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tv   Trystan Reese How We Do Family  CSPAN  August 10, 2022 9:08am-10:08am EDT

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emergency, and heartbreak in the chicago er. at 8:00 p.m. eastern jason campbell shares his book invisible support living with mary kansas city in 2018. watch book tv every sunday on c-span2 and find a full schedule on your program guide or watch any untrained anytime booktv.org . >> tonight were absolutely thrilled to welcome tristian reese and andrew, triston launched into the public eye as a pregnant man in 2017 with the story of his family's unique journey gained international attention he was invited to give closing performances mainstage in portland, albuquerque and brooklyn and a video of the brooklyn event was over 2.5 million views. as interest in his family's story grew triston partnered with many major outlets including cnn and buzz feed.
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triston is us educator and speaker focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion in the founder of his consulting firm collaborate consulting or triston provides customized training and solutions for individuals, organizations and communities interested in social justice. when triston was a year into his relationship the couple learn that the niece and nephew were about to be removed from the home from child protective services interested in took in 1-year-old haley and 3-year-old lucas becoming caregivers overnight to two tiny survivors of abuse and neglect. from this surprising start they bill of loving marriage and happy home learning to pair on the job they adopted haley and lucas and decided to grow their family biologically with the child that triston was transgender would carry. triston's groundbreaking
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pregnancy attracted media fans there in the family welcome leo in 2017 in his book how do we family from adoption to trans pregnancy, what we learned about love and lbgtq parenthood triston shares a unique story and what he's learned about the best parent and partner in person you can be. joining triston in conversation is andrew solomon he's a professor of clinical psychology at columbia university medical center and past president of pan-american center and a writer and lecturer on psychology, politics and arts and activist and lgbtq rights and mental health in the arts, his 2012 book parents, children in the book the search for identity run the award for nonfiction and it was chosen as the new york times ten best books of 2012, how travel can change the world was published in 2016 and named a new york times notable book he previously wrote atlas of
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depression which won the 2001 national book award and a poet sometimes finalist. most recently he made an award-winning film. this evening's event will include an audience q&a, please use a q&a button at the bottom of the screen if you would like to ask a question as well as if someone has a question you'd like to have a question to and that question by clicking the forms a button the most important, please consider supporting triston and powell's by purchasing a book from us along with andrew's book will be shared in the chat a couple times this evening. they released a was moved to june 29 so the order you placed tonight will be shipped at the end of the month. triston and andrew were thrilled to have you here tonight, thank you for being here. >> what a pleasure and an honor to be here. triston and i have known each other for many years and have
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been friends and i followed each man interest. i would like to say even if you think you know when triston's attorney entails and you think you understand what the story is you have to buy and read this book because it's so moving, it's so funny, it is so warm and it is so profound about what family is and about what love is and how against all odds you can manage to find the glories of intimacy in places where they weren't necessarily to be assumed. it is a wonderful lead you will cancel everything else is by the afternoon with it in a million things you didn't know before. >> of my goodness is so scary and to be exciting to release my fourth baby into the world.
