Monday, April 17, 2006

The L word

Ya know, I love lesbians. It's not even the attraction, it's just nice to hang with women that I share some similarities with. Most of the women on my sports teams do not look like lesbians in the stereotypical fashion, but they still like sports and doing things that not all girly girls might like to do.

On Friday night, I went out with a group celebrating the birthday of one of our teammates. She wanted to catch a San Jose Sabercats indoor football game. I think a lot of us were indoor football virgins, so it was nice to lose that title. San Jose doesn't have football like San Francisco and Oakland, so there were actually quite a few fans. So, while we were watching the game, we also got to talk about how the Sabercats were matched by the even more popular Saberkittens. OK, not everyone in attendance goes for girly girls, but they are very nice to look at. The little boys (and I really mean little) seated behind us, though, were so disrespectful toward them in such a demeaning manner that I was amazed their fathers let them speak that way. Of course, when you think about it, they probably learned it from them in the first place. I will have to admit, after chatting with the woman seated next to me, though, that I don't think I could go for a total girly girl.

After the game, we decided to hang out in a downtown San Jose gay bar. There was actually a good mix of men and women, but still more men than women. As we danced with our drinks (holding ones drink while casually moving to the music) in the blacklight lit room, we all kinda conversed. When I turned to talk to the birthday girl, a very tall woman squeezed between us on her way to the bar. All I saw was her side and backside as she passed.

"Wow...Amazon," I said to my friend, in reference to her being fairly tall.

"I think she's a tranny," she replied.

I looked back. She was right. The T still looked pretty good, though, and had I seen her from the front and with regular light, I might have noticed. There was another T I had noticed at the doorway, but wasn't absolutely sure...and wasn't going to spend any time trying to find out. Another T made her way into the bar later on. She was a little easier to read by the outfit and size.

The nice thing is that no one in our group really made a big deal about them, nor the midnight drag show that went on.

A few of the girls from Friday night, though, convinced me to attend an all-women event in San Francisco Saturday afternoon/evening, called Delicious. I made it around 5-6pm and danced with a few women. Later on, one of my teammates asks me if I'm interested in one of their friends because she's interested in me. (insert flashbacks of high school) I danced with her a few times that evening because I wanted to dance and, and she and I were both single. OK, we did more than dance, but we mainly kept our hands and lips to ourselves. She was fairly cute, but I wasn't sure dating a friend of my teammates was such a good idea. For one thing, I'd probably end up disclosing to her that I'm T, which could lead to the whole team knowing...and I'm not sure if I really want that at this point. They could already know, but based on their responses to me and to other transgender people they've noticed, I don't think they do. Perhaps I am underestimating my passability...who knows.

The 'friend' mentioned to me, after seeing a transgender woman dancing on the dance floor, that she was her 'favorite transvestite'. The T probably could have passed relatively easy had she not been wearing such provocative attire, but she was wearing what felt comfortable for her.

Anyway, the rest of the weekend is kind of a blur. A friend mentioned an MMORPG to me the previous weekend, and since I had never played one, I bought the game. Let's just say that I'm hooked. It's also in the same game that another transsexual was trying to create an LGBT-friendly guild, but was 'cited for harassment' by the producers of the game.

I can see why a lot of gamers are so thin...I barely remembered to eat while playing.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Did you catch the Simpson's episode this past Sunday? Homer was sent away to India to teach them how to run the offshored nuclear power plant, and Patty and Selma kidnapped Richard Dean Anderson. RDA mistakenly popped into the biggest MacGyver fanclub (Patty and Selma's apartment) while trying to find the Stargate SG-1 conference. After finding the right conference, Patty and Selma blacked out the lights and kidnapped RDA. When the lights came back on, pandemonium ensued with the Comicbook Guy yelling for everyone to find RDA. One of the nerds in the audience yells out, "I think I saw a girl here...find her!!!" Hahahahaha...only one girl.

They pan to Groundskeeper Willy in a kilt backed into a corner in a defensive stance. "I'm not a girl," says Willy in his Scottish accent.

