Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hanging out after practice

This is a post I drafted earlier this summer, but didn't post until now. It's almost resprentative of this past year.


We had a BBQ after practice today, and somehow one of my teammates got on the subject of a male to female transsexual in her women's locker room at a local gym...and how she still had her package. My teammate basically said that MTF transsexuals shouldn't be in the women's locker room while they still have it. Another of my teammates mentioned that they wouldn't have much success going in the male locker room either.

And thus is the story for a lot of transsexuals. Our society is built on the notion of 2 sexes...not the grayness that surrounds them. Being naked in society while pre-op or a non-op can be difficult, especially when in non-gray areas. It was one of the reasons why I didn't venture too far from the gray-friendly areas during the twilights of my transition. While one sun set, I waited for the other sun to rise before moving too far out into the world.

I feel privileged that I was able to listen in on my teammates' conversation considering that I belong to the grayness. I have had 2 teammate's transitions come out over the past year or so and it has been a very interesting experience. I have had the opportunity to see how my teammates respond, and typically, they have done fairly well. I knew they would, though...and even if any of them have issues, it appears there aren't any major issues.

Via the network of transsexuals, one of my former teammates now knows about my own previous transition, but nothing else has been said. I don't know if it will affect me in the future or not, but I can't let it bug me.

I just have to be me...grayness and all.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I saw Avatar last week in IMAX 3D. It was worth every dollar. There were stunning visuals, spectacular visuals, insane visuals, and fantastic visuals.

But behind the visuals, there was still a decent story. I won't spoil it here, but I'm sure plenty of people have already seen the previews. A human has a big blue alien body he can "live in". The aliens take him in and give him a bunch of tests before they let him become one of them.

Real life tests.

Get where I'm going with this? It seems like we all have to prove ourselves before we're accepted as one of the girls (or boys). Remember that new kid that moved into school in school? When did they become one of the gang? Or that new kid that joined the sports team...when did it feel like they were one with the team?

I've had a recent discussion with a coupe of friends recently about "regendering". One of the women says that once a person genders us, we cannot be regendered. Basically, once someone knows you as male, nothing you can do during transition will ever let them regender you as female. I say hogwash. I think over time, transitioners "pass" these tests that people have made up in their minds which allows them to become one of the girls (or guys). Sure, there are people that never allow a transitioner to pass these tests, but I think there are lots of people that do.

What are some of these tests? Some of it is general looks and feel, voice, lack of masculinity (or femininity), clothing style, poise, attitude, social skills, and just a general vibe of who a person is.

Beyond all of that, though, I still believe there are people that don't look with their eyes, but with their hearts.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Three days in

After my four month vacation, I'm now back at work at a new company. It's been three days so far, and I have had a number of men either stop by to introduce themselves, offer to give me tours, or ask if I needed anything. No women have stopped by.

From what I can tell, there are no other female engineers in my entire group...and possibly just no other women at all. Every time I am introduced to another woman that has worked with some of my team members, they tell me how wonderful it is to finally have a female engineer.

My boss has actually mentioned that the topic of my arrival has been talked about amongst the group a bit lately. They even pondered if there would have to be changes now that a woman is in the group.

This has definitely been an interesting start, and since this is actually the first time I have stepped into a job where no one knows my past (outside perhaps one or two people that I worked with at my old company that now work at my new company, but who I'll likely rarely see), I wonder if there are precautions I should take.

I watched the job discrimination video during my orientation on Monday, and I noticed that I definitely need to watch what I say since I am just starting to get to know my fellow engineers. I'm just trying to be cautious with what they say, as well.

So, what's the problem with all the attention, Kara?

Ahh...but see, that's part of the problem. I'd rather not garnish any excess attention. We all have tells, no matter how small. I don't need/want anyone looking too close. Hopefully the attention will die down soon.

Also, I don't want to alienate myself with the guys having to watch what they say or do. I don't want them shutting down when I am around. I simply want them to be themselves. I can only hope that they become comfortable around me after a while and break out of their shells. I'm just hoping that I don't get any of the single ones asking me out.

On another note, I seem to have forgotten just how introverted so many engineers can be.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I got a new glove

Early this past summer, I lost my glove. I also found out that I would be losing my job.

I was lucky that I found my glove shortly after losing it. I was lucky that they gave me 2 month's notice before I was officially laid off at the end of July.

Early this fall, I lost my glove again...this time for good. I couldn't find it anywhere. You'd think I wouldn't be that careless considering I'd already lost it once this summer. It was almost the end of softball season, so I still needed a glove to get me through some of the last games and tournaments.

So, I went to the store and looked around. I found a good glove and bought some oil to work into it. It takes time to get a glove into good shape for use. Of course, the day I bought the glove I needed to use it, so I didn't have time to get oil into it. It was rough, but it worked and kept me in the game without having to rely on anyone else. I'm definitely getting my new glove in working order for next season, and I plan on putting my name and contact info into this glove.

After taking August off for a variety of activities, I resumed my job search in early September. I updated my resume and began reviewing job openings at a vast array of local employers. I started using a job placement consultant and vastly updated my resume, marketing plan, and job search method. I started using a number of job networking sites to connect with former coworkers and network into companies that had potential job openings.

My methods began to pay off as I had my first interview in mid-October at a big name company in the South Bay. Unfortunately, they basically wanted me to move to China, so I was glad when they informed me I did not get the position.

After a little more searching and networking, I had interviews at two different companies. Both were great opportunities in the Bay Area and both seemed very promising. I felt good about both of them and was hoping that I would get a job offer from at least one of them. I didn't. I got an offer from both of them.

I felt super honored and privileged to get both offers, and it then came down to deciding which offer to take. Both offered similar money, and benefits, and both come with new challenges. Both have really good people to work with. One is a large company with potential for intellectual growth, the other is a small company with entrepreneurial growth. The first is very similar to what I was doing at my prior company, while the second is more of a technical sales position. The sales position would rely heavily on my technical expertise but also allow me to further develop my social skills...something that seriously enticed me toward the second offer.

I ended up going with the first offer simply because I realized I want to have a job where I make a difference in people's lives. I feel that job offers me the best opportunity to develop products that make our lives better in one way or another.

My glove still needs to be oiled, but at least I have started to break it in. It should easily be ready by the spring.

As for the job, I start Monday. I don't know how long I'll be sitting on the sidelines and learning the ropes, but I'm hoping they work me into the lineup pretty fast. I'm ready to earn my keep.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2009

This site is blacked out for the Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor those people that were killed this past year simply for being themselves.

It has been said by many that it is better to be hated for who we are, than loved for who we aren't. Either way, no person deserves to be killed simply for not adhering to the heteronormative lifestyle.

Though judged by many, we stand proud, live strong, and endure as best we can.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Drunk men

I attended TGSF's month social tonight. We had Matt from the Transgender Law Center stop by and discuss the legalities of name and gender changes. He also answered a number of questions from the audience. I asked him how one can verify that the Social Security Administration actually changes your gender marker. He said there is a little section on the annual Social Security report that indicates gender, but once I got home tonight, I found no gender marker on my report. He also indicated that if you feel out the California DMV form to permanently change gender (as opposed to the "temporary" check box), that the DMV should no longer have an AKA listing in their database. I told him that I permanently changed my name and gender well over 5 years ago and that when I did a ride-along with the cops a few years back, they still had an AKA listed under my driver's license number with my old name. I might need to check that one out further.

As I was leaving, though, a 30-something guy at the bar points at me and says, "You!"

"Me?" I said as I looked around.

"You're a girl...right?"

He must have seen the large group of transgender women there and thought I wasn't one...or he wanted the typical transsexual fantasy that a lot of men have where they think a girl is a girl until being surprised. Sigh.

"I'm a," I said.

"You mean you're a girl tonight?"

This guy was pretty wasted, obviously, especially with his next line.

"I'm writing a book and you can really determine how this chapter goes," he says with a glow in his eyes.

"I'm a transsexual."

"No, really?"

"Yeah. I'm Ms. Transgender San Francisco 2009."


By this time I am starting to catch up to my friends that are just outside the entrance.

"No you're not a tranny."

"Yeah, I am. Don't make me use my deep voice."

" it. Say 'I've got a surprise for you'."

"," as I rush out to Ally and hide behind her.

They proceed to tell him that I am in fact a transsexual. He kinda just stands there for a few seconds and then says, "I'd hit that," before jumping in his friend's car.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rabbits, huh? Who'd have thought?

I read an article this morning about the progress in rebuilding penile erectile tissue. The researchers report they are having success in restoring the tissue in rabbits.

One of the best lines in the article is:

"Rabbits with the engineered penises attempted to have sex with females within a minute of the time they met. Rabbits that had not been given the implanted tissue did not attempt copulation, in most cases, and there was no evidence of sperm on any swabs."

Those rabbits are fast.