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[laughter] >> i'm not sure even done it as many times as you have, is more terrifying than i would've expected. >> it is terrifying and you'll notice i wrote a book about depression, that's perhaps the answer to your question. >> i think you said you're going to read a little passion why don't we do that so they can know your voice before we get going with the rest of it. >> i did not know i was going to do that first but i'm ready. my copy came from the publisher today so here it is in my hand, i've been in denial. i'm going to tell i believe it's an unknown story in terms of me doing podcast or whatever. and it takes as to the summer of 2012. about a quarter of the way in. it was the summer of 2012 and there was a concert at the mexican restaurant in
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performance from the east end of l.a. i'd e-mailed, called and text to let them know about the proposal. at my request kimberly came down when it happened and watch lucas for the evening. in my pocket i feel the heavyweight and titanium ring and custom-made for the occasion the jeweler agreed to let me purchase and i've been sending checks every month. we parked the car and held hands as we walked in as he sat down he noticed how many of our friends were at the audience and he said dang everybody knows her lady today. >> soi agreed. my boss that watched our relationship blossomed from the very beginning as were half a dozen of his friends from a social group. the lights went out in the show started. our lady j emerged into the spotlight on the stage and began her usual stories about her life
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and childhood along with dolly parton covers in original songs. her feet pounded the petals and i began to sweat. then she said the phrase i had been waiting for. love, love, love is there any lovers in the audience that they love a hand went up she stated her highs pretending to notice me, is that triston, come and appear you guys. >> exactly as planned, i grabbed biff's hand and we made our way down the aisle and up onto the stage. jay handed me that a phone and i took a deep breath and a hush over the audience as they waited a question as strangers try to figure what was happening. biff as you know i love you very
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much and i never want to be without
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two children overnight completely unprepared and that's th that's the biggest difference, it's just easier because it's more straightforward. which sounds completely and counterintuitive, it really was. as well as i think, not the depth or passion or love but the journey ofhe getting the, it's different to form love over a longer period of time and because things are hard that brought me closer as it would've been a longer plan that
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situation i remember the first time walking down the sidewalk in hollywood with lucas who isy three and a car comes up and without even thinking about it i snatched him up in my arms. the little moments for me, i'd throw myself in front of af bus for this kid. i would do anything for him. there are parts of my brain that are at work, when we lived in new york city in the subway the doors open up any steps off the subway and without even realizing before i cant say anything my hand goes out, grabs his hoodie and pulled him back in and the doors close. these are the -- they are not any part of our conscience thinking. it was in those moments that i
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am a parent and i love him with a deep passion and domestic. that is scary as opposed to leo who showed up in the world all innocence and purity and it was easy, much easier than this conversation. the depths are not different but the pathway there was. >> tell me about your decision to be open and public about your pregnancy and about the fact untrained structure ofr your family. he earned you a lot of love and earned you a lot of hate that i think he had to struggle with and deal with.ad i think you must of known ahead of time, you may not have known how much or how it would feel. tell me about the decision in a way, efflorescence in this book
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and when you speak without being mediated by the sources that are reporting on your story. >> the conversation happened in this exact room. sometimes the pivotal moments you are talking about giving advice in an audiobook i remember the airplane and when i listened by the tree, i didn't know at the time i didn't know we've been met. it was like those places i literally came up the stairs having watched on facebook and interview with janet, all of our cox, brilliant, brave, black trans woman dean unconsciously
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eviscerated vice well-meaning journalists. and being so patient and kind and loving and gracious, i want to point out to you isn't that the best question to ask giving them far more grace, everyone deserves grace. more than i think they would deserve. i had a lightbulb go off in my head and this was a fear and i think we have to tell our story. this is like why would we ever do that, look what happens when people do that, i just explained i watched this interview and i don't think it's fair for myself as ays white binary trans person living in portland, oregon who has every privilege that anybody could ever hope for as a trans person. there is one thing, maybe thatt