"But you're the closest thing we've got," replies one of the nerds.

I laughed pretty good.

Actually, there's a bit of truth in that. (I think that's what makes the Simpson's so funny sometimes...that some of the stuff they make fun of actually has a twinge of truth to it.) Nerds, geeks, trekkies, etc., in my opinion, are a bit more open to other possibilities than finding a hot chick...well, because most of them realize that a hot chick isn't going to go for them (think Beauty and the Geek). They're just polar opposites. I bet if you asked all the guys at a Nerd Convention who they would choose between a hot alien chick and a regular human woman, most of them would choose the hot alien chick. Even Captain Kirk went for the green skinned hottie, remember?

Enter the hot, geeky transsexual. Yes, there are a number of geeky transsexuals around. (I even consider myself to have a bit of a geek streak.) If you compared the number of women with the number of T's at Nerd Conventions or those that play video games, you'd see a fairly comparable number. It would be a lot better than the 1 in 5000 ratio (based on estimates) seen in the rest of society.

So, would these nerd guys be open to dating a T? Some, yes, but there would still be the stigma of dating a transsexual. Although I could be way off, I don't think it would be as bad as the rest of society.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


If I had to pick one word to represent my life, that's the word I would pick. Almost.

A little over 5 years ago, I was playing flag football against the second team my company had put together. It was 4th down and at least 10 yards to go. I ran an out pattern, but because I was well covered, I rolled up the field. The quarterback rolled right as well, and launched the ball toward me. I was hauling ass to get to where I needed to be, and had since passed up the people covering me. The ball started to fall right ahead of me, and I outstreched my hands in an attempt to catch it. As I did, I felt the ball slide right through the tips of my fingers. I missed it by about 6 inches. Almost caught it. We lost the game. A few months later, I moved to California and began a new chapter of my life. Had I caught that ball, would things still be as they are today?

Does anyone remember Gunder Hägg? Probably not. There are probably very few who know of Roger Bannister, for that matter. Gunder Hägg ran the mile in the 1940's. His personal best was 4:01.4. He never broke four minutes, but he was perhaps the first to get that close and never break it. Roger Bannister broke it nine years later when he became the first person to break the 4-minute barrier.

I was no Gunder Hägg, but in high school, I had a number of seasons in a row where I almost made it to the State competition. I was 6th in cross-country when the top 5 went, lost in sectional wrestling...the last step before State, was 5th in sectional track when the top 4 went, and was 11th in cross-country when the top 10 went. I lost in sectional wrestling one more time, and missed State again in track as a Junior.

In student council, I was vice-president. They should call it almost-president.

In college, I was the #2 runner on the cross-country team my graduate year. Yes, I ran when I was a graduate student since I had been injured as a senior. There was one race where I led the team, but it was only because our #1 guy was sick.

In track, the best I could manage in a race was 2nd place. One guy outleaned me at the line. Almost won.

In a lot of these cases, I was pretty decent, but I couldn't quite get to that plateau past 'almost'. That's been a lot of my life....almost.

To some, I'm almost a girl. There are still some items on my body which I cannot change, and those things still remind me that I was born male. My hands, my feet, my chest, my larger frame...there's not much I can do about them. And, thus, I'm reminded that I'm almost a girl. Almost.

Is 'almost' good enough? I almost have a female hairline, almost have a female body, almost have a female face, almost have female genitalia. I can get hair transplants for my hairline, could tweak the face here and there, tweak downstairs a little, surgically alter the waist/chest with lots of potential risks, etc. Where does it end?

IS almost good enough? I don't know, but sometimes one reaches a point where almost is about as good as it's going to get.

And ya know what....I'm ok with that.

Dear Abby 2

It looks like Mr. Savage received a few email responses on his 'chicks with sticks' letter-answering article last week. Here's a look at some of the responses. Seriously, the "men that like T's" (of any variety) is a subject hardly talked or written about in our society. I think it's good to at least have some sort of dialogue.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Parades, and Galas, and Banquets...Oh My!!!

