Wednesday, November 29, 2006

As my world turns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Walking into the wrong bathroom

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Transfigurations heads to NYC

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

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

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

Monday, November 20, 2006

Transgender Day of Rembrance

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Montel Williams Show

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

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

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

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

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

Addendum (11/16/06)

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I put the brow back on

...but only for a day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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