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trans person is more privilege than me but i am surrounded by layers of safety of invisiblet' invisible. and i don't think it's right to put all that work on them. it was done intentionally for many years, and you can become from the movement that was intentional. transgender men agreed at conferences, conventions, we agreed if we get ahead of the microphone you find a trans woman, they find a black trans woman you give it to her. >> i thought at this point we may have overcorrected and put the responsibility on them. now that there is a conversation maybe there's a chance to take the weight off of them in a different story. that leads to the question when people say was it worth it, how could you ever possibly know. was it worth it to tell your story? and that's only question i may
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never have the answer to. i lost things i don't think i will ever get back as a result of telling the story. that is not something i anticipated. >> i think you will have the answer to that question. my situation was less radical than yours i put the story for many of the same reasons in the sense that i had obligation to defy when i tell the story then you would and i've invested so many people not reading your work helped me decide to have a family and i think when you think there are these relationships who enjoy being parents, your book is so courageous and so straightforward and so generous and i think it'll give people inability, i wish and understanding and capacity to be parents who otherwise would not have had all of the and i think
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it'll change people's lives in the publicity you did around will happen even though i know some was very traumatic is ultimately going to serve that function. that's what i think maybe i am wrong. >> i think it's a back-and-forth even if it was a gift that had served the world, what cost did it come after me and for what i have left and what i thought were the best parts of myself and i love you no way more than i ever y did before, you are the more realistic new ones matureie view of who people truly are is preferable, i missed it and other people were inherently good if you just told your story out of love, compassion and intentionality people would be like you're right, this is awesome i miss that version of
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me i like that version of me. >> and activists for very complex reasons he said i prefer being frivolous. now that you are frivolous but there is that element of innocence tell the story centered target about the bad pr tell the story or tell our viewers the story of the experience when she asked you whether anyone had mean things to say to you i think it's worth repeating. >> i think that was part of the book that came back with no added at that point that was ons of those things in the moment, pre-covid i was traveling so much for work of tattling with
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three kids and i was regretting i was missing chunks of their childhood so i started to arrange it so i could bring one child with me on each trip and i got to have the one-on-one time and spend time and i would have a couple of extra days andri that's it i'm in l.a. with haley or saint cabo saint lucas. i took haley down to l.a. with me and we got stuck in traffic. we were in the newew rental car and i don't even know what made her think of it she turned to me and asked did people say mean things about you when you told her story? like you were in the news and stuff did people say mean things about you, i try really hard to be honest but mindful what is
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appropriate for their mind to carry and my mom will correct me when i'm gone too far in the honesty realm and save a little bit much to ask and i'm usually defensive in the moment and then i'm like you're right. at the time i thought you should be honest and she asked what they said and they didn't say mean things about me and she said tell me what they were and i said no, i'm not going to tell you, you're too little is not appropriate for you to hear what some people said. even though i did not tell her what those things were she started crying because like me her emotions are this close toe the surface all the time. it doesn't take much to bubble over. she asked if i ever cried and i said yes and that kind of cracked open a space between us
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were i knew i could ask whatever i wanted and then i asked you for which you any different family that was more like other families? and she didn't even have to think about it, shees said no nt in a billion years my little magical moment second chapter of the book. >> you never know when the magic is going to come. >> i heard some male feminist many years ago maybe 20 years ago give a speech at the university and he sent a lot of people talk about quality time but there's something to be said for quantity time and that's why i like to travel with the kids, you don't have to be doing something thatha somebody else deemed as important.
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it could just be sitting in traffic and commit to being in the moment. >> for me with thy kids i feel like quantity time was a gift of the pandemic, the pandemic was very hard on kids for a lot of reasons and my kids are 12 and 13 and face challenges in this regard but the time that we spent together was so transformative to me and i think transformative to them but will be in time. >> something that struck me a lot of, my experience of you, i still don't see you when you weren't smiling and you have a hhappy-go-lucky. the first time we met, it was at a task force party in l.a. and i remember talking to you, i think it was shortly before or shortly
