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  1. I don't see the transgender women as necessarily expecting their wives to stay with them. Per the show, Lawren was severely depressed (and most likely still depressed given her muted affect) prior to coming out to Jennifer. Part of the fear she expressed was that her wife would leave. Troy/Lucy wants Cindy to stay, but has acknowledged that they may not be able to make it work. Leslie had more of an expectation that Stacy might stay if, as has been stated on social media, Stacy is bisexual. The show never said that Bev chose to leave. I suspect Karen decided that transitioning was a good time to drop Bev too. They have such a horribly toxic relationship. They are also at the point where their kids are out of the house. Many have said how people should wait so they don't hurt their kids. I know it's tough to think I might say something neutral to good about Karen. but she played her role as husband and father until her kids were grown. Of course, she played that role horribly, so . . . not the most positive review. I know many transgender persons, some who were able to keep their relationships when they transitioned and many who were not. I think the show did show this transition as being hard on everyone in the family. If anyone was dealing with major depression, that is also hard on the family. However, people don't choose depression. It happens and it is very difficult to deal with. When someone is stuck in a depressed mindset, I don't expect them to snap out of it or not let it affect the way they are coping with life. It can be a long way from depressed to okay.
  2. Amidst the reality TV shenanigans, we saw some real insight into the great dysfunction that is Bev and Karen's family. Karen is a controlling ass. Bev prefers to be a victim. It was telling that Karen said Bev refused to be involved in any of the household decisions during their marriage. Bev was able to avoid all responsibility and blame any issues on Karen. Karen has no respect for Bev and treats her like garbage. I didn't see Cas as treating Bev poorly here. She called her "Mom". She offered to help her get a new birth certificate. It seemed to me that Cas was acting the role she had been forced into over the years - trying to mediate between her parents. She does use this slow, measured speech when talking to Bev. I think she means for that to be calming. To some extent she was mimicking Bev's own speech pattern. Bev and Karen do not communicate at all. That had to be 22 years of absolute misery for everyone involved. It was interesting that we heard that Cas and Karen had been estranged prior to them bonding over being transgender. So from what we've been told, both children at some point were all "F this; I'm out!" They both re-engaged with their parents during the divorce, with each taking a side on whether they support Karen's transition. Karen will now present as female. Unless she makes some major changes in the way she interacts, she will always be a controlling jerk. If she does enter another relationship, it had best be with someone who is very forceful and confident. If she finds another Bev, she'll steamroll over them, hating them and herself in the process. Bev needs to find a social life outside the bar. When she complimented the man dancing with her, I was laughing. They looked like kids at a school dance pretending they knew how to dance. The arm swinging was really funny. Seeing Bev at the bar had me thinking of an old Saturday Night Live skit with Jon Lovitz as the devil being sued in the People's Court. When the plaintiff is asked her occupation she announces, "I am a barfly, your honor." Bev, don't be a barfly. You'll end up in court with the devil. Then again, if the divorce goes to trial, she's pretty much there.
  3. Small Talk: You Do You

    @kicotan asked about people transitioning and whether they understand the various societal restrictions or expectations placed on women. I am not transgender, but I can share some experiences from some transgender friends. Several friends who are transgender men have explained that they were shocked by how much easier life is presenting as male. People listen to them more. They don't have to deal with creepy stares or men assessing their attractiveness. While they do have concerns about harsh negative reactions when people learn they are transgender, they generally feel safer. One friend was always critical about people saying that men have more privilege in the US. That is, until he transitioned. Within a few months, he got a promotion at work, one he had been denied many times. People really started listening to him in meetings. He had never been afraid to talk, but he found that when presenting as female he would say something, then a man would repeat it and the man would be heard. Once he presented as male he spoke and people listed; there was no need for someone else to repeat his statements. He also commented on how differently he is treated by sales people. It is assumed he is the primary decision maker. I have a transgender woman friend who is an attorney. She is very aware of the things that judges will say to her that they would never say to male colleagues. Only once in her many years of practicing law has she seen a judge comment on what a male attorney was wearing; the guy showed up in shorts and sandals - not okay. He mixed up his schedule and thought he was dropping off paperwork, not appearing before the bench. My friend has had judges comment on her hair, makeup, shoes, length of her skirt (which are always mid knee or below). At a courthouse recently, going through security they insisted she empty her purse. Male attorneys go through with backpacks and briefcases and do not have to empty them. Part of the reactions she is getting she does feel are because she is transgender. She was, I think, more prepared for the changes in how she would be treated because she was very active in social causes and is very astute at analyzing people's behavior. At the same time, I don't think anyone I know has been fully prepared for how differently they would be treated as women.
