Queer Family Values

Working to increase the visibility of queer and trans people and their families. There is strength in diversity and community

I love you and want you to have free and unbridled explorations of the wonders of the universe, but you’ve destroyed three rolls of toilet paper in the last 24 hours

—My spouse, upon taking yet another roll of toilet paper away from the toddler. (via telegantmess)

(via mattreadsthings)

transitioning and fertility

telegantmess:

Okay, so this idea that HRT makes transitioning people permanently sterile gets thrown around a lot.

Except I can’t find any definitive literature or even anecdotes on it? Everything seems conflicting, with evidence being higher on the side of fertility being possible provided one goes off of hormone treatments.

Like, I have seen quite a few trans people state it as fact, yet our health care providers told us that barring any other complications or surgeries, fertility could be restored by stopping spiro even years after hormone therapy started. And our health care providers are one of the top centers for this kind of care in the region. They are one of the few centers that don’t gatekeep for transitioning, so I don’t see them as having any motive to tell us anything other than what we need to know to make an informed decision. Hell, the head of the center warned us that we shouldn’t treat my spouse’s transition as a sure fire method of birth control unless surgery had been performed.

Plus there are several high profile examples of trans men going off T after years of treatment and being able to both conceive and carry successful pregnancies (not to mention a whole slew of guys that I have met who have done the same,) as well as a few trans women I have heard of who impregnated their partners during HRT. I mean, yeah, many structures can atrophy over time, but that time is much longer than the usual time frame of six months that everyone thinks is the magic threshold, and depends on other health factors. Even the HBSC list infertility as a reversible side effect of hormone treatments. Infertility doesn’t become permanent until certain vital structures are removed.

So I guess my question is why we think this is a hard and fast rule? My suspicion is that certain members of the medical establishment have decided that its better to treat this as the truth so they don’t have to deal with departing from the narrative of the tragic, familyless, infertile transsexual, but that may be a little cynical. My spouse definitely thinks its doctors who encourage this idea so that the process is stream lined and invisible, along with the desire to maintain certain categorical definitions of man and woman, along the lines of keeping to a particular idea of transness (ie: a man shouldn’t want to give birth, a woman shouldn’t want to impregnate someone.)

I think the “6 months on HRT makes you permanently sterile!” is a lie. I know of many exceptions to that, and I think its really unlikely that I’m just encountering all of the exceptions to the rule. I think its a lie that the community as a whole is encouraged to believe for the sake of cis people who don’t want to see any more challenges to “biology” than trans people already represent. I also think that without more definitive research, any medical professional that asserts that 6 months on HRT will definitively make you sterile without any qualifications whatsoever is being unethical and practicing piss poor informed consent. Especially if they go on to recommend surgeries that will make fertility irreversible.

It wouldn’t be the first time, especially with regards to gender/sex variance.

transitioning and fertility

telegantmess:

Okay, so this idea that HRT makes transitioning people permanently sterile gets thrown around a lot.

Except I can’t find any definitive literature or even anecdotes on it? Everything seems conflicting, with evidence being higher on the side of fertility being possible provided one goes off of hormone treatments.

Like, I have seen quite a few trans people state it as fact, yet our health care providers told us that barring any other complications or surgeries, fertility could be restored by stopping spiro even years after hormone therapy started. And our health care providers are one of the top centers for this kind of care in the region. They are one of the few centers that don’t gatekeep for transitioning, so I don’t see them as having any motive to tell us anything other than what we need to know to make an informed decision. Hell, the head of the center warned us that we shouldn’t treat my spouse’s transition as a sure fire method of birth control unless surgery had been performed.

Plus there are several high profile examples of trans men going off T after years of treatment and being able to both conceive and carry successful pregnancies (not to mention a whole slew of guys that I have met who have done the same,) as well as a few trans women I have heard of who impregnated their partners during HRT. I mean, yeah, many structures can atrophy over time, but that time is much longer than the usual time frame of six months that everyone thinks is the magic threshold, and depends on other health factors. Even the HBSC list infertility as a reversible side effect of hormone treatments. Infertility doesn’t become permanent until certain vital structures are removed.

