left that office in tears. I felt like someone had hit me.

Omisade Burney-Scott (15:56):

I know you did.

Robin Gelfenbien (15:57):

I wish we could clone your OBGYN, Omi.

Omisade Burney-Scott (16:01):

Oh, listen.

Robin Gelfenbien (16:02):

Who was so welcoming and warm, and it doesn't help Christine that they're telling you you've premature ovarian failure. Just slap her while she's down. I mean, it's just terrible. It's awful.

Christine Maginnis (16:16):

So we started this nonprofit, Let's Talk Menopause, and we named it specifically. Let's talk about menopause. Let's take it away from whispers around the water cooler. I find small groups of friends talk about it, but I'm wondering why you think it's been so taboo.

Omisade Burney-Scott (16:34):

I think historically, we're not talking about it because we associate menopause with aging, and we associate aging with dying. And nobody wants to talk about their mortality. No one wants to feel like, oh, if I'm menopausal then I'm at the end. And if I'm at the end, is it the end end? We don't talk about the liminal space of menopause, and I think about that a lot. I think that there are several interactions or experiences we have with being in a liminal space. I got my period when I was 12, 1979 Halloween in Mr. Barnes' math class. I don't recall, and I don't actually think it does exist, and I think that's why we're doing the work we're doing. So we are kindred. We are kindred spirits. We are doing this work because we know we have to carve the path, and on the podcast that we host, I always say, "Welcome to the dark side of the moon."

(17:34):

Because I think that we are exploring parts of the universe that no one else either wanted to explore fully or thought it was a volatile space, and so they created this lore that makes it feel so scary and dark and awful. So I think our ability to illuminate this experience for all kinds of people with all kinds of experiences and bodies feels critical. And there's been a shift I've noticed, to be sure. There's more pop culture conversation about it, but there's also a growing tent of people who are having and holding space for this conversation.

Robin Gelfenbien (18:14):

Absolutely. You were talking about your podcast and wanted to have you chat with us about your wonderful platform, The Black Girls Guide to Surviving Menopause. So what inspired that? What is it? By the way, awesome title too. Love it.

Omisade Burney-Scott (18:30):

Thank you. Thank you. Let me take it back more a little bit further. My mom passed away when I was 31. I realized in my early fifties that there were things that were happening in my life that I really, really desired to have a conversation with my mom, and menopause is one of those conversations. My mom had three really great girlfriends and my sister and I used to observe this relationship between women and the conversations that they have and how they took care of each other and the laughter and the tears and the hard times. I am there in that place that I observed my mother going through, and I don't have the benefit of having that conversation with her physically. I talk to my mother all the time. Fast forward to 2018, I had a particularly rough year, both professionally and personally.

(19:24):

One of my older brothers passed away unexpectedly, had a heart attack. And I was like, yo, wait a minute. This is like, I'm not ready for that. And then I actually was fired from a job, and I've never been fired from a job before. Grateful for that now. Wasn't grateful then. And I was like, I'm just going to take a break. And while I was on a sabbatical from social justice work, my oldest son was like, "You should probably do something fun and creative." He was like, "Well, you're a storyteller. Maybe you'll listen to other people's stories." I was like, "That's great." And he's like, "You should record it and capture it, because you're going to get some juicy information." I was like, "You know what? You're right." And I am absolutely a podcast junkie because I also wanted people to pay attention. I realized that my affect is very bold and I have a big personality.

(20:14):

I didn't want people to get caught up in looking at me or looking at the other person. I want you to listen and create your own internal landscape. What do you think this person looks like? What do you think their home looks like? What do you think this imagery is of the story that they're sharing? And then you get to be the architect of that while you're also being profoundly impacted by what they're sharing. And so I love that ability of storytelling to do that. So we launched Black Girls Guide in 2019, and I also realized that, unfortunately, not everybody likes podcasts. So I was like, well, maybe we'll do a mix of things. So we do a mashup. So we do the podcast, we also host intergenerational conversations because I think it's important like we are having this conversation, to have conversations with people who are younger than us and also people who are older than us.

(21:05):

And then we also have a zine. So we've done two editions of the zine. First edition was called Messages from the Menopausal Multiverse, and then we just dropped another edition called Messages from the Menopausal Multiverse: The Motherboard. And so we just try to find different ways for folk to access the conversation. Wherever you feel comfortable, just kind of dip in, stay as long as you like. If you want to participate, great. If you don't, you just want to absorb, do that too. I don't care. I just want you to feel comfortable, and I want you to know you're not by yourself.

