Saturday, December 30, 2006


When I arrived at my parents place Christmas Eve, I was informed that numerous family members currently or recently had a stomach bug that caused either vomiting, diarrhea, or both.


Because I'm not exposed to children that often, I always know that going home for any occasion usually brings with it the high expectation that I will at some point get sick. It's almost expected. Two years ago I came down with a stomach bug the night before Thanksgiving. Yes, the night before. It was horrible. I heaved or hoed every hour on the hour starting at 1am. It was probably my worst Thanksgiving ever.

Of those arriving around the same time I arrived, my aunt was the first to come down with the lovely stomach bug. She got it the day after Christmas. I made it all the way until the 27th before being afflicted. Luckily, I was able to get a little rest before my regular trips to the bathroom began.

I almost vomited once or twice, but it all ended up going out the other end. Day one, I wasn't hungry at all. Day two, I thought I was feeling a little better and decided to have some soup for dinner.

Bad move.

Between 4am and 7am, I made 9 round trips to the throne and back. If the bathroom were awarding frequent flyer miles, I'd have a couple free vouchers.

Day three was filled with limited eating and the beginnings of a cold, but after reading a little on the internet, it looked like Gatorade was one of my better options. Thus, I began my regular ingestion of the yummy strawberry Gatorade. This was probably better than a certain family member's OD on Imodium AD that led to a ER visit after their system became stopped up and bloated.

I was supposed to fly home that night, but due to the crazy weather in Oz, my flight was cancelled. Thus, day four of my sickness came with a newly arrived family member coming down with the latest round of total fun-ness. By the time I left this afternoon, she was already feeling much better than the AM hours. I, still, was barely hungry, and only managed a small bowl of cereal for breakfast and two muffins for lunch. Oh, and a few bottles of Gatorade.

My sister and her husband left the day I was supposed to have left, but my parents talked them into letting their grandson (my nephew) stay with them the New Year's weekend. Somehow he dug out a jump-rope, which my parents tried to show him how to work. OK, most almost-4-year-olds are just not going to have the coordination to jump over a swinging rope. I had them change to just swinging it back and forth instead of over his head, but he was still having trouble getting the timing right. I tried to show him, but the possessiveness that kicks in at that age caused him to have a little fit over it being his. He started swinging the jump rope, and almost nailed my mom. My parents spoil him to death, so, I was the first to take the rope away and tell him not to hit his Nana. He started crying, but, as I told my parents, I didn't mind being the 'evil' one. He screamed for a while, but settle down shortly before I left. I said my good-byes to my parents, my nephew, and my sprawled-out cousin crashed on the family room couch. (Everyone else was about to eat at another family dinner.)

After the customary hug, my mom requested her usual second hug. My little nephew was still slightly mad at me, and only gave me a slight hug around the waist.

I started up the car, carefully exited the driveway, the waved good-bye as I drove away. My cellphone rang after I had just turned the corner. It was my little nephew.

"I love you very, very much, Kara."

My heart melted.

"I love you, too," I said, barely holding back the tears. My mom came on the line and said he really wanted to call and tell me that before I left since he was afraid I'd never come back.

Talk about a cry-fest. Wow. Is this what parents live for? I mean, let's face it, almost all kids are brats at some point or another. I've always wondered what was so powerful that led a lot of people to have more than one, and also never regret having the children they have...even with as much as some of them can whine about things.

Love. Amazing stuff.

Which reminds me, the 5 year sperm bank storage time I paid for is due up soon. I guess I better look at extending it...just in case.

Monday, December 18, 2006


While watching the local morning news, they ran a story about an international runner being stripped of her silver medal in the 800m run at the Asian Games.

In the picture in that link, you'll notice that she does has a brow ridge and a slight Adam's Apple. (Here's another picture after the race of note.) From reading the article, though, it sounds like she does not have male genetalia nor has she had a sex change...but simply that she has chromosomal abnormalities. One of the most ridiculous lines in that article is "The official also said the test revealed more Y chromosomes than allowed." I wonder how many they do allow? I mean, come on, men only have one Y chromosome. Genetic women have zero.

Is she XXY or some variant of? Or could she be XY? Who knows but those that performed the genetic testing.

I wonder how many genetic women out there do not have the standard XX pair of chromosomes. Is that what defines us as male or female?

It's too bad that she is likely being stripped of her medal. This isn't the Olympic games, but I wonder what type of ruling the IOC would have made since they do allow transsexuals to compete. This is, in fact, the Asian Games, so it appears the ruling is not so beneficial.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Stage 4 Cooties

I have Stage 4 Cooties...and have for the past several years. There is no known cure. My only hope is finding someone with the Cootie antibody.

I went on a date two weeks ago...

...with a guy...

...who is 24.

I haven't been out with a guy in quite a while, let alone one that is 12 years younger than me. I wanted to wait a while before writing about it just to see what happened after it, and well, I figure 2 weeks is enough.

He IM'd me on a late Friday afternoon. We chatted for a while and he seemed like a pretty nice guy. He sent his picture, and after an inquiry into whether or not we would meet over dinner, I said sure.

I picked a little Asian fusion place, and was a few minutes late due to finding parking and getting my hair in some type of decent shape. I seem to be late to everything nowadays...perhaps from spending way too much time in my previous 30-some years always waiting on other people while I was the one on time.

As we sat there chatting and eating a very tasty meal, I told him that many of my friends would be jealous to be sitting where I was sitting. He was 5'11", clean cut, fairly attractive, and in decent shape.

He knew I was TS from the beginning. He ran across my Yahoo page and IM'd me from it. Many of my TS friends wouldn't even go out with someone that knew they were TS to begin with...they want the guy (or girl) to get to know them first before letting them in on the big secret. But a lot of my TS friends want someone who is tall...taller than them, or at least close. I can see why, in some cases...because the taller he is the more feminine one can feel.

After we ate, he asked if I was interested in hanging out a little more...or going somewhere to dance or something. Because I don't drink, he thought a bar wouldn't be that great. He suggested Diva's.

Hmm...I really didn't feel like going there. Diva's has basically become a place where "John's" go to pick up a T prostitute. It's not always like that, but it has that distinct flavor to it. I've been a number of times, but the creep factor can turn many people off. Sure, there are plenty of nice guys there and one can have an enjoyable time there...but...ehhh...I really didn't want to go there.

I guess I just felt like he wanted to go there because he wouldn't have to worry about taking me somewhere where we might run into someone he knew who would see him out with a T. So, thus, we both called it a night.

I do OK, but I'm not as feminine looking as I wish I was. I don't have the small curvy body. I'm solid, I know this. I have a love hate relationship with all of it...being that I like athletics but also have anxiety over not looking entirely feminine. It sucks. It enhances my Stage 4 Cooties. I don't want to be with someone who is afraid of taking me everywhere in the world.

And, thus, finding someone with the Cootie antibody is difficult.

Besides there being a 12 year gap with the guy I went out with, there were a few other things that likely would have made a relationship difficult.

Oh, Kara, just have sex with him for fun.

Yeah, yeah, I probably could...but ya know what? Vaginal sex just isn't that great for me. Besides my 4.5" of vaginal depth (sigh...yes...very disappointing), most of my sensation is either in the clit or mons area, or in the vaginal opening...and not within the vagina itself. Frankly, I'd rather get myself off than simply doink some guy for the fun of it. I'm more about getting to know someone or really bonding with someone before I have sex with them. Sure, there are some people I could bond with very fast and be in the sack in no time, but usually I have to see at least a possibility of a relationship growing out of it...

...and, of course, I have to do a Stage 4 Cootie antibody check first.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

As my world turns

OK, I'm a little behind on things...especially with a few posts I have sitting on 'draft' status until I can sit down for a little time and finish them.

Thanksgiving went fairly well. I sat next to a middle-aged couple on my flight into Oz and worked on my homework or napped. I was picked up by my dad, then spent a few days at my sister's place. Things were cordial with zero issues caused by me. Yay! In fact, I felt back in my old mediator position at times.

The turkey dinner was great, football was on here and there, and I spent a little time napping. The day after Thanksgiving, I did what I usually do not do...I went shopping. I hate shopping when it is packed.

My mom and I looked around at clothes since I'm pretty picky about what I wear, plus my size range is all over the place. I would say, typically, I am a 6 short on pants, and an 8-10 on the top. Yes, I'm top many transgender women. If I were a 6 up top, that would totally rock...but alas, I try to deal with what I have.

I flew back to San Francisco on Saturday due to ticket prices. There was an empty seat between me and the older woman sitting next to the aisle. I simply worked on homework again, or spent time napping or staring out the window.

Earlier this week, though, I received an email from a friend about the soap "All My Children" introducing a transgender character. That seems pretty ground breaking, but you knew it had to happen at some point. I mean, they've done about everything else, right?

It looks to be a nice turn, though, to see a transgender male-to-female character played by a man. This gives the character plenty of room to grow in time, but alas, it probably won't involve any type of FFS or such...unless he (the actor) truly is transgender. From initial readings, it looks like the character is attracted to women...but it will be interesting to see if she develops something for some of the hot men on there...and if any of them develop something for her. Juicy!

