Monday, June 30, 2008

Rainbows abound

Twas the gay time of the year, and all of the big hairy guys were dressed in their finest emperor's magic robe.

Yup, it was Pride 2008 in San Francisco.

As usual, it started off with the Trans March Friday night. (Actually, I guess it kinda kicks off with the Frameline films that start prior to Pride Weekend.) I saw that Donna Rose was flying in to address the marchers (as well as talk at a number of other places on Friday). I sent her an email to give her a heads up on what she might expect in San Francisco as opposed to other areas of the US. From what I have seen, San Francisco has a very large genderqueer population, that is especially present at the Trans March. I told her it was kinda “gritty-hip” such a way that some of it can be in your face. She called me Thursday night and we chatted a bit, and walked along a little during the march. She was an extremely busy woman out here, though, so we only spoke briefly. She’s very good at taking in the grander picture, though, as you can see in her blog entry and amount of pictures. Perhaps it’s harder to appreciate what San Francisco has with Pride when you actually live here and see it all of the time.

The Dyke March was Saturday afternoon. While two of my good friends were discussing the future of their relationship, I hung out with the girl I went out with a few times late last year. I recognized one girl in the march, but couldn't quite place her. She saw me, as well, and started walking over. She was in the La Cage play that we did 5 years ago...AND she recognized me.

She said I didn’t look that different, and I guess she did see me in a few girl modes about 6 months before I went full time. I have to admit, though, I was very surprised that she recognized me. When you pay a guy $40,000 to look different, dammit, people shouldn’t recognize you. (Picture from pre-transition)

Sunday was the parade, and I have to say that I am kinda burned out on the parade, so I just chill in the booth crowds. A number of my lesbian friends rode their bikes with the Dykes on Bikes portion of the parade, so I caught up with them once they were finished riding. What do you think...could I be a dyke on a bike? I teased my friends and asked if people volunteered to ride “bitch” during the parade. I said I might try it next year.

I ended up working the TGSF margarita booth for a portion of the busy time of the day. My knee and feet were toast by the end of the weekend, though, so I headed home around 4pm. Overall, it was a nice, but busy, weekend.

Another good thing about the weekend was the trans-presence. The Trans March continues to be well attended. Mikayla Connell and Cecilia Chung have been very instrumental in current and previous SF Pride planning. TGSF and the Lou Sullivan Society (formerly FTMI) have had a margarita booth together for the past 2 years. And, of course, Donna Rose attended.

To have Donna Rose out here was awesome. To me, she has become the face of a united ENDA. When HRC went back on their word to make ENDA all inclusive, she quit the HRC board. There has been a lot of pressure put on HRC to get back on track, especially since they knew that the bill wouldn’t be signed by George Bush. It was the act of staying together...being united...that would have shown the validity of keeping the gender identity part in ENDA. I still have to admit I’m surprised at how many organizations didn’t fold like HRC, and even more surprised at the continual support for keeping it an inclusive ENDA.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My, what big hands you have

Over the past few months, I've noticed a few comments that make me want to go, "Well, duh, that's what happens when you're born male."

My teammate: "Your shoes look huge from up here."

Another: "You have pretty big feet."

Yet another teammate: "You have large hands."

...and last night's comment, "You have really wide fingernails."

"Yes I do.”

“I have big hands,” says my teammate as she holds her hand up to mine.

“So do I.”

We have the same size hands... and she’s the same height as me.


So, yeah, my typical response has become, “Yes I do.” I’ve come to learn that denying something that is actually true just makes it that more obvious that I’m trying to hide something. Thus, now it's more an agreement that I do have large feet, or large hands, or wide fingernails, or large shoulders, or big arms, or buff legs...because, well...I do.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rush Hour 3

I was catching up on my Netflix list, lately, and had Rush Hour 3 at home. I will admit that I enjoyed the first two movies...they were entertaining. Yes, I was able to understand the words coming out of his mouth.

The movie was cruising along decently (I already had a few of the plots already figured out) until the main female character reveals her bald head underneath a wig. Chris Tucker’s character unfortunately then goes into this big gay-panic/transphobic rant about whether or not she is a man and has a package. While Jackie Chan’s character tells him she is a woman, Chris Tucker’s character continues to dance around as though his manhood is on the line. It was a total overreaction, but I guess they needed that to create what they hoped would be a humorous scene.

It’s too bad they couldn’t just have Jackie tell him that he’d still “jump her bones” even if she were a man because she was that hot, or have Chris say that it didn’t matter because she was all woman to him.

Anyway, it was mildly entertaining but gets a negative score for the transphobia scene and no counter-response.

Friday, June 20, 2008

2 hours after the 2 hour phone call

I was supposed to hang out with some friends in the afternoon / early evening at one of the local Gay Pride month activities this past Sunday. I was going to leave around the same time that I had my 2 hour phone conversation, so I arrived a little late.

We hung out a little longer. To be honest, it was both a long and short weekend...and I was mentally tired as our sports season drew to a close. OK, yes, I still have a very weak MCL, but I was able to get into the game in a consolation manner.

It's strange, every time I am not really looking for any type of romance it seems to hit.

The first was a cute woman. Her baggett (my term for a male fag hag or dyke tyke) whispered in my ear that she thought I was cute.

