Friday, March 31, 2006


Jason Cazares, the last one not serving time for the death of Gwen Araujo, is behind bars. He was scheduled to return to court yesterday after the judge granted him the extra time for the birth of his son. I mentioned this to Gwen Smith the other night, but she had heard he was due in court today. I wasn't sure, but the date I wrote in my notes from the previous court sessions listed yesterday.

I wanted to be there when he arrived at wish him (and his attorney) a "fun time" in prison, but work has kept me extremely busy with morning meetings. He will now begin a six year sentence, with 20 months of time spent behind bars given as credit. That means he has four years and four months to serve before he'll be eligible for release. That puts his release near the end of July 2010.

Although Gwen Araujo's family has suffered greatly through this entire ordeal, a lot of good has come from it. The public is more aware of transgender topics, four bad people are behind bars, and the courts are moving to modify the way people can defend themselves when they kill a gay or transgender person. Hopefully the awareness will pay off in time.

Dixie Chicks

I'm about two weeks late on the premiere of this (since I don't typically follow country music), but the Dixie Chicks released a new song I find very courageous.

As one might recall, the Dixie Chicks got into a little trouble with their country fans by bashing Bush a few years ago. I was proud of them. Free speech, baby!!! Rural America is one of the worst places to be different. Serious. Most of them profess the Bible thumping, good ol' boy, corn fed, dog in the back of my truck, country music playing, heteronormative lifestyle. [I'm sarcastically stereotyping...there are a fair amount of rural folks that are very nice people...they just need a little exposure to all of this to get a little better understanding. I still think the religious card is the main culprit when it comes to lesbian, gay, or transgender acceptance.] A number of them are just doing it so they aren't perceived to be different (think Brokeback Mountain). Just to be fair, though, I will admit that there are some country music songs I like...even if they are sung but the aformentioned.

My life used to be very much like the Dixie Chicks. I was the liberal, open-minded, tolerant, non-religious person living in the conservative, closed-minded, intolerant religious land of Oz. Fortunately, though, I don't have fans who won't buy my music....because, well, I don't have any for sale. While in Oz, I might have bashed Bush in the twilight period between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, but I soon learned that my comments were in stark contrast with everyone else in Oz....unlike California. I had nothing to gain, so I stopped, although I did converse slightly before the last election.

Their latest release, though, which is available free as a video on AOL for one day only or as audio on the Dixie Chick's site, is a direct response to the outlash they received following their Bush bashing. I like the song...a lot. I guess everyone can interpret the song as they choose, but, to me, it's basically saying that they're going to do as they choose, but my favorite line comes with "Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should". I can relate. So much of our society comes down to the rules we impose, either explicitly or implicitly, in fear of being different.

In light of all the truths, non-lies, or misrepresentations that are now coming out in our government over the perceived handling of the invasion of Iraq and the deaths that continue to mount, I think it's a lot easier for the Dixie Chicks to be in the place where they are, but I still wonder if Middle America is willing to accept that.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Self Acceptance... one of the hardest parts to deal with in the initial stage of transition. I remember. From my early youth until my late 20's, I tried to put the T stuff aside...never telling anyone. I was ashamed of what I was, and I was ashamed of the crossdressing I participated in to compensate for the feelings I had while living as a man. I think the key thing for me was seeing a transsexual for the first time. She was finally that reality I needed to see in order for transition to not seem like a fantasy. Not only that, but the friends I was hanging out with didn't bash her, but realized she was a human being.

It took me another year to finally begin the embrace of who I was and what I needed to do. A year after that, I was on hormones and the physical transition was on the way. There was also a bit of planning in there, as well, as I sorted through the stories I heard in support groups, and created the plan that I thought would work for me.

In that twilight period between being a man in a dress and an adrogenous figure, there were plenty of times when I was simply too scared to go out the front door. I'd get all dressed up and either scan the landscape through a window late at night or stare out the peephole to make sure no one was around. The time spent looking out that peephole became less and less the more I went out until I no longer looked through it, but simply opened the door and went outside. Initially, I knew people were looking at me funny...looking at the man in a dress. Honestly, I was afraid...ashamed of who I was and afraid of people finding out. Over time, I began to care less and less about what people thought of me until I was secure in realizing that I was a transsexual. Eventually, I became proud of my journey.

Yesterday morning, I caught the very beginning of the Maury Povich show. (OK, OK, I was running a little late to work.) The first guest they had on there was a black woman who had been burned by battery acid thrown on her by one of her family members. She had run back into a house after her daughter told her there was an altercation happening inside. (Where they got the battery acid is something that wasn't really explained.) The woman had been burned over a portion of her face, neck, and upper body. The incident had happened approximately three weeks before she was on the show. The woman was having a difficult time with all of it...but her physical pain was heavily outweighed by her emotional pain. She felt ugly...deformed...and wanted to hide from society. She was afraid to go outside where people could see her. Maury tried to console her, but she was more worried about how people were going to look at her. My process of going thru self acceptance took years, her's was just beginning. The difference, though, is that I was able to escape my place as a man...her burns were visible all of the time.