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after lucas and haley came into your household. i don't remember what year that would make it but you have that approach and yet in the book you describe all of these moments of hesitancy and anxiety, your uncertainty whether they could be possibly in your uncertainty whether what you should do by way of proposal and we suggested using a hot air balloonst to propose in your feeling that you had to build this whole thing up and you're worried about whether you were doing it the right way and especially the scene which is the most poignant and the book when you're out of the camp i can't quite remember that you're getting ready to say what do you think about having a baby in the gist of it. tell me about those moments of uncertainty and the ways in which you think they represent
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think that is pandemic to real life or whether you think of the same for everyone and all kinds of ways. >> you post a very complicated question. i remember that in l.a. in a nonprofit movement getting to see the beautiful ways that people in particular are able to fasten their homes and airlines and markets on this call looking over don portland, i do miss those moments and a lot of people deception about me is that i'm always happy. the thing that comes to mind is the best thing to get to introduce them to the world. especially leo who is almost
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four he just asked why about everything. you want to know why these flowers -- why does the one we'd to you when you walk by it. i talked to them often about how different things evolved to survive. some things are pretty and that's how they survive. people like them that's what they want to have them around other things have thorns to keep people away and protect them. different ways of surviving i'm not sure how, when ors why or if it's natural or any of that just how i made it through the world to be someone that is a light it's got me out of a lot of i tough situations into a lot of good situations. i think that's how i found people to navigate it which i think is not unlike the best of the gay troops we like your best friend from the that is how we see a lot, we meet people like
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us, they feel bad for us and when something bad happened they wanted to come to her aid and we told them they should do something differently and they wanted tohe follow. that's where i fit in the game multi-verse, i don't know if other people have the same level of doubt or discomfort or anxiety or fear and probably two sides of the same coin if i thank you so much on people liking me, the fear what if they don't. what is this is all a and performance. and we fitting together 11 years and there's still moments, last week a person in this life that he studied a lot of time withh right now for work things and i
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just need a little bit of a reassurance that there's nothing there. this is an attractive person there certainly younger than me, never had a baby so after all this time i think i'm better at saying and feeling insecure i need some assurance consider doing a passive-aggressive thing. >> it striking in the book that you don't talk about your own transition, you don't talk about the earlier chapter of your life and either the present tense for any significant way in the past tense and how you came to be who you are but it would be interesting to hear you talk about the way, the words all seem loaded, the decision to change gender and that decision that is mostly associated with the e gender which you no longer
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identified a primarily. how did the all balance out and how did you get it to balance out and how much did allt of tht you went through in your mind difficulties that you would experience in y transitioning. maybe there weren't any. >> my editor is here with us, that's how i got balanced out and all of those chapters. i wrote the coming out story and realize for myself, fighting spacing community and only not in coming up to my parents, that is in a file somewhere and i'm really lucky because the experiment help me so much to figure out what is the story, this doesn't have to be all of the stories, what is the story. there are other places for the stories, i haves a dream of an
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actual memoir, that can be a book too, fine. to have the narrow focus that is less teaching of last past and more this was the focus that you brought is such a gift and ofeo course it's hard in the beginning to have someone savior cutting out and that by looking at it now this is fine, this is good. it was nice to focus on a couple of hard things in the thing that you canhi get anywhere all. whether a 13-year-old, someone older or someone trans, does exist, this doesn't exist as much. that's how that happened. that's what you expect. >> when you were pregnant with leo you talk in the book about the publicity that you've done but did you in your own life
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encounter people other trans or people on the street who gave you strange looks, out of any of that go down. >> the joke i often say i expect women to be mad at me i stormed out of the lady party 20 years ago i slammed the door in their faces and said i would never be back. now i'm inching my wayt back in. for me the biggest fear that i have going into telling our story publicly i was worried about the backlash from the trans community. i expect other people to do what they do, but for me it was my own way of giving a gift to my community both past, present and future that was the goal.