So, what does this mean? Well, it's definitely something that FTM's should cheer about. It's one of the first steps towards being able to build a penis with erectile tissue so they can have penetrative intercourse without the use of foreign support.

It's also good news for those MTFTM's who transition to female and have SRS, and then realize they want to go back to male for a variety of reasons. Doctors might be able to rebuild some of the penis with this type of technology.

Either way, though, they'll be pushing it to have sex within a minute of meeting their snugglebunny.

Monday, November 09, 2009

DOR next week

The 11th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, better known as simply DOR, is in 11 days. For those in the Bay Area, I've listed some of the participating locations from

Oakland, California
Friday, November 20, 2009
at Preservation Park, Nile Hall
Doors will open at 7PM and the ceremony will start at 7:30 and we will end by 9:30.
Contact: Tiffany Woods at

San Jose, California
Friday, November 20, 2009
7:00 PM
Billy DeFrank LGBTQQI Community Center
938 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126.

Santa Cruz County, California
Friday, November 20, 2009
6:30PM - 8:30
Watsonville Plaza, 358 Main St, Watsonville, CA

San Francisco, California
Friday, November 20, 2009
6:00 - 8:00 PM
API Wellness Center
730 Polk Street (corner of Ellis)
For more info: Leeza Edwards, Co-chair of SF TEAM
415. 724.1680 or

San Francisco, California
Transgender Day of Remembrance Shabbat
Friday, November 20, 2009
7:30 PM
Congregation Sha’ar Zahav
290 Dolores Street (corner of 16th Street)
San Francisco, CA 94103
For more info:

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Transgender Law Center Celebrates #7

Happy Birthday Transgender Law Center!!!!

Actually, this turned out to be a pretty big event tonight. They had both Margaret Cho and Chaz Bono scheduled to attend. I went mainly to see Chaz. Of course, at $100 for the regular ticket and $150 for the VIP spot, I went for the lower of the two.

They honored a number of people and groups, including my friends Cecilia Chung and James Green, both very honorable and deserving people. They also had some decent entertainment and a little food in the back, but, again, I was hoping to meet Chaz.

Fortunately, Chaz hung out in the garden area and was easily accessible, especially with a few of my friends chatting with him. Ally came to my rescue by introducing me. We shook hands and casually conversed.

I usually omit the obvious questions that have been asked a gazillion times or which might be sensitive.

"Fantastic event, huh?

"It's awesome that you were able to attend."

Someone else had asked questions about his transition, so I caught some of his tale and participated in some of the conversations as they went along.

Since it was a bit chilly outside and I was wearing a sleeveless little black dress, I started to shiver. I looked away for a moment, and when I looked back, Chaz was offering me his jacket. He'd noticed I was cold and offered a little something to keep me warm. nice.

I took it, of course. Do you know how much that will go for on Ebay? Just kidding. I gave it back a little bit later, once I was feeling pretty warm and ready to head inside.

I thought he was a really classy guy, though, and a true gentleman! Thanks Chaz!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Still 6 minutes

I ran a 5K a few weeks ago. Since I've had a bit more time to work out lately and get in a few more miles, I thought I would put in a pretty decent time.


I ran the first mile in just over 7 minutes, and the second mile in just over 8 minutes, to finish in a little over 24 minutes. Gah...24 minutes!!!!

Before transition, I was still breaking 18 minutes for a 5K. Granted, that was 8 years ago, but still. When I got to the first mile I thought, "This is only the first mile. Wow! I'm toast!"

There was an article I blogged about a few years ago entitled "A 6 Minute Difference" about a transsexual woman who now runs a 5K six minutes slower than she did before transition. Funny how we see the same results.

One of the problems I see, though, is that it really shouldn't be that slow. Even Janet mentions in the Runner's World article that she trains and trains, and doesn't seem to get any faster. And we are both 2 minutes per mile slower. When I look at the age adjusted times, I was running around the 75% percentile as a man, and as a woman, I've dropped down to the low 60's.

What's the difference? Well, my bet is that is has something to do with the dreaded testosterone. Men of my age have a typical range of around 300-900 ng/dL and women run between 20-75 ng/dL. What is my testerone level? Well, mine comes in under 20 ng/dL...which means I'm not making enough for the test to detect.

I think it's also part of the reason why my libido is so low, and why I can't seem to run much faster...there just isn't any drive. I'm basically running on empty. The other problem is that if I take testosterone to improve my libido and sex drive, will people accuse me of doping for athletic performance? If I did take the testosterone would it improve my athletic performance up to the relative level I had before, or would this give me too much of an advantage?

Unfortunately, I don't know if I can have my cake and eat it, too. It seems like I can only have one or the other, and I'm not giving up my sports.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


I was watching the status updates of my Facebook friends this afternoon, and I caught what I thought was my little cousin dressed up in a dress. Sure enough, him and two of his college buddies were dressed in a variety of prom dresses. My little cousin was in a sleeveless blue gown, while his buddies wore a strappy purple dress and sexy little black gown.


I'm sure it was a harmless little Halloween event and even his girlfriend made a cute little comment. He grew up in California and went to an artsy high school, so he's always been pretty comfortable doing whatever he wants to do. I can just see the headlines now, though:

Kara infects cousin with crossdressing habit!!! Story at 11!!!

There are plenty of guys that dress up in women's clothes around Halloween simply because they can. People can dress up as anything. I mean, how many times do you second guess your friend dressed as a vampire that he or she might actually drink blood in their spare time? Or what about that witch who might like bat wings baked into their favorite dish?

All I'm saying is that I hope people don't read anything into my little cousin's foray into women's clothing.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dr. Oz and intersex

While searching for a job, I do sometimes have the TV on...especially in the morning. I also happened to catch an advertisement yesterday for a program about intersex people, so I caught today's Dr. Oz show on intersex people, especially intersex babies.

A lot of talk show hosts don't get it, and to be honest, it still seems like Dr. Oz only gets a portion of the intersex condition and what comes along with it. He is totally into the medical science, though, so he understands that it is a medical condition...and not a situation where people should be shunned for being different.

While the intersex condition is different from being a transsexual, the two are related. Some intersex people can be brought up as one sex, and then transition to another when they feel comfortable making that decision. They can also live between sexes, but society creates a much tougher path to travel. There are also some that consider transsexualism to be an intersex condition of the mind...where the person is born with a mind that has ambiguous gender.

I tend to believe that transsexualism and the intersex condition are much more related than people think. One is definitely easer to see than the other, but both situations are outside the typical male/female realm and can leave us pondering the definitions of our binary gender system.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How to tell when you're no longer a tranny

The concept of "tranny-time" has been around for quite a while.
tranny time (ˈtra-nē ˈtīm ) n. The time between when an event starts and when a trangender person shows up, usually due to applying makeup and preparing to go out. "Ashley is usually an hour late since she's always running on tranny time."
I met with a few of the gals from TGSF a few weeks ago, and, while our meeting didn't quite pan out since only three of us had shown up inside the first half hour, we decided to turn it into a dinner meeting. Supposedly, though, a few girls had shown up after we'd left.

Allison was one of the ones that was there when I was there, and she's always great for new material. As we're walking to the sushi shop, we discussed the concept of time. Many of my cisgender friends have never heard of "tranny time", of course, and most of them do not habitually run late for events. In fact, if you asked them, they'd probably say that I am the one usually running behind. Is "tranny time" a mark of our transition or transitional progress?

For me, though, it all depends. If it is a social event, I'll admit it, I usually try to show up fashionably late. I used to show up on time, but I got tired of waiting on everyone else to show up. So, now, I usually run late to social events.

Meetings, dates, interviews, dinners, ball games, practice, and game times are different...I usually try to show up on time, if not a little early.

Of course, there are always reasons for being late. Finding parking in the city is not the easiest thing to do, especially if there are other events going on. Traffic in and out of the city has and will continue to be bogged down with the new S curve on the bay bridge. And surprisingly, considering the current economic situation, there seems to be way more traffic on the roads nowadays.

I have a bit more free time now, so I'm getting pretty good at giving myself plenty of time beforehand. Since I wear minimal makeup (moisturizer, eye liner, and lip balm), my prep time is spent mostly on putting conditioner and gel in my hair.

"Tranny time" is meant as a fun poke at ourselves. Not every transgender person is late, but there are some who run a bit behind on a very consistent basis. When I was first starting out, I know I spent a long time on my wig and makeup...because I still had a lot of facial hair to cover up. Time escapes you in the initial stages, and until one can get the routine down, a lot of people run late to events.

I used to go to a support group that started around 7pm. That usually gave me 2 hours after work to run home, do my makeup, get dressed, and drive to the meeting. I tried to make it on time, but since many people were doing exactly what I was doing, the meeting hardly ever started on time. Since I did make many of those events on time, though, it gave me a chance to be very social before the meeting. Perhaps that's the positive side of "tranny time"...talking with all the other girls who ARE there.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Political Showdown

I caught another news article this morning about a woman hoping to run against Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern...the same Sally Kern who was caught expressing blatant anti-gay remarks in the past.