Last night, I chatted online with a young man who used to IM me a bit. He mainly hit on me before, but last night he told me that his girlfriend was in one of the classes I recently spoke at. He also told me that he crossdressed. His girlfriend and I chatted online for a while, and basically she told me that he's ashamed of his dressing...ashamed of what he does...and that he doesn't want to be a crossdresser. She's semi-OK with his dressing as long as it's with her, but every time he decides to dress up with her, he backs out just prior.

The story is no different for people who lose an appendage, use a wheelchair, are going thru chemotherapy and lose all of their hair, have a limp or walk funny, or anything which leaves them different than the rest of society. People stare. You can feel them looking at you even when they aren't. I can tell you that, initially, it scares the bananas out of you, but you get used to it. Well, most people do. It just takes a bit of time.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Foster kids

When I entered transition, one of the main things I realized was that I would likely never have my own children. Sure, I stored some sperm just in case I later met a woman, but honestly, I figured that sperm would never be used. That was 4 years ago. Hmmm...that reminds me, my 5 year renewal is up next year. They say that the frozen sperm are only good for 10 years...if my memory serves me, but after a quick web search, there are reports of pregnancies after 15 years of storage.

So, anyway, I was seriously thinking about adoption last summer, but the first day those serious thoughts rambled through my brain was also the day I received some news about a potential new venture. That venture didn't pan out, but it did distract me from further ponderings on adoption.

Financially, I'm not in a great situation to adopt or foster a child, nor do I have room in my current apartment. I suppose I could find a cheaper place to cut down on rent, but I need to get things in a little better order before I consider going down this path.

Today's article about a San Francisco based program trying to find permanent homes for gay, lesbian, and transgender youth got me thinking again.

Do I want to raise a child? Am I 'finished' with my life, such that I am ready to share it with a child? Could I raise a child on my own? Am I parent material?

These will probably be thoughts I'll look at over the next year as my finances start to recover to near normal levels.

Monday, March 27, 2006


I like to play some sports. I have for quite a while. They're fairly entertaining, especially since I get to play as a girl now. I was decent before, and I would say that I'm pretty decent still. I have skills that a lot of girls just never developed when they were growing up.

When we were warming up before the game yesterday, I missed one of the balls and it hit me right in my left boob. Ouch!!! A few teammates noticed, with one of them asking if my tit was ok. (hahaha...lesbians!!!!)

It only stung for a second or two as I rubbed out the pain, but it wasn't the most comfortable feeling I've felt.

They seem to be softening quite a bit, but, yet, they still feel quite firm. While talking with a friend visiting San Francisco for FFS, I asked her how long it took for hers to soften up. She said it was around 8-9 months. Her's look great...nice and soft, yet also youthful. So, although Dr. Gray said it would be 4 months before they would settle into place, it looks like it will be double that before they feel as soft as they're going to feel.

I'm also not wearing a bra that much anymore. I wear a sports bra for running and sports, but otherwise, I'm just wearing a camisole to hold things in place. I wonder if that is what has led to their recent softening.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

LGBT Senior Housing

There was an article today about Billie Jean King endorsing a full-service LGBT Resort/Retirement community. I think it's pretty cool. If I had a little more disposable income, I'd definitely be investing in either it...or something in Phoenix. Dog...if I had the money (and the right type of job), I would totally have a winter home in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area and live in the Bay Area during the hot, miserable summer. Of course, it would also be nice to visit Phoenix just for the heat once in a while since the Bay Area really doesn't get that hot where I live. It can get warm once in a while, but not too often.

I also received a letter about a San Francisco Bay Area survey for Open House LGBT Senior Housing. I've included it below for those that might be interested:

[T]his message [concerns] an important survey that Openhouse, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization, is conducting to build senior housing and supportive services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Your participation will assist openhouse as they better understand what LGBT seniors in the Bay Area truly need, want, and are able to afford so they can design the facility and its services with precision.

It makes no difference what your income is, or whether you would be interested in openhouse for yourself. The only requirement is that you live in the Bay Area and are 55 years of age or older.

To participate: Please go to (between March 21 and April 6) to fill out the online survey. Your response is completely anonymous. You can also learn more about openhouse and their plans to build senior housing and services for the LGBT community by going to

Thank you for your help. Your participation will be making an important contribution to the work of openhouse and to understanding the needs of our senior LGBT community.

Breakfast on Pluto

I talked Amber into seeing Breakfast on Pluto last night. I noticed it had been running in San Francisco prior, but it returned for a short run this week in the Haight. It stars two actors from Batman Begins, believe it or not. "Kitten" is played by Cillian Murphy who played the Scarecrow, and Liam Neeson, who played Ra's-Al-Ghul in Batman Begins, is Father Bernard.

BoP is a cute little movie about a boy named Kitten trying to find a few things in life without being so serious. If I had to describe it to someone based on other movies, I'd say it was Transamerica meets Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It wasn't a Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, nor a To Wong Fu, but it definitely had it's own little story to tell. I cried at the end, but to be honest, I cannot give you an exact reason why. I mean, the movie was a little quirky, but it basically showed a transgender boy trying to figure out his/her place in the world. It didn't really show what he was searching for, but just that he was able to move on in certain parts of his life.

