Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Good-bye 2003

Last Tuesday, I flew into the Midwest to spend time with my family for Christmas. A slight delay in the Bay Area caused my layover in Dallas to become a brisk walk from Gate 35 to Gate 36 and onto the next plane. I kinda like those layovers.

Once arriving and being greeted by my parents, they informed me that my sister wouldn’t be attending. My Mom said she still had a lot of stress, didn’t have much time off with her son since she had to spend extra time with him when he was sick, and of course a little of me. Later that week, when it was just Dad and I, he told me that it was mainly me. I miss my sister.

I flew in girl mode and planned to stay that way for 6 days. My first long “test.” We went to see my grandmother (who took the whole thing very well) on Wednesday with a couple of aunts and uncles there as well. One of my uncles was really impressed with my presentation and even half joked, “Well, maybe I should become a woman. What do you think, would I make an attractive woman?” My uncle isn’t usually this funny, but in this case he’s a riot, for you see he’s pretty manly and half bald, not that he can help that. Lucky for me, he’s very supportive of my journey. In fact, many of my extended family are supportive. It’s nice to be around people like that who will give me a chance. Many of them see that I’m much happier, and they’ve told me this. Those are great comments to hear.

On Christmas Day, I found my parents at the computer watching my sister and her son on one webcam in Missouri and my brother-in-law on a webcam in Korea. We all watched as my nephew spent his first Christmas morning. OK, I’m not a religious person, but I enjoy the tradition of Christmas. As my sister was finishing up their Christmas, we decided to unwrap some gifts as well. No boy gifts! Awesome! My sister gave me a gift certificate for Victoria’s Secret and my mom gave me a set of perfumes and lotions from VS as well. Those two gifts rock, but everything was great in general.

My sister called a few times while I was at my parents, and we even talked for a while. She was very polite, and we talked about a few items for about 5 minutes. It was a very nice conversation. I miss those.

During the stay, we made stops at Wal-mart twice. As far as I could tell, I didn’t get many direct stares, although I’m not sure how my wake looked as no one was covering my six. I think that situation would bug a lot of people since they’d be worried about being seen with a transgender person in the middle of Hickville, but everything went pretty good both times.

Those six days as me rocked. I totally left the male shell behind a few days into it. It was so wonderful. Although I know this journey is for me, at that point I knew absolutely for sure that I will be happy as me. It’s very hard to describe, but I’ll try. I’ll try to relate it to a roller coaster. You know that initial ching ching ching up the very tallest portion at the beginning where you wonder if your decision to ride the super scary extra looping death defying vomit inducing ride is the right decision for you? It’s super scary because you know that initial fall looms in your immediate future, but once you get through it all, you’re ready to do it again. OK, well, I made it through the first loop and it wasn’t that bad.

During the stay, I told everyone that any name or pronoun was fine to use. It didn’t matter. Everyone tried their hardest to use Kara, she, and her, but they still slipped. It wasn’t that bad, though. My dad did start using one of my old nicknames that I picked up in college, though, which I don’t really care to hang on to. Hopefully he’ll switch to Kara or “care” in the future. Otherwise, things were pretty good on the name front. They’re trying which is all I can ask for.

My mom and cousin tried their hand at styling my hair while I was there. My mom tried blow drying it straight and curling it in larger curls, but as I told her, it’s pretty hard to do anything with it. She threw about an hour and a half at it, but what came through didn’t live long. It was a monster! I messed a little with the front side bangs and threw the rest into a ponytail, though, so it worked, but it just needed a little help. Now, that hairdo would have worked if I was attending the Emmy’s or something as I would have garnished a ton of attention. My cousin also tried to braid my hair, but with the curls it’s just so hard to make it look like something decent. They both tried though, which is respectable. Now they both sorta know how hard it is dealing with super curly hair, but I still get a ton of straight haired people telling me they wished they had curly hair. And I tell them back that I wish I had straight hair. Even when I showed them my morning hair the next day, they still wanted curly hair. Phbbbtttt!!!!