The challenger is Brittany Novotny, a lawyer in Oklahoma City. Brittany is also a transgender woman, and would be almost the exact opposite of Sally Kern on many social issues. From what I have seen, it sets up quite a political battle.

National Geographic: Sex, Lies, and Gender

I got a notification on Facebook this morning (via TYFA) about a television program this evening on National Geographic called Explorer: Sex, Lies, and Gender. From what I can tell from the write-up and preview, it looks like they will be covering an FTM, a young MTF, and an intersex person who served in the first Gulf War. The intersex person may be able to give an insight into what Caster Semenya might currently be going through.

A lot of shows about trans or intersex people tend to go for the makeup and mirror appeal, but hopefully with TYFA and other trans-organizations involved, they will be able to skip past all of that.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Caster Semenya and the tale of the gender test

The results are in from the gender test on Caster Semenya, and they've concluded that she is intersex. She has external female genitalia, but she has undescended testes. This is pretty much what I suspected based on her having had female genitalia all her life, but having masculine features...the forehead, larger waist, small hips, deep voice, and larger size...not to mention the blazing speed on the track.

What does this mean for her? Well, I have no idea how the track and field authorities will handle it, but she did nothing wrong. She simply didn't know that she had the situation. She ran 800 meters as fast as she could, and she shouldn't be punished for something she didn't do.

As for the gender side of things, hopefully they have included some counseling and therapy for Caster. I figure she has some things to figure out for herself, but the main thing is to determine if she has any gender identity concerns.

Independent of her gender identity, she has a number of options. The first option is she can transition to living as a guy. Assuming the testes are in functional order, she can have surgery to release her testes so that they are no longer internal. With some testosterone therapy and perhaps a little surgery, she could have a penis similar to that of an FTM.

The second option is to stay female and have the internal testes removed.

Another option is to not do anything, but unfortunately, the internal testes could cause issues...especially if she has a female gender identity. She could experience even more masculinization of her body.

As for racing, I highly suspect that if she wants to run again, she'll need to have surgery or start racing as a guy. Her times for a man of her age aren't too bad, and I'm sure she could get a scholarship to run for some university. Her times aren't that great for a guy, though. She's about 2 seconds faster than I ever ran, but she still has time to further develop her speed. Perhaps should could be the first to win both female and male championships.

If she wants to race as a woman, I suspect she'll need to have the testes removed and undergo at least 2 years of HRT. This would be according to the International Olympic Committee's rules, though, and not the IAAF.

Either way, I wish her luck, and I hope we see her again on the track.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Dr. O Returns

We were fortunate to have Dr. O return to the TGSF End of Month Social last week after the little mix up we had in May. Unfortunately, there might have been some scheduling issues as Dr. O had to deal with some of the same stuff I had to deal with on my night before SRS. It appeared that Dr. O was having a routine colonoscopy the following morning. It was kinda ironic, in a way, especially since he and Mira had no idea that transsexuals went through the same thing the night before SRS.

I've seen Dr. O's presentation a number of times now, and, of course, I've had my own personal conversation with Dr. O at least once or twice. During this one, he mentioned that he had a book about FFS coming out inside the next two weeks. I scanned for it on Amazon and signed up for notifications on when it would be available. This morning's email from Amazon indicates that it is now available for pre-sale.

The last thing I want to mention is kind of a touchy subject. Some T's feel uncomfortable during Dr. O and Mira's "sales pitch", and I can totally understand. Sure, the people looking to have FFS will embrace his suggestions, but if you are just there to watch the program, you might feel paranoid about some masculine features of your face if they mention anything about yourself. It's a tough call to make, and I wish Dr. O and Mira were less about the sales pitch and more about the fundamentals of FFS. Unfortunately, their job is to perform FFS and get you to have the surgery. I will say, though, that my conversation with Dr. O was entirely "sales pitch" free during my pre-surgical consultations. If you are just there to see his presentation, though, don't sit in the front row.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Caster Semenya

I caught some of the sports news online last night, and it was all abuzz with reports of an African woman whose gender was being questioned. I watched some of the interviews on Youtube and I can unfortunately see why people are judging her.

Her name is Caster Semenya, she's 18, and she runs for South Africa. On Wednesday, she won the 800m run in the World Championships. Actually, she dominated the race...outpacing the nearest competitor by more than 2 seconds. Caster, herself, was about 2 seconds off the world record.

Part of the controversy is that this girl rose to greatness out of nowhere. She has grown up playing soccer and has had her gender questioned before. Just this track season she posted a world leading time in basically a high school track meet. The South African team pulled her up into their national team so fast that they didn't have a chance to deal with the questioning of her gender in quiet fashion. At least her family and country are sticking up for her.

Personally, people are questioning her sex because she tore up the competition. If she got last place, I bet there wouldn't be this outcry about her gender.

I feel for her. I've run into a number of women while playing sports that may not fit what most people consider female. She does have some male characteristics, and testing may not be conclusive, but at what point do we judge? It's just too bad they weren't able to clear this up before the championships.

Caster has had her gender questioned before, and it appears that she has been teased about her appearance for a good portion of her athletic career. This is nothing new for her...except that the audience just got a bit bigger.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


When one considers transition, I've been through a lot. I've had most of my penis removed, with what was left inverted inside of me. My face has been rearranged and rebuilt. An electrified needle has been inserted into my face and body over 60,000 times.

And after all of that, I get scared by falling 100 feet.

In an airplane.

That was trying to descend in rough weather.

With me on board.

The plane had already been moving around more than most people would be comfortable with. The plane tossed around...side to side, twisting and turning, up and down...but when the guy next to me who had been showing little fear before the big drop reaches for his seat belt, you know it's far from usual.

"I haven't had to strap in this tight in 20 years," he says to me.

Obviously I survived since I am writing this entry, but I seriously thought about dropping down to kiss the ground after we landed. I have been through rough flights before, but this was beyond was violent.

What pissed me off, though, is that we were early, and we simply could have flown around a little to wait on the weather...or at the very least, the damn pilots could have warned us about the turbulence before our decent.

But, no.

They had to let us toss around in the back and wonder if we would see tomorrow.

As I walked past the pilots and exited the plane, I felt like rearranging their faces with my fists, shoving fire hot needles into their skin, and kicking them so hard in the groin that they spoke like Mickey Mouse for a month...but, alas, I was just happy to be alive.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Perfect Fit

A while back, I caught a friend's Facebook post about a 7 day film festival. Basically, each team had 7 days to put together a short film about 7-15 minutes long. The film would have to incorporate "secret items" that would not be known until the first of the seven days. So, basically, we had 7 days to write, rehearse, film, edit, and score a short film.

I contacted Marty and said I would love to be involved, especially with the writing part of it. The timing also fell perfectly in line with my layoff. Friday, July 31st was my last day, and we started the film on August 2nd.

I sent out a small list of ideas for shorts, and went over some of the ideas they had as well. One of my ideas was to play on Romeo and Juliet, but from a modern trans-perspective. We met in a small park Sunday afternoon and went over the "secret items" that had to be included. Basically, they made him pick his favorite films and then we had to incorporate at least one of them into the movie somehow. He picked Dune, Screaming Queens, and one other trans-film. The initial goal was to have a poster of Screaming Queens in the background for a shot or two, but things changed over time.

We went with the Romeo and Juliet theme with the trans-perspective and decided that an MTF and an FTM would fall in love, but their fellow trans-friends wouldn't be very positive about their relationship. The two would meet, would tell their friends who they are dating, but their friends would disapprove but agree to meeting the other. We would find out that they are actually coworkers that know one another before the final meeting of all parties.

I spent all of my first unemployed day working on the script, and by about 6pm, my mental energy was running out. I made it to the dinner portion of the script, but I couldn't figure out a way to end it. I called Marty and told him I was at a loss on how to move forward...and likely out of steam.

"Tell a joke," says Marty.

Hmmm...yeah, a joke. I remember the remake of "Look Who's Coming to Dinner" where they make a joke in which you think one thing, but then get the other. The joke asked, "What do you call 300 white guys chasing one black guy?"....the PGA tour.

Marty and I then scoured the internet in search of a good trans joke we could use to break the tension. Neither of us could find one, but my mind slowly churned one out...which we incorporated into the film.

Marty asked me to include some Dune quotes after I submitted my initial drafts with some Star Wars references in the dialog. Star Wars has way more memorable lines than Dune, and when asked to remove the Star Wars lines, I just couldn't find a good way to move the dialog forward in those, we kept the Star Wars references, while also throwing in the Dune ones. (I told Marty to just tell them my movie was Star Wars.)

A short scene or two were eliminated before the final order to keep things going and not slow down the action. In fact, we couldn't find a large grocery or drug store that would allow us to film our initial opening scene (where our FTM and MTF leads were buying feminine products), so we shifted it so they were both trying to rent Dune...which also worked well with our Dune quotes.

