What’s so compelling about this episode is how my guest, Sabrina Robinson, has forged a two-decade career as one of Hollywood’s most powerful and sought after financial experts, all the while keeping a massive personal secret from family, friends, and the entertainment industry.
You see, Sabrina Robinson started out as David Robinson.
As the first openly transgender woman I’ve ever met, I was — among other things — struck by the role fate has played in her life. That and faith — faith in God, and in herself.
It’s a fascinating, and frankly, deeply moving story, that winds us through 80s glam rock L.A. all the way to the upper echelons of modern day A-list Hollywood. I hope Sabrina’s story will serve as an inspiration not only to those who may be struggling with their own transgender or sexual identity issues, but to anyone looking to find their place in this world.
“I’d been the one who’d locked me in the closet for so many decades. I grieved over that, like a jailor that had jailed this soul, this precious spirit…”
Sabrina Robinson Episode Highlights
2:34 – How a young David Robinson found his way into the corporate side of the entertainment business despite being a long-haired drummer in glam-rock bands.
6:54 – Sabrina recalls a giant test of faith when, in 2010, she was offered “more money than I’d ever made” to run an internet porn company — and said no.
8:20 – Sabrina breaks down profit participation deals between talent and studios — and the massive financial disputes that result.
11:27 – Sabrina discusses the challenges she faced on her way to transitioning to a fully open transgender woman.
15:00 – Sabrina discusses her painful first attempt at coming out to a non-transgender person — her then girlfriend.
18:12 – Sabrina reveals her repeated attempts to “squash” her transgenderism, including attending a 12-step program.
22:38 – Sabrina opens up about finding a spiritual path and returning to the essence of being transgender.
27:13 – The physical and emotional changes that resulted after taking female hormones for the first time.
30:45 – The industry’s response to Sabrina coming out as an openly transgender woman.
33:58 – On meeting Caitlyn Jenner.
35:33 – The challenge in coming out to her daughters as an openly transgender woman.
37:34 – On the role faith has played in her transition.
39:10 – Sabrina reveals the #1 characteristic that she believes empowers an individual to be successful.
40:10 – On regrets or what she would have done differently.