On a different note, there was a nice article about transgender teachers I noticed today. It mentions that there are about 20 known teachers that have transitioned, with more on the way. I think the hard part of a teacher transitioning isn't dealing with the students...but dealing with their parents. Why are adults so fast to assume that their children are going to have a big issue with it? In fact, the children of today are fantastic...except, of course, when it comes to the whole bandwagon thing...and oh, that nasty thing called high school. Kids at that age don't realize how hurtful they can be when they are typically still playing.

That's one thing I've noticed while playing Warcraft. (Yes, I am one of the 7 million addicted to it. It's my first, and hopefully, last RPG.) A lot of the people playing it are men aged 13-25. Anything bad that happens ends up being called 'gay'. I started out with a small guild of friends, but once I reached the end-game stuff, realized I needed to join a larger guild for some of the activities. The guys love me, but I do jump on them sometimes when they say "that's gay". Then, of course, they usually do a 180. Ha ha ha!!!...the power of being a woman.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Walking into the wrong bathroom

Kara...don't say you...

Yup. I did it. Don't ask me what I was thinking. The only thing I can think of is that I was on autopilot and thinking about something else. Haven't you ever been driving one place and simply follow your usual path of going wherever you go instead of where you are supposed to be going?

When I turned the corner to the hallway with the bathrooms, I simply pushed open the door near me. As soon as I saw the urinal on the wall, I did a big U-turn and walked out. Wow. Funny thing is, no one saw me. Whew!

I laughed as soon as I walked out, and then in to the women's bathroom. I wonder what would have happened if someone had been in the bathroom, though. Would they be bothered by it, or consider it harmless since I used to go in there before? Who knows. Hopefully it won't happen again.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Transfigurations heads to NYC

Jana Marcus sent out an email a while back to those who were involved with Transfigurations. Her work is currently on the East Coast, and will be showing in NYC in early 2007. For the artist reception, they have decided to hold a transgender seminar of sorts. For a portion of it, they have decided to have her and a panel of people that she photographed.

I've never been to New York, let alone New York City, so the opportunity to speak on a panel, along with visiting there in general, sounds cool. I know a number of people in that area, so it would be nice to say hi to them, too. (wave)

It looks like there are a number of guys going, and possibly one other woman. I'm friends with her, so it looks to be a pretty cool trip in the making. All I need to do now is make travel arrangements and figure out which sights to see.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Transgender Day of Rembrance

The first DOR I ever attended was in 2002...four years ago. It took place about a month and a half after Gwen Araujo was killed, and about 3 months after I had started hormones. When Gwen's name, along with the story of how she was killed, was read, it was the first time I felt the overwhelming influence hormones had on the intensity of my emotions. On that night four years ago, I cried uncontrollably.

I believe this year is the 8th annual Transgender Day of Rembrance. There will be 19 names read off tonite...19 names of people who were killed because they didn't fit the gender binary. Most of them were killed by men or boys...most were born male...and they lived anywhere from my own backyard (Stockton, CA), to nearby locales (San Diego and Phoenix), to around the world. And these are the ones we know about. There could be countless other murders that just aren't tracked or recorded.

San Francisco did not have a march this year, so I have opted, instead, to attend the San Jose activities tonite.


The ceremony at the Billy DeFrank Center went off quite well. I have to say, though, I still prefer the San Francisco march, though, since it usually brings out a lot of people. Since there wasn't one this year, though, this worked.

I chatted with the usuals....Rhonda who runs the LGBT speakers bureau for the DeFrank Center, Chris Daley from the Transgender Law Center (more on our discussion later), Jana Marcus who put Transfigurations together (more on our discussion later, too), Tiffany who runs East Bay transgender programs, and a whole host of others. I said hi to Aejaie who was staying quite busy, and caught up briefly with a younger T friend who many people used to get confused with me. We often joked with people that we were cousins. The funny thing is people used to believe us...quite often. We both met one another before either of us were full time.'s been like 4 years since I first met her. We've both come quite a ways since.

The reading of the 19 names continued after different speakers talked, and when they were running out of volunteers to read names, I happily grabbed a card. I feel DOR is an important part of the T world. I realize that many of the people killed were in rather risky lines of work, but still, it does not justify the murder of someone based on the insecurity of their own sexuality.

Still, the reading of the names is a very powerful event. I recommend anyone involved with transition attend a DOR at some point in their life.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Montel Williams Show

While watching my regular news show this morning, I caught an ad for the Montel Williams Show this afternoon. It mentioned transgender people and quickly showed a transgender woman. I thought I recognized her as Aejaie Sellers, Billy DeFrank Center's director. After looking at their site, I was right. (It also says the program will be repeated on Tuesday, November 21st.)

I've met Aejaie at least twice now, and while she is a very good speaker and a very nice person, I'm not quite sure about her expertise in talking about transgender topics. Personal one, no problem...but the transgender community/world, I'm not sure. You see, she just recently came out when she took up the directorship. Before that, she lived a fairly stealth life. When both she and I were at a PFLAG meeting not too long ago, I could tell that she hadn't seen much of the T world in quite a while. The world has changed a lot since she first transitioned some 20 years ago or so. Hopefully her past 9 months as director have opened her eyes a little to make up for the time she was away.

I also finally read an email from a local friend that told me of the show. It was sent a few days ago, which could have given me more time to write about the show today, but the title said 'Motel Show' instead of, thus, everyone will be stuck with the 6 hour advance warning instead of the 2-3 day notice. In that email, though, my friend mentioned that Chris Daley, one of the leads at the Transgender Law Center, will be on the show, too. When I heard that, I knew that we would be well represented. Chris is one of the greatest guys to deal with, he is well mannered, and is one of the best speakers around. He's also very understanding of transgender situations.

Between Aejaie and Chris, I feel quite confident it will be a well executed show. I'm taping it this afternoon, so I'll try to give my take on it later this weekend.

(For those wondering, Aejaie is pronounced Ah-zjay...which probably doesn't help either, so...just watch the show. =P )

Addendum (11/16/06)

The show was pretty decent, with your typical stories of transition. They told the wonderful story of a young MTF and her supportive mother, and chatted with both a well transitioned MTF and FTM. I've met Aejaie, but I'm not sure if I have met the FTM or not. He looked fairly familiar. Aejaie even mentioned that the world has changed quite a bit since she transitioned.

The young transitioner's story was put together quite nicely. She's definitely a lucky girl to be able to transition so young and have such a supportive parent. Hopefully, the future will bring about more situations like these...especially with transgender people transitioning at such young ages.

Chris Daley was also a wonderful speaker who mentioned several issues that transgender people still face. It was nice to see him on there. It was still kinda weird watching a major TV program and knowing some of the people on the show.

I'll have to give it to Montel, though....he puts on decent trans-shows. I remember he had Gwen Araujo's family on after that whole incident, and this program was done quite well, too. I've seen an Oprah show here or there, and, to me, she just doesn't have a clue. Perhaps Montel can relate on a minor basis since he is going thru his own battle with MS. Sometimes a person has to go thru their own battle before they can understand what someone else is going thru.

Overall, I liked the program....thumbs up, Montel.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I put the brow back on

...but only for a day.

The company I work for decided to have their Halloween bash on Monday instead of Halloween. They sponsored a costume contest (that included family members) and a haunted house. I decided to venture out a bit, and volunteered to work the haunted house.

They put me at the end to scare people right when they thought they were finished. It was so cool standing behind the corner in the hallway light waiting for them to come out. I could here they say, "Ahhh...that was it, I guess it's over." If there was a group, I'd wait for the first person to come into the hall and turn the other direction, and then scare the second person or more. This usually got the first person as well. I got women, kids, and a ton of guys. So many people jump into the fetal position when scared, and ironically, begin to laugh uncontrollably afterward.

I bet you're wondering what scared them so much? (Hey, I'm not that ugly. A few years ago, a friend of mine bought a prosthetic from a company called He looked totally cool in it, and the prosthetic made him look so lifelike. So, I decided to buy one from them, too. Here's what I looked like after application and makeup. Pretty scary, huh?

As you'll notice, the prosthetic has a brow ridge. A few people thought I was a Klingon, but I was supposed to be a vampire/undead similar to those seen on Buffy or Angel. The weird thing, besides having that stuck to my face all day, was that I could see the brow ridge again. It was a little spooky, I'll admit. I guess going from having it to not having it was kinda cool, but then throwing it back up there for a day...I'm like, "Hey, what's with this thing blocking my upper peripheral vision?"

The instructions recommended using rubbing alcohol to take it off, but I only had nailpolish remover at home. Using acetone on skin is not such a fun thing to do, so I ran to the super-store to buy some rubbing alcohol. Yes, I was still wearing the mask. I got a few stares while I was shopping, but it was actually kinda funny. Kids would stare with this bewildering look as though they were curious, but yet, scared as well.

As I was walking out and crossing the frotage road, I hear, "excuse me, excuse me." I turn to see this guy pushing a cart with 2 kids in it motioning toward me. I walk over to him.

"I know this is crazy, but I find you very interesting. Here's my number...just take it. You don't have to call, but take it, please."

..and so, I took his number, smiled, then walked on to my car.