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if they're not the audience for the book, my story is not that exciting. it's been happening for 20 years, the book is for other people but the reason i did it is the service of the community to worry which i did that people we're going, to say you're makig a harder for people to accept us. we just got them to see us as men, now you're messing u everything up, that was my worst fear, i think maybe i saw that once in a comment thread before i stopped reading comments but every other time we were a trans pride and i was eight and a half months pregnant i missed the labor and delivery class i was going to learn about stupid labor, all trans dudes that come up to me, this is awesome i
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could never do that but it's so cool. it's nearly universally, that was a response thank you for showing people that there isn't one way to do this in continuing to broaden what's possible in the trans community. rivian another possibility model is not a competition to see who can do trans right, the competition to see how many ways we can h do it. for me this thing is great. it made it easier to whether some of the harder pieces but in person virtually nothing, almost completely going to the coffee shop and the staff is like we saw your story your breakfast is on us. i'm connected to hundreds of trans people all over the world going to the process and we do
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not have their same experience. i know this is part of the bubble. even our kids going to school and our story went public and they sent the baby get home to give to her son doesn't thank you for telling your story publicly. he gave me a great reason to start to talk to my kids, i'm very grateful for it could've gone a i different way. i was talking to my own kids today. when renée richards a few years ago god intended people to be men or women that he did not intend people to be in between,
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the idea that god thinks it's okay to be trans the way your trans and the other ways a closer dialogue with god on your part that i'm willing to subscribe to. there is a lot of that this is the way to be trans, this is the way to be gay, this is the way to be clear, this is the way to look, this is the way to do things. did you always see herself that somebody would be able to block that idea of what was responsible, not what was possible but to buck the idea of how other people wanted to defined you within your trans, clearness or anything else. >> not at all it was a process for me the same weight is for most people. it's a psychological process, there were many years when i wanted nothing more than to not be trans. when i was working out every single day and drinking protein shakes and paying the personal
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trainer and i was trained as much as possible to appear like any other man who didn't happen to be trans and really wasn't until that i found a new sense of yes i'm different and it's not just okay it's great that is another joke that i make, when paul says how can you love somebody, how can youod love yourself it was totally the opposite i can love myself, he's great and if he thinks unworthy of love maybe he's on to something so i don't think i got that level of confidence until
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then. >> this is her 10-year-old favorite story once a week, the fateful branch these two lovely queer/friends who live in l.a. and met them on the proposition 81 was an attorney and hard-core volunteer and we were spending a lot of time with each other, they decided community brunch at their house, it was two blocks from my house in hollywood, i was walking there still wearingg my close from bartending the night before i had not been homr until three or 4:00 a.m. i woke up and brush my teeth and ate a
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snack, i saw crossing the street clearly doing the same thing that i was. completely right away. you know for me you put on that shirt that's really comfy of home and comfort and that's what i felt when i saw, i was like are you going yes, were we walked in the whole brunch where i was trying to flirt just like everything that i have. with the hubris of the 26-year-old, just completely shameless and not any way shape or form interested. nothing to indicate that there was interest at all.
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then i went to a the restroom ad washed my hands and then when i look in the mirror i realizedze that the solid as a snack in my entire front tooth was covered with spinach and i later found out i had a dead tooth, whole black tooth at the time. i left and call my best friend and said i met the man of my dreams and i had something in my teeth when i did it. there's no coming back from this you have to let this go the bridge is burned, find somebody did not listen to her. they never show you, totally humiliated. >> and yet here we are how many years later it is and that all
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turned out just fine. >> it was a lot of work. i'm getting keep asking you questions but i want to say to the folks at home that we are really happy to take your questions, you can put them in the q&a tab which is on the bottom of your screen. we would love to hear if there are things you would like to ask triston about his book experience, identity or anything else. >> or questions you would like to ask andrew and i will ask them. >> that is my question for you how have you survived comments about your depression aside howe have you built up your resilience against the inevitable onslaught anytime one of your talks hits over a
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million viewers, what is your castle, your moat? >> you for asking. >> i need to know. >> not to sound like a copycat but it wasn't until i met john that i was ready to be an activist. i met john when i was in my mid-30s 20 years ago next month. i remember three or four years they were organizing a celebration again in my high school and of course my high school was very loaded, et cetera. i just thought i don't have a feeling, i have a feeling of being something i'm hoping with i'm not going to get up in front of a bunch of high school students and savior gain 15 years, you will find the hope that did not seemed like a
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message of hope i didn't think i belonged on that stage. within a few years of beating him in my connection initially i found myself joining the task force in getting involved in activism i had already written a novel about gay and some of the questions that came up in the confidence that we have which is of course. the resilience really came with the stability of the relationship and i don't want to suggest that the way through the people who have great confidence in plenty of people who don't want to be in relationship. meeting and other ways of life.
