Thursday, October 30, 2008

Please vote No on 8

The election is next week, and lately, it seems like more focus has been on Proposition 8 than anything else here in California. Proposition 8 was added to the ballot earlier this year, and is the usual strategy for the Religious Right.

What is the usual strategy?

Well, lately they have used gay marriage and a number of other hot issues to get Conservative voters out to the polls in order to get more of their own voters out. I believe it is one of the major strategies that helped Bush win both of his elections. Here in California, they are also using Proposition 4, which makes it mandatory for a parent to be notified before a girl under 18 can have an abortion. In principle, it sounds good, but what it doesn't cover is if the parent does not agree with the abortion or is abusive, which could lead a girl to get a back alley abortion if the Proposition passes. This is the third time it has been presented to California voters.

Proposition 8, though, redefines marriage as that between only one man and one woman. I say "redefines" because earlier this year, the California Supreme Court decided that the prior Proposition 22 was unconstitutional since it did not treat all Californians with the same rights...and that same sex marriages would be considered valid. Proposition 22 passed with 61% of the votes in 2000. Hopefully public opinion has changed a bit in the past 8 years, and to be honest, I think it has. It shows dramatically in the polls where things have been running pretty even for the past few months, with both sides pulling slightly ahead at different times. The airwaves have been flooded with commercials for both sides the past month.

Even on the LGBT panels I have participated in lately, Prop 8 has been a hot topic. Luckily, we have a gay minister active in one of our panel groups that has been a great resource. There are a lot of myths about gay marriage and marriage in general, and he has been able to dispel many of them on the panels we have attended. Prop 8 has been so hot, though, that many of our panels have not had the usual transgender focus that I've seen in the past. I don't mind, as the Prop 8 topic definitely deserves the attention.

Even a few coworkers have really gotten into the "No on 8" motion. One of them is a good friend who has treated me with a lot of respect the past few years before and after my transition. His sister in law is a lesbian, but honestly, I've never seen a straight guy with so much determination, and so much frustration with people that want to legislate discrimination into law.

That's pretty much what Proposition 8 is all about...preventing same sex marriages. What's so surprising is if you substituted "interracial marriage" for "same sex marriage" you see the same rhetoric used what...some 70 years ago to keep different races from marrying one another. What's even more surprising is there are still a lot of people that believe interracial marriage is wrong.

And, of course, if you watch the "Yes on 8" commercials, you see the version of fear and hate they are using to push their agenda. They almost believe that the world will end if Proposition 8 doesn't pass. Of course, we say some of the same things if it does pass.

Same sex marriage became legal back in June, and seriously, the world hasn't ended. There has been no Armageddon. No fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. No rivers and seas boiling. No dead rising from the grave. No human sacrifices. No mass hysteria. No dogs and cats living together. (Hmm...wait a sec.)

Seriously, though, if you listen to the Yes on 8ers, it's a lot of the same stuff.

"It will ruin the sanctity of marriage."

"It protects our children from being taught about gay marriage."

They also like to state that marriage is about a man and a woman for the purpose of raising children. So, if two people get married, and one of them can't have kids, does that mean their marriage is invalid?

There are too many flaws in their reasons, and basically it comes down to their religious belief and not accepting same sex marriages. What really bugs me is when I see people say they have "homosexual friends," and that they still won't be voting against Prop 8 because their "homosexual friends" will still have the same benefits as a civil union. It's amazing that it all comes down to the word "marriage". (I know I have run into a number of people that want to remove any article of marriage from the government and just let everyone have civil unions.) But, by making us "separate, but equal," means gay and lesbian people are being marginalized...that we are second class citizens...similar to how segregation existed after the Civil War until the Civil Rights movement eliminated it.

The reason Proposition 8 is so important, though, is that California does end up setting precedence for much of the future of the US. When things change, they usually change in California first...and they know that. That's why they are putting forth such a huge effort to remove legal same sex marriages. And I mean, the effort is so huge that this proposition has basically move from a state decision to a national possibly even a global decision. The future of same sex marriages for the next 30-50 years could be determined on Tuesday.

So, on Tuesday, please vote. And if you live in California, please vote No on 8. And if you know anyone in California, please ask them to vote No on 8, as well.