I totally should have recorded what happened behind the scenes, as we had a lot of fun working on it all. Marty said he went from "steady-cam" to "jiggle-cam" any time he laughed during filming. There is also another version of the final scene were Sponge Bob shows up...which is absolutely hilarious, but I don't think it made the cut.

The final draft of the script was pushed out Tuesday with filming starting Wednesday. We wrapped filming Thursday night and Marty then had the remaining task of putting all the scenes together, along with the score. I think he did a fabulous job of putting everything together and have no idea how much sleep he lost while making it. And, while he didn't have Hollywood resources to tap into, I still think it's a fun little flick. I even got to act. If you look closely, you'll see that I play the bartender.

Below is the final product for the 7 Day Film Festival:

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Last Friday was my final day of employment. It's OK, I'm financially set for a while...enough to let me take a break for a bit.

I had my exit interview with HR on Thursday, and my boss and I went over the final checklist on Friday. About an hour before the final checklist, though, I went around to say my good-byes.

Note to self: Skip the estrogen prior to your last day at work.

It is very hard saying good-bye to a lot of good people that I've spent time with over the past 8.5 years. I tried to hold back the tears, but I know my eyes were glistening. My voice cracked a few times, too, when I could barely find the air to speak.

I'd almost wished I hadn't taken any estrogen that morning...maybe to lessen the degree of emotion I felt. The estrogen seems to enhance and amplify emotions for me. Was there any need to feel the extra pain and suffering of saying good-bye?

But then I thought, if I wasn't feeling the emotion...if I wasn't expressing the emotion...if I wasn't absorbing the emotion, would I be living? Isn't life all about the experience?

It was funny, though...while I was very emotional in saying good-bye to a lot of coworkers, I felt fine on my drive home. Maybe I'm looking forward to the break, spending some time with my mom, and the chance to do a little freelance writing this week.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Google hates transsexuals

Earlier this week, my blog disappeared for about a day. Google (which owns Blogger) determined that my blog was a spam blog and pulled it from the web.

This is the second time this has happened, and to be honest, I'd prefer that it not happen again. It would be nice if they would tell me how their bots determined I was a spam blog so that I could rectify the situation instead of just having me tell them that I am a real person.


I have some free time coming up...I'll probably end up finally putting the remainder of my old site up here. While I'm at it, I'll probably look over the entries and see which links are good and which ones aren't. (I feel like Santa.)

I have a number of tech savvy friends...I should ask them why Google is giving me such a hard time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Losing more teammates

I don't post to Facebook what I am doing every 20 minutes, but I will post once in a while, and I do end up looking at some stuff that other people post. Recently, one of my teammates changed their listed name...from a female name to a masculine name.

Now, I've seen their name the new way for a few weeks, and while I didn't say anything up front, I finally sent a note asking about the name change.

Sure enough, I've now lost two teammates inside the past 8 months. The previous one I found out last November.

To be honest, neither of their transitions is a surprise, and from what I have seen, most people that knew them aren't surprised either. It's almost as though it was seen as the logical step for both of them. In fact, it almost seems opposite to the reaction of MTF's where people seem to wonder why we would do such a go from being a powerful man to a weak woman.

And that's when I realize that most people that view transition from the outside never seem to see the gender identity dysphoria...they see it as a much larger gender flop. They see MTF's losing their penis, and FTM's gaining male privilege.

It's too bad that most of the population never sees the inner peace, the glowing resolution, or the victory of reaching an almost unreachable goal. They never see us land on the moon.

And so, when my friend took his first steps as a man...his giant leaps to mankind, I made sure to acknowledge his journey. I found out about his transition about a month ago and I tried to hook up with him during Pride, but it never worked out. He and I connected well as teammates, so much that I called him my twin the past few years. In a way, I guess we are.

It's kinda ironic that I ran into my other former teammate a week after Pride. Claire was in town, and the old gang got together for some of which included a stopover in a lesbian bar. As we were gathered in one area, I noticed my former teammate sitting at a table. After ordering a drink, I stopped by to say hi.

As I did, he stood up and we conversed. I asked him how he was doing, and he said things were going well. After a few seconds, he paused.

"So...I have to ask...I heard...are...are you MTF?"

"Who told you that?"

"Uh...I heard a rumor."

At this point, I'm kinda stuck. There is no use denying it, because, well, I am MTF...and even if I did, I'm sure it would come back to bite me in the arse somehow. Plus, I have always kinda said that if someone asked me if I was a transsexual, I wouldn't lie.

"Yeah. I am."

"Wow. I never would have thought."

And so the conversation went. We talked about some of our past dealings with the teams, and how one of our previous coaches was interested in having him play as a woman even though he was on testosterone. He even asked if I had dated FTM's in the past. He felt that his dating options were far less as an FTM than as a lesbian, but he also mentioned that he, like many transsexuals, found himself more open to dating a variety of genders.

I have no idea how he found out, nor who told him, but it's likely that through our many transsexual channels, someone passed along the knowledge that there was another transsexual playing. I knew that as time went on, more people would likely know, but I still plan on playing by the "don't ask, don't tell" policy...until I see that the policy is accepting. Actually, from what I have seen since my two teammates jumped the fence, they may allow transsexuals to play...perhaps both MTF and FTM, but I need to see how it all falls together. This gives me investigative options, though, by seeing if my two friends are still eligible to play or not.

The policy may be the least of my worries, though, since I may find most of the resistance from my own teammates. I've never told any of them, outside of one. They may look at it as a trust issue, or they may not want me in the locker room. Who knows. Either way, I hope they will be able to see it from my point of view.

Friday, July 03, 2009

San Francisco Pride 2009

I'm a bit late with this entry, but it's been a busy few weeks. San Francisco Pride 2009 was its usual busy event with the Trans March kicking off the official festivities last Friday night.

There were a number of big names in the Trans World that spoke at the pre-march, including Andrea James and Cecilia Chung. I walked with a few friends to a spot where the march just seemed to end. I'd heard the joke that it was a circle, but we didn't even make it back to the, the gang just wandered off to dinner.

On Saturday, I chilled until heading over to the Dyke March. I met up with a friend and we wandered back and forth between friends before finally marching along with all the lesbians.

Sigh...I love lesbians.

I made semi-reservations at one of the restaurants in the Castro earlier in the week so that we wouldn't have to fight the lines to eat. Luckily, we slipped right in before all the crowds hit. After being there for a bit, I saw one guy sitting across from us that I recognized.

"Hey Carissa...recognize that guy over there?"

He was the brother from Prodigal Sons...the trans-themed movie Carissa and I had seen earlier in the week. I then noticed Kim and her mom sitting at the other end of their table and thought it an interesting coincidence to see them here.

I was hoping to chat briefly with Kim after their movie had aired on Wednesday, but there were so many people in that part of the theater, and we were so far back, that it would have been almost impossible to reach her. So, we waited until they were about to leave to approach, and then mention how much we loved the film. We were even able to capture a photo with them before everyone filtered back into the crowded streets of Pink Saturday.

Sunday morning came all too fast, and before I knew it, the San Francisco 2009 Pride Parade was underway. I rode the TGSF float designed and built by a variety of the officers of Transgender San Francisco. Not many floats can claim to have been built by their organization, but we did. Ally, Lisa, Bonnie and crew did a fantastic job putting it all together. I was able to get in a few hours on construction, and even spent about 15 minutes wedged in the inner workings of the base while securing the handrails. I actually had a little trouble with my boobs fitting over the support system that held it all together.

The float was built on the concept of an all inclusive ENDA. Some of the remaining classes that do not enjoy federal protection include transgender people...which were thrown to the side in the previous attempt to get ENDA through our national government. The push now is to have an all inclusive ENDA to protect not only gay and lesbian people, but also transgender people as well.

As seen recently with the Sacramento radio station controversy, we may be a very small minority, but we can still pack a punch. I didn't have too much time to write about it and I have yet to listen to their apology show, but I caught some of the initial stuff on Facebook and responded before GLAAD sent out their mass action email.

And I think we are seeing the transgender power coming through with ENDA now. HRC seems to have seen how powerful the transgender side can be (but I still haven't given them any money).

I had a really nice time riding and waving to the crowd as we rolled along Market street. Both of my arms became tired with the waving and operating of the "hammer" on the wall. Luckily, Lisa is a scrappy little fighter, and was able to keep the hammer going for quite a while...well after my arm had started to give out.

I spent a bit more time at the parade and hanging out with a friend before finally crashing back at my place for some rest. Pride is a pretty busy weekend, and it's hard managing enough energy to make it all the way through Sunday afternoon. This was also kind of a special year for me since I finally rode the float as Ms. Transgender San Francisco 2009...which probably helped provide more energy for the weekend.

