Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A very gay weekend

As with most three-day weekends, this past one was way too short. One of these days I am going to simply do nothing for one of them, but this time, I was still pretty busy.

It started out with Gay Night at Great America with some of my teammates on Friday night. I didn't realize how much entertainment they actually had there until looking at some of the links, but we basically just rode rides and hung out chatting while in line to ride. It's kinda funny seeing lesbians and gay guys mix together. For instance, when we jumped on Top Gun, we had 5 riding in our group. The ride holds four across, so 3 went in one line and I and another in the line behind. We were set to ride with two gay guys. When it came time for us to go, they two guys asked if both of us would ride on the outside since they were scared to sit there. They wanted to ride in the middle. We both kinda chuckled....the girls were riding on the outside cuz the guys were scared to.

As we walked around, I did see Donna Sachet on stage. Although she was wearing a red dress, it wasn't the red dress both of us were wearing at the Cotillion. I also saw a number of T's. Most of them could have passed fairly well had they not stood out. One was wearing a super short skirt, and the other just hadn't taken care of her facial hair fully. Both could have done quite well with just a few tweaks. One of my teammates saw the shirt skirted T and said that she worked it better than any woman she knew. The other one had an awesome voice, and initially, did not set off my T-dar. It was only when she was standing near me in line that I noticed.

On Saturday and Sunday, I played in a gay sports tournament. As I walked past a few guys, I heard one of them say that all of the guys play like girls, and the girls play like guys. He was over-exaggerating, but I thought it was a funny comment. After two solid days of activities, though, I was tired and jumped in the hot tub when I got home.

Speaking of the Cotillion, I ran into Lenny, the other emcee from the Cotillion. When I went up to say hi, he said he thought he'd seen me playing. I wonder when one of these events leads me to a place where "people who know" mix with "people who don't". OK,OK...I'll stop worrying about it.

Prior to the weekend, I found out Donna Rose was going to be in town for a wrestling tournament. Although she and I were both fairly busy this past weekend, we arranged to have breakfast Monday morning before I dropped her off at the airport. I talked Amber and JoanB into attending as well, since both of them have hung out with Donna at some point or another in the past few years. Donna's flight was fairly early which left us searching for a breakfast joint early on a holiday. Fortunately, Crepevine was open and provided a good option for a nice breakfast. (If one is visiting San Francisco for FFS or whatever, I would definitely recommend visiting there or any of the breakfast joints near the Castro...especially those along or near Market street.

After dropping Donna off at the airport, I chilled with some friends watching X-men 3. It was pretty good...and actually a little gory in some parts. I guess the X-men aren't gay, but it was basically finished off my weekend. Oh wait...part of the movie took place in San Francisco...and on Alcatraz island. The story line had a company taking over the island for their secure location. I guess that's pretty gay.

After that, I just chilled at home. I feel like I need a few days off after this weekend. Luckily it's a short week.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming

I finished off the second of my two finals last night. Whew!!! I'm glad to be done with school. Working, going to class, and participating in athletics has recently left me with little to no time...especially with my addiction to the darn computer game (I'll leave that entry for another day).

As I turned in my test to the instructor last night, he shook my hand and thanked me for being in the class. I think he liked me, and we're not talking about looks. At midterms, I was the only one in the class with an A...and the class wasn't that hard. So many of the kids in there just didn't follow through with homework, labs, or studying. Although I had some of the material before, I was still learning as well, but, seriously, the class wasn't that hard if they tried. I suppose the key word is if.

Now that class is over, I can get back to more of my regular routine. I have to admit, I've missed going for my evening runs lately, and have only been able to squeeze a few in here and there. My emails have also suffered. I think I have over 150 sitting in my email box, with over 80 more sitting in another account. I need to read through them at some point. The upcoming three day weekend will hopefully afford me a little time as well. Of course, though, I'll be staying busy this weekend as well, but will hopefully find some downtime to chill.

This past weekend went well. Our team showed a lot of promise and really came through on a lot of fronts. I think we also found our weak spots and need to work on resolving those via more team building. The locker room issue never really came up since there weren't any showers and none of us really got naked. Sure, we changed clothes via a lot of different methods (one girl basically got naked on the field), but we were still kinda gooey from not showering.

I know it may seem like I'm obsessing about this, but I'm not totally worried about it. And before anyone writes me comments, please, realize that everyone is different and prefers to handle different situations as they feel comfortable. Some people have told me not to worry about it and just be 'stealth', but I'm not stealth. The lesbian 'community' does mix slightly with the T 'community', and there are places where I am quite out where someone could easily notice the T stuff.