  4. I am giving Leslie the benefit of the doubt on some of this. Yes, it absolutely sucks that Stacy went back to work so quickly after giving birth. early on we were told that she works part time in her family's business, so they can probably be more accommodating to her. Also, given that it is her family's business, that is where the idea of her being able to pick up more hours (aka the family will help you out some; that is, unless they had already been hoping she could work more) would make some sense. It would be so much better if they were financially secure enough for Stacy to take time to be home with the baby. Unfortunately that is not happening. Leslie lost her job. I would expect that she has applied for unemployment and is most likely looking for a new job. Unless Leslie had to go into the unemployment office to apply and there was a chance that someone there would balk at her gender, the show wouldn't focus on that. So we're not going to hear about it. For them to film any job interviews, the hiring company would have to agree to filming and Leslie would have to explain why she was being filmed - not a good way to start things off. With the medical stuff, we are definitely missing some components in the story. If the endocrinologist leaped from bleeding nipples to remove tissue, that would be very odd. It may be that among this group of doctors the surgeon would be the one to order a mammogram, ultrasound, etc., then determine whether to do a biopsy. The endo referred her to a surgeon. When they say she has abnormal cells she either had a biopsy (I would expect to have heard that word if one was done) or she had the mammogram, etc. that showed an abnormality. She is now going in for the biopsy; they may have decided to remove all of the abnormal appearing tissue as part of the biopsy. Years ago this would have meant knocking her out and doing this in an operating room. Now this and many lumpectomies are done in surgeon's offices; while it is less scary than going under, it is still scary. To my mind, she and Stacy have every right to be concerned. I haven't heard her say she has cancer (She's no Betty Jo on My 600 Lb Life). I have heard both Leslie and Stacy express concern that they don't know if this is a setback or a major issue. Her saying she wishes Stacy could be there with her seems reasonable to me. I would rather have a partner with me than go alone. She followed her comment by saying it was important that Stacy be home to take care of the kids. Sounds reasonable to me. The show is playing up the drama - it's life-threatening! This is reality TV gold! Depending on the nature of the cells, even if they are not cancerous, it could mean she cannot tolerate hormone therapy. Not physically life threatening but certainly emotionally difficult. Stacy and Leslie are stuck in a way. They are getting paid to be on reality TV. They are not being paid enough to take care of all financial issues, but it's not money they can afford to throw away. Got to film when asked. At the same time, they need to work on a plan to get out of their financial hole. And I do mean they. While too much is falling on Stacy in their current situation, they decided to have a second child. They have been in a financially precarious situation for some time. They were already hunting and fishing to supplement their food budget. They represent the working class - living, working and trying to make ends meet - a situation in which one person losing their job quickly becomes critical. They are among the many who do not have a large rainy day fund to fall back on and are now being met with additional expenses. If things go well, Leslie's procedure and tests will go okay. She'll find a new job and they'll be able to stabilize again. But that might take more than a minute, especially if she has to get through filming before she can really commit to a new job. It's hard to start then say, "I'm gonna need these days off, then this afternoon, then . . . . " It is also hard to look for a new job when you have a medical concern. Again, I just started but I need time off for . . . doesn't play well.
