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What is Tuck? [message #44] Sun, 08 September 2002 11:12 Go to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Here's a question: What is Tuck?

Is Tuck a transsexual?
An intersex? Both?
Something else?

What is Tuck's mysterious condition? Should we even use this space to speculate?

-- Erin
Re: What is Tuck? [message #49] Sun, 08 September 2002 22:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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There are a number of possibilities for Tuck's medical condition, in some ways he fits within the expectation for XXY patients but it might be more complex. He could be a genetic mosaic or chimera (the distinction is important but obscure; a mosaic started out from one pair of gametes, a chimera from more than one full set), which would mean that his genome might be XXY/XX/XY or some such. Meaning that some of the cells of his body are male, some female and some a little of both.

Another possibility is genetic testosterone resistance of one type or another. That doesn't fit completely with some of the observed results, though, like the nipple sensitivity and sex drive.

I think we will find out more soon, so speculation is only a form of anticipatory suspense. Smile

-- Erin
Re: What is Tuck? [message #51] Mon, 09 September 2002 14:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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tuck seems to fit klinefelter's VERY well except he's not tall enough. this means he's probably an XX-male. XX-males have all the symptoms of klinefelter's except for the hieght. so thats what tuck probably has.

and as far as what tuck wants... tuck has made it very clear that he wants to be an ordinary guy. he doens't want to be a girl. i'm sure he won't forget his time as val. but when he goes to the doctor and they start him on testosterone and maybe HGH or something.. at that point tuck will have to make a decition on wether he likes being able to be val. and whether he could continue to date travis if he couldn't be val. it's going to be a hard time for him. but i'm fairly certain that tuck will choose male. too many of the people who post replies are seeing things only how they want to see them. but, tuck has NEVER expressed any desire to be a girl. if anything, he's expressed desire to be a guy. tuck is closer to being a FtM than a MtF.

i don't know.. tuck's just really messed up, and he's going to have to do a lot of thinking in about a month.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #52] Tue, 10 September 2002 16:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Cate
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I'm pretty certain from the hints Ellen has given us what Tuck's condition is; but do we really want to figure this out prior to the actual episode it's revealed in? One, it steals some of Ellen surprise, and worse, it makes the revelation anticlimatic. Why spoil our own fun? Just a thought.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #53] Tue, 10 September 2002 16:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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I thought I had answered that objection. Talking about a coming surprise is part of the enjoyment of the surprise. All we can do is speculate, none of us knows what Ellen is actually planning, all we can do is guess.

Do you think it's wrong to pick up a birthday present and give it a little shake before opening it? Smile

Erin
Re: What is Tuck? [message #54] Wed, 11 September 2002 00:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Cate
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"Do you think it's wrong to pick up a birthday present and give it a little shake before opening it?" Most of the time no. But since this is the central mystery to the story? Is it okay to shake if you suspect it's delicate Austrian crystal?? Maybe Ellen should be consulted on this little point.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #55] Wed, 11 September 2002 04:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Such speculation goes on in the guestbook forum in Ellen's own site. The only thing I've seen Ellen say about the subject is that she is not telling. Smile

If I were writing the story, I would enjoy reading people's speculation. Of course, I am not Ellen but I really don't think she will mind as long as no one is insisting it must be so-and-so and attempting to prove it by reference to the story and arguing with people who have other opinions. I did see that happen in the guestbook about two years ago.

But if the "central mystery" of the story cannot be discussed here then why would there be a need to have such a forum in the first place? I'm really curious.

Do you feel such a discussion would harm your enjoyment of the story? What if it enhances the enjoyment of other people?

There are other discussions going on in this forum but really, I think this is a legitimate thing to speak of here unless Ellen says no or I'm shouted down by more than just one person.

In other words, I don't think talking about this damages the story in any way and I do not find your arguments convincing.

It isn't possible to ask Ellen about every single topic that might come under discussion before we discuss it, it isn't reasonable to suppose that we should. For one thing, that would impose a great deal of decision making on Ellen that would in most cases just be an annoyance to her. For another, having to get apriori permission for every thing that might come up would effectively kill this discussion group completely.

That is not the policy here. If and when Ellen objects to something, she or I will remove posts as we feel necessary. Yes, Ellen also has admin capability on this board.

-- Erin
Re: What is Tuck? [message #56] Wed, 11 September 2002 04:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Additional note: I did include in the original post on this thread the question as to whether this was a legitimate topic for this forum, so your objections are certainly on topic and you are welcome to express them. I didn't want you to think I meant otherwise, just because I disagree with your position. Smile

-- Erin
Re: What is Tuck? [message #57] Wed, 11 September 2002 07:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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Ellen's Opinion:

Sure, talk about what you think Tucker has all you want.

