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Strange Fruit: Sharpe Suiting Designer Leon Wu

Laura Ellis

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Suit designer Leon Wu says a person's first suit can be a milestone. "Historically, a father will bring in his son," Wu says. "It's like a coming-of-age sort of thing." But what about a person who didn't grow up as a boy?

Wu can relate. "Ever since I was 5, I would envision myself as a more masculine person," he says. "Growing up I was happy getting my older brother's hand-me-downs. I didn't need to go buy any 'female' clothes."

Wu is the founder and CEO of Sharpe Suiting, a clothing company catering to masculine-of-center folks who want to look dapper in suits custom-tailored to every type of body. He's our guest on Strange Fruit this week to talk about the company's work, and what it's like to work with trans-masculine populations.

"Whenever somebody transitions or they decide to adopt a certain type of gender representation," Wu says, "it is in a sense like another puberty."

Also this week, we meet Louisville Public Media's new executive editor, Stephen George. We chat about diversity in newsrooms and news coverage, and why it seems like we only see black neighborhoods on the news when it's about crime. "It often gives people a very wrong idea about what's happening in certain parts of this community," George says.

In Juicy Fruit, we bring you the story of Jesse Jacobs, a 32-year-old gay man who died in police custody in Galveston, Texas. Jacobs had been taking Xanax for over a decade to treat a severe anxiety disorder. But after he turned himself in to serve a 30-day sentence for DUI, jail personnel wouldn't give him access to his medication. He started having seizures -- a known effect of sudden Xanax cessation -- and died a few days later. Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochessett insists Jacobs died of "natural causes."

And we take a look at The Advocate's list of "10 Tips on Growing Older for LGBT People Under 40." Some make perfect sense (build a support system and be part of a community), while others left us scratching our heads (don't drink, and prepare to die alone if you don't have kids).

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.