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.

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.

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When George's ex (Child#2's other mom) accused Jess of abuse, everyone knew it was bunk, but nobody realized just how much trouble she would continue to make in the long run. But even when it's not being complicated by difficult adults, parenting is still hard, and as our two youngest become tweens, we are doing our best to continue to be good parents and good people.

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Jess has had some trouble with coworkers and employers percieving their direct demeanor as unsettling or off-putting. This is not an uncommon experience for AFAB persons who have a more masculine way of being in the world, but the ubiquity of the experience doesn't make it any more pleasant. They got a new job last year, but felt it to be a poor fit, so attempted to find a different position this year. Interviews abound, but offers were scarce, should they femme it up some? And how the heck should they do that? Also, it's a good thing George already had gotten his birth certificate corrected, because he needs it to manage some more of his mother's final arrangements.

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When you're going to encounter a new situation, it's often a good idea to do a little research. We went to LoveLoud, a one-day music festival in Utah that benefits charities supporting LGBTQ youth. The music was great, the host was awesome, and visiting friends in Salt Lake City was wonderful. Visiting the Mormon Temple complex in trans pride clothing was interesting. George isn't stealth at work, but he's not completely out either, so he often ends up in awkward situations answering questions that people could have researched for themselves. When our Child#1 tried to go overseas, it didn't work as well as he'd hoped, but that's an unfortunate side effect of not doing his research.

The links we referenced in today's episode are:
- Entire livestream video link expired, but video of ID performing is at youtube.com/watch?v=2d8c8-OGSzw
- The bathrooms: huffingtonpost.com/entry/loveloud-music-festival-transgender-bathrooms_us_5b60772ce4b0b15aba9d0411

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The process of caring for a relative in hospice is never easy. The process of managing care duties and communicating with extended family and caring for our own kids left us drained, but George's mom is no longer in pain and the responsibilities are getting managed. Now if we could just get all the old people to quit "she"ing him and making themselves look like crazy old people, we'd be good.

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After the shock of being accused of Jess abusing Child#2 and George allowing him to be abused, we found our footing back in reality as the surrounding circumstances began to shed light on the missing parts of the story. Jess didn't hurt her kid, George wasn't neglectful, and Child#2 and his other mom are both bullies who see themselves as victims. The damage is done, and we're still picking up the pieces, but it looks like our family is on the mend, and George's goodness is slightly less infinite but still quite plentiful.

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Child#2 was adopted by George before his transition, in a time when almost nowhere allowed same-sex second parent adoption. In his infinite goodness, he continued to provide his ex a form of joint physical custody, and numerous supports for her to be an effective parent. As a spoonie, she has been in and out of her child's life with no judgment or ill will from us, but the most recent time she came back, she brought all hell with her, and accused Jess of abusing Child#2. Will we be cleared of these allegations? Will we lose our jobs? Will we be able to maintain our marriage?

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Oh, wait, it's pride month? Jess' history with pride events is fairly limited, but George has been to many over the years. From "accidentally" attending a parade in Chicago as an egg-mode high-schooler, to bar hopping in Hawaii, to the first Dyke March in San Francisco, to Child#2 walking in the Trans March in his socks, he's been around the block a bit, but that doesn't stop us from planning for more.

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While trying to manage George's mom's health care (in between all the other nonsense we deal with on a regular basis) we realized that his straight white male privilege doesn't go as far in female-led settings as it does in more heterogeneously gendered settings. Between her previously mentioned broken shoulder, three hospital visits, uncontrolled diabetes, an antibiotic-resistant UTI, c.diff, and three nursing homes, George's mom has had a go of it, and George has been chasing after all her needs as best he can. Which isn't easy, when everyone he interacts with is (understandably) tired of some guy telling them how to do their job!

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Dysphoria sucks. As a genderqueer person, some of our culture's homophobic and transphobic framing of fluidity has seeped into Jess' psyche, as evidenced by their reaction to a recent discussion about their dysphoria. Jess' dysphoria as a nonbinary person is different from George's dysphoria as a binary trans man, but they share some similarities.

George uses STP's made from half-gallon plastic jugs, like those seen in the links below:
- youtube.com/watch?v=TLiaVVihEn4
- youtube.com/watch?v=kmHFvqLuMxU

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George's mom broke her shoulder, Child#2's other mom also had a medical emergency, and both of these things happened on the same day that George had two appointments and Child#2 had one. George's anxiety has anxiety, his mom still can't use the right pronouns and doesn't even recognize him half the time when she percieves him as male, but he still feels spoiled because Jess does his shot. Brightsiding. It helps.