I really doubt you're going to get it, but I do like watching everyone talk about it... makes me feel special. =)

And, Cate? You were supposed to write me email and tell me what you think Tucker has, remember? *bonk*


Ellen
Re: What is Tuck? [message #59] Wed, 11 September 2002 16:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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i can't help but take ellen's post as a challenge to my imagination...
if we're never going to get it then it must be somthing we'd never thing of. let's see, deb and the pack hypnotizing tuck's mind into forcing his body to change, would be too obvious. maybe tuck is just schizophrenic and is just imagining all this stuff happening to him. pretty much all the weird geneticly intersexed stuff has been theorised at some point... so how about tuck actualy was chased and hunted down at school and died and this is tuck's afterlife... or maybe this is just what's going through his head in his last few seconds before he dies... maybe someone has messed with the medication tuck takes, but then we'd have to ask who... no one would really have access to the medication necessary... unless one of them has been swiping pills from their grandmothers or somthing... and then there really isn't anyone with a motif and the opportunity. unless tuck is doing it to himself without knowing it or unconsciously... like an MPD thing or somthing. but it could just be that it's all just a bunch of variations, all within the range expected from males but all of them hit tuck thus making him on the extream feminine edge of male.. and since there is a lot of overlap between the sexes, that makes tuck well into the female range in almost everything. and it does happen, like, i know two men (with not other problems) who have female hip bones. and gynocomastia sometimes occurs for no known reason.

oh well, my stream of conciousness has tricked out in time to head off to class. maybe this will spur on more and even wilder ideas.

OOO!! one last idea. maybe it's related to the bond with mike, like the bond between them wants a ballence, kinda a yin/yang thing.. so one of them is soaking all of one trait out of the other while the other does it back, thuse creating two perfect opposits. oh well, thats really all this time.

happy brain storming
Re: What is Tuck? [message #60] Wed, 11 September 2002 18:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Those are wild enough. Smile

But if it's something we wouldn't guess, maybe "Tuck" is really an SRU story and Tuck bought the wrong kind of binder from the wizard back in 8th grade. Smile

Or Tuck was kidnapped by aliens or his parents were. Smile

Some makeup contains estrogens, Tuck didn't start developing secondary female sexual characteristics until he started using makeup, maybe he's just extra-sensitive to that.

Tuck has said that there's nothing anyone can do but he's also implied (or even stated) that he's not willing to undergo surgery to fix things, how could that be a clue?

His Dad was in Viet-Nam, maybe it's Agent Orange?

-- Erin
Re: What is Tuck? [message #61] Wed, 11 September 2002 18:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mattd  is currently offline mattd
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I don't think that it is something magical or mystical.

I think I remember one of Ellen's journal messages from a long long time ago saying something to the effect of having something specific in mind, it being a very rare condition, and she might or might not reveal it at some point in time.

Obviously it isn't anything (eg Klinefelters or XX) that has been discussed previously, given Ellen's post today!

As noted in the guest book by someone a few months ago, Tuck does fit a lot of the characteristics of Klinefelters, but it is obviously something a lot rarer Ellen has in mind.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #62] Thu, 12 September 2002 00:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Cate
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Since the consensus is that we should try to spoil the surprise.
And since Ellen deigned to send me a smart-ass e-mail daring me to give it my best shot.

Here goes. Symptoms: small size,female pubertal development, postnatal near death due to respiratory insufficiency followed be spates of early childhood respiratory induced hospitalization, and late development of speech skills. Have I left anything out?

After a fairly exhaustive search of the literature (oh, btw I'm a medical librarian working in a pediatric hospital so this is what I do for a living) it narrows down to 2 possiblities.

First possibility: Exposure to external progestins over a fairly long period of time (i.e. the first three months of a pregnancy). This was a not-so-frequent occurance prior to the mid-1970's. The discovery of the plethora of DES induced complication's to pregnancy in 1971 lead to widespread dissemination in medical community of the risks posed by exposure of the fetus to both estrogens (like DES) and progestins. By 1980 (when Tuck was born) wide scale screening for this threat were in place.

The effects of progestin exposure sodium insufficiencies (or salt wasting) that would lead to among other things respiratory complications that were severe to fatal at the time of birth, recurring bouts respiratory distress in childhood, low birth weight, and slighter than average stature growing up. Some children experienced other development problems among which is late onset of speech.

In girls genital anomalies ranged from mildly intersexed external sexual structures to full-fledged clitoral hypertrophy and fused labia. The later resulting in the child mistakenly being assigned to the male gender. However,... Internal reproductive structures (vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries) usually are normal. This leads to female puberty and menarche. Yep! Valerie is the real Tuck, and Eugene is the drag!

The only way this would be able to effect Tuck would be blatant disregard for his safety on the part Ms Tucker. Or possibly gross negligence on the part of her ob/gyn AND her G.P. (Dana).

Which leads us to possiblity #2: the naturally occurring syndrome that causes an placental overproduction of progestins.

At this point, I will shut up, and let those who want to spoil the denouement do a little digging. The rest who want to be surprised can just leave things along.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #63] Thu, 12 September 2002 00:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Cate
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Sorry! ...leave things alone.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #65] Thu, 12 September 2002 01:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Cate said: "Since the consensus is that we should try to spoil the surprise."

That's your perception, the actual consensus was that we should have fun discussing this topic. Are you having fun? Smile

Your suggested diagnosis is very interesting but does not seem to take into account all of the facts I remember from the story. Tuck seems to have testicles which a DES virulized female probably would not have.