I thought the supporting characters and the overall acting was great...from Kitten's childhood friends, to his numerous romantic interests, to the parents he never knew. I also thought the camera work was wonderful on a few scenes. I can't imagine how much it cost to make this movie, but considering it's low distribution, they did quite well with whatever they had to work with. I think a lot of people can be turned off by the possible drag factor, but this seemed quite different from many of the other very campy drag films I've seen (or partially seen) in the past. Another difficult thing for me was the variety of accents since this movie takes place in the UK. Some were easy to understand, but there were a few scenes where I had no idea what was being said. Kitten's falsetto dialog was also a bit difficult to understand in some scenes. Unfortunately, I think any movie made in the UK and distributed in the US should also include subtitles for those of us that are accent-challenged.

Overall, I'd give it a 3 out of 4.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Two dreams

I had a dream last night that I still had a penis. Although some might find that disturbing, I'll admit that it makes me wonder. Not only did I have a penis, but I was using it to have sex with a woman. From what I remember of the dream, I think she was the first woman I ever had sex with. The fairly surprising thing, though, is that I didn't orgasm.

I have no idea how to interpret the dream, but after the sex, I went to the bathroom. (How people are able to dream about using the restroom and not actually pee in bed, I have no idea.) Initially, I actually grabbed it, but something in my brain realized I didn't have one, and it disappeared. I then had to sit down to pee. I think the dream ended there.

This wasn't the first time I've dreamt that I've had a penis. I had one just last week, and while I was going to write about it, the first dream did not contain as much graphical reference to the now departed appendage.

Do I miss having a penis? Well, it's hard to describe exactly how I feel about things. I was talking at a few college Human Sexuality classes yesterday, and one of the usual questions did get asked: Is there anything I miss from before? I like to answer it by asking people if they ever lived anywhere else in their life. Do they miss anything from there? Most say they miss something. I ask them if they like living where they are now. Most say yes. That's me, there are things I miss from before, but I like where I'm living now.

I mean, I don't necessarily miss having a penis, but I do miss some of the sensations that it brought. I have to admit, I'm not as sensate down below as I once was. Don't get me wrong...I'm sensate enough to reach orgasm relatively fast, but it's still not the same as it once was. Perhaps I just haven't had sex with the right person yet...who knows.

If it were truly up to me, I'd have a slightly more sensate vagina for sex with anyone with a penis, and a penis for sex with anyone with a vagina. (OK, maybe vagina on vagina for some.) So...yeah, a detachable penis. Why not?

Unfortunately, that's not going to happen. I like having a vagina, I just wish the sensation was a little better. I've been told to give it time for the nerves to heal, so my sensation may change with time. We'll see.

On a lighter note, Bob, the purchasing guy for our group, enters my cube and, with a very large grin on his face, asks if I want to hear something funny. Bob is a man's man...well, I think he's a man's man. When I came out to him, he said he knew there was something different about me. When I showed him pictures of the women on TS Successes, he tilted his head to the side and said 'Noooohhh!' in a way reminiscent to Homer Simpson at half the speed. When he saw the beautiful women, he needed them to be women...cuz he was attracted to them. When he thought he saw a transgender woman at a little shopping area, I was the first to hear his story. When he was recently toasted in a bar and chatting with an attractive woman, he said his only way to make sure she was a genetic woman was to ask her if she could have kids. (He said he was so plastered that he couldn't even see her face that well.)

This time, he pops in to see if I want to hear the story that he's going to tell me anyway. I say sure, knowing that I'm obviously going to get something along the T theme line. He moves in close and whispers, "I was talking to the new guy who was filling in for me last week. He said, 'Hey, I met Kara while you were out. She's hot!'"

"Ahhhh...and what did you say?"

"I didn't have the heart to tell him."

"Well, it really shouldn't matter...there's no reason to tell him. I talked at a Human Sexuality class yesterday, and the topic of telling a person in a relationship came up. I told the student that 'telling someone' was a big debate with transgender people. When should one tell? Personally, I prefer someone get to know me first before I tell them. When people know the truth, their interaction with me changes. Some people don't want to know...out of sight, out of mind. I asked one of the students if he wanted to know. He said, 'Hell, yeah'. I asked him why...what would it matter. He said, 'Well, I don't have an answer for that.' The main thing is society has such a big stigma for transsexuals, and anyone dating them. Most of the men I've met that are interested in transgender women want to either keep her status a secret or don't want anyone to know who they are dating. It's pretty sad that they have to be in the closet about such a thing, but, because they don't consider themselves to be gay, they just aren't ready to admit their attraction to transgender women because of the societal stigma.

Anyway, Bob is definitely a character, and since he never knew me as a guy, he treats me fairly well. He's hopefully one person, though, that being out with definitely makes a difference.

Random bits

It looks like the TV channel, Lifetime, will be airing an original Lifetime movie about the Gwen Araujo story. Unfortunately, they note Sylvia's last name as Araujo, but it's actually Guerrero. Gwen's last name was Araujo, though:

Lifetime Original Movies

"The Gwen Araujo Story" -- June -- Mercedes Ruehl ("Mom at 16") and J.D. Pardo ("American Dreams") headline the real-life story of Sylvia Araujo, a mother raising her young son who, as he grows into his teen years, begins dressing and acting as a girl. When the son's transgender status is discovered by four young males at a local party, they brutally murder him. Braun Entertainment.