So I guess my question is why we think this is a hard and fast rule? My suspicion is that certain members of the medical establishment have decided that its better to treat this as the truth so they don’t have to deal with departing from the narrative of the tragic, familyless, infertile transsexual, but that may be a little cynical. My spouse definitely thinks its doctors who encourage this idea so that the process is stream lined and invisible, along with the desire to maintain certain categorical definitions of man and woman, along the lines of keeping to a particular idea of transness (ie: a man shouldn’t want to give birth, a woman shouldn’t want to impregnate someone.)

I think the “6 months on HRT makes you permanently sterile!” is a lie. I know of many exceptions to that, and I think its really unlikely that I’m just encountering all of the exceptions to the rule. I think its a lie that the community as a whole is encouraged to believe for the sake of cis people who don’t want to see any more challenges to “biology” than trans people already represent. I also think that without more definitive research, any medical professional that asserts that 6 months on HRT will definitively make you sterile without any qualifications whatsoever is being unethical and practicing piss poor informed consent. Especially if they go on to recommend surgeries that will make fertility irreversible.

It wouldn’t be the first time, especially with regards to gender/sex variance.

warminvention asked: Thanks for the boost :) didn't want to cross over too much with yourselves but getting this angle out thee can only be a good thing :)? Xxx

absolutely :D

WE WANT YOU!!!

fuckyeavaguelycutetransparents:

Fuck yea vaguely cute trans parents need submissions from wonderful trans and non binary parents please?
We know you’re out there so.. Testimonials to how ace you are, how hard it is, how amazing your kids are and all that m’larky!
Photos and videos are always a good thing as well..
Ta! X

(Source: fuckyeaverycutetransparents)

Preparing for the Trans Baby Boom

telegantmess:

Within the needs of trans people in pregnancy and birth is the challenge of addressing what seems like an obvious connection: between pregnancy and femaleness. Trans people are often neglected in the arena of pregnancy and birth because of the strongly-held notion that only female-identified people experience pregnancy and birth. While not all trans people, whether they were assigned female at birth or not, can experience pregnancy (because of infertility or hysterectomy), some can and do, prompting the need for our pregnancy and birth providers to accommodate.

It’s not easy, as it’s a process that is intensely gendered. Everything from maternity clothes to the language of health care providers carries the assumption that the pregnant person identifies as female (and often that the other parent identifies as male). Language is an obvious barrier from the get-go: maternal health, pregnant women, all of the language associated with pregnancy and birth is gendered. From body parts to actors, all is coded in a way that would make a pregnant person who is not identified as a female feel uncomfortable.

Beyond the question of language, though, is the possibly more important issue of adequate care. For as little as we know about hormone therapies and gender reassignment surgeries, we know even less about their impacts on pregnancy and birth. I recently met a young trans man who had gotten pregnant accidentally while on testosterone therapy —his missing period and other indicators made him falsely believe he was safe from pregnancy. Questions of how top surgery might affect breast-feeding, how long before attempting to get pregnant should someone stop testosterone, the impacts of gender surgeries on fertility — all of these areas remain questions that few have evidence-based answers to.

I got to attend the panel referenced in the article, and it was amazing. The midwifery model of care presents so much potential for not just labor and delivery within the trans* community but lactation and chest-feeding, and general transition care.

So little is known about how transition impacts fertility (barring procedures that actually sterilize people by removing necessary organs) and the idea that HRT=sterility is being challenged regularly by the growing families of trans* folks. We need providers willing to challenge the assumption that trans* folk are sterile, and willing to learn about the specific needs of our bodies and our families.

Transgender Related Books for Kids

artoftransliness:

We’ve previously written about explaining transition to younger kids, but there’s absolutely nothing better than a book to do the trick. The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Fairy and Backwards Day are two great children’s books by S. Bear Bergman that explain what being transgender feels like in a very simple, child-friendly way. These would be appropriate for a wide variety of age groups and excellent to affirm to identities of transgender children, explain gender issues to children with trans* parents or family members, or simply educate kids about gender differences. 