Here's some more info:
<a href="http://www.endocrinology.org/sfe/training/ent00/ent00_bra.htm">Endocrinology Training</a>

-- Erin
Re: What is Tuck? [message #67] Thu, 12 September 2002 13:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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"Tuck seems to have testicles which a DES virulized female probably would not have."

after a quick search i did not find any referance to tuck haveing testicles. if you could find a time when it was infered that would be very helpfull to this debate. there was also the time mike and george saw tuck in the panties and asked where his dick was. so he doesn't have too much down there. but wouldn't the doctor have noticed his lack or testicles? unless they asumed they were just undecended....

oh well. all this is very unlikly. but its another idea. and thats all we can have right now, so keep them coming. if we get enough ideas we're bound to come up with ONE that's right.

on the idea of the salt waisting thing.. i don't really think that would be VERY likely... undiagnosed, tuck would probably be dead by now. wouldn't he? i, mean.. he'd be missing that enzyme or whatever it is... and it's one thats kinda needed to live.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #69] Thu, 12 September 2002 19:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Joshi_Kare  is currently offline Joshi_Kare
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most of what has been postulated here is based in reality, which, like all great writing, is. But, you forget the one major thing about the story: It is Ellen's world. I don't know when Ellen started writing the story, but look at it this way: When Tuck was depressed, Ellen wrote a note detailing it being based in her own. Tuck has a disorder that any TS would love to have (me included). Maybe, in an attempt to equalize the depression and feeling of lonliness many TSs have to go through, Ellen created a character with the reverse? A normal person goes through a biological sex-change. Just a thought.


"Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional." -Samantha Michelle; "Pisces & Gemini: my signs, my elements, and representatives of my dualogy." -Me; "It was only a fantasy, The Wall was too high as you can see, No matter how he tried he could not break free, and the worms ate into his brain" -Pink Floyd (Roger Waters), 'The Wall', "Hey You"
Re: What is Tuck? [message #70] Fri, 13 September 2002 02:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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As I remember, Ellen did say at one point that Tuck's condition was an actual, tho rare, condition. I may be misremembering tho.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #74] Fri, 13 September 2002 17:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mattd  is currently offline mattd
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No, I don't think you are misremembering - that was the point I was trying to make earlier - Ellen has said it is an actual condition.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #84] Sat, 14 September 2002 22:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
iWindoze  is currently offline iWindoze
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Doragoon wrote on Wed, 11 September 2002 15:41

...deb and the pack hypnotizing tuck's mind into forcing his body to change, would be too obvious...maybe someone has messed with the medication tuck takes, but then we'd have to ask who... no one would really have access to the medication necessary... unless one of them has been swiping pills from their grandmothers or somthing...



I seem to remember a while back when almost everyone
in the Pack at one time or another has passed along a
Big Pill to Tuck\Val to help Him\Her relax (and be better
able to handle all the stuff going on). Could these
pills have been massive doeses of Estrogen? It's a theory
that's crossed my mind a lot when I first started to read
Tuck, but then discarded once Ellen made it clear that
s\he had a medical condition. Also, like you'd said--
What motive would there be for such behavior?? This is
just to fuel the speculation.


Estrogen and Deception [message #89] Sun, 15 September 2002 00:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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As far as motive goes, Debbie has been played up as being just about cracked enough to do something like that. But it's been since Debbie and Tuck broke up that things have accelerated for Tuck. And I just don't think Ellen would use a device like that.
Re: Estrogen and Deception [message #90] Sun, 15 September 2002 15:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
iWindoze  is currently offline iWindoze
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Oh, I agree absolutely! Besides, if my memory
serves me correctly, almost every girl in the
pack palms him off a pill or hands her a slug
of (something) alcoholic, so it'd have to be a
huge conspiracy...it's just too unweildy
for use as a plot device. I was just throwing
it out there. More or less that was the thought
that came to me a while back while browsing through
http://transsexual.org/ while waiting for an update;
there was a letter about someone who'd been 'self-
medicating' their hormones (because they weren't
of age yet and their guardians were blocking them).
It got me to thinking especially because the next
episode of Tuck that came out featured some drinking
and he was given half a valium for her nerves.

Re: What is Tuck? [message #108] Fri, 20 September 2002 04:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sonya  is currently offline Sonya
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Hi y'all,

Having taken my own advice and re-read Tuck from the beginning again (it didn't help that I had mislaid episode 5 - it's surprising how pivotal that one was) I observe that in the Debbie / Tuck hot affair, Tuck came a few times (stickily and messily). That indicates to me at least that Tuck has testicles which function (or did function). If he is experiencing an onset of a massive influx of female hormones then they are either being administered or his own body is producing them. I tend to the latter way of thinking.

Therefore ........ ?????
Re: What is Tuck? [message #111] Fri, 20 September 2002 10:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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"Tuck came a few times (stickily and messily)"

i don't remember the story ever saying this. in fact, it's pretty much contradicted by the fact that he didn't belive it when travis came like that. but if you can give the time stamp of a time when tuck came like that we could clear it up. i think what you might be thinking of is the times tuck was hot and sweaty and described him as sticky. or maybe he had to clean up from what debbie got on him.

oh well, this has a lot of potential to turn into a really sick thread.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #115] Sat, 21 September 2002 09:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pacchi  is currently offline Pacchi
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There are some passages in the earlier sexual scenes indicating that Tucker has functional male sexual organs.

In Episode 4; when Debbie and Tucker are getting very exploratory, (I will try not to directly quote huge passages for fear of spoilers or being called lewd) Tucker's penis is directly referred to as having a head and secreting something moist at the tip.