I'd love to know why he gave me his number, but seriously, isn't it a little weird giving your number away to a girl who has this hideous mask on, while you yourself are pushing around what appear to be your two kids? He wasn't that attractive, but yet, I'll admit, I'm curious as to why he gave me his number.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Size 13

I wear a size 9.5 in US women's shoes. My cousin, who's only like 13 and about my height, already wears a size 11 in women's. She's gonna be tall. I also feel sorry for her that she's going to have a hard time finding shoes.

After my game today, a number of us decided to have a little brunch in Noe Valley. The restaurant was right around the corner from the Cocoon House. Yes, it felt a little weird being right there with my teammates...but not too bad. I will admit, though, that Noe Valley holds a little magic for me. So does Scottsdale, Arizona. It's hard to describe, but both places bring back magical memories for me...and it's not so much the visual memories, but more along the lines of ambient memories of transformation. It's sorta like going back to visit the house or area you grew up in...especially if your family has already moved away.

So, anyway, a lot of us only know one another from the games. We start chatting and asking where we live, what we do for work, how old we are, what types of women we're into, who we're having sex with in our dreams (one gold star lesbian tells us she recently had a dream of banging George Cloney up the arse), and just bonding in general. The women I'm sitting next to is fairly tall...6'1" (185cm) to be precise. She says she likes her women to be taller than 5'4", preferably at least 5'7". She says she also wears size 13 shoes.

"I had a hard time finding shoes before the internet came along. All of the size 13 shoes I found early on were these transvestite boots."

So, not only do 6' transgender women have trouble finding women's shoes...but so do the genetic ones.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

sump'n sump'n

Speaking of dating....

Have I mentioned before how much attention the boobs get? I've been out with some of my lesbian/teammates lately, and, well, a couple of them have gotten a little drunk sometimes. One of them is dating another of my teammates who is pretty hot. She is already a really funny person when not drunk, but she is hilarious when she's drunk.

Lately, though, after she's had a few drinks, she keeps approaching me should I put it...bedroom eyes?

"Hey, you doin'?"

When she says this, she's typically not looking me in the eyes...but, instead, at my chest. Of course, I was wearing this sexy black tube top with a black jacket, so I'll admit that, well, there was something to look at. It still felt weird having her talk to my much so, that I wanted to put my hand in front of my chest.

We all later joked about it though, and I went out of my way to cover up. I know she loves her girlfriend, so I have no interest in taking advantage of a drunk friend...nor making it worse for their relationship. This has happened on two separate occasions, though.

On the first time, though, I had another teammate hit on me. She's a guy. Once she had a little alcohol in her though, she starts to become a lesbian. Strange. I basically shot her down, too...but during our conversation, she tells me that she doesn't think I've found myself yet...and that I don't know who I am yet.


I hope that I've found myself...but I wonder what she was sensing...or feeling...or what made her say what she said.

Back to the boobs, though....

Amber (yes, she's still alive) was recently over to watch an episode of BSG. (yes, I'm a nerd, ok?) Being such a great house guest, she brings over the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies while watching the show...but she needs a bowl or two. I reach up into the cupboard to get a bowl down and I spot her checking out my boobs. (hahahaha...snagged)

She said something along the lines of not realizing my boobs were that big, but also pointed out that I was wearing a baggy sweatshirt which made them stand out a little more.

I gave her a hard time in a funny little way. Poor Amber. =P

So, OK, boobs rock...and I know they grab some attention here and there. I'm still glad I saved them for last since they could have gotten me into 'trouble' had I done them sooner. They're still not quite as soft as I would like, but that's probably due to the saline, them being over-filled a little too much, and the fact that I have a bit of muscle in my chest. They look nice, though.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Softballs aren't all that soft. Sure, they're softer than baseballs...but that's like saying aluminum is soft because steel is hard.

I usually only play softball, at max, 2 days a week. I received a call from one of my teammates, though, who was looking for me to fill in on one of her teams. I said yes.

Because I have been trying to limit my activities a little due to the ankle not quite being back to normal, I've mainly been playing first base. A 5'5" right-handed first baseman is not your optimal choice, though, but I can still catch decent and can try to stretch out. I've had a few nice snags as well.

So, remember the guy who carried me off the field when I hurt my ankle? Well, he usually plays shortstop. In this game, though, he was playing second base.

An inning or two into the game, there was this humongous guy up to bat who just happened to be left-handed. That put our side as his power-side. I backed up. The second baseman was in the grassy area just outside the infield. When he hit the ball, you knew that it was moving fast. Luckily, it wasn't moving fast toward me, but toward the second baseman. Unfortunately, it caught a weird hop on the lip of the infield and caught our second baseman right in the groin. I was running toward first base at the time, and was just turning to take the throw when I heard his little yelp. It knocked him to the ground, but he still tried to make the throw. It wasn't in time.

He sat there for a little while, as the pain rippled away from his testicles. We asked if he was ok, but mainly got no response from him. Once he stood up, he decided to check to see if he was ok. The right fielder turned her head as he looked down his drawers. I jokingly asked him if he needed me to check if things were ok and asked why he wasn't wearing a cup. He said he didn't think he would need a cup at second, but that usually wore one at shortstop.

After the game was over, he asked me if my offer was still valid. I told him no. (hahahahah...he's such a flirt) Somehow, he then got on the subject of how it felt when one was hit in the balls. He described it as a pain that one didn't really feel at first, but then it spreads through the entire body.

I already knew this...but I didn't tell him that. I'd been 'racked' a few times in my life, and every time it felt horrible. The pain was just incredible...incapacitating...but yet, like he said, it wasn't something that hit you right away. It was this pain that, for me, built up in my stomach and made me feel really bad. It's such a weird response to being hit there...and yet, when I was accidentally kicked there earlier this year in a sporting activity, it was nowhere near the same feeling. Lucky me. One more benefit for them being gone.

OK, so later in the week, I went to one of my more regular games. It was playoff night and we were first scheduled to play the 4th seed since we were the 1st seed. Before the game started, I was chatting with two of my female teammates and Bob. Bob likes to talk about a lot of really juicy items. Somehow we got on the topic of sex. (Like that was really hard, huh?) I told Bob that I hadn't had sex in 10 months. Melissa asks me if I am dating E anymore, and I tell her I'm not. She then tells me she knows a guy at work who is looking for rebound sex.

"His rebound or my rebound?" I ask.

"His rebound."

We chatted a little more about the topic. I really couldn't see myself having a relationship with any friend of a friend, especially with my disclosure. Sure, one might say, "Oh Kara, just get some and don't worry about it...especially if you'll never see the guy again." Yeah yeah...I know.

The other woman who is in our conversation, then perks up about one of her coworkers.

"We just got this new woman at work. We're chatting, then she tells me that she smokes. She says something about a lot of people frowning on anyone that smokes...especially in California. She then says, 'Oh, and I used to be a dude.' "


"Was this recent?" I ask.

"Yeah, like two days ago."

My teammates then discuss how she started looking closer at her and trying to figure out if she was really indeed transgender. My teammate thinks she is joking since she can't tell, and asks us why anyone would joke about that...especially when she barely knew her new coworker.

My other teammate then tells us about a research professor that works on her campus who is transgender. I know who she is talking about, but I've never met him. She says that he looks just like a guy, but he's kinda short and has this weird voice. I made a few comments during both conversations, but I will admit, I get a touch nervous when the transgender topic pops up. I wonder if they know and are trying to find a way to breach the subject with me...that they are cool with it and are just curious...but it's so hard to simply guess that. I'm betting they have no idea that I am, but one never knows.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Smear the Queer

I recently received a letter from my healthcare provider telling me that I was due for a Pap smear test.

(What is Pap, and why do they want to smear it on me?)

It stated that they knew many women did not like having them, but it also listed the positive aspects for it. Besides that, it stated reasons why one would not need to have one.

It didn't list 'being a transsexual' as one of those reasons.

So, I sent a note off to Dr. Meltzer's office asking if I needed one. Here's the response:

I am attaching some information regarding necessary follow up that you can give to your PCP, but to sum it up – yes, you do need a PAP smear.

Their attachment contained this information:

We recommend our patients have yearly vaginal exams and PAP smears. Our patients do not have a cervix but the skin used to line the vagina is an epithelial skin and there is a possibility for that skin to produce abnormal cancerous cells. This is a very rare type of cancer, but is a possibility.

It also said that I should have my prostate checked per the routine established by The American Medical Association. Hmm...wonder how I'll set that up with my healthcare provider. I still have a few years before I need to start getting it checked, I believe.

Anyway, I scheduled my Pap smear for next month. To be honest though, I had no idea what a Pap smear test was. Based just on what I have heard in the past, it sounded like they took a small skin sample from some place in the vagina. It also did not sound like the most pleasant thing to have done.

I turned to my trusty internet to see exactly what it is:

Your doctor can do a Pap test during a pelvic exam. It is a simple and quick test. While you lie on an exam table, the doctor puts an instrument called a speculum into your vagina, opening it to see the cervix. She will then use a special stick or brush to take a few cells from inside and around the cervix. The cells are placed on a glass slide and sent to a lab for examination. While usually painless, a Pap test is uncomfortable for some women.