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We have the busy. We had bed bugs. We have less furniture. The changing furniture is not related to the bed bugs. We have still more busy. When we're not busy managing bed bugs, or giving our kid's other mom's old furniture back to her, or parenting, or working, sometimes we like to relax with a book, a movie, a podcast, or a TV show.

Media we mentioned or enjoy:

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Our challenges are "mildly" increased lately, and by "mildly" we mean completely and entirely. Just like Jess is "mildly" tech-addicted, and George is "mildly" overscheduled. But we stay afloat as we usually do, with lots of "mild" coping humor and the blessing of therapists who aren't gender-dumb.

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George and Jess have been like ships passing in the night lately, often near but rarely interacting with one another, because of extra responsibilities and challenging circumstances. So today, at a distance, we engaged in some "first date" conversation starters, just to re-engage with one another and make sure we could have a conversation.

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While we were at Gallifrey One, we got the opportunity to sit down with one member of the amazing queer Doctor Who pocast, The Web Of Queer. Mikayla is a non-binary aromantic asexual from Ontario, Canada. They were introduced to Doctor Who in 2007, when they started watching it out of self defence in their first year of university. Much to their surprise, they discovered that they actually liked the show everyone was talking about. We got to talking about the infighting among the LGBTQIA+ family and the exclusionary tendencies some folks express toward the Ace and Aro members, as well as the process by which Mikayla came to identify as non-binary and the commonalities of Jess' pansexuality, Mikayla's asexuality, and both of their gender-nonconformity.

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Getting ready to go to Gallifrey One, like any time we need to leave our kids and other responsibilities behind, is always a challenge. It's our one time each year that we genuinely reserve for only ourselves, but we never get to be actually responsibility-free, and it's sometimes more work to prepare the responsibilities to be left than it would be to just stay and manage them. George's work schedule changed, kids and pets needed supervision, the house needed to be cleaned to welcome the supervision, and travel plans needed to be managed. But we got there.

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When Jess and George first met, George noted Jess' odd inability to notice or remember certain details unless they were pointed out. They could tell you the title of that one Star Trek episode with "that one thing that did the thing", but they couldn't remember where they put their glasses or when their next staff meeting was supposed to be. They would vacuum and scrub and dust but leave that once-worn pair of jeans on the arm of the couch for over a week or miss a giant puke stain on the side of the toilet. Jess thought there might be something wrong with themself... Until George finally hit parenting-and-exhaustion parity. Between managing the extra challenges of children moving out and back again, then being in and out of the hospital, then handling kids' behavioural reactions to too all those transitions, his cognitive and motivational capacity has finally hit the level of overload that Jess has lived with for decades. Turns out neither of them is lazy or forgetful, they're just overwhelmed.

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We're blessed today to speak with our favorite "cissy", Peterson Toscano. Through his one-person comedies and lively lectures, he has delighted audiences throughout North America, Europe, and Africa as he takes on social justice concerns. His plays and talks humorously explore the serious topics of LGBTQ issues, sexism, racism, privilege, gender, and climate change. You can learn more about his work at PetersonToscano.com.

We also referenced:

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The holidays happened. As often, in blended families, they happened on the "wrong" day. As often, in *our* family, they came with the usual nonsense of crazy old people, crazy small people, and Jess and George trying not to catch the crazy. Then George took Child#2 and hopped on a plane to his sister's house, where things were amazingly heteronormative, and he didn't catch the crazy but he might have caught the flu.

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George's male privilege has, generally, made his life easier at work, but there are some ways in which the changes haven't made his job easier. Jess' new position has also had gendery oddness, and they have noticed many more effects of privilege, both from gender and from class. But as a teacher, Jess is happy to have created a culture in their classroom that offers students the freedom to be themselves and express their orientations, identities, and other aspects of their selves, in ways that best suit them.

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After her eye surgery, George got five calls in three days from his mother, who really should've called 911 instead of him each time. Jess should know by now to expect George's elderly and increasingly senile relatives to act like toddlers. It shouldn't come as a surprise to them when his aunt has a temper tantrum, or when his mother refuses to use her walker because "I can do it myself!", but here we are.

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TPT#239 - Tilted Flamingos

Flamingoes? Meh. Depression and transition. They are things. They affect one another. George shares his experiences. Jess pokes him. We have a conversation about depression and gender dysphoria. Can you hear George's brainfog? And what is "Gender Lite"? Or is it "GenderLight!!!"? Could we hang Gender Lights on the awning when the Christmas Lights come down?

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