In Episode 25; the aftermath of Tucker's orgasm (in someone's lap ^_^) leaves him feeling "wet" but no mention of sticky.

In Episode 55; Susan asks Tuck about his morning erections, to which he indicated he doesn't regularly have them unless aroused.

In Episode 57; Tuck seems to be surprised at the ejaculatory performance of Travis (heh) but later reacts in such a manner that suggests Tuck has a normal enough sexual and ejaculatory response not to cause him personal alarm. (And Debbie never complained too much).

It is my opinion that Tuck produces a comparatively low to moderate amount of semen upon ejaculation, and has a functional penis of probably average size. Tuck seems to be self aware and smart enough to be alarmed if there were obvious abnormalities. Debbie's satisfactory reactions to Tuck's sexual organs and performance also seem to back that up.

The abnormalities Tuck seem to have seem to only indicate a possible lower than average semen production in terms of sexual performance. I would suspect there may be more subtle effects of Tuck's medical problems on his sexual performance, such as low sperm count, or infertility. There are no actual references to the presence of Tuck's testicles, but it is likely (ahem) that Debbie would have noticed the lack of them.

To go down a less juicy track, Tuck seems to exhibit female pubertal developement. This is evidenced in his body fat distribution to traditionally female proportions, as well as development of breasts (not sure if there are actual mammary glandular ducts in there, but the developement is typical of female development) and lack of voice-break (and probably adam's apple). This suggests hormone imbalances, supported by Kathy's recent casual diagnosis (as I'm sure most of you will agree). I believe Tuck probably has a deficiency in male hormone production or sensitivity, rather than overproduction of female estrogens.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #117] Sat, 21 September 2002 10:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
twentythree
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tuck has both girl and boy hormones. otherwise he wouldn't have a reasonable sized penis and breasts.

so the two choices are boy with too much girl hormones (relatively), and girl with too much boy hormones (relatively).

take the latter case (for brevity). the boy hormones can come from outside (as in cate's progestin/DES example) or from inside. tuck has to have them come from inside, since they've had gradual effect over the years (penises don't grow overnight (well, they *do*, but not like *THAT*!)). the primary sources of androgens in the female are the ovary and the adrenal cortex; we have PCOS, CAH, virilising ovarian tumours, and virilising adrenal tumours to pick from. not likely.

tuck has incomplete virilisation, which is due either to not enough testosterone or to end-organ resistance to the hormone.
in addition, the feminisation can be due either to an absolute increase or a lack of the opposing effects of testosterone on the end-organ.

for insufficient testosterone, we have:

constitutional delay of puberty
kallman's syndrome (hypothalamic hypogonadism)
klinefelter syndrome (XXY)
reifenstein's syndrome (pAIS)
XX-male (akin to klinefelter's, but short)

XX male and klinefelter's are quite difficult to distinguish apart from the height difference (for some reason, extra sex chromosomes leads to extra height. go figure.)

kallman's is unlikely since it seems that tuck has a normal sense of smell.

I personally suspect reifenstein's syndrome, but that's just me. oh well.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #119] Sat, 21 September 2002 14:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Good analysis.

What if Tuck has more than one of these problems? Like mosaicism or chimeraism plus one of the biochemical problems like pAIS.

Tuck certainly does not have cAIS because of what looks like normal *femal* nipple sensitivity and sex drive. Both are actually moderated in part by male hormones, even in 'normal' genetic females (progestin plays a role too, but cAIS also affects progestin reactions).

Having multiple problems would certainly qualify for Ellen's 'rare' description. Smile

Note too: mosaics and chimeras often suffer from auto-immune problems like asthma (and worse).
Re: What is Tuck? [message #121] Sat, 21 September 2002 22:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
twentythree
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chimeras aren't worth considering. they're pretty much only a tool used by tissue engineers and embryologists.

the only interesting (read: relevant) mosaics are those which would cause both ovarian and testicular tissue. could happen, I guess, but it wouldn't necessarily explain pubertal delay.

I'd like to see his blood tests. Ellen?

cAIS does not affect progesterone responses; however, the progesterone sometimes binds to the androgen receptor, androgens bind to the testosterone receptor, and the PR and AR can bind to each others segments of DNA. there's a lot of crosstalk in the system.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #126] Sun, 22 September 2002 05:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Genda Bendte  is currently offline Genda Bendte
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Ya see... you just don't get conversations like this with mudanes... I'm so sorry. Ask about something cool like endocrinology or the cytotoxicity of steroids (specifically sex hormones), and most folks eyes glaze over and you can hear the teeth coming off'a the gears in the their tiny little heads.

Here, and boom! You wanna walk down the pathology of a half dozen types of intersexing... no prob. You wanna talk about hormone interaction and homeobox genes... no problem, you wanna key Tuck's condition out by symptomology, or even play Sherlock Holmes as you suss out the likely malady... y'all just rise to the occassion. I really like that in a list... big minds, bright people, folks with fascinating axes t'grind... LOVE IT!

By the way, you've missed some important symmtoms and clues... if it's a toss up between pseudohermaphroditism, Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, accidental estrogen poisoning, or a really nifty case of intersexing, I choose the last one. Tucks first period is going to be very exciting!

