A podcast about gender, identity, orientation, and all the life that happens around them! George is an FtM transgender man, Jess is his pansexual genderqueer wife; they talk parenting, work, and such.

TPT#309 - Beer In A Jar

Testosterone HRT has been known to thicken the blood, and George's hematocrit numbers are up. Jess is getting their hysterectomy, and also needs to manage their bloodwork, especially since their IUD hormones lowered their "good cholesterol" HDL. COVID-19 is making everything harder, and Jess' surgery is scheduled for the first week of school, but we'll muddle through like we always do.

 

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TPT#308 - Adulting Up

How do we help our child, who struggles to understand abstract concepts, realize that we won't like things just because they're about The Queers™? And when his other mom (who disappeared a year ago, after accusations of abuse didn't work out how she'd hoped) makes herself known again, how do we respond? And how do we help any other human ever, recognize the difference between fault and responsibility? Hard questions require ridiculous and horrible coping humor. And maybe answers. But definitely humor.

 

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When will we go back to work in our offices? Will George's change in Testosterone dose help his mood and functioning? When will our kids go back to school? Why does George's blood test show decreased kidney functioning? Is our new neighbor queer? So much uncertainty, but talking about it helps with the anxiety of it.

 

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When new descriptive terms are championed by marginalized populations, the lifespan of those words is unknown. Eventually many of those words, however, become victims of the culture of marginalization and outlive their usefulness. Whether it's the change in language around ethnic minorities, gender and sexual minorities, or disability communities, it's important to be responsive to those changes to be respectful of the members of those populations. In other news, George's blood work indicates that he should increase his testosterone dosage, but getting to, and through, that blood work has been a challenge.

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We believe that Black Lives Matter. Special needs parenting in a pandemic is somewhat prohibitive of attending marches or protests, so it's an odd feeling to be supportive from afar this round. That odd feeling, combined with the other oddities of our daily lives in quarantine, has caused George some strange stress dreams and given us cause to have discussions about our relationship that we've never needed to have before.

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Many studies have shown that working from home can be more productive than at centralized locations like an office. Lately, lots of folks have been multi-tasking while working from home, and when we had an appliance repair that needed doing, George thought he'd be able to manage it without any trouble. The universe thought differently.

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TPT#303 - Muppety

Because George is a civil servant, he is still working, even when gender makes things weird. Much of his job can be provided remotely, while simultaneously parenting and managing a challenging child's distance learning, but occasionally he does need to go to a place to do a thing. And of course, one place he had to go was a place where COVID-19 was confirmed just days thereafter.

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Bob has a slightly smaller moustache than Sir Didymus, but the resemblance stands.

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"A case of the Mondays" is the fictional ailment one might experience in an office job upon returning from a weekend. So why do George's Mondays seem longer now that he's working from home?

The Pronouns Song that Jess referenced can be found at youtube.com/watch?v=8Hb30PE1xgo.

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It's George's 7th Manniversary! We talked about how things have changed over the past decade, as his hormones have changed, his body has changed, his brain has changed, and the way others perceive him has changed.

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Some months back, we thought it might be fun to plan something for our 300th episode. In the meanwhile, a global pandemic has basically cancelled all plans. George has been on testosterone for almost seven years, but survived an estrogen-dominated body and social standing for decades prior, so it still catches him off guard sometimes to be perceived as male, whether by others or by himself.

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While quarantined with a small human, George got to work mostly from home. Jess didn't, but they were only a little put out by it. Not only did Child#2's other mom decide to show back up after half a year starting drama again, but the boy decided to express curiosity about George's genitals. For previous notable instances of the "Dick Patrol", see Episode 100 and Episode 262.

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Reality is, some people are transgender. But what that means to each trans person is highly subjective. We discussed the way our gender affects the ways we interact with one another and the world, how we live up to social norms and cultural expectations, and how we sometimes choose not to.

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We went to Gallifrey One, as we do every year in February. We help out some behind the scenes, and pay attention to the ways the LGBTQIA+ community is welcomed into the con. Between bringing the pronoun ribbons, parenting from afar, noticing women having apprehensive reactions to George's (cis-passing but intentionally visibly trans) masculinity, and Jess noticing others' reactions to the gender-affirming bathroom signage, a queer time was had by all.

