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Pick of the Week: Re: sound – The Metamorphosis Show

February 5, 2012
Re: sound – The Metamorphosis Show
Third Coast International Audio Festival
Podcast release date: January 27, 2012 (originally aired in 2011)
Time: 59:30

I heard about the Third Coast International Audio Festival when I listened to the Love + Radio podcast (“The List”) a few weeks ago and they mentioned that they’d won the Gold Award for Best Documentary at the annual awards ceremony in 2011. Radiolab and Ben Calhoun won the Silver and Bronze awards, respectively, so I figured Third Coast Festival would be a good place for podcast recommendations. When I visited the Third Coast Festival website, I discovered they have a podcast called Re:sound which features documentaries from a variety of sources.

I’m not sure I would have stumbled across the stories in Re:sound’s “The Metamorphosis Show” on my own. The first story, “Breaking Away,” was produced by Josh Gleason for Vox Tablet, the podcast of Tablet Magazine, a magazine about Jewish life. The second story, “Finding Miles,” was produced by Sarah Miller for Transom.org in 2010.

In “Breaking Away,” Luzer Twersky documents his first year adjusting to secular society after leaving the Hasidic Jewish community where he spent the first 23 years of his life. His decision to leave the community means losing support and contact with his family. I don’t know much about Hasidic Jewish culture; I’m a member of the secular society he entered, and I found his point of view on his two worlds fascinating. During the first year, he notes that secular society has lots of rituals and rules, such as political correctness, that he didn’t have to worry about when he was in the Hasidic Jewish community. After his story, Katie Mingle asks Josh Gleason how Luzer has been doing since the story, and we find out he has a job and seems to be more settled in his new life.

“Finding Miles” records Meghan’s female-to-male (Meghan-to-Miles) transformation. She records how she tells her parents about her decision to make the change, how her voice changes as she takes more testosterone shots, and Meghan’s “lasts” before the operation and Miles’s “firsts” after the operation.

I liked the care with which Luzer and Meghan recorded their metamorphoses and their willingness to do so. I imagine that it takes courage and determination, not only to make the changes they made but to document it and share it with others, too.

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