Oh, as for the folks that think Tuck is more guy than girl... I think you're just mapping Tuck over your own feelings... face it, (s)he may not be actively pursuing womanhood, but it seems to be pursuing herm at a pretty noteworthy pace.

Genda Bendte


If It implements Duck and It extends Duck, then It : public Duck;
Re: What is Tuck? [message #130] Sun, 22 September 2002 07:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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MSP had ocurred to me also but I am leaning to some sort of exotic intersex condition, probably involving multiple syndromes which would make Ellen's bet that no one is going to guess it pretty safe. Smile

I think Tuck is a mosaic (46XX, 46XXY, 46XY) or even rarer a native chimera (46XX, 46XY); he's his own twin sister! Besides this, he has at least one complicating biochemical syndrome, or that's my guess. Smile

BTW, good blood tests would possibly detect surreptitious estrogen dosing (though the lab probably would have to have an idea of what they were looking for). Also, with Tuck's allergies, he would most likely be less healthy lately instead of more healthy if he were ingesting non-human-sourced hormones.

All above, just my opinions, of course. Smile
Re: What is Tuck? [message #133] Sun, 22 September 2002 07:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pacchi  is currently offline Pacchi
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To me, the most likely answer is also nifty intersex. However, it is a very subtle case.

If Tuck posesses the physical organs necessary for menstruation, such as Ovaries, Uterus and Vaginal canal and opening, I would give Sarah Tucker enough credit to have noticed lil-tucky-poo's extra er...orifice. Not to mention Dana Treble. Admittedly, Tucker does not seem to have undergone recent genital examinations by medical personnel, and an endocrinologist would only be taking blood samples.

To be lewd once again, I also point out that Tucker has had sex with Debbie, who is not a virgin. The fact that she found nothing out of the ordinary besides emotional sensitivity and sexual stamina on Tucker's part is pretty convincing that Tucker seems to, at least at visual and tactile examination, possess a normal set of Penis and Scrotum assemblage.

Tucker's metamorphosis into Valerie is evident and somewhat rapid. I believe this is brought on more by positive reinforcement to his self image as Valerie. What I mean is; as Valerie, Tuck is praised and deemed pretty by the Pack and Travis (his current love) and is becoming skilled at make-up, which is a skill he does not have to be defensive about. As a Girl, it's natural, and desirable to know how to apply makeup, babysit, and flirt. As a Guy, Tuck has to constantly explain and defend his geekiness to mundanes. Tuck is smart enough to make transitions quickly, once he has worked over hesitations logically.

Tucker has minimal issues with assuming feminine habits and poise, not to mention maternal instincts. This seems to indicate that Tucker's Brain sex may indeed be female, or at least is in the middle. This is very hard to observe and test in the real world, let alone in a literary character. Mike's ideas on the issue seem to lend it weight though.

- P
Re: What is Tuck? [message #136] Sun, 22 September 2002 08:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
twentythree
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Hey, I'm a mundane!

and I have conversations about endocrinology all the time - only last night I was entertaining an attractive young man by describing the physiological mosaicism of females and how this leads traditionally X-linked recessive genes appearing as X-linked dominant with variable expressivity in the female.

also, homeobox genes are boring.

what is your understanding of the difference between 'pseudohermaphroditism' and 'intersex'? I've never really understood the latter term, and would appreciate a reference to its canonical usage (or is that a canonical reference to its usage? perhaps a canonical reference to its definitive usage?)

for the folks advocating chimaerae, could you give me a published reference to a human chimaera?

I'm not sure that exogenous hormones are necessarily detectable; I always thought that the various estradiol esters were hydrolyzed by liver/plasma/whatever esterases. the standard estradiol assay is an immunoabsorbent assay; I don't know if there is or is not a separate one for estradiol esters (doubtful).

I dunno. it's not an interesting topic, really - I'm just waiting to pick holes in ellen's explanation when it finally comes out (I'm a born critic!)
Re: What is Tuck? [message #139] Sun, 22 September 2002 15:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Intersex is a wider term than pseudo-hermaphroditism. Intersex includes all doubtful and borderline cases of sex determination that involve conditions that were present at birth or developed through physiological processes inherent at birth.

Intervention does not create an intersex condition, at least, not technically, but it can resolve one.

As to whether a person who has a "female brain" and a male body is an intersex, well, even gray areas can have fuzzy edges. Smile
Re: What is Tuck? [message #141] Sun, 22 September 2002 18:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
iWindoze  is currently offline iWindoze
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Pacchi wrote on Sun, 22 September 2002 06:46

As a Girl, it's natural, and desirable to know how to apply makeup, babysit, and flirt. As a Guy, Tuck has to constantly explain and defend his geekiness to mundanes...



May I remind you that even if the Saga of Tuck is taking
place during the grrrrrl power era Val is unusual in her
geekiness and knowledge of such arcane stuff as Linux and
Vi...but I will give that while the geekiness seems cute on
Val on Tuck it's just one more thing that pushes people away.