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TPT#296 - Lady Bits

It often strikes George as slightly odd, how folks treat him now, compared to how they treated him prior to transition. It strikes him as downright bizarre, however, the excessively gendered ways in which they reinforce the genderedness of those interactions, especially after having had them pointed out. Whether it's at work, or at his endocrinologist, or at Jess' surgery, binary-minded cisgender people are weird.

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Sometimes we have time and energy to devote to gender- and transition-related topics. Sometimes we have time and energy to use on our own personal development and enrichment. Other times, things like parenting take up all of our cognitive bandwidth. And with the challenges we've been experiencing recently, that parenting thing has gotten somewhat overwhelming.

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George has mentioned before that he suffers from depression, which is slightly more common among members of the LGBTQIA+ community, although the degree of prevalence and correlation varies according to supportiveness of family and community. We discussed his experiences as both a patient and practicing clinician in the mental health industry, the strategies he employs to lessen symptoms when depression worsens, and as the overlap between his gender dysphoria and his depression.

Note that George often refers to his gender dysphoria by only the word "dysphoria", which does have other psychological meanings related to depression or mental illnesses. In this discussion, he is referring specifically to the discomfort and distress related to the incongruity between his gender identity and his sex assigned at birth.

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TPT#293 - Motherf*cker

Everyone has expectations of what their journey through adolescence will be like, and what the adult outcomes will be. For those of us who experience more than one puberty, we have more awareness of our prior expectations as we began our second adolescence. George explains what he thought would happen, and we discuss how that compares with what actually happened.

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TPT#292 - Most Best

No, not "Be Best". That's hypocritical nonsense. George's gender is not hypocritical, and it's the most bestest thing in his whole world. Even with a trip to Chicago TARDIS, and seeing old friends, and getting deadnamed, and dealing with some of the more negative aspects of masculinity, transition is still his most best thing.

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Jess is feeling some kind of way after TDOR, and not quite ready for Thanksgiving, so George reminds them of all the things we have to be thankful for.

We referenced:
- Gerry Brooks' "Teacher Spouse" bits, see one at facebook.com/watch/?v=837088456500750
- How we decided to put bizarre lawn ornaments in our yard, at transpantastic.net/2016/12/broken-string-all-gone.html

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TPT#290 - Funny Looking Lady

We have had some really strangely gendered interactions lately, and the only explanation we can come up with is that the cis are not okay. From George's clients to Jess' colleagues, cisgender folks focus on their own genders in ways we find baffling, and police our gender in ways that are just annoying.

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Is George having an easier time getting broken things fixed as a guy, than he would have before? And why do we have so freaking many broken things? George got a new prescription for the higher-concentration testosterone, and one week of lower-concentration testosterone clearly made him irritable again, so between all the broken things, and naughty kids, he's having a heck of a time.

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It still catches George off guard, on occasion, when he is treated like "just some dude". He wasn't raised with male socialization, so he still catches himself confused about expectations, even six years into transition. But observing other men, who were raised as male, and the disregard they seem to have had for others, makes both of us glad he knows what it's like to lack that privilege.

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TPT#287 - Placebo Effect

Some weeks back, George's HRT prescription was changed from 200mg/ml to 100mg/ml, basically doubling the dose to achieve the same amount of a more diluted testosterone shot. It wasn't ideal, but it was the option available to him at the time. But in the intervening weeks, he has been more irritable, and irritability can be a side effect of HRT. Is the testosterone making him cranky, or is it just the unrelenting nonsense?

The podcast we referenced is a Hidden Brain episode called "All The World's A Stage - Including The Doctor's Office", and it can be found at https://www.npr.org/2019/04/29/718227789/all-the-worlds-a-stage-including-the-doctor-s-office.

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The last time George took Child#2 to scout camp, he was very newly transitioned, and understandably concerned about how his trans status would affect the experience. George is planning to take Child#2 to scout camp again soon. Are the boy scouts more manageable than the cub scouts? Will his trans status be a problem this time?

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TPT#285 - Axlotls

Everyone has a personal reality, and it's much easier to function in the world if your own reality is at least similar to the reality of those around you. In Episode 78, George discussed how good it was to have someone validating that his reality was congruent with actual reality. Today we revisited that topic, discussing the realities of transition, coparenting with a toxic person, our kids' educational needs, and accessing healthcare as a nonbinary, fat, pseudo-femme person.