That darn speculum again. [sigh]

I'm hoping that is the worst part of it. I've had a metal one up there a few times now...and when the doctor is moving it all around with a bit of pressure on a fun thing to do. Since I don't have a huge amount of sensation inside my vagina, though, the removal of cells shouldn't be too bad...I hope.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A glimpse

My life lately has been filled with its little ups and downs. After I injured my ankle almost a month ago (described in 'Carried Away'), I haven't been exercising. I just returned to the field in a limited capacity two weeks ago...but I haven't been as effective as I would like. And, of course, I haven't been running...something that has been my stress relief for much of my life. It's just better in the long run to let things heal until I feel comfortable getting back to my workouts. In the past, I've had some injuries linger way too long because I didn't let my body heal properly.

Work has been busy. I've been working on designs, tweaking drawings as needed, and trying to put things together before we move into production. I'm also dealing with every other little problem that seems to raise its head. On top of that, (and I'm sure I mentioned it), we had a coworker in our group leave the company. Sure, I've had an intern lately, but he can only do so much. The thing I really miss, though, is a lunch partner.

Around the time I hurt my foot, I was also caught in a local sting operation. Yup, I was busted. I was driving back to work after picking up lunch, and was nailed for not yielding to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

If one knows me, they know that my luck is quite unique. I am one of those that would be the lone survivor in a plane crash, but would be killed 6 weeks later when a rabid squirrel bights me on my finger.

I have yet to get a speeding ticket in California, and haven't had one in general in over 10 years...but, I have been ticketed for running a stop sign while riding a bike. Do you know how embarrassing it is to hear "Blue bike pull over!" from a police patrol car?

Anyway, I had just turned the corner (where there was a separate area for those turning to simply yield) and was driving about the speed limit. I saw a guy walking on the right start to move toward the road. In my mind, I thought, "Dude...don't jay-walk in front of me" because I could not see a crosswalk in the area. As I got closer, he steps out into the street, then steps back. Seeing this, I slowed, then changed to the left lane so I wouldn't be near him. I hesitated to stop all together when he stepped back. As I looked to my right while passing the pedestrian, I saw all of the cops parked just after the crosswalk.

In a fairly polite way, I told the cop that their sting operation sucked...especially since their 'set-up guy' had stepped back. While the officer was writing out my ticket, though, I saw all of the motorcycle cops chasing after other cars that had blown by the crosswalk area without even noticing the pedestrian.

I'm supposed to do something by the fee, pay the fee and go to traffic school, or contest the violation. I did some research and looked up the law on pedestrians and motor vehicles when it comes to crosswalks. It basically says that the pedestrian has the right of way...except as to not cause harm or pose a risk to themselves, and that the driver of a vehicle shall take all measures possible to prevent any harm to the pedestrian.

Also, the crosswalk the cops decided to use for their sting operation did not have any painted lines. It was simply defined by different colored bricks...something that was hard to clearly distinguish from the regular road. I couldn't find any laws on how crosswalks are supposed to be marked, though, so I don't know if an unpainted crosswalk is in violation or not. I have since found, though, that crosswalks outlined with the painted line are much easier to see.

I'd love to contest it since I believe the whole incidence is 50/50 in terms of responsibility (and that the city does not have all of their crosswalks clearly marked), but I'm afraid that the judge will clearly side with the police officer. What's it worth? Well, I'd have to go over to the courthouse with a letter contesting it...have them set up a trial...then state my case during the trial. The easy way out is to pay the $182 fine and be done with it...or go to traffic school to keep it off my driving record...thus keeping my insurance rate the same.

I'd love to hear some unbiased opinions in terms of if I would even have a shot at contesting the violation.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Tranny Spotting

I saw a new guy in our cafeteria the other day. I spotted him sitting at one of the tables talking with a bunch of guys. As soon as I saw him, my T-dar went off. He had longer hair, a fairly clean face, and was wearing a sweatshirt/hoodie.

Kara, fool, there are plenty of guys with longer hair, a clean face, and that like to wear hooded sweatshirts.

OK, yeah, there are. So, I went on with my business. It's not like I was going to walk up to him and say, "Hey...are you a tranny?" or "Hey, do you know who I am?"

A few days ago, I noticed him walking around in the area near my cubicle. Again, the same look, and the same subsequent dinging of my T-dar. (Remind me to turn that off sometime.)

Today, I overheard him talking with some other coworkers. From what I can tell, he's in software engineering.

ding ding ding!!!

As I stood at the fax machine semi-watching that my fax went thru, I also noticed a small transition of hair below his jawline to no hair above his jawline.

Kara, not all guys have hair on their face...and it grows in different places for different people.

True...but so many things are pointing to him being T. Most people wouldn't notice them, but for me, I know what to look for. OK, seriously, he probably isn't T...but he definitely shows some indicators that he could be. If he does come out, though, I'll be there lending a hand if needed.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A new predicament

I received an email the other day from the captain of the my women's sports team. She said a captain's meeting was being held (last night) to discuss where FTM's fit in the league. Our captain asked for our input in the matter.

I sent a note to her saying that testosterone could create a performance imbalance, but if the person weren't taking testosterone, then I guess it would just come down to why a man would want to play in a women's league. My note was intentionally middle-of-the-road, but provided both pro's and con's to the situation. The response I received back from her stated that the main issue right now was for safety.

While I would be worried about some 6'3" man crushing me in a game, an FTM would likely clobber me no worse than the woman who steam rolled me this past weekend. Our captain stated that they were worried about testosterone-induced mood swings on the field.

This is not the first time I have seen FTM's try to stay within the lesbian community. There have been plenty of instances on craigslist where FTM's post in the women for women areas. While some lesbians are ok with it, others think they should be posting in the male for women areas. Craigslist created a different area called Miscellaneous Romance to deal with transgender people trying to date, since a lot of us either don't fit well or people feel deceived by our status in certain sections. Unfortunately, a lot of people misinterpreted the Miscellaneous Romance section as the 'freak place' to post, and thus, this section doesn't fit the needs of transgender people, as well.

[EDIT] I just received a response that the league voted on the FTM issue. They brought up the performance disparity and emotional stability issues. The team that initiated this discussion said that they have two FTM's, one is on testosterone, while the other is not, and that if either of them got too aggressive, they would be booted from the team.

The captains voted to allow the FTM's to play since the philosophy of the league was to be welcoming to all in the queer community. They figured that FTM's would likely not be welcome in an all-men's league, and the league doesn't want to shut them out of the one place they feel comfortable playing. They stated the same would be true of MTF's. (coolness)

So, anyway, I guess things have turned out fairly well. We have yet to play the team with the FTM's, but will do so in a few weeks in our last game of the year. It could be kinda interesting, especially if I have any ties to them.

Last year, when I first started playing, there were two players that I actually thought were guys. Seriously. They are women, though, and do not appear to be transgender at all, but I still have trouble using the proper pronouns with them.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I don't know what else can be said:


If it will be anything like Nip/Tuck, we could be in for a doozy.

I still wonder who they will lean toward in terms of playing the transsexual..a man or a woman, and if the person will actually be transgender. Only time will tell. Maybe they can have Angelina play him/her. Wouldn't that be the bomb?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Talking to classes

I've spoken to a number of college classes and groups around the Bay Area concerning transgender topics, and while I'm not an expert, I've been complemented a few times on my style and communication skills. I've usually been on a panel of several transgender people or been paired up with an FTM. Just last week, I was at San Jose State talking to a Human Sexuality class. Dang...I wish I had that when I was in college, but alas, my college didn't, nor do they now, offer such a class.

Typically, I see a lot of panelists just start out with their story. Unfortunately, most people have no idea concerning the base information most of us take for granted. They don't know what SRS, FTM, MTF, GID, T, GQ, TS, CD, TV, or pre/post/non all stand for. They don't know that sexuality and gender identity are not the same, and they assume that one influences the other. They do affect one another, but they are separate entities.

So, usually when I talk, someone has already told their life story about how they started dressing at a young age, how they hid clothes or never told anyone, and that they always felt a desire to be a man/woman. You hear a few of these, though, and people start to get bored. I usually like to start off by being interactive for a short time. I ask how many people have met or know a transgender person. This past time, in a class of about 50 people, I saw only 3 people raise their hands. Typically, in the bay area, I see about 10% raise their hands...with the number being higher the closer one is to San Francisco and Berkeley, and of course, lower as one moves away from them.

I also like to ask if people know what transgender means...or transsexual, cross-dresser, genderqueer, intersex, etc...and see what people know. I try to give them an overall view in a very short time. I also like to point out that, although we may share similar stories, we're all very different, and that our sexuality is not determined by what our gender/physical sex is.

At that point, I like to give my brief story. I tell them I was a military brat, felt different as a child but had no words for it, and started dressing in my sister's clothes around 7-8. I knew I was a boy on the outside, but felt like a girl on the inside. Puberty was hard as my body rebeled against me. Facial hair, bigger muscles, lower voice, hairy body...all traitorous exploits my body initiated against me. I talk about playing sports in order to live up to societies expectations of me as a man (with other transsexuals seeking similar environments to hide such as the military, computer games, the gay community, etc.), and that I went on trying to be a man as best as possible before finally seeing another transsexual around age 30. Then I began searching for ways of dealing with the GID and determining if I was a cross-dresser or a transsexual. I sum it up with a quick run down of having facial surgery and Sex Reassignment Surgery.