--iWindoze
Re: What is Tuck? [message #145] Sun, 22 September 2002 19:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Note in Tucked Silly how Val felt a little put off by Travis not sharing her enthusiasm for things geeky. She put away her toys and played Travis's game, btw, a very GIRL sort of thing to do. Smile
Re: What is Tuck? [message #146] Sun, 22 September 2002 21:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tabercil  is currently offline Tabercil
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Short question for Cate regarding her theory of progestin overexposure during pregnancy... is there anything in the literature of people with it having frequent and/or strong nightmares? It seems to me that only Tuck has this, and not Brian or Susan, and as a result I think it could be related to whatever it is that's transforming him into Val.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #151] Mon, 23 September 2002 05:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kate E  is currently offline Kate E
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I would've thought that Tucks nightmares were more than likely related to the bullying rather than anything else.

--
KateE
Re: What is Tuck? [message #152] Mon, 23 September 2002 09:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pacchi  is currently offline Pacchi
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I also think the nightmares are a product of Tuck's tendency towards paranoia and anxiety. Tuck tends to react very emotionally to stresses, and these seem to project into his dreams. Those times when he feels safe, the nightmares tend not to occur.

Tuck tends to have better dreams after having a particularly fulfilling date with Travis. These dreams tend to almost have a window quality on Tucker's true feelings. He obviously associates with Travis as Valerie, as evidenced by one particular dream whereby he seems to be a normal female. Then there is the other dream wherein he has kids that call him Daddy.

Susan, Mike and Amy seem to have calming effects on Tuck's dreaming, as well as his parents.

To me, the nightmares seem to be purely a psychological quirk of Tuck's, though there possibly may be physiological influences. It just doesn't seem to be affected by things other than anxiety, paranoia and stress. Also, I am not familiar with hormonal influences on dreaming so I wouldn't discount the likelyhood of me missing a vital clue or twenty.

- P
Re: What is Tuck? [message #153] Mon, 23 September 2002 09:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kearan  is currently offline Kearan
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bullying or paranoia (or both...)


Screw Snapple... I'm the best stuff on Earth! Very Happy
Re: What is Tuck? [message #156] Mon, 23 September 2002 18:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tabercil  is currently offline Tabercil
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You're probably right about the nightmares being related to the bullying and anxiety... but Cate's proposed problem source (progestin exposure) tied in rather well with other non-obvious symptoms (asthma, slow speech development) that I'm wondering what other common symptoms come with it...

Unfortunately I'm not an expert on medicine so I have no idea if I'm looking at the proper related pages on this if I do some additional searching online... for instance, I found a page which talks about adrenal problems (here: http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/3532/adrenalarticlegolan.htm). Among the symptoms he mentions are sleep disturbance, irritability, less defense against allergies (would asthma count?) and "hyperestrogen symptoms".

Also of interest from this author is this:

"The trouble with standard adrenal urine tests or the standard adrenal blood tests is that they will almost always be interpreted as normal, unless the adrenals have completely ceased to function."

That's why I'm asking Cate since she presumably knows more about medicine & medical lingo that I do (or at least more than I want to casually pick up <g>).

Re: What is Tuck? [message #157] Mon, 23 September 2002 23:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Maynard  is currently offline Maynard
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I have found this discussion very fascinating. I just read something in a news magazine about the effect of lack of sleep on the develop of young bodies. In particular there was reference to hindering of growth hormones because of sleeplessness. My two cents thought could Tuck's lack of sleep be a part of the problem? I am not suggesting it as cause but another layer to whatever the underlying cause is.


Maynard
Re: What is Tuck? [message #160] Tue, 24 September 2002 01:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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What does a short, dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac do?

Lies awake all night wondering how much a dog is going to cost.

You realize, Tuck is all four of those things, most likely?

And he's afraid of dogs plus he's probably allergic to them. I don't know if he's afraid of dogs in the waking world but he certainly has some terrifying nightmares about them.

I also don't know if he's an agnostic, and he probably doesn't either. And dyslexia may not be an accurate description of his verbal disabilities. Yes, I know he's a voracious reader, but ALL of the dyslexics I personally know read a lot. It's more of an effort for them but they conquered that particular mountain and they like the view.

One should never overthing a joke, especially a stupid one. Smile
Re: What is Tuck? [message #161] Tue, 24 September 2002 04:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pacchi  is currently offline Pacchi
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Tuck doesn't seem to be afraid of dogs in the waking world. When on that one clandestine mission where he mentioned he was glad there were no dogs, I don't get the impression that he was afraid, more like concerned about how he would have to shut the dogs up.

I think the fear of dogs in nightmares may be due to the fact that these dogs seemed to be A)Hellbent on rendering him into coleslaw, B)Rabid/Aggressive and C)Number in the thousands.

Side note. I like dogs and cats personally, but if one had to shut them up fast and quietly, how would you do it? There's snapping their necks, which is kinda mean, and would need to be practiced. Chloroform? does that effect canines like it does humans?

- P
Re: What is Tuck? [message #168] Tue, 24 September 2002 23:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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just looking at the amount of time, tuck is still spending more time as a guy than as a girl. actualy, since school has started tuck only spends 4-5 hours a day as val. the rest of the time is as tuck.

i got bored with no tuck to read this weekend and an engineering lab had me working in and analytical mindset. so i decided to see exactly how much time it was. i came up with a nifty little graph.. i guess i'll atatch it, it's interesting to look at.

*sigh* (god i'm pathetic...)