...and on VH1, they have David Arquette's transgender sibling, Alexis, on the Surreal Life 6. From watching the clips, Alexis could benefit from a little more voice coaching.

Could this be the curse of Courtney Cox, though??? She was in Ace Ventura with the former football kicker turned maniacal policewoman out to kill poor old Dan Marino, played the wife of Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) whose father was a Las Vegas showgirl, and is the wife of David Arquette. Hmmm...

...and this morning I caught a news article on TV about a man who dressed up as a woman to rob a grocery store. He was caught later on when a police officer noticed the stockings hanging out of the car door. Is this the case of another transgender woman or just a crafty disguise?? Who knows. When I find the link, I'll be sure to include it.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The week of insanity

This past week has been packed. It all started with athletic practice last Saturday, followed by a party for a friend that lasted well after 1am, followed by an hour drive home, then 4 hours of sleep before jetting off for Phoenix.

Once there, I did find a little downtime at Donna's place before running, and then going to dinner with Emily, a local, and two people staying at Casa Doña. We trekked down to Oregano's...just across from Greenbaum. It was funny...just as we were pulling into the Greenbaum parking space, Dr. Meltzer was just going in the door to likely make rounds. We didn't catch him before he went in. After dinner, I had to work on a ton of application paperwork for the interview Monday afternoon.

Monday morning, I was off to get my hair done, then chatted with Falon over lunch and her checkup at Dr. Meltzers before heading off to my interview. I was applying for a freelance job...the same one I applied for last August. They said I came close last time, and I figured it would be worthwhile to interview again. It wouldn't really affect my current job, but it would be cool to have the small job on the side. It deals with people skills, problem solving, and a little sales work.

I chatted more with Falon upon my return, and hung out with her before both of us headed to the airport. It was nice being able to hang out for a day. We'd actually chatted before just briefly via email, but I had no idea she was going to be there. She also arrived the same day I left when I stopped by to see Amber. I told her it would have been nice had we both had SRS around the same time since we had some similarities with age and a variety of similar 'likes'. I think I got home right around midnight.

Tuesday was back to work...except I had to drive to a vendor 80 miles away, then come back for a midterm test in class. My dad's cousin called Monday to say she was in town. I'd never met her before, but she sent me a very supportive and positive email after I came out to the family a few years ago. I told my parents that I had received an email from her at that time, and they said, "Connie...Connie???...nobody's heard from her in years." So, I met her and her bf for drinks. I think I got home around 11.

Wednesday morning I had to get in a little training with a new instrument before flying off to San Diego to visit two customers Thursday who were having issues. I met my uncle, aunt, and cousin for dinner since they were right in the area, then got up early Thursday to run off to the customers in the hopes of solving their issues or at least get some good data on what was going wrong. My old roommate, Sara, was working two buildings down from one customer, so I ran down to see her as one of my diagnostics was running. One of our sales reps then took me out to lunch at a posh little Del Mar cafe overlooking the Pacific Ocean. One lady in there definitely had too much free time as she strutted around in her designer pajamas. Unfortunately, my time at the second customer ran a few minutes long as I missed my flight home. I caught the next flight, but it still put me in around the same time my lab class was supposed to start. I went there anyway, since our professor typically spends the first hour just going over how to do the lab...which is a bit too slow for my tastes. I caught up pretty fast and finished without too much trouble.

Friday was filled with mainly meetings...a 9:30 to 11, 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, and a 4 to 4:30. Unfortunately, being out most of the week left me way behind on everything...including emails, reports, my own meeting, and the trip report. I then spent Friday evening studying for another midterm test this morning.

My week of insaneness finally ended about the same time it started last weekend. Before heading home, I ran by a local farmer's market for some fresh fruit, then picked up a new indoor plant for the office to add a little tranquility to a hectic week.

Tonite, I think I'm just going to curl up on the couch and watch a movie. I need to spend a little time not thinking.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I just got home

...from class, from being in San Diego for 26 hours, and from running all over the place the past few days.

I turned on the TV as I was eating a bowl of cereal later than probably recommended. A program called 30 Minutes Bay Area (which is very similar in format to 60 Minutes) had just started a section about the science of being gay. It seemed similar to the program that aired last Sunday on the regular 60 Minutes that talked about Professor Bailey and his group's look at the same stuff.

The program started with a look at gay sheep, and how their brain area looks surprisingly similar to the brains of gay men that were studied in the early 90's (which I believe also included a few transsexuals...although I could be wrong) in which one specific area is smaller than a heterosexual man's brain and resembles that of a woman's brain. They also introduced a pair of identical twins, one gay, one straight. They pointed out that when one twin is gay, the other is gay 50% of the time. With this data, it begins to show that being gay is definitely related to your genetics, but also highly related to other factors...possibly those that could be found during development in the womb or simply from upbringing.

It's kinda nice that people are doing research on the reasons for being gay. The dangerous part is adding validity to being gay. What if they reach a point where they say that some of them are gay by genetics, but others do not show any biological signs of being gay? Are they less valid at being gay? Also, if a test showed a person was gay, but he was actually straight, what type of stigma would that throw on him, and would he be secure with his sexuality after being told he was genetically gay?