I leave a few topics out in order to stimulate the discussion during the Q and A portion. This usually involves how my family reacted, to my sexuality, to my facial or sex reassignment surgery, or to how my voice sounds like a woman's. (I've 'freaked' out a few classes by talking in my low voice to give them a sample of how I used to sound.) Some touchier topics have included how to tell a person that I might date that I am a transsexual, to more intricate details of the surgery.

I like having classes that ask questions, though, because you get to see more of what they are thinking and what they might not understand. Because, seriously, most people have no idea what we are all about.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Fall Television

OK, the new TV season is well underway. I caught the season premiere of Survivor last night. This is what, number 13? This edition seems to be way more fresh right from the start, simply because they have so much diversity. Their "social experiment" this year, is based on race. They have divided the 20 contestants into 4 different tribes....all based on ethnicity. They have white, black, Asian, and Latino. Thirteen of the 20 contestants are from California, with 2 in my backyard. Perhaps I like Survivor already this year since it reminds me so much of where I live with all of the diversity. I'm still unsure if one of the women on the show is a lesbian or not, but my intuition points that she is. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds. No T's, unfortunately.

Another show that I've found previously interesting is a Disney teenage show called Hannah Montana. A teammate's child introduced me to the show earlier this year while on one of our roadtrips, and I caught another episode on a plane. It was actually kinda amusing. The premise of the show is a girl from the south becomes a kid rockstar and moves to LA. But, in order for her to hold on to somewhat of a real life, she has two separate personas...a rockstar one and a real life one. She wears a wig on stage, along with a lot of makeup, to hide her true identity. Her reason for doing this: She wants her friends to treat her like a real person. Hmmm...sound familiar?

One show that just recently started up again that has had transsexuals on in the past is Nip/Tuck. It will be interesting to see if they delve further into any of the past incidences with T's, or bring new ones to light. We found out last season that the troubled son may have a little thing for post-ops, and this season started out with one of the surgeons realizing he may have a man-crush on his own business partner. Hmmmmmm.

Nip/Tuck takes over the time slot of Rescue Me which ended it's season just recently. In the past, I have not been a Dennis Leary fan at all, but I've been watching this show from the very beginning and have to say that I have enjoyed it quite a bit. Yes, I realize the show is very dramatized (as is Nip/Tuck), but they are entertaining. Rescue Me is about a firehouse in New York, that has mainly had nothing but a bunch of semi-wannabe macho guys trying to prove that their dick is bigger than everyone elses. (OK, really, they had one episode about that.) It's usually a very light-hearted look at men, and sometimes they like to poke fun at the way men think. In one of the first episodes, they had a T subplot, where they tricked one guy into dating her. We never really saw her, but they created numerous situations that were described by one of the firemen. They've also had one of the main character's son come out as gay. This season, they had one of the main characters come out as being gay, as well, then bi, then in the season finale, when he's banging a brother-sister combo, we're not sure what he is. Initially, his crew gives him a little trouble about being gay, but they have a big sit down conversation over the whole thing...which is way better than beating the living daylights out of the guy. Eventually, they come to accept him quite well, and one of them actually envies his bisexual situation...that he's able to hit on both men and women.

OK, well, out of the shows I watch, those seem like the only ones that have any LGBT reference. I'd love to see one of the characters on Battlestar Galactica or the two Stargate shows come out as being gay or lesbian, but it doesn't seem like any of them are moving that way (even though the actor playing Apollo seems very gay). I think the sci-fi community would be much more accepting of it than most, though, but who knows. I don't see them tackling it on Smallville, Prison Break, or 24, nor do I see anything popping up on CSI, although they have included a few T's in various cases. Oh, and we have yet to fully see how the Kenny character plays out on the War at Home.

Of course, there may be some surprises in the spring. I have a little inside information that there may be an FTM pair on CBS's Amazing Race. If it does happen, I think it would be a great benefit to the T world...especially from the side that doesn't make it into the spotlight as much. We'll have to wait until the spring to find out, though.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Carried away

I shouldn't have gone. We weren't doing that well with both fielding and hitting, though, so I was trying to play aggressive. I was on first base and the guy behind me laced a shot to right field. I rounded second just to give them a look, and the right-center fielder threw the ball to third. He was way off and the third baseman ran to the fence to retrieve the ball...leaving third base uncovered.

The third base coach yelled for me to go. I took off for third at the same time the pitcher decided to, as well. He was slightly ahead of me, and with the play being fairly close, I tried to slide. Unfortunately, with the pitcher basically in the way, my slide was more to the side...catching my knee on the ground with my ankle twisted underneath me.

It hurt. I could barely move my left leg below my knee, and I had no idea where I was really hurt. All I knew is that it hurt. I sat there for a few moments as a few teammates rushed to see if I was ok. The coach helped me up...telling me to put all my weight on him. He and another of the girls was going to help me walk off the field, but the coach asked if he could carry me. He's not the leanest guy around, but he's built pretty solid...and been a pretty cool guy to me. I think he really loves to have me on the team since I can play fairly well and hit the ball pretty solid.

I was in pain, but in the back of my head somewhere, being carried off by a man...hmmm...does it get any better than that? He put his arm underneath my arm and back, then gently, but firmly, placed his other arm under my knees and picked me up. "I'm not the most lightweight person," I said as he carried me off the field. At 140 pounds (63.5kg), I'm not huge, but not 'light' for my height.

He softly placed me down on the stands outside the dugout. I sat there for a while watching the rest of the game deteriorate, then decided to head home to get some ice on my ankle.

Today, I'm sitting at work with an ice pack on my ankle, rotating ice on and off for the first 24-48 hours. It's not broken (that I can tell), but it sure is sore to move around...and will likely keep me immobilized for a while.

I'll likely treasure being carried off the field as I was, though, for a long time to come.

...and, oh, by the way, I was safe at third. =)

Monday, September 04, 2006


What a mess, huh?

First, this guy in Thailand named John Mark Karr says that he's the killer of JonBenet Ramsey. Then, word gets leaked that he was in Thailand trying to have a sex change.

The headlines: Child Molester / Murderer Sought Sex Change!!!

Great. Now people start to associate child molesters with transsexuals. OK, not everyone, just the ones that want and need to make that connection. As if it isn't bad enough now, this just adds a little more on top of that barrier we were trying to bring down.

The man, though, is obviously whacked out. His brother says he couldn't have done it since he was celebrating Christmas with the family thousands of miles away. DNA has also turned up that he wasn't the shooter. Hmm...maybe there were two shooters. Is that a conspiracy I smell? Or maybe it's like that CSI case where the perp had two DNA profiles and half his body is one DNA and the other half is whacked out monkey DNA. Who knows. Perhaps he just wanted a first class ticket home.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


One of the guys on my co-ed softball team is a nut. He'll talk about anything and everything, and joke about all of it.

Another of the women on my co-ed team also plays on my women's only sports-team. We were talking about aspects of our season, and he wondered if he could play.

"'d need to get some work done."


"They only allow women."


It has been years since I last went bowling, and even longer since I used my own ball to bowl. I had to dig it out of the patio storage area. I coudn't remember if I still had the blue one or the red one, nor how my shoes looked. OK, yes, I used to a league...and had my own shoes...and ball. My parents bowled when I was a kid, and I got involved with it sometime in 7th or 8th grade, I think. My average gradually increased from the 120's up to the upper 180's as an adult. The highest game I ever rolled was a 243, which isn't too bad for a straight ball bowler. Yup, no spin. Well, if there was spin, it didn't do much to move the ball at all.

So, a friend sent me a recent invite to go bowling with a group of mainly lesbian women. I figured it would be fun to get out on the lanes again. After finding my bowling bag in the storage unit, I checked to see how it looked. It was the blue one (ahh yes, trying to be the man by switching from my red one to a blue one), and it felt a lot heavier than it used to be. Wow, it felt heavy. My first ball was a 12 pounder before I graduated to the 14 pounder sometime in my 20's. I never made it to the standard 16 pounder. The finger holes also felt a little bigger than before, but who knows for what reason.

Anyway, off I went to the bowling alley. My first game was a 167 I think. My second was a 201. My bowling mates were quite impressed, and continued to raz me whenever I missed a shot. Soon, they began rooting against a friendly sort of way.

One of them checked out my ball, and noticed that the spacing was really big. "Wow...your finger spacing is huge. How do you hold the ball." The obvious answer is because I have male hands, but I just shrugged and said I like it that way.

Monday, August 21, 2006

A lot to write about

OK, OK....yeah, I haven't written in like 18 days. Wow. Where has the time gone?

I'm on my lunch break now, so I don't have time to write about all of it, but some of the topics include my creative writing class discussion from last week, the JonBenet case, a conversation after my softball game yesterday, and a few other items.

So, last week was the first meeting for my writing class. I arrived slightly early, with about half of the class already chatting with the instructor about our backgrounds. One of the last guys to enter was definitely gay. I don't know what it was about him...the saunter, the 80's style clothes, or what...but he was definitely gay. Ding, ding, ding went the gaydar.