Edit: Here's another photo from the parade...or, well, right before the parade. I was able to get a picture with Andrea James and Calpernia Addams, who were up from LA for San Francisco Pride.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Prodigal Sons

It's Pride week in San Francisco, and with it comes the Frameline film festival. I went to And Then Came Lola this past Friday with some lesbian friends, and Prodigal Sons last night with Carissa.

Lola was a cute little movie based on a European film I have never seen, entitled "Run Lola, Run". While it kept me mildly entertained, it also lacked a bit of cohesiveness. It did have a lot of good music intertwined throughout the pedestrian chaos.

Last night, though, was Prodigal Sons, a documentary by a transwoman and her family. This movie was listed as a centerpiece of the film festival, and I can see why. The movie was well edited, had good music, nice transitions (not transsexual transitions), and kept me on the edge of my seat a number of times as I wondered what was going to happen next.

In the same sense as Red Without Blue, this movie was less about someone transitioning, but more about how their transition affected their lives. That's kinda how it should be...where the transsexual part of it just adds depth to a character and is not the end-all be-all of the story.

It's too bad that the Lola movie was packed (there were so many lesbians that I actually used the guy's bathroom since the women's line was way too long) while Prodigal Sons still had a number of available seats. Actually, I hardly noticed many trans people in the audience at all at Prodigal Sons. Of course, I'm not attending the variety of trans-shows tonight, so hopefully there is more of a presence there.

Monday, June 08, 2009

I Lost My Glove

Around a week ago, I went to play in my women's softball league. When I dug into my equipment bag, I couldn't find my glove. It was gone. I rummaged through the trunk of my car to see if it fell out, but it wasn't there. Luckily, a friend of mine had an extra glove and I was able to play using hers.

I emailed my softball team that plays the following night to see if any of them had seen my glove, and they suggested that the scorekeeper might have it. I asked my friend with the extra glove if she was going to be at the game, just in case it wasn't there.

I was lucky. I found my glove sitting in the little lost and found box they had with the scorekeeper.

Although losing a glove isn't that bad, it's a pain losing it, finding a new one, and then breaking it in. I was horribly happy to have my glove back.

While the previous story is actually true, it also serves allegorically to the next section. A lot of times, when bad things happen to me, they seem to happen in bunches.

The company I work for recently merged with another company. They called it a merger, but really, we were purchased by the other company. They had layoffs last year and then notified another division that all of their jobs would be gone by this summer. I knew a number of them and thought they were really good people. I've chatted with a few while they work their last few months in the hopes they can find a new job.

As I was leaving a meeting not long ago, I asked one of my coworkers if he knew of any upcoming projects, because our group's slate of activities was starting to grow thin. And as I walked into a morning meeting with my boss and found a new person in the room, my heart suddenly started beating faster.

So, this is how the "blindside" feels in the game of Survivor.

I don't think words can fully express the feelings you get when you are being laid off. It becomes almost like a movie as you just sit back and watch the characters move without being able to influence the outcome of the situation. "Luckily", I now join the walking dead on our campus, so I have time to look for a new job, and when I finish the job, they'll be providing a nice compensation package.

A few months ago, they had all of our group fill out skill assessment forms so that we could outline all the different areas we were good at. It appears that there is talent overlap with our new company, and as they further delve into the mixture of experience, they make their cuts. One of the unfortunate aspects to our merger is that my former boss now works for the company that purchased us. He also never got to know me as Kara, although he does know I transitioned.

Although losing a job isn't the end of the world, it's a pain losing it, finding a new one, and then breaking in and learning the new ropes.

It's also been very interesting being a part of the walking dead. I'm still doing my job, perhaps even better than before. There has been one woman that got notice and has been able to find a new spot at the company, so it's not totally ruled out one couldn't stay on. A number of coworkers have been shocked by my departure, as I was, in most aspects. I've had good performance reviews, five figure bonuses lately, and have always gotten along well with my coworkers. I even have a lot of my fellow engineers come to me for help on a lot of different items.

This situation does open up a new opportunity, though. My mom is not in the best of health, and with some time off, I may go home and spend some quality time with her and my dad. I figure I can still look for a job on the internet at their house. I almost hope I don't find a job right off the bat so that I can spend the time with my mom, but, then again, if I do find one soon, I'd have a nice chunk of change for a down payment on a place.

I've also started networking with some coworkers and vendors, and hope I can find a spot in the San Francisco Bay area. Growing up a military brat, I'm kinda tired of moving at this point in my life. I also love my friends, the weather, and my teammates. We've got some great stuff planned for the future, but I'd hate to play without a nice glove.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Dr. O Chat

I have attended the TGSF Executive Committee meeting for the past few months ever since winning the title of Ms. Transgender San Francisco 2009. A few months ago they were looking at some education options, one of which included seeing if Dr. O was up for presenting on FFS.

So, I contacted his office to see if he would be available at one of TGSF's End of Month activities. We settled on May 28th for him to talk. I confirmed both a month and week ahead of time and gave them my number if anything went wrong.

Dr. O and Mira both showed up right on time, if not a touch early, but unfortunately, our usual private room was not available and we were not able to have the presentation as we would have preferred.

I was horribly disappointed since we put in a lot of effort to have him there, and he was unable to present on his materials. Not only that, but there were people that came to hear him talk.

As Dr. O, Mira, and myself waited on the potential opening of our presentation room, though, we were able to chat a little.

Initially, Dr. O planned to retire in 2011. That has since changed. It appears that he plans to work another 3-5 years, making his likelihood for retirement sometime between 2012 to 2014.

It also appears that Dr. O will have a successor. Mira mentioned that they do plan on having an announcement in the future. On the downside, it appears that successor may not be in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mira mentioned a location for the announcement, but I'm not going to mention it here as it may lead to a lot of conjecture.

She also mentioned that Dr. O will be alongside the successor in the OR for a decent amount of time to ensure all knowledge has been passed along.

Dr. O did mention that the economy isn't the best right now, and even he was feeling it, but he still had patients coming in for FFS. I know a lot of trans-people have probably been affected by the economy as well, and have likely put off FFS or SRS because of their financial situations. Hopefully the delay in his retirement will bring a little sigh of relief to those still working on their funds.

Dr. O is a very resilient man. His father lived into his 90's, I believe, and at least one of his father's siblings just celebrated their 95th birthday. I think Dr. O's work has even gotten better since I saw him in 2004. A local girl recently had surgery with him this past Fall, and I have to say, she is probably the best result I have ever seen of his patients. So, it's nice to know he is still spitting out some great work, and will continue to do so for the next few years.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marie Claire article

I caught this on-line article a week or two ago and finally got a little time to write about it.

In the article, a woman with a disfiguring condition discusses her dating situation. When I first read the title, the thought of my own situation definitely ran through my mind. As I read the article, though, I definitely related to her on some issues, especially as we try to live up to the physical female expectations of our bodies.

But, as many people mentioned in the comments of a couple of the sites hosting this article, she definitely lets the condition affect her own dating perception, just as I let my own transsexual status affect mine. There is even a comment from another transsexual on the Marie Claire site that I found particularly interesting.

The hard part with all of it is being secure with our own situations and feeling comfortable enough with potential dateables to let them in on some of our more personal characteristics.

Friday, May 01, 2009


The radio alarm awoke me from my slumber this morning, and I had no idea what day it was. Was it Saturday, or was it Friday?'s Friday. I need to go to work.

The past 12 days have been a whirlwind of activity. And if, as some believe, brain exertion is just as taxing as physical exertion, then I am worn out. I'm fatigued. Tired. I've reached a state of decreased mental consciousness.

And it's not from spending 7 of the past 10 work days at a vendor. It's not from the 2-hour 1-way drive to the vendor. It's not the project whose cryptic data leads us in circles around our minds.

It's a combination of all of it, combined with all of life's little worries.

I'm lost. Usually I'm a problem solver. And I'm a pretty good one. It's what I know I'm good at. I can look at a problem, figure out why it's a problem, come up with different ways to systematically solve it, and then figure out how to prevent it from happening again.

And, this one, well, this one seems to defy logic. It sends us one way, we get there, and then it sends us off in another direction. The current noise oscillates outside the data stream, causing us to run off every which way like a 5 year old girl chasing a puppy. Except it's not a puppy. It's Cujo.

I'm tired.

Even though I had a guy over to my place the other night who likes me, and I said he could crash at my place, I told him I needed to get some sleep because I had to get up early the next morning to be on the road at my vendor. All I could think about was sleep...crawling into my bed and just not thinking about anything.

And, so, when I stepped outside my apartment this morning, I noticed the soft rain falling from the gray gloomy sky above. I totally drove to work on auto-pilot.

At work, my boss and I finally had our little quarterly one-on-one where he told me, although I am still doing a good job, I haven't been assertive enough in my daily meeting with the vendor.