  5. I'm of two minds on Beverly. In an earlier episode she mentioned that she only recently started forming a better relationship with the daughter that wasn't shown in this episode. It seemed like neither of Beverly's children respected her as a parent. She and her daughter are now aligned in how uncomfortable they are with Karen's transition. Her other child, Cas, has aligned with Karen and still has issues with Beverly. This family has an incredibly unhealthy dynamic. Beverly has never referred to Karen as Karen or she. I absolutely understand her saying she had a life with her husband and her memories are related to a husband and wife relationship with what she had every reason to believe was a man. She has 22 years that are now called into question. She cannot be expected to change overnight. However, she is also not willing to try, as I suspect she was not very willing to try to understand Cas. At the same time, Karen is an ass. Again, regardless of gender, a jerk is a jerk. Karen is a jerk. We saw it with the realtor. We see it every episode. Karen seems like she was a controlling husband who left little room for anyone else's opinion. She still wants to control other people's thoughts and feelings. She never should have been doing that in the first place. She certainly loses any expectation of that during a divorce. Beverly seems to have been a victim throughout this relationship. She also seems to have, to some extent, used her victimhood as a means of martyrdom for which she expects some level of affirmation. With the dissolution of her marriage, she is now realizing she was just a victim. She was treated terribly by her husband. She did not have a good relationship with her children. As often happens, they may have blamed her for not standing up to him more. Bev's friend seems glad she will be getting out of the marriage. If Karen was a decent person and a caring spouse, she would have expressed concern for Bev's late nights, especially if she feels Bev is potentially using alcohol to deal with her issues. Instead she went with "I don't like you staying out late". Why? Is Karen embarrassed? Is it affecting her sleep? It certainly didn't sound like concern for Bev's well-being. I feel sorry for Bev but I also find her annoying. She is in a terrible situation. She also needs to take some control of her own life. She needs to figure out her finances. She needs to stand up for herself. It has to be hard having been AJ/Karen's doormat for all these years. If she can't get it together herself, I hope her friends and daughter can help her through this. Otherwise she is easy prey for another jackass who will treat her terribly.
  6. @SunnyBeBe Karen is bald so she had a wig sown in/glued down. She was really excited when it was done. It does look much better than being a very bald woman. If you ever watch SouthPark, she had Mrs. Garrison's hairline. Many of us commented that longer hair would be more flattering. Prior to that she had a wig in a similar cut and length, but the hairline on it wasn't as realistic. Since it's a semi-permanent piece, she may have gone shorter to make it easier to care for. Leslie got fired for reselling a gun she had purchased at the store she worked at. Seems like she bought a new shotgun, then decided she didn't like it. A friend liked it so she sold it to them at her cost. I can see her buying a gun even with money tight. They hunt for food. The gun is a tool to help put meat on the table. To me it's one of those grey areas. The store she was working at can fire her for that. It was a clear violation of policy. She can only use the discount for herself. At the same time that doesn't mean they haven't potentially looked the same way on similar things before and/or were looking for a reason to let her go. It is very hard to prove discrimination because a person can be fired for many reasons. There are only a few for which you cannot be fired. As an attorney friend likes to say, a boss can fire you because they like corn flakes and you like wheaties. This episode was a mess. I sense they had such good footage of Cindy and Troy/Lucy that they cut some of the info on Leslie and Stacy that would have helped tie together their story better. It seemed like we were missing some medical discussion. It was a quick jump to see the surgeon/this could be cancer. Was there a lump? Did she have a mammogram? An ultrasound? I wouldn't be surprised if Stacy ended up in the corner shaking and crying. Pregnant, spouse out of work and possibly very ill - that could break the strongest person.
  7. I have an almost visceral dislike of Beverly. She seems to play the victim always. I feel for her having married a transgender woman who did not reveal their gender until this many years later. Beyond that, she infuriates me. She airs her dirty laundry in the bar but does it in a poor me sort of way. I sense her spouse is a jerk and has always been one; has nothing to do with being transgender - sometimes a jerk is just a jerk. But Beverly doesn't seem like she was abused (in which case I would be more understanding). She seems more like the type be a doormat then be really passive aggressive about how they were treated. Stand up, speak up or keep your eye rolling and heavy sighs to yourself! (Okay, I am more cranky about this than I like to admit). Leslie's reveal at the bar was so TLC. I would expect her to tell her friend prior to showing up in (tastefully done) makeup and women's clothing. But TLC likes the big reveal. Leslie is lucky TLC didn't get access to the clothes in the Botched closet and force her into a bikini or a super tight, really short dress for the reveal. Guess she's lucky that's on a different channel.