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When George got his drivers license changed back in 2013, he needed a doctor's note and had two options. Many states are new increasing their number of options for documentation of gender, and Jess is finally getting their license changed too, with significantly fewer barriers to access. Now that they have an accurate identity document, how many other records will they be able to change, and will that initiative to make their own changes affect the larger system of recordkeeping statewide?

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When George took Child#2 to the therapist this week, he made sure to address his supposed fears regarding gender as discussed last episode. Aside from some confusion that his other mom had likely caused by over-explaining in words and concepts that are above his cognitive level, he wasn't actually scared about gender. He was, however, using that as an attention-getting tactic with his other mom to cover for his fears regarding her physical and mental health.

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We knew that George's ex was going to start trouble again. Just like she will again after that, and again after that, in an unending cycle of attention-seeking false accusations until the child we coparent is grown, and probably even a few attempts thereafter. But what we didn't expect, was the issue she'd pick to make trouble over this time. Transgender parents often have to worry about custody concerns because of their transition, and we thought we'd dodged that bullet. We were wrong.

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We went to San Francisco for Pride, but skipped Pride. Instead, we attended Trans March and Dyke March, and enjoyed ourselves on Cousin Vinnie's boat. Trans March was wonderful, Dyke March was super, and the houseboat was quite pleasant, but we also had Child#2 to manage, and that always makes things a little more challenging.

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What do we like about each other? Why are we still happy together after almost a decade? What is it about Jess that makes George's time and effort worthwhile? What is it about George that keeps Jess coming back home every night?

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Communication is integral to a functioning relationship and a lasting marriage. After almost a decade together, you'd think we'd have figured out how to effectively discuss relational things like food, chores, or sex. And after six years of transition, you'd think we'd be able to successfully deal with things like HRT and sex. On both of these counts, you'd be wrong.

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There have been intermittent shortages of various types of HRT in the past year or so, and when George had to refill his most recent prescription he had a heck of a time trying to get what he needed.

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There's this thing that happens every year as summer approaches. Kids get antsy, and we have to work harder to help them stay out of trouble. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But even more important than that: is pneumonia gendered?

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Socializing at work is a common way to build a sense of teamwork, and taking time to do it can cognitively hit the reset button on one's levels of effort and engagement with assigned tasks. The way that George is expected to socialize at work is different when he's perceived as male, from how it was prior to transition. Engaging with "the guys" is still a new experience, but he's getting the hang of it in his introverted way. Jess, on the other hand, being an autistic genderqueer extrovert, wants ALL the social times, even on business trips, and doesn't always realize what's gendered and what isn't.

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George hasn't had a chance to get to the gym as much as he'd like, for the past few years. With all the stress he's been under, it's no wonder. But as things have become less stressful, he's still struggled to find the motivation to get back, and he began to examine his motives for going or not going, and discovered, among parenting and other things, gender dysphoria.

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(...with a "Z".) We are responsible for children, and occasionally for people who are chronologically adults but act like children. George dislikes fifth grade homework, and history class is giving Child#2 fits too. With history presentations coming up, our kids and their classmates give us hope for the gendered future. Child#2's other mom is unhealthy to interact with, but is manageable when George turns on his "testosterone-listening"... Many "uh-huh"s and "mm-hmm"s were heard.

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George finally had that interview he's been preparing for, and noticed once again that he was treated with a type of respect he never got when he was presenting as a butch lesbian. When we had other guy friends over, who had also previously identified as butch lesbians, they related similar experiences. When Jess joined them, George explained that his wife really isn't a girl, and they were cool. Things are going well for now, and life seems to be looking up!

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Are there rabbits on Gallifrey? Do they make trails? What color are they, under the orange sky, eating the red grass by trees with silver foliage? And does any of this relate to our experience at this year's Gallifrey One convention? Not really, and neither do ST:TNG, being gendered at work, giving ungendered gifts, facial hair styling, being assumed gay until proven otherwise, how cis folk all look the same to Jess, old-school ways of planning one's social life before cell phones, physical expressions of exhaustion, outsider views on the American education system, passing privilege, being ignored by folks who ignore men, in-crowd clocking, rodent infestations in old homes, missing spring training, and ST:Disco Tilly/Burnham shipping. But they are all offshoots from our experience at this year's Gallifrey One convention, so they fit anyway, right?