A friend of mine recently mentioned that it would be valuable if transsexual research were being done as well. What if there is a gene for it...or something that happens in the womb that leads to the development of the gender identity dysphoria? The same danger exists for transsexuals if some are found to have genetic or biological reasons, but others do not show signs....some will have their transition validated, but others may be considered less valid without any of the markers.

The other big problems is that gay research is just now getting started. I doubt any large studies of transsexuals will happen any time soon. My friend mentioned that some rich person needs to step forward and help with funding the research...that transsexual women's brains should be analyzed with MRI's. She suggested testing before and after HRT, but I also suggested that the brains of all transsexuals should be reviewed as well. One test would show if the brain changes with HRT, and the other would look for any differences between transsexuals and their heteronormative counterparts.

The even larger problem, besides the lack of money to begin such research, is that there aren't that many transsexuals...although I do know a few that would probably be up for helping with research. Society thinks they have nothing to gain by doing such research, but if there was a simple test that could catch GID (or being gay) early on, I know a lot of us would have tackled things a lot sooner. I caught another recent article on trans youth, and how some are getting started so early they never really lived as their genetic sex. One labeled himself MTM...because he never lived his life as a girl. Wild.

For us older transitioners, though, it would be nice to have leading edge technology helping us. I mean, I've had a bit of money help me out with surgeries, but it would have been nice to have simply grown some stuff on my own. I asked my therapist (who is also an MD) a while back if HGH (human growth hormone) could be added to my own hormone therapy in the hopes of my second puberty having as good a reaction as my first. She said it wouldn't since I was already mature, but I wonder if anyone has ever even done a study on it. Could it be that if HGH was taken with HRT, things would develop better than simply popping a blue or purple pill each day?

[EDIT: After receiving a note concerning my status as an 'older transitioner', I simply meant anyone going thru transition past their first puberty. I know there is a bit of a rift between young, old, mid, etc., but I didn't mean to infer anything beyond someone going thru transition either during their first puberty or after.]

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

More SF articles

In sort of a continuation of yesterday's post, here are a few more items that were in the Guardian:

SF-TEAM is holding a TG Job Fair at the SF LGBT Center on March 22. This article (and subsequent editorial) talks about the hardship that befalls many transgender women living in the city. I think the results are a little skewed since they mainly found transwomen via the local TG outreach groups. Many of my friends that have jobs in the city either don't have ties to the outreach groups or don't belong to any of the area newsgroups. Also, most of the working girls propogate toward the larger cities...such as San Francisco or San Jose, but a lot of the transwomen that have jobs live in the burbs. Anyway, there is definitely a problem with transwomen being underemployed, but it may not be as bad as they say in the report.

One of the main goals of SF-TEAM is to empower transgender people. The job fair, at least the third one thus far, is a great opportunity for many people who are having a hard time with employment. When I volunteered to help around this time last year, there was a huge turn out of transgender people looking for employment from a variety of established companies. The businesses that do partipate should be commended for their tolerance and diversity.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Staying busy

This week is pretty crazy. I stayed out way too late this past Saturday, woke up way too early Sunday morning to catch a flight, had an interview in Phoenix for another freelance part-time job (more on that trip another time), and have just been non-stop ever since. It's not supposed to end until about noon on Saturday....well...I hope by then.

Just some random bits, though:

I ran across a very recent article about transgender women in the California prison system. It's definitely worth a read. TGSF was able to assist with TIP a little over a year ago when a transgender inmate was being released to LA, but didn't have enough money to get started with the first month's rent. A number of people pitched in to get her on her feet while she started working at a new job.

I also ran across an editorial about a new bill that would eliminate the 'trans panic' defense. The piece discusses how one would never use the defense of 'the man was black so I killed him', but how the Gwen Araujo convicted murderers used the 'she was transgender so I killed her' to their advantage...and how transgender people are so marginalized.

Also, I got an email concerning the balloting for San Francisco Pride Parade's Grand Marshals and Pink Brick awards. Here is a list of the people and organizations on the ballot, as well as the ballot itself. Supposedly, one need not be from San Francisco to vote. Of note, Cecilia Chung is a good friend who has been nominated for Grand Marshal. She is also a transsexual woman, and has been an inspiration of mine the past few years. She has been wonderful to work with on a number of outreach projects I have been involved with. If not for her energy, many of the trans-related activities in San Francisco simply would not happen. She really deserves the honor.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ups and Downs

Yesterday was a very weird day for me. By the time I left work, I'd already argued with four people. I hardly ever argue, and yet, I was totally involved in the dissension. In both discussions, I was outnumbered 2-1...which led to me having to prove my point extra hard. I won't bore you with the details, but I was simply amazed that I was actually arguing. I wonder what it was. Hormones? Feeling bitchy? or were people stepping on toes that I felt needed defending? Who knows, but the first one might have helped trigger the second. In both cases, I felt like I didn't initiate the argument, but I definitely helped in continuing it.

In one of the discussion, I came close to shedding a tear...which is way too serious for a discussion at work. Work really isn't supposed to bring out that type of's just supposed to pay the bills. I don't like arguing. Usually, I'm a mediator...finding ground for both parties...but in this case I felt like I was being both the arguer and the mediator. I didn't win, nor did I lose, but it felt kinda weird for me to get all worked up like that. I was able to make some good progress on both topics, though, which seem to be eating up a majority of my time.