I think I'm just trying to figure out if and when I should tell them. I don't want them finding out via another method and having them feel like I lied to them. If I came out to them, i think a lot of them would respect that more than them finding out on their own (if they don't already know).

OK, I'm off to interview another college kid for our intern spot. I think this is the first time I've interviewed college-aged kids. Wow...I don't remember being this bad when I interviewed so long ago, but I'm sure I was.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Locker Room

I have to admit...I'm a little nervous. My athletic team is headed on the road this weekend, and after our competition, we'll be changing in the locker room. I've been in plenty of locker rooms before, but this will be the first time in a women's locker room with women around. I haven't told my teammates that I am transgender (and if they already know, they have not indicated it to me). I'm worried that after my clothes are off, they will realize that I'm a transsexual and freak out or something.

I've debated coming out to them, but I fear once they know that their attitude to me will change. I'm always treated slightly different once people know. Typically it's a subtle difference, but once in a while it's a little more noticeable.

In my case, though, most of the women on our team are lesbian women, but don't run around telling people that they are lesbians...so why should it be any different for me, right?

I dunno. I don't think now is the best time to tell them, so if things happen...things happen. I think they'll be cool about it, but I figure I'm just going to put it out of my head and concentrate more on the game.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mom's Day

I flew into Oz on Friday to visit with my mom and dad over Mom's Day weekend. Mom has her last chemo session this coming Thursday, so it was nice to catch up with her as she nears the end of her treatments.

I flew in Friday afternoon, and after opening my previously checked bag, I found that the TSA had inspected it. Now, since I was going to be gone all weekend and not returning until Monday, I had packed my dilators, along with a tube of Surgilube. Inside my bag was also packed my laptop's mouse. For whatever reasons, my bag was inspected. I can only imagine a TSA inspector pulling out the cloth wrapped dilators, sliding one out of its slot, and then realizing what he was holding. Whenever I find that they have inspected my bag, the dilator case is typically not wrapped the same way, and has usually been repackaged in plenty of what I assume is haste. I think I'll wash them before I use them again.

This past Wednesday, though, I was on a panel assembled by the Billy DeFrank Center to talk to the area suicide prevention foundation. Being on this panel was actually dear to me because I've had numerous friends seriously attempt or think about suicide often enough that it is a problem. There are also a lot of transgender (and gay and lesbian) people that contemplate suicide on an ongoing basis.

I don't have the exact numbers, but it has been estimated that between 30-40% of all suicides are by lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people, when they only comprise about 5-10% of the population. Why is a small group such a large portion of those that commit suicide? I think the answer is obvious. LGBT people are actually or perceptually oppressed, discriminated against, and hated by straight people or closeted gay people. As many LGBT people will tell you, no one would seriously choose to be this way (although some would disagree with me on that).

There is so much pressure from society to conform to the heteronormative that many people would rather kill themselves than let anyone know or deal with the oppression that comes with being LGBT in certain regions of the US and world.

Even while I was in Oz and shopping with my parents at Big Box Mart, we heard a bunch of sirens go by. The guy who was assisting my parents with some garden items was part of the local fire department and was wearing a scanner. He told us that all of the sirens were headed to someone who shot himself. After the medical team arrived, they determined that it was a suicide, and the man had died after shooting himself in the heart.

Was he gay or transgender? Had he lost the love of his life? Did he lose his job? Why did he kill himself??? We may never know.

If anyone you know is contemplating suicide, or anyone needs someone to talk to, there are plenty of suicide prevention hotlines around. Please call one of them...they aren't there to judge you, but are simply there to listen and help you if you need it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


This past Friday night was the premiere/reception for Jana Marcus' new work entitled Transfigurations: The Making of a Woman. She also premiered new work for her Transfigurations: The Making of a Man, as well. After driving to Santa Cruz, I popped in to this nice little place called the Attic. I met up with Jana, her SO, and a few other friends who had been photographed and made the trip for the premiere.

The panels are great, and she was able to throw together a good summary of our own transitions, our lives, and what it means to be who we are. On one wall, she had pictures of the guys, while on another wall, she had pictures of the girls. I know a few of the women, and even passed along the project info to a few of them. I also know a few of the guys, which is how I heard about the project in the first place.

She has a number of different photos for both the guys and girls. In the men's series, she has one guy going thru chest surgery, then a year after taking hormones. His transformation is incredible. She also has several nudes of the guys showing the different options for down below, as well as one more series of a guy going thru top surgery and hormones. For the women, she also has pictures of the different options down below, and is doing a series on FFS and breast augmentation. Your's truly is one of her subjects for the boobs. We haven't shot the 'after' pictures yet, but we'll probably be doing them soon.