San Francisco Pride (the people who put on the parade/party for Pride) recently announced the community vote getters. Robert Benardo was selected by the community as the parade's individual grand marshal. I was really hoping that Cecilia Chung would have made it, but she still has the opportunity to be a marshal when either the membership of Pride, the electoral college of former grand marshals, or the Pride board selects more marshals.

I met Robert earlier this year during my CUAV training. He was a pretty nice guy and gave us some tips when talking to the community about our stories and CUAV. Interestingly enough, he tried out for Star Trek Voyager...the role that eventually went to Garrent Wang.

Sticking with sci-fi and Pride, the community selected Governor Girlieman himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, for the "Pink Brick" award, mainly in part for his veto of the Gay Marriage bill he vetoed last year. OK, he's getting a bit of a bad rap for the veto...saying he would rather the public or the courts overturn the amendment allowing only a man and a woman to be married, but he didn't have to be the terminator...that role has since passed him by.

SF Pride also announced that the Billy DeFrank center was selected the organization grand marshal. I worked with their panel discussion last week, and plan on attending their 25th Anniversary gala later this month. It's a little pricey for dinner, but it's a fund raiser for a good cause.

Speaking of fund raisers, I'm also looking to attend the San Francisco GLAAD media awards in June. If I thought the DeFrank center meal was pricey, the GLAAD one is insane. Still, it's for a good cause. It's also good to represent the usually under-represented T that falls with the L, G, and B. This year may be different though. I already noted at least two table hosts that fall under the transgender umbrella, and Calpernia Addams will be presenting an award as well. After sending an email to her good friend, it appears there will be two of them making their way up from SoCal. Hopefully we'll have some good numbers there.

While looking thru the BAR site at the SF Pride article, I finally found this old article from January. In the piece, you'll find a drag queen's worst nightmare. I'm gonna spoil it for you...ready???? It's me!!! :) Donna Sachet and I are gonna have to make sure we're not wearing the same dress this time. I already emailed her asking if she wants to go shopping sometime, because, knowing our luck, we'd both show up at the GLAAD Media Awards in the same outfit.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Don't spend it all in one place

My federal tax refund finally showed up in my bank account on Friday. My state refund came in the week before. I don't know where I'd be without those two since my bank account was gradually dwindling down to nothing. I have some mutual funds and stuff, but I really didn't want to cash them out to pay bills and stuff. The government now has three years (I believe) in which to audit me, and challenge my deduction claim of SRS. They've got two more years on my FFS. I didn't claim my breast augmentation.

My tax preparer really messed up the first time they sent me the tax forms to review. They left off the tax I paid to the State of California, so they calculated that I owed them over $2000. After calling them and having them fix the error, they sent revised forms to review. It ended up being over a $6000 error once things were fixed.

So, I recently passed the $30K mark on paying off my bills. Unfortunately, I still have a few more years to go. I'm right at half-way on paying off my 401k for FFS, and just past half-way on the SRS bill. The boobs are, of course, paid for. That means I have about another 2 years of debt to pay off on transition. Sure, I received some money back from the government, but I needed to refresh my bank account. Plus, I feel like splurging a little. I haven't purchased any new clothes at all lately (something that is really really hard to do) and my DVD player died over a year ago.

I've been watching DVD's either on my Mac or laptop. They don't look as sharp on my larger screen Mac, and the laptop is a little more portable to put in front of the couch but still has a fairly small screen. I finally finished The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants this morning. It's a very touching coming of age movie from a female perspective. I totally loved it...working my way thru a couple rounds of drying my eyes.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The class of 2006

...was born the year I graduated from high school. I'm now (well...almost) double the age of graduating seniors. This popped up for two different reasons: 1, I've recently been emailing back and forth with a high school friend, and, 2, I spoke at a high school the past two mornings.