Luckily, Amber called to see if I wanted to do dinner. Even though she's barely over two weeks post jaw cutting, she seems to be eating fairly well and looking pretty arguments there.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What will middle America do now?

I'm not a big Wal-Mart fan. The quality for a lot of their products just isn't that great, but I will admit that when I lived in the Midwest, I shopped there a lot. They were open 24/7, and when I needed to buy groceries later than the 9pm closing time of the local grocery store, off to Super Wal-Mart I went. Here in the Bay Area, though, there aren't that many around...and a lot of grocery stores are open 24/7 to handle my late night shopping.

OK, I'm going to cause trouble today.

I don't have any problems with religion. Seriously. It's just when religion forces their list of rules as general policy for everyone else that I have a problem. A lot of religions and churches promote some good stuff...respect your parents, respect your neighbors, don't kill, don't steal, etc. A lot of local churches promote peace and tolerance, but there are the big names out there preaching that God will strike you down if you are gay or if you promote the 'gay agenda'. It's really only the noisy ones that we hear.

Now comes an article today from the Agape Press (whose header is 'Reliable News from a Christian Source....puh-lease...that has to be right up there with Army Intelligence) that bashes Wal-Mart for supporting the 'homosexual agenda'.

The article mentions that 'Wal-Mart aggressively supports the promotion of homosexuality' simply by having a seminar about marketing to Gay America and establishing an LGBT group within the corporation. Good for Wal-Mart...perhaps they are finally seeing the people as people instead of as machines. Wal-Mart has notoriously been known to not treat their workers with many benefits by keeping them as part-time employees.

I think a lot of companies are looking at new frontiers to expand their business. I mentioned this over a year ago, but there is an incredibly open market with gay marriage...a possible long-term boost of up to 10%, not to mention the explosion of wedding business if gay marriage were legalized. Of course, gay marriage has nothing to offer many churches and religions. It doesn't offer procreation of children nor the valid morality of their scripture. Why would they want it?

So, the battle between corporate and religious America will likely come down to the dollar. Of course, since this is America, I wouldn't expect it any other way.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

They just don't get it

Some people just don't get it, and then, some people get part of it, but not the rest. Sometimes I wonder if they are the more dangerous ones because they are sympathetic on some items, but critical on others.

Anyway, I caught an article by Mark Davis this morning relating Felicity Huffman's performance as Bree in Transamerica with Lily McBeth's transition at an elementary school.

Mark's article is fairly compassionate for the first half, but then he launches back into how we are all defined by our chromosomes and children can't handle transgender topics. Now, I don't know about everyone else, but I hate being so easily defined by something that we don't know enough about...especially when there are people out there that aren't defined by their chromosomes...especially women born with Androgen Insensitivy Syndrome.

So, here's my email response to his article:


although the first half of your article is a fairly compassionate piece, you let that compassion flow through into the second half and affect your judgment.

Our nation has grown into nothing more than a black and white nation. You're either one or another, with nothing in between. Democrats or Republicans, man or woman, straight or gay, conservative or liberal...when in fact, there is a wide spectrum for a lot of different items.

You proclaim that 'we are defined by our chromosomes'. Again, this is not a black and white world. There is more than simply XX or XY. There are scientific mutations. Some women are born with only one X chromosome, instead of two. Some people are born XXY or XXXY. And some women are born with XY chromosomes, but have something called Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome where they are immune to testosterone. Their bodies develop as women. ( see this or this ) Some of these women end up ultra feminine and can be very tall. It is rumored that a higher than normal percentage of models have AIS. Could you imagine yourself being attracted to a woman with XY chromosomes? It's likely you are.

Also, you mentioned that little kids like 'Katie and Billy should never have to be put into the position of asking the teacher why she used to be a man", but in reality, kids do the best at handling transgender related topics. It's parents (I can only assume you are a parent) like yourself that are the problem. Children don't harbor the hate, insecurities, or bias that adults have learned over their lifetime. If you teach and expose children to tolerance, they don't have to experience the discrimination that older adults are so easily able to inflict. So, please do not presume to know how a child will handle transgender people because they do not harbor the bias that adults have.

To judge someone by the way they look shows just how shallow a man you really are. Don't look with your eyes, look with your heart.

...choose the label you need to give you that warm fuzzy feeling.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I have to admit it, I'm a virgin when it comes to dealing with public accountants, especially those that prepare taxes. In the past, I've either filled out my own tax forms or used Turbo Tax online. I started out with Turbo Tax this year, but found it a bit confusing when I was trying to enter the sale of my multiple stocks. Typically, I might just try to get close, but I'm claiming SRS this year, and I would rather everything be correct so nothing sets off any bells or whistles.

What is the worry about claiming SRS on my taxes? Well, a memo recently made its way around multiple T boards about the IRS not allowing SRS as a medical deduction for a transsexual woman. This comes a year after the IRS approved SRS as a medical deduction for Rhiannon when GLAAD appealed a tax examiner's refusal to allow it. One year it's approved, the next it's not...strange if you ask me. The imporant thing to remember is that both of these are individual cases and not standing policy, at least that's what I've heard from some legal friends.