Assertiveness hasn't been one of my strongest points...especially when I am tired. It's also hard when the project leader and your boss attend the meeting in order to further drive actions as this one item becomes the major sticking point. My authority extends only so far, and beyond that I have to rely on those above me. When they participate in the meeting, it's hard to not take on a less assertive role. And I wonder if the less assertive observation is in reference to who and what I was. I may have looked like a guy, but inside I was still a fragile little girl. If they expect the assertiveness of the man I was and not the woman I am, then I may seem even less assertive.

Either way, I'm tired, and could really use a few days to sleep. And not drive. And to not think about any of it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A new Kara on the scene

I saw her on TV and totally fell in love.

She ran across my screen and dashed into my heart. Her name is Kara Goucher and she placed 3rd in today's Boston Marathon.

And she's hot.

Don't be surprised if you see her name a little more often now.

I totally forgot that today was the Boston Marathon, but I caught the highlights tonight on the news. Today was also the 10th anniversary of Columbine. I happened to be sick that day and spent the entire day on the couch in my pajamas watching the affair unfold on live TV. It was such a tragic event.

Another year, I found myself at home with food poisoning, and yet again curled up on the couch watching TV. I think it was the only time I have been able to watch almost the entire Boston Marathon. Before moving to California, I used to race home for lunch just to watch the winners cross the finish line. The three hour time difference has prevented that from happening since.

Perhaps that will change now that America has a new gal to root for.

Of course, she broke my heart when I saw the big rock on her finger...but I totally understand the emotions she is going through right after the race.

She came so close to winning, and was right there to see the winners just ahead of her. I'll still be rooting for her in the future...even if she does like guys.

Friday, April 10, 2009

2009 Transgender Leadership Conference

I have attended a variety of different conferences throughout my life. The first one on my own was the Hugh O’Brien Leadership Conference when I was between my sophomore and junior year. I was the only representative for my high school. A girl from the grade ahead of me who had attended the previous year was one of the counselors. She and I had also kinda dated on and off for a while. I’ll admit, I went in unsure of what I was doing there. I wasn’t sure what to expect at the conference, either.

The following year, I went to Missouri’s Boy’s State...a political model acted out by high school males. I would equate it to a conference on who had the larger penis, without the mess of getting naked, nor the act of violence.. I was one of two from my high school who participated, and perhaps that experience alone made me realize I had no business in politics. Also, I was the lamb thrown in with the lions, a girl amongst a tidal wave of testosterone. I did have fun with the sports we participated in there, though, and I met a lot of new people. Upon reflection, I remember one feminine quiet guy...I wonder what happened to him.

I was never aggressive as a kid. I was the one in study hall that actually studied, ran off to the library, or slept. OK, I ran off to the library more than anything. Instead of study hall, it should have been called Library Hour. I’m sure in one of my trips to the library, I wandered through the forty-pound dictionary and found the word transsexual. I probably put it in the same vault as fairies and leprechauns. No one would ever change sexes.

And, yet, some twenty odd years later, I attended the 2009 Transgender Leadership Conference. Last year was my first time, which happened to be local to me in Berkeley. This year, San Diego played host. Luckily for me, I have family in San Diego...and was able hang out with them a bit. My uncle, who is only 10 years older than me, his wife, a mere 3-4 years older than me, and their son, my cousin, who is headed off to college later this year, are a total blast to hang out with.

I flew in Friday morning and caught up with my aunt and uncle. I was able to chat one on one with them while the other was off at their appropriate appointments that day. It was actually really nice being able to just chill with them. When my little cousin got home from school, he, my uncle, and I jammed on Rock Band for a few sessions. OK, I just tried to stay up on Medium while both of them rocked out on Expert.

After bringing down the house, I headed over to UC San Diego for the Friday introduction to the conference. I met up with Ally, Lisa, and Bonnie, who all drove down from San Francisco. I saw a number of other familiar faces, as well, along with a lot of new faces.

Saturday started off with the first main plenary, as Masen Davis provided the first look at their transgender survey results (summary available here). It’s incredible data, and I hope TLC will move forward with gathering more info. There are some very obvious results, and some shocking ones, as well.

The first class sessions started shortly after the morning plenary. A number of us from TGSF headed off to the Lobby 101 session in what looked to be one of the better classes for the first time slot. It turned out so well, I came back for the second class after lunch.

I bounced around a few classes during the third time slot until I found the Beyond Jerry Springer session. It was entertaining, and actually led to some interesting discussions about how transgender people are portrayed on the screen.

Mara Keisling and Ms. Major delivered the evening plenary, which contained some very lively vocabulary. Mara has to be one of my favorite speakers at both leadership conferences I have attended. While she gives a great update on the current affairs in DC, she is also very entertaining.

Mara (not pronounced like Kara) told us that Alzheimers runs in her family. From what it sounds like, Mara’s sister is also a good kidder...just like Mara. Her sister joked that Mara’s future included her screaming “I want to transition” and “Who stole my penis?” I have to admit, I totally laughed my ass off.

After that plenary, a number of us were off to the Transgender Law Center’s fundraiser and then over to the San Diego LGBT Center for the night activities. My aunt and uncle were in the area, so I was lucky enough to have them drop by so I could introduce them to a lot of my friends, and my friends to them. I then jaunted off with them for a little dancing at a spot in the very posh La Jolla downtown.

Since I’m not religious, I skipped the early Sunday morning plenary focused on religion, but caught the final plenary which included San Francisco local, Cecilia Chung. I consider her one of my big trans-sisters, especially with how active she is here in the Bay Area.

Over the weekend, I’ll admit that I ran into a number of people that I was attracted to. There was a guy in the Lobbying 101 session who I thought might be pre-transition, but he turned out to be a recently transitioned FTM...and probably a bit too young.

And then there was this guy I saw at the LGBT Center. Cute, tallish...well, taller than me, and nicely built. I asked one guy who he was, and got a name. Later, I introduced myself and we chatted briefly. The guy who I initially asked later came up to me and asked if he wanted him to introduce me, and I told him I already took care of it.

I ended up introducing myself to a lot of new people at the conference, and found it was a great way to network and meet new people. It's amazing how easy it is now to just walk up, say hi, introduce myself...and get a conversation going.

I ran into the guy again Sunday morning, and he told me he had been looking around for me. cute. It was unfortunate that we met so late into the weekend. In fact, we were basically the last two to leave as we wandered off to our separate vehicles after chatting for almost an hour.

I caught an early dinner with my relatives before almost missing my plane home. I even saw a number of leadership conference attendees on the flight home.

So, what about the guy, huh? Well, we’re still chatting here and there, but since he is in San Diego and I am in San Francisco, it makes it kinda hard. But who knows, our circles overlap here and there.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gender Diversity of a different degree

A week and a half ago, I was at the San Jose Coronation. I hung out with the usual crowd of Ally, Lisa, and Carol. During the evening, Ally and I talked a bit...especially about the crowd and our observations.

The two girls that won Co-Empress of San Jose are fairly femme. They look fabulous as seen in this photo, and, well, they seem to have a slightly different gender expression than your typical drag queen. There were also a few others in the crowd that showed slightly different drag qualities, and more regular femme qualities.

Ally called it gender diversity.

I like it. I mean, it seems like a person would be very secure with themselves to even present with gender diversity.

What is gender diversity? It's kinda hard to explain, but there are fairly distinct qualities to being a drag queen or a gay man. Drag queens in themselves have gender diversity, but there are some that do drag quite well such that the dramatized quality of it is almost absent, and a more femme quality is present. I suppose this could also be said of drag kings.

Anyway, this gender diversity deals more with a person expressing a security around different gender presentations.

As Ally and I conversed further, we talked about a number of people that expressed gender diversity. Most often, we noticed that there are some gay boys that show this quality. A few seem fairly comfortable and quite natural as women, but they are also quite comfortable being gay men. Well, they seem to be.

Perhaps it is a stage toward self acceptance, or perhaps it is just a variety of gender that does not need labels...other than to say some people are more gender diverse than others.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More women playing men

Today's movie news:

'Twilight' Star Nikki Reed To Play Transgender Woman In 'K-11'

Sigh...two more women playing men playing women.

It seems like basic knowledge that a transsexual would probably play a transsexual best. Instead, it looks like they will have a pair of attractive women playing the down and out transsexuals.

If you look back at movie history, you rarely see men playing very passable transsexuals. They always throw women in the role if they are looking for the shocking "she was born a man" scenario. It happened in Ace Ventura, and Nip/Tuck, and TransAmerica. When a man plays the role, it seems like it's more for slapstick or chills...Tootsie, Silence of the Lambs, To Wong Fu, Dressed to Kill, etc. The only one that kinda falls out of that is The Crying Game...where a man did a pretty decent job of playing a MTF transsexual, and perhaps Boys Don't Cry...where a woman played a woman becoming a man. OK, OK, they did a decent job with TransAmerica. I've heard rumors about Southern Comfort, but haven't seen anything further on it.

Anyway, I wonder when we will finally see a transsexual in a major film role.