Christine Maginnis (21:36):

I love the idea of including younger women so that these things don't come as a, what the what? What is happening to my body? I just think putting a label on something helps you so much when you can say, "Well, I feel this crazy. I can't remember things. I'm crying because I can't get my key in my front door the first time, which is nuts because my hormones are in crazy fluctuation, up, down back again." And if you could just say there's a reason for it, the self blame goes away and this "what is wrong with me" has an answer. And I love that you're reaching out to younger women because I feel they need this information.

Omisade Burney-Scott (22:16):

Absolutely. I actually had, last season, we launched season three with what I called a millennial takeover. And we had two younger women who interviewed myself and an older person who I'm really close friends with who's in her sixties, and they were like, "We just want to ask you all the questions." So it was kind of having a conversation with their favorite aunties and they were like, "Can we ask you anything?" I was like, "You can." And we talked about what does it mean to not know what's happening to your body as a young person and have people be dismissive, to not give you full information, and then when you do get the full information, to be kind of stern with you around having an emotional response to that. So I think it's critical for us to have these conversations with younger people. Everyone is impacted by a person's experience navigating menopause, whether it is mild or intense. As someone who, if they love you and they're in relationship with you, they should be curious about how you are evolving and changing.

Robin Gelfenbien (23:19):

So you've talked to so many different women about their experiences with menopause, and I am a fellow storyteller. I've been doing The Moth and have my own storytelling show for a long time, so I am so equally passionate about what you're doing, and I really think the power of stories is so critical in terms of engagement and what we've learned. But I wanted to know, what have you learned? What are some of the lessons you've learned from all the different people you've spoken to?

Omisade Burney-Scott (23:46):

Well, I think the first thing that I've learned is that everybody has a story to tell. Sometimes I think folk don't know they have a story to tell, but everybody has a story to tell. And every person that I reached out to tell their story said yes, and then immediately got kind of nervous. They're like, "Yes, I would love to tell my story." And they're like, "Wait a minute, I don't know. What am I going to say?" I was like, "You say anything you want. I will help you frame, but you'll say whatever is truthful for you." And then I also wanted to bring in other stories and voices of people who are like, "Hey, do you want to have sex while you're menopausal? Let's talk about that." Hey, do you feel like you need some support around being a business owner or being a creative or being a teacher and living at this intersection, being a storyteller and what does that look like?

(24:35):

And also to have doctors be able to share scientifically based remedies that people can avail themselves of. And then I'm also not opposed to people being clear that if they're not fully invested in what is coming from the medical field, but they're interested in more of a plant based or herbal remedies, I don't poo poo that for folk. I leave that up to the individual to have the autonomy to make the decision. Listen to the story if it works for you, I'm glad. And so it's just been a very diverse wide range of stories. And I think too, y'all, it's really important for me to say this and be really clear. I identify as a cis hetero woman, but not everybody that I've had a conversation with on the podcast does. I've had conversations with people who do identify as women. I've also had conversations with people who identify as gender queer and trans.

(25:27):

So there's been a wide spectrum of that as well. And what I don't want us to do in this really beautiful, important, potent work we're doing to illuminate and normalize menopause is to further marginalize people who are already marginalized. If I extend the invitation for you to share your story, but I misgender you, or I poo poo your experience, or I'm dismissive of your experience because you have a different identity, whether that's sexual identity, gender identity, cultural identity or whatever, then I'm complicit in the invisibilization of what's happening to people in menopause, and I don't want to do that.

Robin Gelfenbien (26:04):

Well, that comes through very clearly. It's wonderful.

Christine Maginnis (26:07):

It does. I'm so glad that you've created this space. What do we, as white women, need to appreciate that there's a sacred space for black women to have this conversation?

Omisade Burney-Scott (26:19):

Oh, I think that you just said it, just appreciate that there's a sacred space for black women. I think it's really interesting. I got my first not so nice message. My 13 year old told me that you know you're doing the right thing when you get a DM from someone who says, "What is this? This is nonsense." And it was a white man who sent me a message saying that he thought that what I was doing was fantastic until I started talking about black women. And that why would I bring up race? Who cares what someone's race is? What's the difference between a white woman's experience and a black woman's experience or a Latino woman's experience like that? We're all people. And that would be, to me, synonymous with I don't see color or synonymous with, we're all human beings.