  • Attachment: ttime.gif
    (Size: 22.03KB, Downloaded 427 time(s))

Re: What is Tuck? [message #169] Wed, 25 September 2002 00:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Nice graph. Smile

But I think you need to revise it some, to include that ever since the trip to the amusement park, Tuck has effectively been spending sleeping hours mostly as Valerie; cuddling with that teddy bear Travis gave her.

What do you think?
Re: What is Tuck? [message #171] Wed, 25 September 2002 01:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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sleeping with a teddy bear is not really a girly thing to do. kinda an immature thing to do but not really fem. you could just cut off about 5-6 hours off the top of it for the time that would be spent sleeping. that moves the ratio a litle closer to 50/50... atleast recently... but that graph only goes to the end of august.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #172] Wed, 25 September 2002 01:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pacchi  is currently offline Pacchi
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Interesting. Its appears that the most interesting things to happen to Tuck seem to happen when he is Valerie though, so maybe the physical time Spent as Valerie or Tuck is Less important than the significance of the time spent?

Is Tuck happier as Valerie or Tuck? He's safer in school as Tuck, he's not so out of place being a geek as Tuck, and he's been Tuck for the last 14 years. On the other hand, Valerie is socially accepted by more people. Socially accepted by *girls* even. Valerie is dating a baby-geek trapped in the body of a delicious hunk. Valerie baby-sits.

- P
Re: What is Tuck? [message #176] Wed, 25 September 2002 03:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Doragoon wrote on Wed, 25 September 2002 01:02

sleeping with a teddy bear is not really a girly thing to do. kinda an immature thing to do but not really fem.


Heh. Heh, heh, heh. Ah, ha ha ha ha ha! Smile

Not girly, immature? Sort of like crying at movies or liking pastel colors? Or holding your arms bent at the elbow? How many things that women do are considered as immature by men?

Sorry, that don't wash with this old girl, who at 54 still sleeps with her stuffed tiger, Bester, when she feels like it. Besides, in Tuck's case, her bear is a substitute for Travis, a conscious substitute for her boyfriend. And that is definitely a girly thing to do.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #177] Wed, 25 September 2002 03:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Travis as a baby geek? I dunno, I think his lack of geekiness or geek-empathy actually bothers Valerie more than she would like to admit.
Re: What is Tuck? [message #180] Wed, 25 September 2002 08:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pacchi  is currently offline Pacchi
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I wouldn't call Travis a close geek though.

He doesn't shy away from geeky topics, rather, he encourages Valerie talk about them. He reads some fantasy, which is geekier than many would admit, knows about pager software but not much computer issues... He's only gotten bored when he was horny and Valerie was showing off the 'Bretto.

I dunno... He's definately putting off more geeky vibes than a Jock would.

Smile

But I guess classifying him as baby-geek maybe overdoing it...

- P
Re: What is Tuck? [message #204] Fri, 27 September 2002 18:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tabercil  is currently offline Tabercil
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More I think about it, the more I think Cate's idea is the closest yet to what Tuck is - someone who was born XX who was externally XY, who is now having her genes assert themselves by putting Tuck through female puberty.

One clue I just remembered is the Tuck at Bikini Beach story Ellen wrote sometime back. In it, she has both Tuck and Mike go through the showers. Mike got changed by the showers, but regarding Tuck (who was there as Val), here's the relevant snippet:

Quote:

"Hey, Val?" Julia asked, so Valerie swam over to her. "Did... no, closer," she insisted, and Val got right next to her. "Did you go through the showers?" Julia whispered into her ear.
"Yeah?"
"Did you, did you, is your..."
"Um... I dunno," she said, sounding like she hadn't even considered the matter, and she stuck a hand into her suit bottom to check. *Oh, God, I'm glad I didn't ask her that while we were still standing around on the deck,* Julia thought, looking away in embarrassment.
Valerie exclaimed, "Huh!"
"WHAT?" Julia insisted when Valerie didn't say anything more.
"Um, I'm, uh, I'm, I've got everything I started with," Valerie euphemized.


Assuming the magic is set to operate something like "If Male, change to Female. If Female, leave alone", then I would assume then that Tuck is at some base level XX (or at more XX than XY).

As for what occurred to have him raised as XY when he is at core XY, I have no idea... just how much do we know about Tuck's birth and first few months afterwards? I'm wondering if he was something like John/Joan as profiled in Rolling Stone a while back...

(An online copy of that Rolling Stone story can be found here):

http://www.infocirc.org/rollston.htm
Re: What is Tuck? [message #205] Fri, 27 September 2002 20:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Interesting observations. That bit in the Bikini Beach story is sort of telling, it's outside the "real" continuity but Ellen seems like the sort of writer who would not violate her characters and world just for a scene that is almost meaningless otherwise.

It's clear from this that Tuck is on some (physical?) level female enough that the heuristics of the BB spell do not effect her.

Something just occurred to me. Something very very funny. Smile I'm going to check the "canons" and get back to this thread.

