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Jodie Patterson in the Gilda shirt and Beverly Skinny Flare Jeans, photographed by Willy Lukaitis

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#MAKEITHAPPEN

Jodie Patterson

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"You were born to be powerful."

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Author and activist Jodie Patterson counts this advice from her father as the best she's ever received. Through her books, public speaking engagements, and work as chair of the board of directors for the Human Rights Campaign, Patternson has proven to be just that while helping others find their inner power, too—the power to believe in themselves, the power to be who they truly are… and the power to sit back, listen, and understand others (which isn't always easy). Every day, she makes a difference. The mother of five also helped change the conversation around gender identity through her potent memoir The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation and the recently released companion children's book, Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope, which takes us through the journey of her young trans son.

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Here, we sit down with Jodie to see how she makes it all happen, from daily morning routine and secret work weapons to recharge must-haves. P.S. Don't miss her answer for personal talisman. It's one to remember…

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My Hustle

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My hustle...
I do so many things, but my paying gig is Author.

What got me started...
I wrote my first book, The Bold World, because I had an urgent story to tell. It was about this woman, and how she grew from something small to something substantial.

What clears my head...
Sweating. I love a good, sweaty run when I'm stressed.

When in doubt, I...
Listen to music—mostly soul. Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Donny Hathaway, Minnie Riperton, Gregory Porter, D’Angelo, Sampha... They know how to calm my nerves.

Greatest challenge—and how I overcame it...
The biggest challenge was finding out my kid wasn’t who I thought they were. Because if my “daughter” was actually my son... I had to ask myself a really big question: What else in the world don’t I know? Understanding my son was trans was the first step in untethering from cultural norms—which was both scary and exciting.

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how i make it happen

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Jodie Patterson in the Gilda shirt and Beverly Skinny Flare Jeans, photographed by Willy Lukaitis

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3-morning musts...
1. I gotta sweat. So it's either a 2-mile run, or a 1-hour weights yoga situation, or morning sex. Which one lands, depends on the state of affairs that particular day.
2. Love songs on repeat. I have a playlist that is everything I’ve always wanted to say to the love of my life. And everything I’ve ever wanted to hear. Essentially it's love from me to me.
3. A 30-minute walk with my pup.

3 life hacks...
1. Take dirty shoes off at the front door.
2. Wash dirty hands as soon as you come home.
3. Meditate before going to bed every night.

3 secret work weapons...
1. Moleskine notebooks for each subject of my focus: board chair, author, public speaker, homeowner, lover, mother. I write everything down, thoughts, to-do lists, dreams, ideas, plans...
2. Collaboration over domination. I always aim to build out a team for just about everything.
3. Remain inquisitive. I'm known to ask a ton of questions in meetings. I'm also not always inclined to have all the answers in meetings.

Personal talisman...

James Baldwin

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Best advice received...
"You’re not born to be pretty. You were born to be powerful.” - My Dad

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My Style

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Favorite wardrobe hack...
Play dress up often, study yourself, know yourself inside and out.

My wardrobe MVP...
My Rasta hat. It conjures Bob Marley, my other talisman.

What I would tell my younger self about getting dressed…
“Yeah, do that, it’s f*****g perfect, JoJo!"

Wearing Veronica Beard makes me feel…
Smart. If it doesn’t make me feel smart, I won’t wear it.

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My Recharge

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What I'm reading/listening to/binging...
I May Destroy You—that show set a powerful mood and energy in me that was much needed.

Beauty/self-care must-haves...
Here’s the essential list: Kat Burki Calming Gel Cleanser, Kat Burki PH+ Enzyme Essence, Kat Burki Marine Collagen Gel, Kat Burki Face Wand, L'Oréal RevitaLift. And, lastly, Dr. Parikh at Tribeca Skin Center.

Favorite thing to do...
Travel, love, travel, love…

Favorite thing to make...
Bacalao (salted fish) over rice. It's always a winner with my kids.

One mover and shaker I admire...
Here are two: Nia Long and Nicole Ari Parker. They never quit. Never.

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