(27:08):

And I'm like, Yeah, we are. But our experiences might not be the same, because we live in a society that does see race, even though race is a construct. We live in a society that does misgender even though gender is also a construct. And so I think for white women who listen to the podcast or want to engage or partner with me or are interested in kind of understanding the stories that are being shared is, one, to acknowledge that not, again, not everyone has the same experience, and that the experience that I have is certainly mine as a unique person as Omi, but it's also my experience as a black woman who's living in the American south who's about to be 55 in three months, and all of the ways in which I show up in a black body and how that in this country is not always safe.

(28:03):

And then I think that there's work that white women get to do to think about, well, what does true allyship look like for me? If I'm going to actually be in a space where I realize they do have different experiences. She does have a different experience. I need to figure out how our experiences connect and overlap and how our experiences diverge. And then what I'm going to do to illuminate that person's experience and not minimize it or to render them colorless, so that way I feel more comfortable about my engagement with them.

Christine Maginnis (28:35):

Thank you for answering that. Okay, so I've saved the best for last here. Okay. So we've talked about aging in an anti-aging society, and I think it's important to note that, believe it or not, and this is true, women are happiest post-menopausal than they've ever been in their lives.

Omisade Burney-Scott (28:52):

This is true.

Christine Maginnis (28:53):

It is a new act in your life, and you're in a different place where you don't sweat small things as much, And, I know speaking for myself, I've become more creative. I've become more of a risk taker in certain ways because you think, what have I got to lose? And women now live, on average, 30 years after menopause. So I think this is a new wave that we can live this much longer to be voices of, I guess reason for sort of like, I'm not a grandmother yet, but these grandmother figures or aunt figures to help younger women. And so this leads me to, welcome to 55 when you get there, because I just crossed over.

Omisade Burney-Scott (29:39):

Oh yes, thank you. Thank you for leaving the light on. I'm so excited. I can't wait.

Christine Maginnis (29:42):

I'm going to welcome you to the other side. And I noticed you and I both opted to go gray. Do you mind talking about that?

Omisade Burney-Scott (29:48):

Oh, yes. Yes, yes, yes. So listen, I'm excited to turn 55. My best friend from high school turned 55 last year and she was like, "You're getting ready to turn double nickles." I was like, "I'm getting ready to turn double nickles." And so I'm excited about that and been excited about each birthday after 50. And I think you're right, Christine. I think that as you get older, you realize, one, you do realize this is a life I have, so if I'm not satisfied, I can change this and I can take a risk. And I also will, My BS meter is way lower, minuscule.

Christine Maginnis (30:26):

We don't suffer fools.

Omisade Burney-Scott (30:27):

Not at all. You're like, "Oh, okay." And I also don't feel the need to do a preamble that I'm not suffering fools. I just don't. I'm just not going to do it. Whereas in my thirties or forties, I would probably do some very dramatic preambles like, "I'm no longer in relationship with you because you do these things." Now they're just like," Oh, I haven't heard from Omi." You haven't because I'm not talking to you. I don't have time. I don't have time. The gray hair thing, I found my first gray hair when I was in the ninth grade. Both my parents grade very early, and I started dying my hair in my twenties. And I loved to dye my hair. I loved to do all kinds of different things with my hair. I stopped chemically processing my hair with a chemical relaxer to straighten it in my twenties.

(31:14):

But I didn't stop dye my hair until I was 44, and I didn't realize how much gray I had until that happened. I was actually going through a really beautiful, intense spiritual process. And in that process I cut all my hair off and I was like, "Okay, however much gray I have, I'm going to commit to embracing and not dyeing." It is getting perpetually whiter. So I went from almost like your hair, Christine, very beautiful salt and pepper silver, to now, it's like salt and pepper. No, no, salt, salt, salt, salt, salt. So I'm in this place now where it's like very little pepper is left in my head. I have a little minuscule patches of little pepper and it's like, "Goodbye, Omi." I'm like, "Goodbye."

Christine Maginnis (32:07):

I think it's good to be salty.

Omisade Burney-Scott (32:09):

I think it's good to be salty too.

Christine Maginnis (32:11):

I do have one last thought though is we are all about women helping other women. This is not about being territorial. So I hope we can continue to work with you to help one another, support each other. And if there's anything we can do to help you with that, we would love to do that.

Omisade Burney-Scott (32:27):

I appreciate that. I feel the same way. I said to some folk who I've started to develop relationships over the last couple of years. You'll find your kindred, you will find your people. Some people you connect with, you're like, "Oh, that was great. I don't really feel like I want to do anything else with you, but that was cool." And then there are other folk, you're like, "Oh, this was really sweet. I hope that we get an opportunity to continue to learn from each other and do things together." And I'm so grateful that you all were like, Hey, Omi. You want to do the Hello Menopause? You want to come and let's talk about menopause? And so I'm grateful and I look forward to continuing having conversations with you all.