Over the course of the next hour or so, we chatted about name it. Brokeback Mountain was mentioned, by the gay guy, I believe. He said he didn't particularly care for the movie...but discussed his reasons why it didn't win Best Picture. After that, he asks, "What did you think about...."

Somehow, right before he said the movie name, I knew what he was going to say. I'm not sure if it was the tone or what....but I knew. He wanted to know what she thought about Transamerica. Our instructor had seen it and said she loved the movie. So did the gay guy. I didn't think it was that great, although Felicity did a very good job acting in it. I wanted to pop up and say, "I wonder if you didn't like Brokeback for the same reason I didn't care for Transamerica"...but I didn't. I wanted to tell the teacher that perhaps so many people that saw it seemed to like it because they had never seen something like this before...but I didn't.

I just didn't think Transamerica was that realistic in many aspects of transition, but since neither of them could relate to that part of it, they had no idea what type of inaccuracies were propogated in the film. Sure, there were a lot of facts, but numerous realistic items were sidestepped in order to allow the premise of the movie to propogate. I'm sure the same can be said for parts of Brokeback...but I haven't seen the film yet.

OK, that's it for now...more later.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


The ball came in low and inside. It's called the perfect pitch to crank since one has full velocity and the optimum angle at which to hit the ball. I really wanted to just hit a liner down the line, but I connected well. Too well. Let's just say that I hit it far. Very far. Further than most women my size would be able to.

I never intended to play like that. I simply wanted to come out, play some ball with friends, and have a good time. I wanted to exist as simply me and not have to worry about the whole gender thing. Most of the games I have played have been a little drive from where I live, but this is a new league I was invited to play in...that is closer to both home and work.

So, although the hit may have been attention I'd rather not have, seeing a coworker (who knows my situation) playing in the game before ours may have been a bigger problem. He knew me before and now after...even though we only chat once in a while. I deal with him mainly on a professional basis, but we have chatted. He seems pretty cool with my transition.

But...I wonder, since he is on a different team, will he leak my 411? Will my teammates find out? Will that knowledge change how they think of me? I seriously didn't plan to hit it as far as I did, but it happened. I have friends that can almost hit it as far, but they are slightly bigger than me.

Again, my justification for playing women's or co-ed sports is this: Should a 6'3" woman be prevented from playing professional basketball simply because she is 10" taller than the average women's height? Should I be discriminated against any differently?

(EDIT) I suppose part of my concern comes from the same issue Michelle Dumaresq has recently faced. She won the Canadian downhill championships, but the second place woman wore a shirt on the winner's platform that said, "100 Per Cent Pure Woman Champ". Michelle posted on a forum I was on, that she did experience a lot of bias from her fellow athletes. Once people know, they totally treat you differently. Yes, I have a similar past as Michelle, in that we both grew up as boys and participated in sports. We're athletic. So, I suppose we are guilty of having that privileged history where playing sports was expected of us more so than being an exception. Life's not fair though. Growing up, I was typically the smallest boy in most any sport I did. As a senior in high school, I wrestled at 119 pounds (54 kgs). Whenever I played basketball, I learned to shoot from the outside parameter because any shot I took inside the 3 point arch was typically blocked. I never went out for football because I thought I was too small...and I enjoyed cross country much better. Volleyball, and any similar sport, was hampered by my lack of height. Let's face it, the taller one is, the more power one can generate. It's not to say that a 5'5" man can't compete with the bigger boys, but it's damn hard. I can only think of three...two in basketball and one in baseball...who ever played professionally.(EDIT)

Anyway, I probably had the game of my life. I went 5 for 5 in my first 5 at-bats. When I came up to bat a sixth time, the bases were loaded with 2 outs and we were already up by more than 15 runs. The game was basically over. The scorekeeper, who'd noticed my stats for the game, wanted me to crank on one again.

I didn't. I grounded out to the short-stop.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Someone sent me a message on 7/3, and I waited too long to respond. My AOL software ate the email yesterday. I think her name was Zoe. Zoe, if you read this, please send me a note. Sorry.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Getting older

This past Saturday was my birthday. I know, I know...happy birthday. Thanks in advance. A few months ago I realized that I missed out on celebrating a milestone last year. You see, as we age, there are those big numbers that stand out that make us eligible for different circumstances. At 16, I was able to drive...18, to vote...and 21 to legally buy alcohol and consume it. The night I turned 21, I went to the grocery store and bought some beer for my roommates (who were all over 21) just because I could. I don't even remember if they carded me or not. Most people look on those ages as the big events. After 21, they are pretty much all less dramatic.

At 25, though, car insurance goes down. Thirty is just a nasty age. I think it's an age that a lot of youth look at as a measure of their dreams. I want to have this much money by the time I'm 30, or be married and have this many kids, or have accomplished this or that. It's an age a lot of us have (or had) expectations for. Thirty was hard for me. I wasn't who I thought I should be.

After that, it all goes down hill. At 59.5, I can withdraw from 401k without penalty...well, until they raise the age limit, that is. I'm sure there are a bunch of other privileges that come with age, but I'm not even close to that at this I haven't really looked into it.

The one I missed last year, though, is at 35. What happens at 35 one might wonder? Well, I can now be President of the United States. Yup. Vote for Kara in 2008! I'm gonna make Al Gore my vice. Sweet, huh? Or maybe Arnold...who knows.

In all seriousness, though, I treated it like pretty much any other day. I went to practice, ate lunch with some teammates, chilled at home, then chatted with some visitors from out of of which had recently had surgery.

One thing I realized lately, though, is that I wonder if part of me is trying to live a part of life I missed growing up. Have I been taking classes to try to relive part of my college a girl? I decided to take another class this fall. It's sort of a creative writing class, so I get to test out my skills with someone who will be judging what I write. I'm betting there will also be some interaction with classmates outside of class, which could be kinda cool.

My birthday is also close to marking two years left until paying off my 401k loan for FFS. Once SRS is paid off, I'll either look at a new car, or the possibility of paying FFS off a little sooner. I'll have to reasses that when I've finished it off. Depending on bonuses this summer, it's still likely another year before I have to decide.

OK, so the good news for today, is that my mom just called and told me her test results came back. They say she is in total remission from the lymphoma. Awesome! That's the best birthday present I think I've had in a very long time.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


When I go for runs, or when I'm simply traveling to work, I do a lot of pondering. Two of my latest ponderings involved T-stuff. Yes, I'm probably thinking too much, but my time, especially my 'run time' is time when my mind just wanders into wherever it wants to wander. Sometimes I even think about stuff so funny (well, it's funny to me) I start laughing out of nowhere. OK, it's probably a sign that I'm crazy or something, but my 'run time' is a great time for stress relief.

OK, so, where was I...oh yeah...rambling. Errr..I mean, pondering. So, one of the biggest things that still gives away a lot of T's is the lack of hips. Baby ain't got back. The main option now is to pump silicone into the buttocks to make them look fuller. I think I'll pass. It just doesn't seem safe to do this..short term or long term.

The safer alternative seems to be pumping fat into the areas. One can lipo other areas, purify the fat, then inject it into the hips. Another problem, though, is maintaining blood supply to the new fat cells, as well as the body reabsorbing the fat that gets placed in there. Also, the latest and best liposuction methods typically use ultrasonics to break down the fat cells during removal. Once this is done, though, the cells are destroyed and would not survive upon re-injection.

The easy solution seems to be growing the fat cells outside the body and then injecting them into the needed areas. Of course, to prevent any type of tissue rejection based on our current medical technology, and to not have to take any type of medication to prevent tissue rejection, one would have to grow their own fat. This seems easy, but unfortunately, it's not. Growing fat cells outside the body seems to be rather difficult. They grow so easily inside us, but outside they aren't jack. They need blood supply, waste removal, and the proper energy to survive and flourish. Bummer, huh?

Well, I wonder if, instead of removing the cells from the body to grow them, we used the body as the incubator, and grew them larger in particular areas. One would need some type of material that is absorbed by the body that could feed the surrounding fat cells, but yet not migrate far from where it is injected. It would need to be some sort of suspended food substance for fat. Let's just inject chocolate cake, right?

OK, well, I'm not a biologist or chemist, but it seems like taking the "multiplication nourishment" directly to the source would be the best alternative. The problem is our blood supply system is too good to likely let this happen. The nourishment would likely flow throughout the rest of the body away from the targeted areas.

If they ever do figure out how to grow fat cells outside the body, though, look for a ton of transsexuals to start injecting it in their ass and boobs.

Speaking of sexual parts of the body...I had another recent pondering. I wondered what would happen if a post-op transsexual took Viagra. Crazy? Well, all of the blood supply is still there, and believe it or not, I can still get a micro-boner of sorts. There is some type of tissue there that still gets an increase in blood supply during arousal. OK, it's not what anyone would consider to be a boner, but I do notice some areas receiving a little more attention than others. I totally don't mind it at all since it actually feels kinda nice.

So, I wonder...what would Viagra do. I mean, most guys can't take it anytime they want cuz...well, it might leave them feeling a little uncomfortable walking around or sitting down. I, on the other hand, would not have to worry about someone seeing that I was excited, nor would it feel uncomfortable at all. Of course, I might not be that productive., how to wrap this one up? Let's see. I have a birthday coming up.