After reading some of Claire’s blog over the past few months, I found an entry about a T named Fonda Le Femme in Arkansas who does shows. She’s more of an illusionist or drag queen, but you can tell there’s still a lot of girl in her as well. Since one of her shows wasn’t that far away from my parents, I decided to check it out. I got to the club a little early and inquired as to what type of club it was. It was usually a hip hop club, but on Sunday’s it was more of a gay club with the drag show. Hmm...OK, well I figured that wouldn’t be too bad. Actually, as people started arriving, there was a mixture of gay men, lesbians, straight women, and a few straight guys. There was one DQ roaming the audience, and 5 DQ/Female Illusionists in the show. Actually, two of them might have been TS since one appeared to have breast growth when she wore pasties and the other just gave off that vibe.

I talked to Fonda a little before the show and she was a little curious as to what transition actually involved. She asked a little about the facial surgery, and wondered how I did with it. I told her I hadn’t had it yet, and she was a little surprised. I guess she thought my chin was already very femme. I told her the hormones have helped thin it out a lot, but that the bone was just that way. I told her the hormones really help with thinning out portions of the face. Her face was already very lean, and she’d already had a nose job making it look very feminine. Her presentation was really nice, although a little dramatic for the show.

While I was hanging around before, during, and a little after the show, though, I had a few guys kinda hitting on me. The guy at the door kept calling me ‘sweetheart.’ The owner/manager was checking me out initially, then kept stopping by to talk a little after that. One of the guys at the bar gradually made his way over to me and asked ‘where my homey was.’ I told him I wasn’t with a homey, but I think he kinda figured out I wasn’t interested or that I was T, and he soon left me alone. Later, one of the big security guards kept talking to me here and there. I went back out to my car to get something, and as I did, he whistled. When I came back in, he said he would have walked me to my car. After a few short conversations, he stops by and asks, “Will you marry me?” Oh please...such flattery??? I told him that I wasn’t his type, with him asking what type I was. He ran off to some “emergency” before he could prod me any further.

Although I felt comfortable in the club with not too many people reading me, I could still feel a few of the stares. There was a group of three women that would occasionally look my way trying to figure me out. And two women walked by me with one stopping to whisper at the other, then both looking back at me. I know...I’m on display for people to gawk at. I’m something different, so people stare, just like looking at a person with a physical handicap or some physical difference. A lot of T’s are scared by this, but I’ve gotten sorta used to it. I’m fine with it as long as they don’t hurt me or confront me in a bad nature.

While on vacation, I was able to finish off two more books for this year. I read Oryx and Crake the past two weeks, and finished off Feminizing Hormonal Therapy For The Transgendered. Earlier this year I finished off Dress Codes: Of Three Girlhoods -- My Mother’s, My Father’s, and Mine. It was OK, but rather boring until the last third of the book.

Middlesex was a really good book, and was the book that my coworker Robi had already read. It took me a while to get through it since it was quite long, but the story was well written and had a ton of detail. The main character is intersexed (although the author is not), but he doesn’t go through much of the GID and transition that many TS and IS individuals go through. In the book, though, the character does admit that he was different than many of the other IS people he met later in life. The character also meets a transsexual near the end of the story when the character travels to, where else, San Francisco. I think it could have used a better ending, but it worked.

Oryx and Crake was a book mentioned on GenderPeace, and Courtney lent me her copy when she visited at Halloween. I started it a few weeks ago and finished it on my vacation. The story kept me entertained, but the ending totally blew.

I have a few books I have been working on this past year, and hopefully I’ll be able to finish them sometime this new year. I’m about halfway through The Uninvited Dilemma: A Question of Gender. It’s the precursor to True Selves. I also have Transistor Radio and The Man Who Would be Queen on my bookshelf waiting to be read.

OK, well, I am heading out to meet some friends to celebrate the New Year. It’s also the countdown to the new California state law protection which adds ‘gender identity’ to the non-discrimination policy of the state. Whoo hoo! Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Money, money, money...take 11

I called my 401k provider today and set up a loan. It went pretty fast and they say the check will be here within a week. I figured it would take a couple of weeks, but it appears to be quite simple. He rattled off the bi-weekly sum that will be directly subtracted from my paycheck. I still need to see if I will be able pay some of it off ahead of schedule, and what happens if by some chance I lose my job.