So, I met a CPA about a year ago via a TS friend of mine. We chatted a little at a social event, and he seemed relatively cool about everything. When it came time to handle my taxes this year, I didn't want to walk into an H&R Block office and say, "Hi, I had a sex change last year and would like to claim it on my taxes. Can you handle that?"

Thus, I stuck with someone who seemed ok with the subject and who wouldn't get freaked out with my news. I made the appointment about 2 weeks ago and skipped out on lunch today to go over my information. We chatted for a few minutes as we went over my personal info, then dove into all of my tax stuff. I basically have two items besides the usual income and of stock and a lot of medical expenses with SRS and Labiaplasty. I didn't even attempt to put the breast augmentation on there.

I took in a summary of my items for him, as well as all of the stock information I could find. He handed back most of the stock information since he said all of the info he needed was on the tax forms the financial institutions sent me. After that, we chatted for a while before I headed back to work.

Overall, I got a warm fuzzy feeling driving back to work knowing that someone else was properly putting my tax forms together. Plus, I'm not the one having to do it.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


The Academy Awards are tomorrow evening. I'm not sure if I will watch or not, since, well, I never really have in the past...but in this case, I might. Felicity Huffman is up for Best Actress for her portrayal of Bree, a transsexual that finds out she has a son the week before her Sex Reassignment Surgery.

While setting up the news link to the right that searches for transsexual and transgender related articles, I ran across this one that mentions how "gender-bending" is becoming more mainstream. Let's face it, at some point, being transgender was going to become 'in' a degree. Actually, I've already noticed it a little...especially in San Francisco. But the thing is, it only seems 'in' to the younger crowd who likes being different. The older (non-LGBT) crowd tends to be a little more uncomfortable around transgender people.

The article mentions a number of current films that have transgender characters, including Transamerica. It's the only one I've seen, although I've heard of Breakfast on Pluto. I saw Boys Don't Cry just last year. They mention how the role of transgender characters has changed over the years. Initially, I think transgender people were considered either psychological weirdos (Silence of the Lambs, Psycho), deceitful as a woman that shocks men who are attracted to her when they realize she was a man (Ace Ventura, Crying Game), or as a comedy situation (Tootsie, Mrs. Doubtfire). Of course, if you stick a normal boring transsexual in a movie, that would pretty much defeat the purpose, right? Movies put us in the perspective of an extra ordinary situation and when it's ordinary, that movie probably puts you to sleep.

So, the latest crop of movies has moved further away from transgender characters being psychos. Transamerica is fairly down to earth, although the character played by Felicity is a bit of a stiff. Her character grows throughout the movie, and toward the end of it, you start to see her more as a person than a stigma.

The article also mentions that in the upcoming Basic Instinct sequel, Sharon Stone's character will have a pre-op transsexual lover. I can only guess that the character will be played by a genetic woman and the storyline will take a Crying Game twist at some point. Looking at the credits, my guess is Anne Caillon plays the transsexual.

Another thing noted in the article is that transsexual porn is becoming ever increasingly popular. Actually, that doesn't surprise me. There are a lot of men (and women) out there that find transsexuals quite intriguing. OK, they find the very attractive ones incredibly sexy. Although I don't mind the exposure, the problem is people start to associate all transsexuals as she-males, and that we are all sex toys. Porn has been around for a long time and with its hypocritical presence, I doubt it will ever go away. That's where the movies come in to balance out the sex stuff with more real life stuff...that, and perhaps people need to get over the stigma of dating or being seen with us.

While I was searching for a few links in this entry, I ran across a few articles that mentioned Colin Farrell was caught making out with a drag queen/transsexual at a posh Miami party. Good for him. I know a number of transsexual women that would be very interested in Mr. Farrell if he truly is interested in T's. The problem is, many of the transsexual women don't want to be objectified as a transsexual...but liked simply for who they are.

A little more searching finally brought up a video of the transsexuals that competed on Tyra Bank's daytime show for the title of America's Next Top Transsexual Model last month. Some of these girls are simply amazing..and Tyra, although clueless about many things, seems to be giving them a chance at mainstream.

I also ran across a Danish movie that appears to open April 7th called En Soap. It stars David Dencik as a transsexual in a relationship with the owner of a beauty clinic. It appears that the film has already won a number of perhaps transsexuals are the new 'in'.

The problem is, many of us don't want to be 'in'...cuz we're not 'out'.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Boobs rock!

OK, just a small warning in order to protect those that might be reading this in the wrong place.

WARNING!!! Nudity below!!!

It's been just over 2 months since I had the breast augmentation. I spent the first two weeks with this clear plastic sheet over my nipple as it slowly oozed a small amount out of the wound. At two weeks, Dr. Gray peeled the plastic off to show that the skin had basically healed under the scabby stuff. My left nipple scar looked great and was barely visible, but the right one showed a little more scarring with the whitish color. Over the next month and a half, the discoloration has subsided, although the right scar does appear a little more noticeable than the left one.

I also think that Dr. Gray had a little difficulty finding the exact area to cut along my right nipple. Yes, I realize I have not had great nipple development, which is why he probably didn't hit the exact circumference of my lower nipple. I still have some numb areas under each areola, although the numbness is becoming less and less. They also seem a bit high still, although he said to wait 4 months before they reached their final spot. I might have to wait longer in my case since I had a bit of muscle in the chest area. Who knows...only time will tell.

