Douglas, Wyoming, natives Vickie and Sissy Goodwin got married in 1968. It was around the time they started their lives together that Vickie learned of a secret Sissy had been harboring since childhood—a preference for feminine clothing and cross-dressing in private. When Sissy decided to start wearing skirts, dresses and frills in public a few years into their marriage, Vickie struggled to accept it. And the couple quickly learned that Sissy's self-acceptance came with an often violent public backlash, both at home in Douglas and elsewhere.
We visited Vickie and Sissy at their home, for a conversation about masculinity, resiliency and staying married for 50 years.
Vickie and Sissy Goodwin at their home in Douglas, Wyoming
The World's Largest Jackalope in Douglas, Wyoming
Raphael Saadiq: Music Had To Be My Therapy
Raphael Saadiq's career took off as a member of the R&B trio Tony! Toni! Toné!—a group whose music taught me, a pre-teen at the time, a thing or two about romance and sexiness. He left that group in the mid-'90s, launching a successful solo career and co-writing and producing music with everyone from Solange and Mary J. Blige to John Legend and D'Angelo.
Raphael's latest solo album is titled Jimmy Lee— named after an older brother who died of a heroin overdose years ago. I talk with him about how he's dealt with family deaths over the years, about paying off his studio, and about what his love life looks today, in his mid-50s.
Anna Sale and Raphael Saadiq
My Stillbirth During Anna's Maternity Leave
Pregnancy loss happens a lot. Of women who know they’re pregnant, 10 to 15 percent will have a miscarriage before 20 weeks. After that point, pregnancy loss is called a stillbirth. One in 100 pregnancies ends that way. That's what happened to a listener named Krystal, who lost her son Everett this past spring at full term.
A few months after her son died, Krystal sent us an email with the subject line, "My stillbirth during Anna's maternity leave." She wrote about how her son's death had left her feeling really isolated, and changed. "I still feel as if I'm in a vacuum and looking out at the world with no more sense of self," she wrote. " It’s incomprehensible and earth-shattering. I can’t explain how out of sorts it makes me feel ."
W e get a lot of emails from you about pregnancy loss—and the culture of silence around it. So I asked Krystal if she'd talk with me about her experience: what happened the night she delivered her son, how it feels to be in a postpartum body while grieving, and how she and her husband are taking care of themselves—and their older child—now.
If you want to hear more conversations about pregnancy loss, we've got a few recommendations of other podcasts to listen to where you can also suggest the books, podcasts, songs and other things that have helped you grieve if you've experienced pregnancy loss.
How Are You "Surfing The Urge" To Drink?
In our episode , our listener Rachel told us about realizing she'd slipped into a nightly drinking habit — and trying to curb some of her desire to drink. "Yo u have to kind of surf the urge," she explained. "R ecognize that it's there, breathe into it, surf it out, try to distract yourself."
We asked you all to tell us how you "surf the urge"—what gets you through those times when you're arguing with yourself about whether to drink or not? From french fries to soccer leagues to pot, here's what you told us.
If you missed our episode about the ways drinking is and isn't working for you, that might be helpful for you.
Michael Arceneaux On Love, Liquid Courage And Letting Go
When writer Michael Arceneaux was in his early 20s, he went to a gay club for the first time — after years of being closeted and denying his sexuality. "I enter a space and I just look at everything and I just get so caught up in my head," he told me. "But once you get the liquor you're like, oh, stop thinking, just go twerk."
Michael said that night was "the first time I actually felt joy with that part of myself." But despite finding alcohol to be a helpful way to let go of his inhibitions, drinking is complicated for Michael. Growing up, he says that his father would often become physically abusive when he drank too much. And Michael knows that he too is capable of extreme anger while drinking. "I am still human and thus susceptible to falling into patterns of those who have come before me," Michael says. "I'm reminded that [drinking] can lead to something else."
In 2018, Michael wrote a piece for The New York Times Opinion section called The Student Loan Serenity Prayer, about his student loan debt.