Sunday, December 21, 2003


I forgot to mention...Sara, my ex-roomie, is back for a while. She’s out of school with the holiday break. It’s kinda good to have her here, but I’ve noticed the apartment is a little messier with her around.

Another busy day. I was up around 7am today and then off to work for a while. After that, I met up with some local friends to watch the final Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. It was pretty decent, although way too long. They also seemed to have more character development like the first one (unlike the second one) so I’ll have to say that I liked 1 and 3, and didn’t really care for 2. I was tearing up pretty bad near the end.

Dang hormones. :)

At the end of the movie though, they show a number of friends coming together after the great journey. It reminded me of the times I gather with my TS friends out here. At the end, they all say good bye and go their separate ways...which in a way brought back the memories of Courtney leaving after visiting me. They say the journey is the most exciting it. When it comes time for all of us to go our separate ways I know I am going to feel pretty sad, but hopefully we’ll all be able to stay in contact with one another.

Right after that I headed up to the city to say hey to Claire again, who is one day shy of being 2 weeks post-op. I went in boy mode, and Claire said that Amy was over in boy mode as well, although she doesn’t really have a boy mode anymore. We chatted for a while then decided to get an early dinner since I’d skipped lunch, as had Amy.

During our walk to the restaurant and subsequent dinner, Claire seemed to have a whole new confidence about her. She looks great now, and I think she feels much more comfortable interacting with people who now see her as a woman. So cool. I can’t wait, and like I said before, this has really given me a lot more confidence in getting through the post-op stuff.

We decided to head over to the Union Square area to do a little last minute Christmas shopping as well as see if Tyler was around. We made it into the San Francisco Shopping Center and were walking around for a few minutes when Amy spots Tyler out of the blue. Because Tyler had never seen me in boy mode, I decided to pick on her just briefly. She was standing in line to order, and as I walked by her I made sure to just barely brush her...then said, “Oh, excuse me ma’am.” I stood there looking in the glass case, but I could tell she was glaring right at me. I just looked there for a few seconds, then walked back toward her and couldn’t help but smile then. She didn’t even recognize me until I said her name, but said later that she knew once I smiled. We shopped a little longer, sat with Tyler and Claire as they had some coffee, then walked back to Claire’s place. Along the way, Claire had to duck behind us as we walked past one of the coffee shops she’d regularly visited as a boy. She said she didn’t want any of them to see her now since they might recognize her. OK, so her full confidence isn’t quite there, but she’s definitely improved with the overall status of going wherever as Claire.

Tyler and I walked back to my car so that I could give her a ride home. As we did, we passed another transsexual walking the other way. I told Tyler “There goes one of the family” and that I spotted her half a block away, while she responded with “That’s a funny way to put it.” I wasn’t quite sure until I saw her Adam’s Apple as we walked past one another. Tyler said she noticed her from afar as well. It’s so wild that we can pick one another out just like that, but it wasn’t like she looked really bad or anything, I could just tell. I mean, her hair looked good, she wasn’t much taller than me, and she was fairly thin, but there was just something about her. And since I’m one myself, and have friends that are TS, I guess I just see whatever it is that is slightly different from a genetic girl.

After arriving home, I got in another run this week...finishing at about 10:15pm. I have got to get more exercising in over this break, which hopefully I’ll be able to do with a little more free time on my hands.

Oh, by the way, I bought one of those swimming nose plugs last week to simulate nose packing. I tried it on for a little while and I felt totally fine. I don’t know what the big difference between holding my nose and having it clapped off with a nose clamp is, but hopefully it will be a lot more like the nose clamp situation.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Ulterior motives

This past Thursday was packed. I had a 5 minute blurb in our large presentation for the FDA stuff. Afterward, the project lead said my little talk was “memorable.” I’m not quite sure what that meant, but hopefully it was satisfactory. Another guy yesterday was talking to me about some of the details involved with the new project and the presentation, and I tell him I’m just an engineer. He complimented me by saying, “that was a pretty good presentation by just an engineer.” I hope he was being nice. OK, yeah, I put myself down sometimes, simply because I haven’t been on the presenting side of things much in the past. I’ve definitely gained confidence since coming out to myself and partaking in this journey over the past few years, but does it show in my presentations???....who knows.