The panel was organized by the Billy DeFrank center, and included the mother of a gay son, a gay man, and myself, plus two other transgender people yesterday. There was supposed to be a lesbian woman with us this morning, but she had to cancel.

This was my first time speaking with high school students, and I will admit, I was nervous. I've spoken at colleges, mainly since I feel comfortable, because they are a little more mature and are able to make decisions without their parents being involved. With high schoolers, they typically live at home and, once they hear that they had LGBT speakers in class, their parents might freak out a bit. One also has to watch their language with high schools, while with college I don't have to worry about accidentally or purposely saying a bad word.

The three classes actually went relatively well, though, so my nervousness was fairly unwarranted. High school students face a bit more peer pressure and stress than college students, though, so you can definitely see a difference in their reactions and questions. A lot of them just don't have any exposure to LGBT stuff, nor do they have a well developed security in their own sexuality, so some of them are still uncomfortable dealing with gay issues. I can remember.

Yesterday, the classes were a little shorter, but today's class was longer, so the teacher did an initial activity where the students guessed if we were gay/lesbian or straight. Only a handful thought the short-haired mom was a lesbian, with a majority of the class thinking the gay man was gay. I was kinda surprised that a majority of the class also thought I was a lesbian. There were only three of us, though, so they were pre-biased before voting...knowing that we would be chatting about LGBT subjects.

They really didn't have that many reasons for me to be a lesbian beyond my hair style being a little wild, because I didn't wear (that much) makeup, and because my hands were man-ish. Ahhh...the hands.

We went thru a number of the typical questions dealing with the voice, whether or not I have had surgery (although some school systems do not want us talking about surgeries), how much it cost, who I am attracted to, the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, why I didn't have an Adam's Apple, and a few others.

It seems like girls definitely outnumber guys in high school when it comes to being secure with who they are, with guys still running around beating on their chests and arguing over who has the larger penis. At least they don't smell as bad as they do in college.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Flying Trannys

Yes...the Flying Trannys. A group of people calling themselves the Flying Trannys plan to cycle across Canada in memory of a transwoman who took her own life, as well as, to raise trans awareness and suicide prevention and support. Here is a blurb from their website at

This trip started out as a discussion of how best to celebrate the life of Alexandria Tucker, a trans woman who was born in St John's, Newfoundland, and died in Victoria, British Columbia. It grew into a project which aimed to bring trans awareness, and suicide prevention information and support, throughout Canada. We agreed that the best way to do this was via a bike tour across Canada.

Keenan is a long time social activist and current student at Camosun College on Vancouver Island. Having recently moved back to Vancouver Island, he is very much enjoying himself.

Noah is also a social activist and a student. He is currently completing a social work degree at The University of Victoria. He is considering pursuing either graduate school or Law School. He works a lot!

Emer currently studies Sociology at Langara College in Vancouver, BC. She has spent many years abroad living different lives. She is a social activist and ardent trans supporter. She is the mother of two boys.

They're still looking for financial assistance, drivers, some equipment/food, and places to stay along the route. Contact them at, or (for donations), if interested.

The trip is currently scheduled to kick off in Vancouver on May 1st. I think it would be totally cool to participate, but unfortunately, someone has a ton of work she should be working on even as she types this. (It's my lunch break...gimme a break.)

Dear Abby

OK, I'm on a roll tonite.

What happens when 'Dear Abby' meets tranny chasers??? Well...they get Savage Love. In this weeks column, Dan Savage responds to three letters from men interested in...ummm...transgender women. With this trend toward a lot of men being sexually interested in chicks-with-a-stick, I almost wish I still had my penis...well, except I like doing everything else without one. And, of course, even when I used it for sex, it still felt weird in a way. OK, as soon as my insane work load is diminished and this semester comes to a close, I might look at dating around a bit...and possibly see how my sensitivity is doing.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

California Dreamin

The Bay Area's only transgender conference (that I know of) is coming up later this month. California Dreamin' basically kicks off on Friday, April 21st and runs thru Sunday, April 23rd. A few of the big names like Dr. O, Dr. Meltzer, Denaë Doyle, Carla Blair, and Christopher Daley will be there.