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but for me i might've the revelation that we can have a family. i spent many of years thinking if you were clear that you cannot have a family. i wanted to be true to myself and have kids and i really felt like it was an impossible choice that i was based. i would say that was resiliencee is always been my subject my first group is about the artist and how they were resilient living and averaging out they were sent to prison camp the next was my mother's illness and death in great and the whole experience of having cancer for life like i circle back, i do circle back to the over and over. but tell me for you when you were pregnant with leo did you worry at any point that yourt relationship to him would upstage your relationship to luke and haley? >> they were certainly worried about that but i was not i could
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never imagine anything happening that could get in the way of this powerful connection that i feel to both of them. i cannot imagine, i hope that another parking spot in my heart would open up and it did whenever you think you've goneou to the depths of the love that you're capable of there is another floor below that. i think what they were worried about they had to switch into a limited space but of course that is not how love is it just grows. i was not worried about that. i was worried about this would not feel the same connection to leo that i had because i had the experience of growing so there were lots of things we did to help with that. but i did because i was not worried about that, i was not
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worried. we have our first question from the audience someone wants to know how did the medical community react and treat you when you're pregnant. >> the medical community says that's very broad specifically the providers i worked with was a real mix they were already pretty ready someone must've done a lot of work at kaiser to get them ready to receive someone like me. i think they were pretty w ready already in my own years of advocacy it was like second nature to advocate for myself to call ahead and same transgender i want to work with a certified nurse midwife who iswe
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accomplished and worked with a lot of jenske transgender people and you need to take time to figure out who that person is and then come back when you know who it is. that kind of approach i took over and over and over, here's what i expect moving forward can you do that if you can't do that can you find me someone who can in using the canadian politeness passive-aggressive that is how i did both really strongly saying here's what i expect from you i know you can do it and shout out to aaron at kaiser i'm sure there were multiple people at kaiser i found everywhere that i could possible find, if this was you, thank you. even more broadly largely
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speaking i spoke at the american society of protective medicine as well as being on their podcast, the american something of gynecology and doing quite a bit of work at thee medicalnd community because they care about the data in the science and the data and the science is perfectly healthy for trans people to give birth, they want to know how do we show up in support of that. surprising. >> one of the things that strikes me in the book i think you done a lot of community building, a lot of the work in the nonprofit sector it was something that you did putting together amazing people and ones who were there that day and you got up on the stage and propose.
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and when you described your medical providers going into huge detail it took a lot of focus, determination and skill, all of those people that were on your side through all of this. not only on your side but on your side it and intimidated. i don't know what to say don't what to do, you were able to say here are the issues we've dealt with before, where do we goo frm here, do you feel like that was something you did consciously in something you continue to do consciously. >> absolutely. >> some of it was unconscious, sitting down with an ob/gyn saying the stenographer, is that the person who does ultrasound, she had her ownwn program for m, here's why that is a problem, i've been having those corrective conversations whether
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working with white people in the races, have a similar conversation they were done unconsciously but what did i do that work to get a teach that other people, the calling ahead self advocating asking allies to advocate on my behalf all that was very conscious because i know it's so much harder on the other end want to provider has done or said something inappropriate it's so much harder to correct them and in the culture of medicine is very much there is quite a bit about right and wrong, who is right in telling someone i don't like that language is like saying you're wrong it's so much easier had a time to say here's what i need from you can you do it, if not who can. it was intentional, conscious and if i didn't feel the way i did i found some videos.
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>> you mentioned canada, you clearly have a tie to. we had traveled all over the world to all kinds of strange places with my kids and we were going skiing in canadaa into québec and we arrived in the person at passport control said where is his child's mother. and i said he doesn't have a mother, he has two fathers, we are his two. simmer both here. and she said every child has a mother. i said actually he really doesn't have ay mother. it turned into a big discussion. . . . i was horrified and upset for myself. i felt like it was an affront to our parenthood. it's also horrified and upset it was going on in front of my child. and she finally stepped down as it okay, and into canada we go. wow, in sri lanka and jordan and
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present we didn't have this problem. i feel we could very easily have had -- i'm not being anti-canadian. i love canada but i feel even in the countries that seem to be the most evolved and canada has seen more evolved on the stuff done the usa, even in the place most of all when you encounter the sudden moments where your sense of dignity and selfhood are being challenged. and you do need resilience to get through them and it's much more painful all that stuff once you have kids, once you have kids there's that wish to protect them from the anger and hatred of the world. one of the attendees, prior to now having written your own book did you struggle with feeling ownership over your story as media outlets try do sensationalize you and your family? if so, what helped anchor you?