After work, I was off to the city to attend the Winter T-Party held at the LGBT Center. It was basically a variety show consisting of transgender acts. I arrived a little late since it takes a little while to get into the city with all of the traffic, especially the holiday traffic. I grabbed some pasta then found a table with some friends. I put the plate on the table, sat down, then swung my legs around while all of the time looking up at the stage. As I did that, I felt this warm sensation suddenly come over my lap area. “Oh man...I did not just do that!!!” ran through my head, and yep, as I looked down, there was a pile of pasta and salad just sitting in my lap.


Oh well. I cleaned it up, patted myself dry as best as possible, then put together another plate of food. Luckily, I was wearing jeans with a slightly funky dark pattern to them, so it was rather hard to tell I had spilled anything there. I did notice the smell of tomato sauce emanating from my jeans for the rest of the night, though.

During the show, I would turn back occasionally just to see who was in the crowd. One time as I turned I caught just a general face in the crowd and automatically I knew she was a Dr. O grad. After further inspection, I realized she was Joan Roughgarden who is a professor at Stanford. JoAnne introduced me after I asked if that was her. Joan said hi after my introduction, but that was about all I got out of her. I think she was busy with other things.

The show went well, then I was off to the TGSF end of month social to make a public appearance as one of the contestants in the upcoming Cotillion. After that, I made it over to see Claire without any bandages. Wow!!! She’s looking great. After only 10 days she just had a little discoloration you could see in the eyelid and the swelling in the jaw. She didn’t like one little spot where her nose meets her forehead, but otherwise she really looks incredible. I am so ready to do this now!

After that, I cruised home only to get up at the crack of dawn again yesterday. It was a fairly light Friday though. I picked up the usual dinner from Brandon, did the usual electrolysis, then went over to Brooke’s to stay the night. I didn’t feel as whacked out as I usually do on the pain killers and felt really alert on my way over to her place. She even noticed it when I showed up. I woke up this morning, though, with a headache similar to the ones I used to get after taking pain meds for my wisdom teeth surgeries.

After the usual electrolysis and TGSF stuff this morning, followed by some Chinese food with Brooke and my electro, I dragged Brooke over to the mall with me so I could get some shopping done with both of us in boy mode. I bought some clothes for my nephew since his grandma and grandpa are already buying him way too many toys for Christmas. I talked Brooke into walking around a little as I had an ulterior motive for her. Her boobs are starting to point out, but she hasn’t started wearing a bra yet...just to kinda prevent them from being all pointy. I dragged her into Victoria’s Secret, but we couldn’t find the ones I was talking about.

As we were looking around, one of the sales associates comes up to us and says, “Hey guys, would you like to try one of our colognes? It’s called Very Sexy for Him.” We both responded with, “No thanks” at almost the same time. We then turned to one another and laughed at the situation.

We made it to Gap Body, though, which did have some of the bras. I think I embarrassed her too much though, and the lines were way too long, so she wrapped it up by saying, “I know where they are now” which I interpreted as, “OK, Kara...stop bugging me...I’ll get one when I’m ready.”

We also did a little browsing in Macy’s looking for a gown for me to wear in the Cotillion. Hopefully I can find some decent priced gowns after Christmas and New Year's, but still put things together before the next Cotillion meeting.

Aacckkk! My mouse stopped responding to movement tonight, which it has done a few times in the past. I have an IR Mac Mouse which is pretty cool since it doesn’t collect dust like the roller ball ones do. It appeared that the wire leading into the mouse has been bent or something a few too many times. So, since it wasn’t working in the first place, I decided to take it apart and try to fix it myself. After prying some of it apart, cutting a few pieces, sawing through one section, reconnecting a few internal wires, and taping it back together again, I now have a mouse that works. It just happens to half look like it went through it’s own FFS, and half look like one of those Christmas glass scenes that you shake up and it looks like snow is falling. Who knows how long it will last like this, but hey, I was able to fix it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Do you have a brother?