Chocolate cake...little blue know what to get me.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Transfigurations in San Francisco

Transfigurations moves from Santa Cruz to Good Vibrations in San Francisco, with an artist reception this evening. I'm still debating if I want to go or not...since for one thing, my regular picture will not be hanging, and two, there will possibly be two nude pictures of me. (I was hesitant to even mention this due to the possible perv factor.) This is the first time I have ever posed nude, let alone, had anyone see pictures of me nude...but this IS an art exhibit (so I can claim art privilege, right?). I just think it might be weird to be there with people looking at my naked body...not that I think they shouldn't. Of course, if I did go, and someone liked the way I looked naked, and I liked the way they looked with clothes on...hmmmm. Hahahaha.

The exhibit is located at Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk Street in San Francisco, and will run from July 10-August 21.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Transgender blog and website tips

If one has ever searched for transgender websites, it's not too hard to find them. There are actually a lot. It almost seems like this little ritual of "Hey world, I'm here, I'm me, I'm proud....hear me roar." Perhaps some of us choose to have them to share our experience, find friends who are also going through the same stuff, but also to provide a glimpse of who we are (before going full time). I can say that I've done all of the above.

The problem is some of these websites can come back to haunt people. (I'm hasn't happened to me so far, but in fact, has helped since I met my ex sorta via it.) Take for example, Vanessa Edwards Foster's recent editorial about a potential employer simply googling her to find out her transgender work history. Now, she works in advocacy, so having her contact information on their advocacy website is to be expected, but by simply having a transgender related website with your real name on it can come back to haunt you. One just has to be careful to not share too much information...thus, I wrote up my top 10 list of tips (in no particular order) for having a transgender related website:

#1. Don't use your real last name.

This is very important, because should you ever decide to change jobs or just in general, you don't want people to easily google your name and see that you're a transgender person. If you are out and proud, that's fine, but just to be on the safe side, you don't want people discriminating against you just with a simple google search.

#2. Choose a first name that sounds the same as your real name, but is spelled differently.

This one is not required, but it is likely the best option. If you can, it would be good to use a different first name altogether, but the problem with that is when you meet new friends via the site. You're friends then have to deal with learning a new name for you or have to call you a different name in different situations. The best thing would be to spell a name slightly different than your real name. Thus, for me, I probably should have gone with Kera/Kara, but it's too late now. So, people could still call you by your real name, but it could be spelled differently online.

#3. Don't mention places you frequent by name.

When discussing places one visits on a regular basis, use a code word or call it something else...but try not to list the actual place one is visiting. When I go home, or anywhere near it, I usually list it as Oz, and leave it at that.

#4. Don't mention places you will be in the future unless they are public events.

This is just a safety one in general and is very similar to #3. One doesn't need people tracking you down because you're going to the local pub every Thursday night. Now, public events like a Gay Pride or transgender event might be ok, as long as there are supportive people there.

#5. Don't out anyone else. (this includes pictures)

This one isn't necessarily for the individual with the website, but for friends or acquaintances of that person. Outing people is uncool. Unfortunately, I've probably done it in the past, as well. One of the hardest parts about this one is the association factor. A person who passes fairly well might not when placed in the context of a transgender setting. Who knows. So, it's safe practice just to not post pictures of other transgender people unless you have their permission or they are already out-out.

#6. Show respect.

This is more of a general rule for anything. Of course, respect (and its opposite) creates a fine line between disrespect and constructive criticism. I guess what I am trying to say here is don't bash someone who can't defend themselves or isn't in the public eye. Don't trash someone who called you 'sir' during one of your initial trips out in girl-mode, but let us know how you felt about it. Put us in your shoes and let us experience it as well.

#7. Try to stay semi-focused.

I'm not saying that an unfocused blog isn't entertaining, but sometimes maintaining a little focus can keep people coming back for more. If one starts rambling about how Star Wars is so much better than Star Trek, or vice versa, or how Battlestar Galactica's season cliffhanger left us going 'huh?', it's a deviation from the norm. Perhaps the best way to deal with items that aren't transgender in nature is to relate them to the transgender topic. For instance, in Star Trek, the human element is taken more into context of the future being a fairly tolerant world, but Star Wars never really delves into the issues. Instead, they show a world in which many different races and beings are fighting for their freedom.

#8. Don't whine all of the time.

It's ok to whine once in a while, but don't make it a habit. People like to hear about the good and the bad, not just the bad stuff all of the time. If you want to write about having no money to do stuff, tell us about how you and your friends sought out more economic ways to entertain yourself...or how you are planning to finance your transition when working a minimal wage job.

#9. If you're gonna mention something crazy, at least mention what you learned from the experience.

I think some of the more memorable 'crazy' events I can remember reading about involved either Kate or a girl on a forum. Kate described situations that are likely something that has crossed most of our minds at some point or another. She was dealing with 'making out' options while still pre-op. The other person was a little more risky and got herself into a situation which I'm surprised she survived. Kate seemed to learn something from her experience...the latter didn't seem to.

#10. Be honest.

Nothing hurts the transgender world, and possibly the rest of the world reading a transgender related site, more than misinformation or lies. From the false or misleading promises and pictures on Transformation, to DIY electrolysis kits, to fake personal websites like or Lori MacNeil's Yahoo 360 page, these sites can provide false hopes for people going through transition. The truth of the matter is, most of us will still have some telltale sign that will give us away upon close examination. Most people aren't looking for it since they don't typically even know we exist, but some people can and do catch on. The problem is when a transitioner is misled into believing that they will pass flawlessly once they have transitioned. It is true that a lot of transitioners do fairly well once transitioned, but it does take a lot of effort, and in some cases, a lot of money.

While I appreciate those that do put their real name out there, or are simply too famous to not have their real name on the internet, they are very courageous individuals and deserve the best. Unfortunately, we still live in a world where people discriminate based on ones sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Gay Old Time

Another Pride weekend has come and gone. It was packed with tons of activities, which started off with the Trans March Friday evening. I met up with a few friends there, hung out, walked around with a bucket taking donations, and then brought up the rear of the march with Safety Kurt. It's the second year in a row that we've brought up the rear.

The entertainment for the Trans March...hmmm...well, let's do I put this. It wasn't my flavor of entertainment. There was a distinct punk tint to most of it...that, and the usual woe-is-me tranny speech or two. I don't think I heard any 'I have a dream' type speeches, or positive aspect speeches. It all comes down to 'he wouldn't respect me or fuck me cuz I have a penis' type speeches. Sorry...that's just the way I'm going to describe it because that's how it hits you. Of course, I didn't catch the entire afternoon of activities, so I can't really talk about all of it...only the parts I caught. And, I dunno....I'm just not big on lip synching...on either side or between fences. I just find it boring.

The organizers can only do so much, though, because there typically aren't very many sponsors for T stuff. The advertisers are just now tapping into the last big 10% by hitting gay and lesbian they really want to throw that much money into the 0.04% transgender population?

On Saturday, I hung out with some teammates at the Dyke March before some transgender friends joined me there. I think I previously mentioned that worlds would collide this weekend...and they finally did. And, so far, it hasn't really been that bad.

Here's the thing...I think a lot of transgender people that live stealth or something close, worry that knowing a transgender person or introducing a transgender person to their own friends, will out them as a transgender person, too. But in fact, as we walked along in the Dyke March, one of my transgender friends knew plenty of non-transgender friends...and greeted them along the way with hugs and hellos. One can be transgender and living fairly stealth, and still have transgender friends.

I guess some of us want to put it entirely out of our minds...that anything transgender related will either out us or remind us of our own past. But ya know, they are my friends, and I'm not gonna ditch them because I'm insecure about who I am.

This was my first time for such an occurrence, so I will admit I was nervous. I pointed out my teammates to them and some of my teammates introduced themselves in return. My teammates are pretty cool, and were very warm. I totally love my teammates...they rock.

As we approached the Castro, I kinda ditched my teammates, though, since they most likely were just going to drink...and I was starting to get hungry. We had a 45 minute wait to get in, but we finally had a very nice dinner at Nirvana. Good food. If one is visiting the Castro, definitely give it a shot.

OK, so Sunday was the actual Pride parade. I was signed up to volunteer with TGSF, and worked the northern gate for a couple hours before Amy and Tiffany showed up. We walked around a bit...looking at the sites to behold, and the booths to visit. Tiffany snapped a few photos of the weekend, including one of yours truly during my little volunteer stint.

Since I rode public transit most of the weekend, and since MUNI was shut down at 10pm, I probably ended up walking quite a bit during the weekend. By Sunday evening, I was quite tired...evidence of a very eventful weekend.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Well, this weekend is one of the largest LGBT Pride events in the world...happening right here in my backyard. It kicks off Friday night with the T moving to the front of the TLGB pack with the 3rd Annual Trans March starting in Dolores Park. I'll be volunteering at the site and during the march, so say hey if anyone is around. Here's today's article on the Trans March and some of the people that will be participating. I spoke at the first march two years ago; and last year, I even noticed Morgan Freeman taping some of the activities.

Saturday is filled with a variety of activities, including the main pavillion areas. This is a good time to get around to the many different booths without actually fighting a majority of the crowds. I'm not sure if I'll be at the TGSF outreach booth that day, but I'll definitely be there on Sunday for a little bit.