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>> struggle with feeling ownership, you know, very on the process i just decided really clearly i only wanted to work with outlets were willing to not sensationalize, willing to tell the truth. i happened to have a lot of experience in storytelling and persuasion and how do we tell complicated stories about family and sexuality and gender in really accessible ways, , how cn we proactively address some of the most common questions necessary, et cetera, and i can we use the needy to do it? so very early on i realized, guess what, those media outlets really wanted an interview with me. and it was very easy for me to say sure, if you disable comments when you shared on social media. if you include that in working with a medical team. if you don't call me the first anything ever, never do that.
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and i was able to say really clearly and it worked with my friend nick adams at glad to say what am i talking points? what are people coming in with that i can make cnn, vice news that i can say if you don't cover these come if you don't include these things i will not give you an interview. every single one was like no problem we'll do it. i don't know if we can do that, great, let me know when you know and then i'll decide if i can give you an interview. i don't know if we can disable comments. let me know when youou find out. that's how it anchored myself as i took control, and whenever people try to come to me to be like you won't believe what the daily mail is saying. i i will believe what they're saying. i tell people do not send me the worst most awful things or don't send that to me and then be like but don't worry, i said something. don't set it to me at all.
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i don't need to see that. so that's the other way is being really clear, like why would he want to see that? i don't care about that, keep it away. so that's our try to do that. >> do you feel like your work for activist organizations, and we will w have to wrap up in a minute, work for activist organizations was deeply informed by the need to figure out your own identity, or do you feel like clarity with which eventually figured out your own identity gave you the power to be an activist? how do the two things play back and forth with each other? >> it i was about very specifically chose to become an activist because i started to hate gave people, very, very, very clearly. i was acting professionally and i wasio bartending in gay bars t night and being exposed to that, many people who were drunk and insecure and mean and petty come
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nothing against gave people, straight people are that way and bars to,ri bars bring out the worst in people. i thought my love and connection start to curdle. i went to a friend of mine and said you do something gay, right? how do i get in on that? that was jonathan who was a field staff for the national lgbtq task force and he said, volunteer. it's not about who i wanted. was all about the wonderful back in love withnt a thinks it may e proud to be to begin with and ask what activist did for me. >> that is beautifully said. and a very sound and now. supposed to wrap things up and bring an end, this is been a fantastic, b stimulating, wonderful conversation ig want to, again to all of you out there, would not get had a chance to read this book that you have great joy ahead of you. i want to emphasize to you, i
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thought if i been able to read that book whenee i i was tryio get ready to come out, just as gay, not in a complicated way perhaps elyse at that time, but when i was getting ready to come out it would have given me so much hope. you are going to do that for a lot of people. >> thank you so much. a delight to be a friend and colleague. i appreciate you. >> it was so wonderful to host you both this evening, and thanks to everyone who joined in tonight. and please consider purchasing a copy of this book by visiting us at powells.com. while there be sure to check o our lineup of other upcoming virtual event and we look forward to seeing one another at another event soon. thanks again so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> good night, everyone.
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>> weekends on c-span2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday american history tv documents american stories, and on sundays booktv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span2 comes from these television companies and more including comcast. >> are you thinking this is just a command center? it's way more than that. >> comcast is partnering with 1000 community centers to create wi-fi enabled lift zones so students can get the tools they need to be ready for anything. comcast, along with these television companies, supports c-span2 as a public service. >> bradford pearson is with us todayri courtesy of tom and margaret morris and john and deanna kinnaman. bradford pearson is an award-winning journalist whose work examines everything from magicians to japanese-american incarceration to his own kidnapping. is written for the "new york times," esquire,

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