Attraction to the Q

In my past few dating experiences, I have dated people that were fairly oblivious to the T. While the few people I did date were attracted to me, they also felt a bit of standoffishness in me. I'll admit, I did this in order for them not to get too close before I disclosed to them, and to see if I deemed them worthy of the knowledge.

Two of the girls I dated pretty much just wanted sex. The guy most likely wanted a little more.

I know that I want more than sex. Way more.

But, I'm also aware that I'm not letting people close enough to me to see much other than my sexual worthiness.

Yet, when I meet someone that is T or genderqueer, or someone that knows that I am T...and still attracted to me, that standoffishness disappears. Am I attracted only to queer people? Are they the only ones that I will give a chance?

Or am I afraid of getting my head bashed in? Am I afraid of being a name read off on November 20th? Am I afraid of letting anyone in close enough?

If I let someone in close and leave the T stuff by the wayside...and then they find out my history, I don't want that person feeling so betrayed or whatnot, that they decide to take that anger out on my skull.

I like my skull.

And, sometimes I wonder that if a "straight" is OK with my situation, is he or she then treating me as more of a sexual fantasy? Most of the men that visit Diva's are looking for sex, obviously, and there are a section of that male population that objectifies transsexuals, especially those T's that still have a penis.

I don't want to be an object.

Just yesterday, a guy pinged me on facebook, and was all of a sudden wanting to cam and stuff.

"You are shemale?"


- delete friend -

I don't need it, and I won't stand for it. I'm a person...we're all people...and we don't have to stand for that shit.

But it's a double-edged sword. There are some really nice people who like me for me, and I'd hate to keep them at an arm's length simply because I like my skull and don't want to feel like an object.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The 3rd date

So, I went out a few more times with this guy...let's call him R. I took Charlotte's advice, and didn't let him in on the T stuff on date #2. During our dinner date, the topic of kids came up. I asked him if he was interested in having kids, and he said yes. I told him I couldn't have kids. When he asked why and if it was biological...I said yes.

I mentioned some of this on a forum, and someone wondered if that was too much information for the second date. It could be, but it was my way of working up to the T stuff...the consequential baby steps of dating a transsexual, right?

We set up a third date at a local billiards place, and planned to grab some dinner, too. After beating him at two games of pool, we grabbed some eats. Somehow we got on the topic of sex and gender.

I forget exactly how the conversation went, but I think he asked me more about being queer and what that entailed. I told him that I had many different and complicated attractions.

I'm physically attracted to women. I'm sexually attracted to men. I'm intimately drawn to women. I'm attracted to the completion that a man provides.

Physically, women are very pretty. Their curves are very attractive, their hair is very beautiful, their skin is soft and smooth, their eyes and faces draw you in, and their figure...legs, waist, hips, ass...well, they are all very alluring.

A man in some type of decent physical shape is hot. Men are strong, muscular, and rough...and, well, when I fantasize about having sex with someone, I usually fantasize about having sex with a guy. Male/female sex is fairly attractive to me...

...but so is female/female intimacy. What is the difference? Well, while I would prefer to have sex with a guy, I'd rather be intimate with a woman. I could probably have foreplay all night long with a woman, and never have sex. I'm also a fan of body grinding or a tribbing variation, so, whatever works.

Although I will admit that female/female intimacy is incredible, there is also a fantastic feeling of completion by having sex with a man. The man's masculinity reinforces my own femininity...and the more masculine he is, the more feminine I can feel.

So, while were chatting, and even in our previous dates, he had mentioned his attraction to me...but to be honest, I didn't sense a spark from my side at all. I did want to give him a chance, though, and see if I saw anything in him that I would be attracted to. While he is definitely a masculine guy, the masculine features that I look for in a guy just weren't that strong.

Perhaps I was setting the relationship up to fail...I don't know.

I don't remember what exactly led up to my disclosure, but before I told him, I delayed for a few seconds. He leaned in to kiss me. I moved away.

He said that whatever I had to say wouldn't change the fact that he wanted to kiss me.

"It might."

And, so, I laid out the circumstances of my history and let him know that I was a transsexual. He took it OK.

But guys are weird...if you let them in on something sexual, they always seem to take it a little too far. Before I disclosed to him, somehow he let me know that he had watched T porn in the past, but didn't reach climax.

We had breakfast last weekend...after he knew my history. He had sensed my standoffishness before the disclosure, and he knew something was kinda up. He also told me he had googled a bunch of stuff on SRS and realized there were limitations. He told me he had a rather big penis...about 2" wide. My largest dilator is 1.5" in diameter, and it's pretty hard to get in there. (A friend told me these might be guy inches, and not actual dimensions.) He also acknowledged that if he saw me naked, there might be things about my body that he might not be attracted to.

Anyway, we chatted a bit more, and he surmised that I was giving him the "it's not you, it's me" speech. I'll admit it, I have a hard time letting some people in. Some of it is the T thing, while another part of it is the growing up as a military brat. As you move from place to place, you start putting less investments in your friends so it becomes less painful to say good-bye.

We hung out the following day as he took one of his dying pets to the vet, then did a little shopping when he got some good news with his pet.

I know he likes me, even with the knowledge of my past...but I don't think I was that attracted to him, nor was sex going to work very well...which eventually would have left neither of us with something to work with.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Have you ever had the convergence of many different changes in life happening around the same time? It seems like it has been that way for me lately.

A few weeks ago, my mom received word that her cancer treatments weren't working. At that time, they had no other options for her, and they told her that she basically has a year to live. Yes, it's crappy news, but I know the process of life. I love my mom, but I also know that none of us live forever. I suppose it seems like 'forever' as we age, and we almost assume that everyone in our lives will be around in our day to day activities. Because this fight against the cancer has gone on for years, I suppose it has given me time to deal with it all, and my own journey has given me insight into the whole grieving process. And, perhaps since I am a problem solver by nature, Denial and Bargaining never enter into my equation. Sure, there is a little anger at the whole dying thing, but I usually skip into the Depression and Acceptance steps pretty fast. There is no use spending energy on things I cannot change.

About a month ago, my roommate told me that she needed to move to Chicago to follow what her employer subtly said was basically her only option to stay employed. It wasn't much notice, and I had to go through the whole process of finding a new roommate. Not only that, but when she left at the buttcrack of dawn this past Sunday, she spent little time cleaning her room or bathroom. She didn't have too much stuff here since she was able to pack it all into a couple of suitcases for her flight, but she still left things in a bit of a mess...especially the bathroom. It took me 3 hours to clean it Sunday night, and then start on the rest of her room. Since I was also getting the carpets replaced, I had to move stuff around for the carpet layers on Monday and Tuesday. Shifting around the entire apartment was very physically demanding and time consuming. I don't think I have made it to bed before 1am all this week as I move, clean, and replace everything around the apartment. My new roommate has made minimal contact thus far, but she is due to move in sometime over the next week.

In my personal life, I have also found that Warcraft is too much of a time sink. I'm not doing anything creative, and I really need to. When I was at Wondercon, it really brought back my desire to write. I've already got a new story I need to start working on, and see what I can make of it. To free up time, though, I've already told myself that I'm only playing computer games 2 days a week...maximum. The hard part is the social part of the game. I've gotten to know a lot of fun and cool people to hang out with via ventrillo. Leaving them behind really makes me sad, but I suppose there are plenty of other people out in the world still to meet.

Taking on the duties of Ms. Transgender San Francisco has also led to a reflection on my involvement in the transgender world, as I have mentioned in a few past posts.

The other aspect is my life in general. I'd like to find a place of my that I own, instead of renting. Interest rates are rock bottom low right now, but housing prices are still fairly expensive here. And finding a decent place is still kinda hard. My lease ends in November, and I think I'd like to be in a new place before then.

Finally, my sports teams have started up again, and I wonder how this year will work in my schedule. Hopefully there will be no injuries this year.

All in all, I have a lot of new paths to take...but, that is what life is all about...our roads to tomorrow.

Wondercon and Coronation

This past week has been a complete blur.

Last Thursday, Donna Rose popped into town, and I talked her into attending the TGSF monthly social. It was really nice having her stop in there, as many had never met her, and yet, they knew her from all the ENDA and HRC stuff.

On Friday, I was off to Wondercon with a friend to see the Wonder Woman animated movie that turned out fairly well. Both of us were back up there on Saturday for more of the show. I caught all three Saturday seminars that I was hoping to see.

For the Queer Women in Comix, I hit them with the question "What are the differences in humor between males and females?" They said they briefly discussed asking that question before the seminar, but they said it would either be impossible to answer that topic in the allotted time, or they were stumped.

My friend and I also walked around to the different booths in artist alley, the autograph area, and throughout all the comic vendors. I was hoping to get autographs from 3-4 of the actors that were my favorites in past sci-fi shows, but only 2 of them were around. I asked about the other two, but one supposedly had a reservation issue with his flight, and the other broke her wrist just days before the event. Total bummer.