Between not feeling the best and the crappy weather we’ve had lately, I have not been able to get out for a run lately. Tonight was the first time I have gone for a run since I visited my family over the Thanksgiving break. I definitely need to ensure that I’m fairly healthy and in good shape before my FFS so that I can hopefully recover a little easier.

Last night was our last day for dance class. We went through all of the warm ups and ran across the floor a little, but that was basically it. We watched a little of their performance from last Friday on a small recorder view-screen. Our instructor brought a few goodies for us to share in, so I grabbed a brownie and some cookies. As we were standing around, one of the girls mentions that we should have had alcohol to drink. I look at her and say, “You’re not even 21 are you?”

She looks at me with a little smirk and says, “I’m 22.” When you’re young, you want to be older...when you’re old, you want to be younger.

Somehow we got on the subject of how old I was. A few girls thought I was around their same age at 24 or 25. I said “higher.”

I sat there pointing my thumb up into the air as they counted up.

“ way....30....31....32...dang....35?” she guessed.

"Hey now! I’m 33.”

They didn’t believe me, so I dug out my driver’s license and handed it to them. It quickly became the “item to pass around.”

“Wow...that’s what you look like with short hair?”

“Do you have a brother?” .....somehow I get the feeling this won’t be the last time I hear this question....but perhaps for different reasons.

As we’re kinda sitting around, one of the girls that performed with the group but wasn’t actually in our class was talking about some bar they are going to party at, as well as perform their sexy little dance. She tells one of the other girls that she’s not wearing the same shirt because it shows off her “manly” arms. I look at her and go “w h a t e v e r” as I show her my own freaking huge arms. She says, “OK, mine aren’t that big...but you’re a guy.” Ehhhhh...I just hate that.

As I was walking back to my car after saying my farewells to some of my classmates, I ran into the instructor. She asks me again if I would like to attend next semester’s class, but I tell her I’ll be out for three weeks and there are just too many things going on. She pries a little further, and I tell her I’m having facial surgery. She says, “Wow, so you’re going to look different?”


“Well, stop back by some time, I want to see.”

Now she doesn’t know that I’m going for FFS, but probably for other stuff like a nose job or something.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Phasers set to shock

I’m tired. It was a busy weekend and I feel like someone cut the line to the brakes. The bad thing is that I still have a ways to go before I can take a break.

Last week I picked Brooke up on my way to electro because we had to take care of some TGSF business. So, I called in her dinner order to the restaurant as well. Her and I then hung out at the bar while waiting for our food. As luck would have it, Brandon (I was finally able to see his name tag) was working the bar and took care of me as soon as I walked up there.

“Good to see you again, my man!” he says to me, saying my name first though. OK, I could do without the “man” part, but I appreciate that he notices me. Yeah, sure, he sees me as a guy...I know that....but after my surgery imposed 3.5 month absence from electro, he might meet my “sister.” :)

Brooke just laughed at my little infatuation with the guy. I mean, jeez, nice looking women that walk by still cause me to lose my concentration. Later, she was also humored by my “drunkenness” after taking the pain killer for the 2 hour session of weed pulling.

After staying at her place again, we then ventured back over for our morning sessions. We stopped at Starbucks on the way over to pick up some fuel for my electrologist. I’ve noticed one of the young women behind the counter looks extremely like a female version of Brooke, had she been born a GG. Brooke doesn’t really think so, but it’s too bad, because the woman behind the counter is really cute.

After the weed pulling session, I was off to San Francisco to hang out at Claire’s place for a while and keep her company during her recovery. She was alone when I arrived, but was soon visited by her I sneaked out for awhile while the two of them shared some personal time. It was the first time her ex had seen her since she came out to her. “Piggy,” as Claire calls her, was still working on getting through Claire’s disclosure and subsequent surgery. Seeing someone you love going through transition is hard enough while seeing them right after FFS. It’s just not a pretty sight. I sneaked out a little later on to pick Claire up a Jamba Juice Berry something-or-another. I’ll definitely have to have my mom pick one of those up for me while I’m recovering, as well. I also ran another errand and picked up some Saline Nasal Spray and ScarGuard for Claire to manage her way to a successful recovery. I think I’ll be picking up a bunch of that stuff before I head out for my FFS. I’m also thinking about getting my mom a spray bottle full of water for my first night in the hospital after surgery. With proper aim, I think it will be a much better way of getting a little water in my throat.