We ended up chatting for a while, but I just wasn't in dating mode at all. I just wanted to veg, and I guess that just didn't come off the right way. She had to leave shortly after then, and I probably should have given her my number. I know...stupid Kara.

After I found my friends, and we stood around there chatting, one of my friends whispered in my ear that some dude had been staring at me for like 10 minutes straight.


He finally approaches, and well, "he" was actually a she. By every indication, she needs to just accept transition and start living as a guy. Or, well, I dunno...she just came across as very masculine in a feminine way...which was kinda...meh, I don't know...but she just wasn't my type.

I dunno, I guess I'm just not really into super-masculine women that look like guys. Sure, if I met a nice FTM, I'd totally date them...but I dunno, dating an FTM is dating a guy...not a masculine woman.

Anyway, the hard part was trying to ditch her in nice way, which turned out to be harder than I thought it would be.

When I said something along the lines of hanging out with my lesbian friends and that I wasn't a lesbian, I probably should have just kept my mouth shut instead of telling her I was queer. My friends finally decided to head out and I left with them, without giving out my number when requested. Plus, she was more than an hour away, and that would not have been fun to deal with.

Right before lunch today, I got an email from a guy here at work who I had chatted with in the breakroom when I had my puppy...I mean, leg brace on. He was curious about my sports activities and asked me to lunch. So, after a few quick IM's to my consultant crew, I was off to have a very innocent lunch with a guy here at work.

We chatted for a while. He's actually from a place in Oz near where I went to high school. He even knew the name of the college I went to. I kept it pretty innocent, though, only talking about generic work stuff and personal history and sports. No T stuff and no personal dating being queer or anything.

It was just an innocent lunch.

Yes, I will be worried if he takes it outside of work because I don't think he knows my history since he has only been here a year. I just don't want any of this to affect him working here...such that he might get all freaked out about the T stuff and leave or something.


Anyway, I've probably shot down 3 people this week. Hey, well, at least I found something I'm getting good at.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

2 hour phone call

(The following entries were delayed until Jodie and Julie finished their SRS trip.)

Two of my good friends, Jodie and Julie, had SRS earlier this week. I talked to one of them for 2 hours Sunday night...the night before her surgery.

She had a lot of last minute concerns. Unfortunately, I think a number of us try to keep these concerns out of our mind for a variety of lessen the worrying, to keep the invalidating thoughts out of our mind, or because those thoughts simply weren't there until the reality of SRS finally hit.

I know I tried to stay keep my mind occupied with other the few weeks before SRS. I also dwelt on the whole aspect of the surgery...the pluses and minuses of having SRS performed.

Some of Jodie's concerns dealt with her being an only child and no longer being able to bear children. She doesn't like girls, so, really, it would have been a difficult process anyway to meet a guy that would use Jodie's sperm instead of his in order to have children, let alone then find and pay for a surrogate mother.

Perhaps one of the hard parts of questioning things before any portion of transition is does that questioning actually imply non-validation. In fact, I think questioning each step ensures that you are making the right step...that you have weighed in on the consequences of transition.

I think she was also dealing with facing the final act, in a sense. It's sorta like a work your way up to this point in the river and then face an enormous drop-off. There's no going back, but there is a river ahead that can still be traveled.

Friday, June 06, 2008

20 years

I had my first high school reunion dream this past week. Yup, my 20 year high school reunion is coming up next month. Since transitioning, I've only run into one of my classmates...and that's because he was building my parents new home.

I've chatted with a few of them via email or IM, so most of them already know...well, those that stay in the loop on our alumni website are in the know, at least.

In my dream, though, I had 2 male classmates that were being semi-obnoxious about my situation. Sigh...hopefully none of that stuff happens at the actual reunion. Of course, I have no idea how any of them will react. Sure, there will likely be the wow-factor, but the worst part for me would likely be the damn pronoun stuff.

Believe it or not, I have one guy at work that is still using the damn male pronouns. He left a message on my phone the other day that ended with "Thanks, guy." I'm really getting annoyed whenever he does pop those into the conversation or meeting. They're small things, but still, it would be nice not having to deal with it. I don't want to blow it out of proportion by going to his boss or anything, but it would be nice if he would either use female pronouns, or just call me Kara instead of using pronouns. If he continues, I'll either have to send him a note or talk with his boss about it. I'm trying not to make a big deal about it, though, because I don't want it to be an issue in the work place. Fortunately, I don't have to deal with him on a regular basis.

Better than a puppy

OK, not really, but it's almost like having a puppy.

The first week that I wore that annoying knee immobilizer, I had a ton of people start casual conversations with me. Even after I moved away from it and on to my current knee brace (which is wearable underneath most of my clothes), people still chat me up about the knee and how I'm walking much better or much faster now.

The knee is getting better. I'd say I'm at 80%. There is no pain except when moving the knee in the wrong direction. Of course, that's been the case most of this entire time. It's still sore if I squat all of the way down and sometimes when I fully straighten the leg.

My physical therapist is this cute little lesbian with short hair. Why do they always have short hair? Bah!!! My orthopedic doctor is this really tall handsome dude. He's a cyclist and triathlete, and has obviously played a number of sports in his life. I was lucky to get him for my doctor as he seemed very knowledgeable about sports injuries AND he had worked with a number of female sports teams in the past...and he was super cute. I have follow up appointments with both of them, of course.