Sunday is the parade. I won't be in it this's just something I have done enough of in the past (my first was in 2002 after becoming an officer of TGSF)...why not let the newbies get their time in. Plus, they usually have trouble staffing the Outreach Booth while everyone else is on the float for the parade.

I'm sure there are plenty of events I'm not listing here, so check out for more details.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Summer Programming

Lifetime is airing the Gwen Araujo story tonite in a made-for-TV movie called "A Girl Like Me". From what I can tell, it's mainly going to deal with the family coming to grips with 'Eddie' becoming Gwen/Lida (I use two names because she was known as those names with different groups of people) and then conclude with her death.

I'm hoping this will be a very valuable movie, because it may, for once, deal more with the family's reaction to the transitioner, similar to what was partially seen in the movie Transamerica. The Transamerica reaction was, unfortunately, dramatized so that it all came down at once, but the Gwen Araujo story should show reactions over time. The stages of acceptance will probably be seen similar to the Denial-Anger-Bargaining-Depression-Acceptance line. It's also going to show the view of a young transitioner, and not only that, but someone that isn't white. In the LGBT world (I'm starting to use 'world' more so than 'community' since the word 'community' has become very construed and the word 'world' makes it sound more diverse), minorities seem very under-represented. A lot of people only see White gay America, and not Asian, Latino, or Black gay America. Of course, I also think that, unfortunately, many people within ethnic minorities, don't understand that the issue of 'coming out' has it's own problems regardless of race or culture. There are cultures that seem more tolerant of transitioners, but perhaps those strides are made when the LGBT world starts standing up for itself a little more.

Either way, I'm hoping this show will provide a real-life look at a young person going through transition and the obstacles one faces. It should provide a real life look at a family dealing with a very hard topic.

On a side note, the locker room, nor the hot-tub, happened this past weekend...setting up worlds to collide this coming weekend with San Francisco's Pride.

After our sporting event, a number of the teams gathered at a local gay bar to hang out. I noticed one young man playing pool. He didn't appear to be gay, and I kinda wondered why he was there. After hanging out with my team for a while, and following them back to the bar for 'refills', I motioned at the now empty pool table. None of them were really interested in playing, but the man who had been there before appeared and asked if I was interested in playing. I told him sure. We chatted for a little as we set up, and when he told me his name, I realized that he wasn't a he afterall...he was a she. She had a shaved head and basically no breasts. She looked like a guy. After we hung out for a while, I even asked her if she was mistaken as a guy that often. She said she was, but that she didn't mind. At that point, I seriously wanted to ask her if she thought about transitioning....but I didn't.

One of my teammates came up to me as we were playing and asked about 'him'. I said, "you mean, her?"

"Ohhhhh," they said, which was basically my same response.

R, as I will call her, and I chatted more throughout the evening. I could tell she had something for me, especially after telling me that there was something about my aura that she liked. Could she tell? Hard to say. But she might have picked up on some of my masculinity and just couldn't put her finger on what she was sensing. Or, she might have simply read me, and was politely trying to tell me a way that she was also possibly T.

She gave me her phone number, and told me that she would be in San Francisco for Pride. I'm not sure I really want to get involved with her, though, since she had contacts with many of the teams we were playing...which could cause a whole other fiasco. I'm very hesitant about dating players on my own team...let alone those on other teams. I just don't want to bring any relationship drama to the playing field.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Locker Room 2

My team is back on the road this weekend...and the locker room may come into play again. Not only that, but there may be a hot tub involved at some point. Oh well...ce la vie.

On a different note, today's 'Dear Abby' has a question brought to us by a man who's been told that the girl he likes used to be a man.

The question, as it's read, boils down to this: The girl I'm dating used to be a man...can I smash her face in?

Insane. But yet, this is a severe reality for some. Abby seems to have answered the transgender related question fairly well...something the crew behind DA has improved with over the years.

Hopefully my teammates don't have the same reaction if/when they ever know.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


A friend passed this information along to me and I figured it was worth posting. It's a job search for LGBT-friendly employers.

Thanks Becca.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Everyone was so tall

[Every time I've tried to log in to write and post this, blogspot was down...thus the post dated blog entry.]

The GLAAD Media Awards were held in San Francisco this past Saturday night. This was my first time attending such an event with a variety of stars. The screechy woman from Will and Grace was one of the hosts, Carson from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (they need a Queer Eye for the T Girl...seriously) popped in a few times, Jennifer Tilly received an award and hung out at the after party, and I even sat near Julie Newmar's table...and got a picture with her afterward (I'll put the picture up soon). One thing I noticed during the evening, though, was that there were a lot of tall people there. I think the lesbians, on average, were taller than the transsexual women.

Besides the 'stars', there were even a few T-stars, as well. Calpernia Addams presented one of the awards, and Andrea James, her business partner, accompanied her to San Francisco from Southern California. I hung out on a table hosted by a local T-woman who has been involved with GLAAD lately. Fortunately for myself and the rest of the people at the table, she bumped us up a notch so that we got VIP goodie bags and invites to the VIP after-party.

As the ceremony was closing, I said hi to Andrea and Calpernia. Most of my friends have met the two in the past, either with V-Day in 2004 or other activities related to it, but I never have. (I was laid up in Cocoon in case one hasn't been following along.)

Although there were numerous 'stars' there, I think Andrea was the biggest star to me. She has provided a lot of information on her website ( I have read over the years. I remember reading a lot of her stuff early on, which I think is valuable for anyone considering transition to at least scan over. There is so much that she (and others thru their own contributions) provide as insight from the other side. It's always good to get many perspectives on transition and take away the information you need.

At the VIP party, Carson and Jennifer hung out, as well as Esera Tuaolo, an ex-NFLer who came out as gay a few years ago. He started dancing near me, so I shook his hand and whispered to him that most of the women's sports (I've played) were basically the opposite...with most of the women assumed to be gay..and that the straight girls took most of the friendly banter from the gay girls.

The VIP party started wrapping up around midnight, so I said my good-byes and made my way home. I had to be up early the next morning for a game, then off to Jana's for another round of pictures. I made it to Santa Cruz by early afternoon, and had my clothes off for the pictures soon after. Yup, we took another round of nudes for Transfigurations: The Making of a Woman. She is likely to premiere the women's nude pictures in San Francisco in July, but wasn't sure if she could get this latest round in or not.

After the pictures, I wasn't feeling that well (something that had been hitting me on and off the past few days), so I drove home instead of dealing with the possibility of worlds colliding at San Jose's Pride...which shall have to wait until San Francisco's Pride later this month.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


There's this whole thing about today being 6-6-06. Scary, huh?

While I was at lunch with L, I mentioned to him that I could totally freak someone out today (or any day, for that matter).

"How?" he asks.

"I could go into convulsions and then start speaking with my 'devil' voice....or I could be possessed by Homer Simpson....hahahahahahaha."

He didn't think it was very funny.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Pulling teeth

I usually don't mind talking to people about the T stuff, it's just there are some people with whom I'd rather not. I'm finding I am most uncomfortable chatting with people that knew me before transition...duh, right? I just have this feeling that they are looking on me as who I used to be, and not how I am now. Family members don't seem to fall in this since I see them a bit more often, but really, the only people I see on a regular basis are pretty much those that know me now. Sure, there are a few at work who knew me before, but the ones I chat with have been pretty cool with everything. I suppose the uncomfortable feelings originate with those that knew me before, but don't see me that often. The ones that see me often got over the whole novelty of my transition pretty fast.

I was at the dentist last week for my semi-annual checkup and cleaning. Initially, when I popped in there two years ago after going fulltime, the receptionist took one look at me when I walked in the door and basically said, "uugghhh...OK." She seemed unfazed and fairly supportive. By supportive, I guess I mean more affirming more than anything. She told me they had lesbian and gay patients, and were ok with everything.

She's right, I've been treated very fairly there. The dentist is very professional and we've chatted in general before. He doesn't ask about the T stuff, but he asks me how I'm doing and we've discussed some of the hardware that pops up on my X-rays.

After the cleaning, I made arrangements for my next appointment in 6 months. The receptionist was on the phone, but made gestures for me to wait a second. After ending the call, she pulls me to the side and tells me that when she was recently home in the Philippines, she ran into a childhood friend who had transitioned from male to me. She had some surgeries and had fillers injected into her hips to look fuller. She said her friend was either getting married or was already married to a guy. I don't remember the exact conversation, but I basically mentioned that I was open to dating men or women. She thought I should only date a guy. A lot of people think transitioning is totally related to sexual orientation, and that's probably where a lot of people become confused.

Her initial response of, " should get a man," along with her facial response led me to believe she needed me to date a man in order for her to see me as a woman....otherwise, I was just the man in a dress still dating women. After telling her that I was keeping my options open, I think she understood a little more of where I was coming from. I didn't have the time to explain to her that my attraction extends beyond gender and that society's heteronormative expectations are not going to hinder who I am attracted to. I think she was finally starting to see that not every transitioner is the same. I'll likely continue to see my dentist, but I didn't appreciate her disapproval of who I can or cannot date, no matter the degree. That's my life, and what I do with it is up to me.

On the positive side, no cavities.