Robin Gelfenbien (33:04):

And we are so grateful to you. And I was listening to some of your interviews too, and I was like, "God, I just wanted to hang out on the couch, have some ice cream, and just spend the rest of the afternoon with Omi." You're doing such amazing work in this world. Where can our listeners find your podcast, your events, all the wonderful things that you're doing to contribute to this conversation?

Omisade Burney-Scott (33:25):

Sure. So you can definitely check out our website. It's www.blackgirlsguidetosurvivingmenopause. There's a lot of good information there. You can listen to the podcast wherever you listen to any other podcasts that you like to listen to. So you can listen on Apple, you can listen on Spotify, Stitcher, Belcher, all the good juicy podcast platforms. You can check me out on Instagram. I'm @blackgirlsguidetomenopause on IG, and you can follow me on Twitter at Osunsweetnsour if you want to. And I also have a Facebook page, Black Girls Guide to Survive Menopause on Facebook.

Robin Gelfenbien (34:01):

Wonderful.

Christine Maginnis (34:02):

Thank you so much. This has been a treat.

Omisade Burney-Scott (34:04):

You're welcome. Thank you.

Robin Gelfenbien (34:06):

Such a pleasure. Christine, was that not just everything you wanted and more?

Christine Maginnis (34:16):

So much more. She's amazing. She has a lot to say. It was great to listen to her. What did you think?

Robin Gelfenbien (34:22):

She was so inspiring. I mean, I think there was just a lot of hope in our conversation with her that there are so many resources, there are so many people who want to be talking about this now, and it speaks to Let's Talk Menopause's mission, which is like you don't have to feel alone, and there are so many different people who are trying to make strides with this conversation.

Christine Maginnis (34:43):

I like that she took her experience and turned it into a place where she can collect other women's stories. That her response to this change and the difficulty that she was hitting was to create a place for other women to come together to share those stories.

Robin Gelfenbien (34:58):

I also like the fact that she has really turned menopause on its head in terms of reframing the conversation so it's way more positive and hopeful than we've been led to believe for decades at this point. The way she embraces her age and her gray, and she's such a badass. I love everything about her. This was so much fun, Christine. I absolutely love talking to you, talking to Omi. I mean, what a beautiful and inspiring conversation.

Christine Maginnis (35:27):

Right back at you, Robin. This was great. I feel I made a friend today and I so enjoyed this conversation.

Robin Gelfenbien (35:33):

I can't wait for our next one.

Christine Maginnis (35:35):

I'll see you there. Hey, listeners. If you enjoy this podcast as much as we enjoy recording it, we'd love it If you could help us out.

Robin Gelfenbien (35:46):

All you have to do is write and review the show and it will help us reach more listeners. It only takes a minute, and it makes a huge difference.

Christine Maginnis (35:55):

It really does. And if you want to follow the show while you're at it, we won't mind.

Robin Gelfenbien (36:00):

No, we won't. And don't forget to tell your friends to check it out too.

Christine Maginnis (36:05):

Our mission at Let's Talk Menopause is to give people the information they need so they can get the healthcare they deserve. Please visit our website at letstalkmenopause.org for a wealth of menopause information, including a symptoms checklist, information about long-term health risks, how to navigate menopause at work, interviews with health experts, and so much more.

Robin Gelfenbien (36:27):

This episode of Hello Menopause is sponsored by Always Discreet makers of liners, pads, and underwear for bladder leaks. Always Discreet because we deserve better.

Christine Maginnis (36:38):

Hello Menopause is a production from Let's Talk Menopause made in partnership with Frequency Media. I'm your host, Christine Maginnis.

Robin Gelfenbien (36:45):

And I'm your host, Robin Gelfenbien.

Christine Maginnis (36:48):

Ina Garcousha is our supervising producer, and Alana Herlins is our producer. Laura Boyman and Catherine Divine are our associate producers.

Robin Gelfenbien (36:57):

Sidney Evans is our dialogue editor and Claire Bidegary Curtis is our sound designer. Hello Menopause was concepted by Jessica Olivia, Jill Pecheznik and Becca Godwin.

Christine Maginnis (37:08):

This podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, and wherever podcasts are found.

Robin Gelfenbien (37:15):

So check it out.

Thank you to Always Discreet for sponsoring Hello Menopause.
Always Discreet, because we deserve better.