  8. So much of what we are shown seems to be altered by them being on the show. I can't say if Leslie is being selfish for pushing to transition now or if she is stuck because they have a contract with TLC. TLC won't be particularly interested in the storyline of we've decided to wait until a few months after the baby is born. Then I'll start the physical transition. That won't leave them much to show. I also feel thats why we see so much focus on hair, makeup and clothing. It's a visual medium and this is what we can see. I don't take that to mean that the transgender women featured don't have deeper things that have prompted their desire to transition. If the primary focus in wanting a more feminine style is to feel like they look the way they feel inside, then they are addressing body dysmorphia. Also it is one of the steps in physical transition. As for Troy/Lucy's transformation, that was atrocious. That stylist (using the word very loosely. What do you call a stylist with no style? Just an ist?). The makeup is so extreme. I wear less when I am on stage and I am really pale. The hair was overdone and out of fashion. The dress made Troy/Lucy look broad-shouldered and boxy. Unlike the other folks who seemed so happy to see their new hair or put on tasteful makeup and more commonly seen women's clothing styles, I expect poor Troy/Lucy to be horrified. I do wonder if Troy/Lucy will be held up as the person who changes their mind about transitioning.
  9. S04.E08: Nothing is Set in Stone

    While they don't tend to film any reality show for a really long time, the filming did most likely go longer than that. We had episodes in which Jazz's weight went up and down by significant amounts during what they were trying to claim was the same few days. I think they did a lot to piece the footage they had into the chosen storyline and had many reshoots or new scenes added. This show becomes more scripted every year. The other thing that really throws it off is what they are allowed to focus on. Early on the Jennings and Jazz's school decided that they would not allow filming there. So large portions of her life are off limits. If she is involved in any group activities, the parents of the other kids would have to agree to them being shown. (A screen full of blurred people and events not willing to stop at all for production would be a mess). If those events take place at the school or are sponsored through the school, the event cannot be shown. In her early years, Jazz was said to be very active in school activities. Per the storyline, she isn't anymore. I don't know if she was still active in some things or not, if she lost all of her friends or not. They are trooping out Mikaela like she is a friend rather than someone desperate to extend her 15 minutes. The show has simply become a weird mess focusing on genitals and forced interactions. It would be so much more interesting to see the rest of her life and how she really interacts in social interactions that aren't 100% show generated.
  10. S02.E06: James B.'s Story

    Question: Doesn't it foam from the ice? In Maw 1's case, I don't think she was enjoying the ice. I suspect it was a passive-aggressive jab on LB not putting the beer in the fridge. Then again, Maw 1 seems to be parked at the corner of passive and aggressive and she's not planning to move. LB seems to really understand that the surgery is a tool. He is doing everything he needs to lose weight and get fit. He is also the first person in 6 seasons to say "I've had a few slip ups" and actually mean a few. Usually "a few slip ups" equals a spare 50 pounds!
  11. S04.E07: Hungry for Acceptance

    Michaela's supposed Be You campaign was made up for the show. The whole "oh Jazz, your voice is so beautiful. Let's write a song together!" was like something from the Little Rascals - "Let's put on a show!" And yes, they were performing at a dance academy, not a public school. I am part of a LGBTQ speakers bureau that goes to Jr high, high school and college classes as well as any group that will invite us. We are often included in the health class. We provide resources, talk about our personal experiences and allow students to ask any questions they like. This program has been in place for a long time. We have two big goals - reduce bullying and ostracizing of kids who don't fit in and harm reduction. During the two years I have done this, I have helped a girl report her sexual assault and get out of a dangerous foster care situation and helped multiple kids get access to support groups that have helped them abate suicidal thoughts. Michaela's fake program is a couple of twits singing a mediocre song to children who don't care. I mention this because I hate to see all support type programs being lumped into the same category. Some are useful. Some are useless. The kids hate the useless ones too.