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If you can't finish that adage, let your favorite search engine's autofill help. It's a terribly heteronormative statement, but we still live in a terribly heteronormative culture. George's mustache is funny, but reinforces his masculine privilege. So does being a sportsball fan, which is interpreted completely differently now that folks perceive him as male. Life is good, but weird.

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TPT#270 - A Solid Six

When a government agency insists that all of its employees attend "LGBTQ Sensitivity Training", the results could be great or not-so-great. When George is one of said employees, you know we're going to talk about it. We'll also talk about the amazing upcoming Gallifrey One convention, preparing child care plans for parental escape, and pronoun ribbons!

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Continuing our month of stories, we recount how our early shared experiences shaped how we interact with one another. What did menopausal George lose his mind over? Why did Jess freak out at a Hanukkah party? We'll find that it's true, sometimes a jello is just a jello.

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Some while ago we discussed how we met over on Gender Rebels. Today we fleshed that story out a little more. Professional lesbians, f*ckbuddies at a cookout, crazy non-girlfriends, and a terrible movie ensue.

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TPT#267 - Eww, Icky!

We've discussed many times how George is able to accomplish more now, since everyone recognizes him as a man, than he could before transition. Whether that affected his ability to hold his ground with Child#2's other mom, who has known him for over two decades, may never be determined but it worked anyway. Now if he could just use that privilege to get the old guys at the gym to respect the female Tai Chi teacher the same way they do her male substitute, he'd be really proud!

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The neighbors invited us over for drinks, and we discussed many progressive topics, including trans folks. They are older, and not generally aware of the "right" way to discuss things, but they are also not entirely wrong in their understanding of the world. Child#2's other mom has been off and on the attack, and Jess keeps making predictions that they hope to be wrong, but generally aren't. Fifth grade math is a challenge for a fifth grader with a developmental delay, but it might be even more of a challenge for George to help Child#2 find right answers and right understandings instead of just hollering out things in hopes of being right.

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TPT#265 - Gender Guns

Between cooking for Friendsgiving and repairing unbroken Christmas decor, George encountered a transphobe at work.

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TPT#264 - Trading Tools

As we observed some family celebrations and prepared for the upcoming holidays, we enjoyed the company and assistance of friends and family who know how to make a good joke. #TransLOLs were had.

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TPT#263 - Normallacy

After a year and a half of ridiculous stress levels caused by things like Child#2's mom trying to move them away but sending him back, George nearly being killed by his intestines, Child#2's behaviour outgrowing his meds, Jess' job change being exponentially more time and effort than advertised, various elderlies' illnesses, holidays, false abuse allegations and pursuant visitation issues, George's work schedule and duties changing irregularly and irrationally, Jess getting contracted out of the obnoxious job without a safety net, George's mother's passing, Jess getting a better job that changes their daily schedule, and the merry-go-round of dealing with an unstable coparent, things seem to finally be settling down. But is our recent sense of normalcy just a fallacy?

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Some folks alleviate dysphoria by packing, feeling better with the "bulge" where it belongs. Other folks find the process of packing to increase their dysphoria, because it is a persistent reminder of something being missing. George finds himself caught in the middle of these two mindsets, with the physical discomfort and persistent inconvenience of managing packers that don't quite fit right, and a desire to maintain his safety in a small town by not "missing" anything or causing a small human to discuss his trans status with others.

Links to content we discussed:

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The kids are ridiculous. Parenting is bizarre. Making queer friends in the middle of nowhere is difficult. Poker isn't really a card game.

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TPT#260 - A Rainbow A Day

Most members of minority communities encounter experiences that they know wouldn't happen to members of the majority community or dominant demographic. "That wouldn't happen if..." or "They only say that because..." is not an uncommon refrain, not only among queer and trans communities, but also among POCs, religious minorities, and differently abled persons. Between Jess' new job and being percieved as a "girl", George's continuing experience as a man who was socialized female, and our experience raising children with unique challenges, we have our share of "unusual" experiences as well.

Gerry Brooks is the principal and public speaker we referenced, and you can find more about him at gerrybrooksprin.com, and you can view the "Summer Spouse" video we referenced at facebook.com/gerrybrooksprin/videos/summer-spousetag-a-summer-spouse/837088456500750.

We are here to share our entire intersectional experience with anyone who finds it beneficial, but we want to know what you connect with the most. You can let us know by clicking to a one-question anonymous survey at vote.pollcode.com/32371374. If you have a request/suggestion that isn't listed, comment!

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