(Source: theartoftransliness, via smirkingbenevolence)

Where are the queer parents in the US? - By Jos Truitt

pansexualpride:

At the Netroots Nation LGBT pre-convening on Wednesday we talked a bit about organizing in red and purple states. As someone who’s only lived on the coasts, I know I’m often guilty of forgetting about the south and middle of the country. And there’s certainly a stereotype that all the queers are on the coasts anyway. But take a look at this map from the Williams Institute (via the Family Equality Council‘s site) that shows the top states in terms of same-sex couples raising children:

Infographic showing the top states where same-sex couples are raising children. The states are MT, WY, SD, KS, OK, AR, MS, AL, LA, TX, AK, SC

I know that’s not the data I was expecting. The fact is, queer folks are parenting in states that are often ignored by LGBT organizing. This isn’t to downplay some of the great work that is happening in those states, but the national focus (and the national money) tends to be in places like California and New York. Clearly, we need to be telling the real story about same-sex parenting in the US. We need to uplift the voices and issues of the families in states that are often ignored, and we need to support their work. I imagine parents face some different issues in South Dakota than in San Francisco, but the best way to know what these parents actually need is for them to tell their stories at the national level.

the link is to feministing, which has a shitty track record on accountability for race, trans, fat and disability.

(via misspumpkintart)

New Trans Families

transreprojustice:

About:

It’s tough being the only woman in the deposit line at the sperm bank. What’s worse is feeling like you’re the only person in the world who’s been there.

New Trans Families is a site for transgender/transsexual people and their partners to share helpful information and advice about starting families and raising kids.

We made this site because couldn’t find any good information on these topics for trans people and our partners. A lot of LGBT resources are written by and for non-trans people, and don’t include anything about the particular issues trans people face or the questions we have.

How do you explain the “facts of life” to your child in age-appropriate ways? How do you raise a kid to be proud of her family, and still have her understand why it’s not a good idea to “out” her trans mom to her whole first-grade class? How do you deal when that happens anyway? Many two-mom families find ways not to answer the awful “whose baby is it?” question, but what do you say to lesbian friends who are trying to conceive and want to talk shop, but don’t know about your history?

So many questions! This site is for helping each other figure out the answers, and for sharing trans-specific information on:

  • Banking genetic material
  • Fertility and conception
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Adoption
  • Surrogacy
  • Babies!!!
  • Raising kids
  • Explaining trans stuff to your child
  • Dealing with teachers and school
  • Legal issues
  • And a whole lot of stuff we haven’t even realized we have to figure out yet.

xox,

Sarah & Amy

Write for New Trans Families:

We’re looking for:

  • Personal experience stories that focus on how you solved a problem or made an important decision.
  • Reviews of queer pregnancy, parenting, and children’s books that are especially good or bad on trans issues.
  • First-hand recommendations and tips on how to find trans-sensitive doctors, midwives, doulas, cryobanks, endocrinologists, and other service providers.
  • “What to expect” stories and tips for getting through uncomfortable situations, to help others be more prepared and less afraid than we were.
  • Videos of babies and kitties playing or snuggling together (we may not post it, but we will love it).
  • Suggestions for new categories not listed above.

To submit something, just email write@newtransfamilies.com. It’s fine if you don’t want to use your real name. If you’re not sure if something would work on the site, just ask. If you have a lot of things you want to share and need help breaking them down into useful posts, we can help with that too.

(via telegantmess)

Children’s Gender Self-Determination: A Practical Guide

So you want to have a kid, or you want to interact with kids, but you’re not a big fan of the gender binary and the 10 trillion ways children are asked to conform to it, nor do you like the way that gender identity is offered to children as the primary way to make sense of themselves, and you’re also irked by the fact that even the children’s books that emphasize gender nonconformity (like My Princess Boy) fail to distinguish between “girls’ clothes” and “clothes marketed to girls”?  Ok, me too.  Read on!

This is one of the best resources I’ve seen on this subject yet.

Go read and add comments with suggestions!