Here is a picture of me in front of my panel. She didn't have all of the panels up for this show, keeping most of the nudes down for later shows. I don't remember her philosophy on that, but I think the pictures she had were very moving. A lot of people were astounded by the pictures and captions...with a number of people saying they were brought to tears.

I was able to chat with Jana a little more during and after the show. It appears the show is pretty well booked around the country for quite a while, but she is still trying to farm the project out as a book. She's running into a lot of opposition...and this comes from LGBT friendly press. They think it is too cutting edge or something...basically, they are afraid it won't sell. Honestly, I don't know if it would or not, but it makes a great art series. I hope a lot of people are able to catch it around the nation as it tours. If not, she has a lot of the panels in a slideshow on her website.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I'm still here

OK, sorry, I haven't posted in awhile. I've been...well...busy. Combined with not having too much to talk about, I haven't written in a bit. I've also put in a little traveling lately, so my sleep schedule has not been that great. Luckily, class ends in a few weeks, so that will free up a bit more time for me.

Hmm...ok, so this will probably be just a hodge-podge of random stuff.

I skipped dilating a couple of weeks ago, and then picked up where I left off a week later. As I was dilating, though, I noticed a bit of clear blood-like stuff on the end of the dilator when I pulled it out and after I got up off the pad. Yuck!!! I've had friends...and friends of friends...that have had issues with bleeding during sex or dilation, and that just does not sound like fun. Note to self: try to dilate more often.

I attended the Billy DeFrank Center's 25th Anniversary Gala this past Saturday night. I met Aunty Anita for the first time (see picture), and hung out with a few friends at one of the tables. They served decent food, gave away a few awards, covered the last 25 years of the LGBT center for the South Bay, and then had Scott Capurro for their evening entertainment.

Let me start out by saying that the Billy DeFrank Center has since issued an apology for Scott's comments and the direction he took during his comedy routine. I mean, he told some very funny jokes, but at times he totally sucked. He bashed the organizer's on-stage decorations, he talked a lot about his own sex life including his desire to have sex with Jesus (that a half naked guy nailed to a cross made him gay during Catholic school...which I believe he was kidding about), that having had sex with a little person was like having sex with a child...but legal, and his own desire to have a big black man treat him basically like a submissive. It was a little...ok...a lot over the edge at times...and with a relatively mixed crowd of gay men, lesbians, and bi and straight people, it just did not fit well with the audience. (If you clicked on the link above to his website, you will kinda get the gist of this via the animation of one stick figure giving another stick figure a blow job.) At times, Scott knew that he was across the line, but kept going back. As he was wrapping up, and Aejaie Sellers, the Executive Director of the Billy DeFrank Center, came on stage to close out the evening, the two of them started conversing. Scott wondered if she was a lesbian since he had overheard some lesbians wondering if she was basically available. Aejaie then points out her boyfriend. Scott pushed for why she was there, and Aejaie pointed out that she is a transsexual woman...and which point Scott becomes totally enthralled and starts asking her personal questions that probably should not have been asked on stage. I think what Scott lacked was just a general respect for some of the topics he touched on.

I've heard Scott before on the Alice morning show. When they started talking about the reaction to Scott yesterday morning, how the Billy DeFrank Center flew him in from London for their celebration, and the apology they issued following his performance, I decided to call in. I basically gave the same review above. Even Sarah, the co-host of the show, mentioned that Scott tends to keep pushing and pushing when things start going sour. They even played 'whant-whant-whaaaa' sound effects as I spoke to them about the evening.

Was Scott funny? At certain times, yes, very much so....BUT, he crossed the line numerous times and just wasn't funny at those times, but simply crude.

Otherwise, though, I had a good time. I bought a few dresses the night before the event, so I've got a few new outfits for all of the upcoming events.

Monday and Tuesday, I was in Maine. Anytime someone asked where I was, and I answered Maine, everyone seemed to think I was there for pleasure...but in actuality, I was simply there for business. It took a whole freaking day just to get there. We routed through DC on our way, with one of the local US senators on the same flight as us. The three hour time difference is killer, and the five and a half hour flights really blow...so, I took off a little early from work yesterday afternoon.

Now, though, I'm back. My next travel will be for pleasure...sorta, as I visit my mom for Mom's Day. She still has one more chemo session to go, with rounds of radiation to follow. It will definitely be nice to see her again.