I ran off to Coronation Saturday evening and spent about 6 hours watching flocks of drag queens promenade through the crowds around the facility. I was just amazed at many of the outfits that were worn, both on and off stage. And the hair pieces and tiara'!!!!

I'm actually going to admit that I was attracted to one or two drag queens. One might have been T, but the other had this nice toned down look to her. Yes, I was checking out some drag queens. Get over it!!!!! =)

On Sunday, my friend and I were back at Wondercon for a few more hours. We caught the hot girls of the Sarah Connor Chronicles, then I headed home to relax a few hours before starting all of the work that has ambushed my extra time this week....which I shall discuss in another post.

I loved the whole ambiance of Wondercon, though, and wish we had a show here in San Francisco called Geek Fest or something. It would be awesome just to have a week or weekend of all geek stuff. I mentioned this at work, and a few coworkers said it would be impossible, as it would be an overload of too much stuff to do. Perhaps they're right. I'm just sad I have to wait another year for the next one.

Lunch Date

A week ago, a guy asked me to lunch. He's been chatting me up in the cafeteria for quite some time now...informing me of the culinary tastes of European dark chocolate. I am, of course, turning European now that I have basically thrown milk chocolate to the gutter as worthless batter for my taste buds.

Anyway, a few days before our lunch date, he introduced me to one of his co-workers, and then bluntly asked me to lunch. I'm not sure if he jumped at the opportunity since he doesn't see me all that often, or if the coworker helped him show off his masculinity. Either way, it doesn't really matter. Also, he doesn't work at my company, he just eats at our cafeteria which is open to the variety of other companies in the area. Thus, he's not classified as a co-worker to me, nor do I rely on him to provide cafeteria food, so it appears there is no harm in going out.

On our way to lunch, he asked what I was doing for the weekend. I said I was going to Wondercon, and then off to the San Francisco Coronation. He wondered what Coronation was, so I told him they would be selecting a new Emperor and Empress of San Francisco. He said he'd never heard of it.

"It's probably different from your normal crowd. It's an LGBT event."


"Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender."

"Oh....are you one of the letters?"

"Yup, I'm a Q...for queer."

I then had to enlighten him on being queer. I should have said I was a lesbian to get his reaction to inviting someone to lunch who has no interest in him at all, but I wasn't that mean.

We chatted over lunch, and even got on the topic of what we were looking for...and even brought up the kid topic. He said he was interested in kids.

I have a friend who is dating a guy, and I don't think she has ever told him she is T. A number of our friends coerced her into at least telling him that she can't have kids.

And, to be honest, I think that is going to be my new ice breaker on the T stuff.

"I can't have kids," I told him.

I figured this was a way of dealing with at least one of the concerns of dating a transsexual. I told him that adoption was always an option with me.

He called me earlier this week and said he was interested in going out again. We have dinner set for tonight, so, I'm not sure if I will move forward with the T information or not...I guess it kinda depends on how the topics move along tonight.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How old are you?

Many, many years ago, another trans-woman once told me that our psychological ages, as transwomen, differ from our physical ages due to not having lived as our gender during a significant time in our youth. She suggested that our "new age" can be determined by taking the age at which we went full time and dividing it by two (rounding down). Then add all the years after going full time.

(This tends to work well for those over 30, but if you are under 24, it's quite skewed.)

In my case, I transitioned at 33. Dividing in half and rounding down is 16. Add the 5 years since then, and I'm 21.

Hey, I'm legal!!!

...but I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up.


This coming weekend is packed.

Tomorrow night is TGSF's End of Month Social at the Cathedral Hill Hotel on Van Ness. It's been a while since I have been, so I hope to see some new faces.

Wondercon runs this Friday to Sunday, and I hope to drop by all three days to check it out. Saturday has most of the content, but, unfortunately, San Francisco Coronation is also that evening. So, I'll be heading out from Wondercon to enjoy an evening with the court system.

I was looking over the current Wondercon schedule, and I found a number of programs I want to catch, including:

The Birth of Gay Comix
— San Francisco was a birthplace for underground comics. It was also a birthplace for the queer comics movement with a pioneering indie comic called Gay Comix. Edited by Howard Cruse and San Francisco artist, Robert Triptow, Gay Comix was one of the first comics to present stories by and for the LGBT community. Robert Triptow and early gay comics creators Burton Clarke (Gay Comix), Vaughn Frick (Gay Comix), Jeff Krell (Jayson), Lee Marrs (Pudge, Girl Blimp), Trina Robbins (It Ain't Me Babe, Wimmen's Comix), and Mary Wings (Come Out Comix) take you on a fascinating trip back to the '80s and the beginnings of queer comic books. Moderated by Justin Hall (True Travel Tales, Glamazonia the Uncanny Super Tranny).

Comics Arts Conference Session #4: Comics, Culture, And Society — Diana Green (Minneapolis College of Art & Design) looks beyond the often-addressed "camp" aspects of EC stories, and delves into the way the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered subtexts and depiction of ambiguous gender in EC Comics played into the burgeoning, shifting acceptance of gay culture that began in the 1950s. Trevor Strunk (New York University) takes up the privileging of hybridity in the language, drawing style, and themes of Jaime Hernandez's graphic novel Locas, from Love and Rockets, specifically in the portrayal of the fictional town of Huerta. Kate McClancy (Duke University) asks whether the post-9/11 political climate forced a reimagining of V for Vendetta's portrayal of an anarchist in the film version of the graphic novel.

Queer Women in Comics — You think Alison Bechdel (Fun Home, Dykes to Watch Out For) is one of a kind? We know she's unique, but there are lots of other queer women working in comics. Paige Braddock (Jane's World), Greta Christina (Best Erotic Comics), Joey Alison Sayers (Thingpart), and Leia Weathington (Bold Riley) present a spirited discussion of what it means to be lesbian, bi-female and transgendered in comics today. Moderated by Patty Jeres, Prism Comics board co-president.

I have to admit, I haven't read too many comics in the past years, with the last one being the Dark Knight Strikes Again series...but before that, I'd probably have to go way back to the early 90's. They just got so expensive on a college budget, and they are quite addictive such that you have to read all of them to stay up on what is happening.

Wondercon is more than just comics, though. They have a ton of sessions, as mentioned above, and a lot of upcoming stuff, too, such as the new Watchman movie. Being a geek and sci-fi fan, I was also excited to see some of the actors listed as appearing this weekend. So, as you can imagine, I have a full list of things to do.

I guess the best part of it is just attending the show and feeling the mass excitement. Unfortunately, no Mulder or Scully this year.

Monday, February 23, 2009

This time of year

February never meant anything to me in the past. Sure, it has that occasional leap day in it every 4 years or so, but it was always the short month. It was always a cold month. It was always a dreary month. Yeah, it has Valentine's Day right in the middle, but you have to have a loved one to really make it special.

On February 14th, 2004...over 5 years ago...I went full time. Four days later, on February 18th, a proverbial truck hit me and rearranged my face. A year later, on February 22nd, 2005, I had SRS.

February has, in a way, become a new month to me...a reminder of my once lost path finally finding a way home.

And, yet, once I found my way home, my life became complacent, to a degree. The sparkle of the journey is lost by the routine pattern of a common life.

If you've watched much TV in the past 50 years, you realize that any program revolving around the journey didn't do so well once they finally made it fact, the story usually ended when the journey home was complete. Lost in Space, Gilligan's Island, Star Trek: Voyager...just to name a few.

But, my story starts anew once the journey has ended. I suppose that's possibly what my life needs in order to be less complacent. I need a continual journey. I need to do new stuff and go new places all the time.

One of my first appearances as Ms. Transgender San Francisco was this past Saturday. Alexandria, who emceed the Cotillion, is part of a monthly drag show called Faux Girls. A number of the Ex-Com are familiar with this show, so they suggested I attend.

As we waited for the show to start, I noticed one girl sitting by herself just in front of me. I moved seats just slightly and asked if she was here alone. She was, and she didn't know the other person with a reserved seat at her table...who had yet to show up. She was from eastern Europe and lives in New York, but her visa was about to expire, so she was out in San Francisco to visit. She was by herself, and she was just out catching the different glitter of San Francisco. We chatted briefly before I moved back to my seat.

I ended up meeting a Russian girl at the show in a similar situation, and we chatted a bit after the show was over. She was quite fascinated by all of the transgender women at the show, and her eyes sparkled with the inquisition of a child wanting more.

Perhaps it is a youthful thing, perhaps it is an inner energy...a drive to experience and learn, a simple yearning for all there is. Might it be the sweet taste of excitement, the natural device of caffeine, and the potential to follow the rabbit around the corner? Or maybe it is a subliminal search for love, a quest for the soul that makes us whole, or a desire of that which makes us smile every time we think of them. Whatever it is, I haven't had enough of it lately. I need to refill my cup.