OK, so after visiting Claire, I went over to a little party some of my friends were having. It was me, Kathy, Julie and her new beau, Diana, Erika, and Kristen. Yep, mainly women. Somehow during the night, they made their way to talking about how Julie’s beau wouldn’t go into Asia SF or something and how Gia (my TS friend) had visited the bar that Julie works at. They made their way through terms like transvestite and transgender, and did pretty good with most of the terminology while staying away from insulting anyone. I was very impressed. I turned to Kathy and said, “What do you think?”

She looked back knowing what I was thinking...”should I tell them?” She says, “I don’t know....maybe.” After a few minutes, Kathy then said, “Oh wait. NO!” She then softly told me that Julie’s beau would probably not be OK with any of that.

So, I sat there for a few more hours in the hopes that Julie’s beau would leave before me. He did...somewhere around 11:30pm...but he left with Julie as well...who I was also hoping to disclose to. So I decided to tell them. “So, you guys want to hear a funny story?”

“Sure,” they said.

“You know Gia the transsexual that visited the bar? She’s actually a friend of mine.”

“How do you know Gia?” asks Kristen.

“I’m also a transsexual.” It was so incredible....they weren’t even phased. Diana just kinda goes, “Ohhh-kay.” Throughout all of my transition, no one has hardly noticed anything at all. Sure, some see the shaved legs, or the shaved arms, or the long hair....but no one even thinks that I’m stuck in the wrong body. T-dar, similar to gay-dar, just does not exist for anyone that has not had a friend or loved one go through a transition before. Kathy prodded me to answer a few questions that might be on their minds, but they all were pretty nonchalant about the entire thing. They even picked back up some other conversations right after that. Totally cool.

Kathy called me on her way home after the party to say they all seemed pretty OK with me. She does think they have some other questions to ask me, but that they’ll do fine with all of it.

I think I went to bed around 1am then woke up sometime just after 6am. I’d set my alarm for pretty early that morning, but I woke up freaking before it went off. Believe it or not, I went to work on Sunday. I have so little vacation time right now, that I needed to put in some extra hours to make up for time I’ll need over the upcoming vacation and facility closure over the holidays.

So, I spent a nice Sunday at work working on some FDA paperwork for a new project. I’m so busy with regular production stuff, that this FDA thing has created a ton of work to do. Right now, I’m worried that I won’t be able to finish a majority of the work while also taking three weeks off for FFS. I can’t even warn them about it yet, since I don’t have the face-to-face until January 12th. I’m thinking I will come out to Robi and Y (my boss) while we are at a conference in early January. I think they deserve to be told first since they are the ones who have to work with me. I’d like to tell Pete at the same time, but he won’t be attending with us. I don’t think Robi will have a problem with my transition, and I think Y should do OK since he’s fairly laid back....but, he is also ex-military, so he’s sort of a wild card. I think Pete will be a little freaked initially, but he’ll come around in the end.

OK, so I left work a little before 4 and went to see if I could get my hair straightened at a local hair salon. They didn’t think they could do it, especially inside an hour. Dang...and people wonder why I can’t do it on my own. It’s almost impossible with my curly frizzy hair. I have got to look further into this hair straightening method, but I’d really like to see how the straight hair is going to look on me first. It’s been almost 11 months since I last had it straight for a night, and it’s much longer now.