Erin
Re: What is Tuck? [message #206] Fri, 27 September 2002 21:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Okay, I checked it out. Tuck has nightmares, loss of appetite, headaches and body aches and pains, plus flashes of inappropriate temper and occasional clumsiness on a fairly regular schedule. Like every 28 to 30 days at least since March. Follow it back and it syncs with both Amy and Debbie's cycles. Women who spend a lot of time together tend to sync. Somebody check me out on this and see if they agree: Tuck gets PMS. Smile
Re: What is Tuck? [message #207] Fri, 27 September 2002 22:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Doragoon  is currently offline Doragoon
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wow... i haddn't looked at that really. but deb tended to be around the 6th or 7th, and amy was around the 12th and sometime durring the camping trip. this last episode was around the time deb would be having her period. and i wouldn't dought that all the pack gets thiers at the same time with how much time they spend together. and tuck is with them a lot. and this last episode tuck did seem to be acting differant than usual. this was also the first time since may that somthing big wasn't happening durring the 5th through the 7th. i think there might be somthing to this idea. but i'll want to read this last episode a few dosen times before i'm sure.
Re: Image [message #211] Sat, 28 September 2002 04:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
iWindoze  is currently offline iWindoze
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You need to include a legend in the picture
to help make it clearer what exactly means
what...I wasn't really able to make sense
of anything in it as it stands now.

Sorry!

Re: What is Tuck? [message #224] Sun, 29 September 2002 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pacchi  is currently offline Pacchi
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Erin,

Oh gods... That's too cute in a subtly scary sorta way. I tend not to pay attention to dates when I read The Saga though. I rely on real-world events that pin a general date for me. *another excuse to read through it all again muahahaha*

*ahem*

I always thought women synched by actively taking the spacer pills in their BC packs at the same time. I didn't know they tended to do that according to mood or pheromones? How would their bodies know when to synch?

Do you need to menstruate to have PMS? I've never looked it up... I always thought it was hormonal because postmenopausal women in my family tend to have PMS attacks roughly once an hour... or maybe it was close association with me Smile

I'm _really_ curious what sort of internal sexual organs (IE: the hormone producers) Tuck has. Externally he's male but then again in CAIS cases, the individuals are externally completely female (As an example of differing internal/external sexes; external being vaginal opening/labia/clitoris/penis/scrotum and such).

*ponders over some life-giving cola*

- P
Pre Menstural Tuck Syndrome [message #225] Sun, 29 September 2002 18:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Women apparently synch by living, working or just spending a lot of time with each other, I suppose it is pheromones.

In a large group of women, a major fraction of the women will be on more or less the same schedule, while most of the other women will be lagging slightly ahead or behind. Women with unstable periods will go in and out of synch.

Why this is so, no one quite knows.

But I think the evidence is there, Tuck is going through the sort of mood cycles that women frequently go through. This cycle is tied to the complex functioning of female sex organs, ovaries and uterus. Without a uterus, this sort of cycle does not usually take place in such a definite, classical form.

Tuck has internal female sex organs or at least, some evidence indicates that this may be true. Besides the pubertal changes, Tuck is exhibiting some classic female monthly mood patterns.

All speculation on my part, but fun. Smile

- Erin
Re: What is Tuck? [message #355] Thu, 24 October 2002 18:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Vicki  is currently offline Vicki
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Genda Bendte wrote on Sun, 22 September 2002 04:41


By the way, you've missed some important symmtoms and clues... if it's a toss up between pseudohermaphroditism, Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, accidental estrogen poisoning, or a really nifty case of intersexing, I choose the last one. Tucks first period is going to be very exciting!

Oh, as for the folks that think Tuck is more guy than girl... I think you're just mapping Tuck over your own feelings... face it, (s)he may not be actively pursuing womanhood, but it seems to be pursuing herm at a pretty noteworthy pace.

Genda Bendte


I so agree Valarie's womanhood has taken the front seat no matter how much Eugene tries. Val acts and reacts, walks and talks just like her friends. She is physically female as any of her friends so as Ellen says; if you walk like a duck, talk like a duck,sound like a duck and look like a duck, guess what ? your a duck no way around it !! Valarie is coming up to speed and Eugene will just have to learn that he was just a part of Valarie's past. . . I also think that Valerie is truely intersexed also. . . there is much more girl than guy in that person but with Ellen's wisdom we will just have to wait and see just like any parent waiting on the outcome of their child who's future is yet to be decided. . .


Doubt is a thief that often makes us fear to tread where we might have won --Shakespeare" --

-Vicki
Re: What is Tuck? [message #362] Thu, 24 October 2002 19:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
iWindoze  is currently offline iWindoze
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I'm leaning in the direction that Tuck has
female pseudohermaphroditism, but the problem
I have with that is the sex scene with Debbie
in the early chapters makes it quite clear that
he ejaculated...so??

Anyway I was surfing around a bit and I came
across this website, with the following link;
it has pictures of what a 'true hermaphrodite
looks like, however I warn you now, this site
has clinical pictures of genitalia, so don't
look at 'em until you get home on your own
computer, where you're less likely to get
into an embarassing situation!!

http://www.atlasperovic.com/contents/19.htm

PS: Note to Admins and Mods, If this link was
inappropriate please remove it immediately and
send me a message explaining what I did wrong
to avoid future mistakes..

[Updated on: Thu, 24 October 2002 21:27]

Re: What is Tuck? [message #367] Thu, 24 October 2002 21:02 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Nothing wrong with the link. Maybe a little clearer warning, next time, I understood what you meant but saying flat out, "This site has clinical pictures of genitalia." Might have been better. Smile

- Erin
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