I've participated the past two years. I watched Dr. Meltzer's and Dr. O's presentations in 2004 (mainly for Dr. Meltzer since I hadn't had SRS as of then). I was only two months post-FFS at that point, and attended Dr. O's seminar since I'd paid for the afternoon. Having their sessions back to back enabled me to take a picture with the two main people who helped me be me...although I'm still not sure what Dr. O is looking at. I spoke last year about 'transitioning in the workplace' since I'd just transitioned on-the-job the year prior. They have two new people on the panel this year, so I wasn't invited back. Fresh faces are always good, though.

I also went to last year's conference to see Dr. Meltzer for a check-up since I was only two months post-op and because he was in the area. I figured I might as well get in to see him since he was the expert on what he had 'carved'.

Surprisingly, I never attended a conference before starting transition or my RLT. California Dreamin' disappeared for a few years, and I never ventured to any of the others around the country. Since I was the Education Co-Chair with TGSF for a few years, though, I put on my own sort of drawn out conference by having a number of speakers over the years. I had Dr. O talk about FFS, Dr. Eugene Kaplan discuss SRS, a self defense session, a session on picking out the right outfit and the places to shop around San Francisco, and a few makeup sessions. I guess you could say I had the sessions more for myself than anyone else.

I kinda wish I had attended one just to meet more people early on...although I definitely met my share of people at a variety of events before going fulltime. I've thought about attending one of the other events around the country like Denver's Goldrush, Boston's First Event, or the largest one...Atlanta's Southern Comfort. The forum participants at GenderPeace held a few informal in Chicago that I attended about two years ago, and one in Boston about a year and a half ago. The one in Chicago was fun since most of the people were around my age, and we all pretty much had transitioned or were looking to transition in the future. Perhaps we'll do another one in the future.


I'm sure everyone has seen the Mastercard commercials.

Baseball: $4
Cap: $9
Glove: $50

Playing catch with your dad: Priceless

So, they've also been running ads for a write your own 'Priceless' ad contest. I thought of one a long time ago (as did probably every other transgender person):

Hormones: $100/month
Breast Augmentation: $6,000
Sex Reassignment Surgery: $22,000
Electrolysis: $26,000
Facial Feminization Surgery: $42,000

Finally getting to be you: Priceless

Unfortunately, when I popped in to their site to put that down, I found that they only have two different templates to use...and neither of them would work for such entries. Of course, based on the reaction to the old Holiday Inn commercial a number of years back (which might have actually been the beginning of the 'priceless' ads), I doubt they'd use it anyway.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Longer days

I hate short weekends. Sure, it was only an hour shorter, but it still makes Monday that much harder. I could really use that extra hour, though, since life has been crazy the past few weeks. It has been nothing but work, class, homework, and athletics...with more emphasis on work.

At work, I've been dealing with a problem that's been affecting a few product lines...which has taken away my time for everything else. I'm supposed to be 75% dedicated to the development of a new project, but I've only been able to throw about 5% at it. I'm also supposed to be taking care of everything else with my position, and it's all getting backed up. I basically have the work load of 2 people right now, and I'm falling behind quite fast. I'm stressed. And since I have a new manager, I feel like I need to work extra hard to impress him in the hopes that he is able to look past the uncomfortableness he might feel in knowing my past.

Tonite, I needed my stress relief, so I went for a run. The nice thing about short weekends is that there is now more light to run in the evening. Unfortunately, that extra light leads to more people on my routes.

Lately, the excessive rain has led to me not running as much. Yeah, I love running in the rain, but not when it's cold AND rainy. For the month of March, San Francisco had 25 days of rain. It's already rained the first three days of April with little hope to dry out over the next ten. This winter has also seemed a lot cooler than the ones I've seen in the past. It sucks, and it's not helping my spirit out as well. I'm ready for spring...anytime it feels like showing up.