  12. S02.E06: James B.'s Story

    LB ultimately seems like a decent guy who has had some major difficulties to deal with and has also made some bad choices. Maw 1 is a piece of work. When she was clearly drunk and talking about how she was drinking “watered-down beer”, it occurred to me she was having beer on ice because she wasn’t willing or able to wait for it to cool down. So yeah, I’m going to suggest that Maw 1 is a damn ass alcoholic. It seemed like the show in telling LB’s story was working around coming out and saying Maw 1 is alcoholic or explicitly saying that living with her was one of his major issues. To some large extent that is continuing to protect an alcoholic. It was interesting that they showed him talking about his Bio dad being in prison for drug-related offenses. Seemed like LB and family were trying to promote the idea of nature leading to his own addiction issues without also calling out living with an alcoholic and modeling behavior with which he was raised. I am careful about linking his willingness to walk with others who have not. He is younger and started from a higher level of fitness. While we have had our special princesses (Penny aka Cleopatra), many of the others had injuries that caused major inactivity from which they didn’t recover. Also, being 600 lbs at 5’4” with a slight build is very different than being 600 lbs at 6’4” for a guy who also has a stocky build. With less muscle mass, lymphedemas and depending on the way the weight is carried, it can be much harder to walk or feel confident you can walk. It’s a long road back if you feel your legs can’t support your weight or if you cannot align your knees and feet correctly under your mass. LB could align his body correctly since he didn’t have masses on his legs. It was good to see him walking on the track and riding a bike. He is always going to be a large person. It looks like he is making the changes needed to have a full, active life. Finally, I had a roommate who was in recovery. I kept any alcohol in my bedroom closet so it was not in his face. It felt like the right thing to do. He went out and about, often in places with alcohol. He would go to parties, out to dinner, etc. with people who drank. Didn’t have a problem with that. But having alcohol easily accessible at home when you’ve had a bad day is a different temptation. @Normades What a wonderfully supportive mom you are. :-)
  13. S04.E05: Trans Girl Meets Girl

    Polyamorous is being in relationships with more than one person at a time. Polysexual is being attracted to people of multiple genders beyond your own and one other. A person can be polyamorous and also be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual . . . . As the understanding of gender expands so do the words describing sexuality. (FYI - I speak to youth on issues regarding gender and sexuality as well as harm reduction). A person's sexuality does not change based on who they are dating. So if a pansexual woman is with a man, she's still pansexual. If a pansexual woman is with a woman, she's still pansexual. It is not uncommon for partners of transgender people to question their own sexuality when their partner comes out. Some relationships last through a person's physical transition. Many do not. Given the failure rate for relationships overall, especially after major life changes, it is not surprising to me that couples don't always come out the other side together. In some ways I think Jazz wants to push through her transition as quickly as possible to lessen the issues with dating. As a transgender girl with male appearing genitalia her dating group is smaller than if she has female appearing genitalia - kind of the carpet matching the drapes.
  14. S04.E05: Trans Girl Meets Girl

    I didn't mind Jazz's definition of pansexual so much. She's basically saying she's not fully sure which gender she may be attracted to and she is open to anything. The producer who explained it to one of the twins brought in the soul BS. Pansexual = attracted to all genders or attracted to people regardless of gender. Polysexual = attracted to multiple genders. Both allow for the idea that there are potentially more than two genders (which is how they differ from bisexual, although many people are changing the definition of bisexual to mean attracted to one's own and other genders). A person's sexuality does not make them superior. It is simply a part of who they are. With that said, I don't find it that strange that Jazz is still figuring things out. Many of my friends kids are around her age and working through where they fall in terms of sexuality. She is emotionally immature for her age. Given time, she'll get there. It's a lot to ask of anyone to be willing to date someone who is on TV. Add in that she is transgender and, especially at her age, most kids aren't willing to make themselves seem different in ways that can lead to being made fun of. She doesn't have a large dating pool, regardless of her sexuality.
  15. S04.E05: Trans Girl Meets Girl

    It looks to me like Jazz had already dropped quite a bit of the weight by the time this episode was filmed. She looks much smaller than she did when they went to the conference (during hurricane Irma) and when she saw Dr. Bowers. It feels like the show is again dragging something out for the sale of the storyline. I appreciated that the therapist was talking about needing to explore her reasons for binging. One way or another, the therapists are both saying they need to speak with her off camera in actual sessions prior to issuing a letter. That's how it works for everyone else, so of course that how it works for her. The focus issue to me as well as the many doctors she has seen are more a matter of being on the show than anything else. The show has a story to tell and right now it is all about genitals and potential dating.