Monday, October 27, 2008


This past weekend, our softball team took home the championship trophy. Afterward, a lot of us decided to celebrate at a local bar.

This season, I was a half-timer, meaning I split the season with another girl, so we were basically called upon when needed. She's a lefty, and I'm a righty, and we can both pummel the ball to our own sides of the field.

I was usually available to play most weeks, but once in awhile, I wasn't available, and would mention it so we could schedule which weeks the two of us would show up. Of course, we also had male substitutes that played, too.

When I hurt my knee earlier this year, I mentioned to the team that I wouldn't be there for awhile. One of the substitute guys replied to me that he was torn...that he'll get to play since they need a few extra people to play, but the girl he has a crush on won't be there.

Now, if I read it right, he was saying he had a crush on me since I wasn't going to be there, but I really wasn't sure, so I responded to him asking which girl. He then says that perhaps his email wasn't clear, and that he had a crush on me.

OK, whoa.

This guy is pretty cute. He's about 5'9, in very nice shape, and 10 years my younger. (What is up with all the young people?)

The team gathered the previous weekend after a long day in a tournament. We got on the subject of music and a variety of different songs, and my fondness for alternative songs from the 90' of which was Mr. Jones.

So, this weekend, they have Karaoke going on and he wants me to pick a song to sing if he sings Mr. Jones.

"You did like Mr. Jones, right?"

So, I pick out a song that I like, not realizing how hard it would be to sing it, and sing it well, nor that it's not a really fun fun song to sing and have others sing along with you.

So, let's call him K. K says he'll actually go up and sing first.

And he does.

And he actually sang fairly well, and really got into the song.

And, well, I have to admit I was super turned on that he was kinda singing that song for me.

But he's my teammate!!!

...and if I come out to him, well, I could possibly kiss good-bye ever playing softball around this neck of the woods.


I already know that he likes me, for some reason or another. He's kinda known for being a partier, but he's getting close to 30 and you can see that he's no longer a kid. He seems pretty mature, and I haven't really seen him act immature or anything.

So, I get up there to sing, and things just did not feel right. A few chords into this difficult song to sing I start getting super paranoid and kinda freak out. The heart races and everything starts moving in slow I stop singing. I tell the karaoke dude that I am going to stop and kindly put the microphone back on the stand.

The karaoke guy is very kind and tells people that I was forced to do it and was super drunk...which I wasn't.

When I get back to my teammates, they ask what happened. I tell them I felt a bit off, the song was different than the one I am used to, and made up some other lame excuses. Seriously, though, what was I going to tell them?

"Well, you see, I'm a transsexual, and although I can speak with a fairly decent female voice, getting in front of a bunch of non-T people to sing really freaked me out since I can't really sing that well with a female voice and I was afraid all of you would hear me sound like a guy or something..."

But, I didn't say that, of course.

They said I didn't sound that bad, and that they could barely hear some of it was probably just in my head, but I already know that. Most of it was caused by my own paranoia.

So, what went from a super cool version of Mr. Jones ended with my sorry ass up on stage chickening out. Maybe K won't be so into me now, and I don't have to ever worry about coming out to him.


The Missing Link

I saw this in my usual Google search today and my initial reaction was "Wow".

Transsexual Study Reveals Genetic Link
(and another.)

Seriously. Wow.

Part of me wants to celebrate at the validation, but a part of me is also cautious.

The part that celebrates the validation sees family, friends, and coworkers that can look at these results and perhaps not think that transgender people are mentally incapacitated...that we aren't freaks...that this isn't a choice...and that it's not a lifestyle decision.

"Hey, baby, see my androgen receptor genes....that's just the way I am. Get the fuck over it and treat me with a little respect!!!"

Sorry. Built up rage, ya know?

The cautious part wonders what this means for the long term. Will there be a test for this, prognosis of some sort, and treatments? If an embryo or fetus is tested for androgen receptor length, and given a high likelihood of being born transgender, is there something done while the mother is still pregnant? Do we correct this? Is the pregnancy aborted? Or do we deal with it down the line when the child may or may not develop further along the female gender identity? It kinda brings up the whole Gattaca thing again, something a number of people have cautiously reviewed as our knowledge of genetics moves further and further into the terabytes of data from one single strand of DNA.