That's one of the hard parts about surgery, though....waiting. Patience is key, but when one feels like no progress is being made, it's easy to get down on things. Yes, like I said, they still feel a bit high. They look good from certain areas and when I'm wearing clothes, but they still look a little off when I look at some of the photos. I have another 2 months to go, so hopefully they will drop into place quite nicely. Quoting my entry from last June: "...he said that after one month, the implants would still be fairly high, after 2 they would look ok, and after 4 months, they will have settled into their final shape." That's pretty much how I'm seeing it right now, although they still feel a bit firm. I've been massaging them when I have a bit of free time with no one around, but I should probably concentrate on doing it more.

OK, so here's what I warned you about above. I compiled a photographic history of the first two months of the incision site. The pictures range from before surgery, 3 days after, 1 week after, 2 weeks - before removal of the plastic guard, 2 weeks - after the removal of the plastic guard, and finally 2 months after. I'm sorry that a few pictures look a little's hard verifying the fuzziness on the screen of the camera when the picture is taken that close up. Anyway, it seems to show a nice timeline of how things look.

I might do one with the implant placement in a few months...we'll see how they are looking then.

52 Things

The National Center for Transgender Equality is running a weekly campaign throughout 2006 on things everyone can do to achieve transgender equality and awareness. Some are easy, some take a little more planning.

So far, here is the list:

#1 Take a Trans Person to Lunch

#2 Ask your library to carry books that deal positively with trans people

#3 Attend an anti-racism training and put into practice what you learn

#4 Run for Office

#5 Invite your mayor or other elected official to address a trans group or town meeting

#6 Plan an Art Show of Works by Trans Artists

#7 Create and publicize a calendar of local events and encourage people to attend them

#8 Start an online community or a blog that deals with an issue that is important to you

#9 Change the Policy of an Organization You Belong To

I have to admit, I've only done #1, part of #7, and #8 (obviously). I've checked my library for trans related books before, but never asked them to carry anything specific. I've attended numerous LGBT type training, but none of it was ever specifically geared toward anti-racism. I've never thought of myself as a racist since I grew up with people of all different types of races. I had my share of white friends growing up, but my best friend in 6th grade was black, and three of my best friends in high school were of Spanish or Filipino ancestry.

Anyway, I find this list intriguing and thought I would mention it.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My trip

I spent the past five days on a little trip. Last Friday, I flew into Phoenix to visit Amber after her partial FFS. Donna was out of town at Gold Rush, so I figured it would be good to stay with Amber when no one else was around. Fortunately, there was one other person staying there, but she wasn't always around.

Thus, Amber and I just kinda hung out for a day. She visited me a few times after my own FFS, especially while everyone else was off at the all-transgender performance of the Vagina Monologues in LA in 2004. She had this uncanny ability to make me laugh (and still does), but every time I did laugh, it hurt. It hurt to laugh. How ironic is that?

So, I figured making her laugh a few times was part of paybacks. OK, I didn't travel all the way to Phoenix just to make her laugh, but I did incorporate my trip there with a trip I was already making home to see my parents.

My mom had her 4th chemo session last Thursday. She was still relatively tired when I showed up on Saturday, but was feeling quite a bit better on Sunday. We hung out until yesterday when I flew back.

She's going thru quite a bit right now. She lost her hair back in early January and still has a nasty smoker's cough giving her trouble. When someone smokes during their chemo, you start to realize just how powerful the addiction really is. She knows she needs to quit, but it's just so hard for her to do it right now. One of our discussions revolved around smoking and how important it was for her to quit. I haven't tried to make her stop in a long time since it's something only she can do. I can't offer any solutions, but I asked her to figure out why she does it. Isn't that the way to look at conflict? Why did I transition? What was I hiding from? Why did I live as a man for so long? Why was I afraid to tell my friends and family? Why was I afraid to be me?

Once those hard questions are answered and excuses are no longer used, can someone find a way of dealing with the issues. I told my mom she needs to find something to replace the smoking...something to replace the reason she does it. When it comes to any addiction, though, those first few weeks are extremely hard. When I quit caffeine cold turkey in the mid-90's, those first few weeks were filled with headaches, feeling tired, and just a plain horrible feeling. I was able to drink decaffeinated drinks as a supplement, but slowly weaned myself off the stuff. Nowadays, it's hard to remember how caffeine made me feel during the day, but I will admit that I slip in a regular Coke or Dr. Pepper about once or twice a year when I'm in a boring day class and about to fall asleep. It's about the only thing I can do to stay awake. Other than that, though, I try not to touch the stuff.

Anyway, when I landed last night, I had a message from my dad that my mom was running a temperature and headed for the hospital. Later, I found out she has pneumonia again, and will need further treatments. Would she have it if she wasn't smoking....who knows.

On a more positive note, as I was headed to baggage claim, I thought I recognized a friend.


Yup, Vaniity (nudity in link) had just arrived from LA and had been waiting on Sam to pick her and her luggage up. The three of us chatted for a few minutes then I headed for my transportation home. OK, she's a porn star, but even when she's dressed in regular attire and not wearing any makeup, she still gets a bunch of guys to turn their heads wondering who she is.