And then there is the whole idea of being personally tested. If the results ring true, then it's something to pass around for even further validation.

"See? I'm not so crazy after all, huh? Looks like I made the best decision after all."

But, it has been hypothesized that transsexualism is not due to one explicit reason. Many consider that there are a variety of reasons that cause transsexualism. So, what happens if the personal test shows negative for the androgen receptor genes? Does this invalidate my own journey?

The testing, though, only provides a partial correlation. Genetic males with no gender identity issues show the longer receptors 50% of the time, while transsexual women have the markers 55% of the time. It shows a correlation, but it also shows that more testing is needed to find other areas of interest.

It is highly likely that there could be multiple genetic reasons for transsexualism, as well as multiple non-genetic reasons. And what we term transsexualism could be covering numerous genetic differences. Genetics and statistics are interesting. If something either is or isn't, it becomes a matter of statistical logic. Some people state that transsexualism is prevalent in approximately 1 out of every 1000-2000 people. It's interesting that multiples of 2 move in such order...1/2, 1/4, 1/8...up to 1/1024, 1/2048. This is around the powers of 8-9 range when we reach 1000-2000. What if there were 8 or 9 genetic markers that ended up leading to genetic gender identities opposite the X and Y in our genes. Of course, if it were so limited, then you'd see a higher percentage than 55% mentioned in the report, but it still lends a strong possibility that genetics can be possible for transsexualism.

As I brought up before, I'm participating in Kaiser's genetic research, but I wonder if they will ever tackle such an issue.

Part of me wants to know, and part of me doesn't. I seriously would love to see that I do have the longer androgen receptor genes. But, if I didn't have them, would it cause me to ponder my own validation, even though I feel very secure being me? For now though, it will be interesting to keep an eye on their research to see what else they dig up.

My bet is this is only the tip of the genetic iceberg.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I've been meaning to move the old stuff on my AOL website over to this blog, but just hadn't sat down to do it. Now I read on the AOL Hometown site that it will no longer be functioning as of October 31st...which gives me two weeks to move everything over. if work hasn't been killing my spare time as it is.

So, if old entries start inundating the blog readers, I'm advance.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


My car has one.

What were you thinking? ...that I'd use a derogatory term here in my own blog? Get out!!! Me? No way.

I see the word, and I hear the word, and you know, it really doesn't bother me. But every time I see the word pop up on mass emails, I know there is going to be trouble.

Take for instance, a recent email splash for Trannyfest in San Francisco (November 7th and 8th). A few responses came up disputing the usage of the word "tranny" since it was considered derogatory.

I've heard non-T people use the word, and yeah, it does feel a little derogatory. Some of these people have been my friends and I try to tell them that the term is considered bad by many trans-people...and that I simply use T. A lot of them start using T as well.

But, really, is the word "tranny" a bad word? What does it connote? I found the following on is not the greatest source of information, but it can provide a clue as to the social implications of commonly used current words.


An extremely offensive term for a transsexual man or woman, or any of the transgendered community.

On the same level as "nigger", and "cunt" for most people, though, like "dyke", some of the transgendered community are trying to reclaim the word, without much success.

"So your girlfriend's a tranny?" "... Please don't say that... She's a woman, just like you are."

The definition happens to hit the nail on the head. I do see some transgender people use the word "tranny" but I also see a large population of T's that simply hate that the word exists. It brings with it the stereotype of what a transgender person can be, and I suppose that is the fear that many T's deal with. They are trying to lose that image.

When I raced in high school, college, and beyond, there were always people asking me how much I jogged a week.

"I don't jog, I run," was often my response. I didn't want to be considered a jogger, because I didn't jog, I ran. There was a big difference between joggers and runners. Joggers were considered slackers compared to runners. And, well, joggers jogged, and runners ran.

But is there a difference between tranny and the rest of the politically correct transgender names? If you do a google search of "tranny", most everything on the front page is considered derogatory or porn in nature. Granted, it's not as bad if I type in "shemale", but then again, most people don't say "shemale"...they say "tranny"...and they don't know that the word is considered very offensive by the transgender community...especially when spoken by someone who is not transgender.

So, I don't care if people say the word or not, but if I am called a "tranny" or I hear people say the word "tranny", I will be sure to tell them that it is considered derogatory and that a better option is "T".

Now, of course, if they are talking about their car's transmission, I might feel a bit embarrassed.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Last night, sometime between when the Sandman visits and when the Tooth Fairy deposits her change, amongst the myriad of magical electronic transactions, twenty-one dollars and seventy-nine cents were moved from my paycheck to my 401k loan.

My current loan balance: $0

Finally, my FFS is paid off, and thus, I no longer owe any money toward transition. My body now belongs to me.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

She is obviously post-op!

I will admit it, I do watch a little reality TV, and I have been watching Survivor since Day 1. Last week, CBS aired their latest episode of Survivor: Gabon. I had the DVR going, so the entire episode was recorded. It wasn't until I was scanning through the menu on my TV that I saw the title of the episode:

"She is obviously post-op!"

What? No way.

OK, so, I usually look through the cast to see if they have put any transgender people in Survivor, and I had not heard any news about any of them being transgender, so then I thought, someone must be thinking that Crystal, the Olympic gold medalist, is a transsexual. The woman is like 6'2" and built quite well.

I pulled up Google and did a brief search to see if anything about the title was mentioned in the episode, and I only found one little blurb on someone's blog about the very openly gay Charlie saying the title line to someone else.

I watched the episode and never saw anything, then scanned through it again, but, alas, I could not find any mention of the title in the actual episode.

The only thing I can figure is that either the line was removed in last minute editing, but the title, since it is usually in the system well in advance of two weeks for TV schedules, was unedited. That, or perhaps the East Coast got a different version than the West Coast based on viewer reaction or something. My bet is that it was removed in some last minute editing due to the conservative nature the TV execs and certain stations like to enforce.

For the record, Crystal is not post-op. She's just a very tall athletic woman. Sheesh...she's had a child, for goodness sake.

To be honest, though, I don't really know how to react to this one. My assumption is that a gay man made the reference to her being post-op. This is where trans-education has made someone smart enough to look like an idiot. He may be aware of trans-issues, but the social correctness of his hypothetical statement makes him look very ignorant.

I'm just hoping we get to see Crystal and Charlie in close quarters sometime soon (as they are on opposite sides right now), so he CAN make a comment and then have the living snot beat out of him by Crystal. Or, at least, maybe it can happen in a nice friendly manner. Of course, if it wasn't rough and tumble, then they probably won't show it in the first place.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Keeping your nose clean

This will not be a fun entry.

Last week, I caught a news article about the body of a transgender woman found in a river near Sacramento. It's obviously a grim tale, and they are now treating her death as suspicious. When we hear about the body of a transgender person being found, we almost assume that foul play has been involved.

Earlier this week, I caught a report about a pedestrian being run down in San Francisco by someone driving a Jag. Today, they are stating that the person driving the Jag is transgender and tonight I saw her on TV being brought before the judge. It appears she either passed out or fell asleep at the wheel when she killed the pedestrian, who was just picking up some items for the restaurant that he worked at. It's tragic that the pedestrian was killed, and unfortunate that the transgender woman will likely go back to prison. She already has prior convictions on a number of items, and was told not to drive.

And now, tonight, they are reporting that the decomposed body of a young man was found in the Santa Cruz mountains near San Jose. When you hear about the body of a woman being found, you usually realize it was a sexual crime, but with the body of a man being found, you wonder what happened. They say he was wearing very distinct clothing and a very unique ring, the details of which will likely be released later this week in the hopes of identifying him.

I just hope they don't say he is a transgender woman.

Through all of these stories, there is a common theme. Keep your nose out of trouble. Sure, people shouldn't be killing people for being transgender, but, let's face it, there are a lot of men out there that will kill you if they think you are female, only to later realize you were born male...especially if they have had sex with you. Not all men will act violently in this manner, but there are some. I'm not going to debate the issue of when to tell a person with whom you are romantically involved, but staying off the streets...out of prostitution...can help prevent the time when some insecure guy decides to take out his sexual insecurities on your skull.

I know that drugs, alchohol, video games...etc. can provide that escape from the reality of living in the wrong body, but it needs to be done in moderation. Try to keep your nose clean, out of prison, and focused on goals to get you where you need to be. Sure, it is easier said than done, but transition is quite possible for almost long as they address their priorities and stay focused.