So, instead of straight hair, I wore my curly side bangs, with the rest put up into a twist for the Holiday Party in the South Bay. I wore the black dress that Tyler had helped me pick out a few weeks ago, along with a black sheer top that I had from another dress. It was chilly outside and inside the restaurant, so the covering really came in handy. I had a nice dinner consisting of salmon, cooked veggies, and some rice stuff. Dessert really rocked as it tasted and looked like a glass full of whipped cream. Yum. Unfortunately, I was one of only three female people at the party who was under the age of 40. Michelle and Danielle were the only other two. I think I am about done with the T-social events for now. Yes, this group was mainly transsexual based, but I just do not connect with many of them.
So, I cruised home after that, and whamo, it’s already Monday. What a short weekend. I am so far behind right now, and I haven’t even started Christmas shopping. Soon....I promise.

That time of the month.

Yesterday, I just felt a little moodier than normal....kinda pissy actually. My fantasy football team was crushed, knocking me out of any chance of winning any type of money. I was at work. My facial hair is really depressing me since it still continues to reside on my face. The drivers were really bad on my drive to the South Bay (and we know that I just hate driving with assholes all around). And to top it all off, it felt like I was going through the Leonid meteor shower on the drive. I swear I had three huge rocks smack into my car on the freeway. One sounded like it took out half of Manhattan, making a sound as though metal had surrendered to the power of kinetic energy. One half M, V squared = dent. I haven’t even looked today as I probably just don’t want to see it. There’s already a lot of dings on the front anyway.

Business as usual.

Last Friday, Pete and I visited our supplier for a little conference meeting. During the meeting, one of the vendors hands me a bunch of business cards from my old employer in Missouri. They’d visited. I looked through them spotting numerous old friends and coworkers. I instantly became nervous as they had totally caught me off guard. One of the other vendors asked if I knew a few people he’d met, and I’d mention brief little stories about them. I disclosed over the phone to Susan a while back on a Friday evening. She was the only one that knew, and who said she would watch for anything during their visit. She said my name was passed around a little, but that my old employer didn’t say anything about my transition...which I was quite relieved to hear. I still wonder if anyone told or not, because it’s so hard to judge a person if they have or haven't heard.

Susan invited me to lunch, and since Pete was off to some other affair, it was just the two of us which made things awesome. We were able to chat a little about what I was doing, as well as how their whole visit went. Like I said, they seemed to stay quiet on the whole affair. I told Susan that I thought one of the guys in her company might have trouble with me, but she said that they’d had a TS visit before who was a customer of theirs, and the guy never flinched during the entire meeting. Most people truly do not care. So cool.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

The Queen Who Would be a Man?

I wrote a letter to Prof. J. Michael Bailey...yeah, the one who wrote the controversial book “Man Who Would be Queen” just to ask him about his theories. Here’s my letter followed by his short response:

Prof. Bailey,

Hi, I haven't read your book, yet, although I do have a copy and it is in line to be read by me. Also, I am a male to female TS, but have pretty much stayed out of the controversy that your book has created. I like to stay open minded on all of this. Also, I'll do no bashing of any sort in my email.

I've looked at the general TS principles you have written about in your book. I understand the concepts you have presented based on homosexual and autogynephilic transsexuals. You say that the autogynephilic population is aroused by the thought of becoming a woman or being a woman, especially in a sexual situation. The homosexual population you associate with liking men and being very feminine basically from the start.

I wonder, might your two classifications actually be a result, and not a source of the desire to transition. Could the homosexual group have a gender identity of female and an inherent sexual orientation toward men, or aroused by homosexual sex...and could the autogynephilic group have a gender identity of female and an inherent sexual orientation of women, bisexual, or aroused by heterosexual or lesbian sex? Could autogynephilia actually be a result of the brain trying to cope within the shell of a body that it had? Isn't cross dressing the same thing...something the body does in order to alleviate the GID symptoms experienced by transsexuals?

Anyway, you probably address this in your book, but I haven't been able to read it yet. I know you have probably received this type of question before, and I was just wondering what type of response you have.

Also, I was wondering what type of TS you usually label a person who has experienced both sides of your theory? Does anyone who has experienced any hint of autogynephilia automatically fall into that group? As a young child I was very small (I'm only 5'5" now). I was also fairly smart as a child and usually always made straight A's. I learned at an early age that I had the body of a genetic male. I existed as a very androgenous person until people started seeing that I wasn't always presenting in a way consistent with most boys at that time. I learned to become more masculine not only because of my GID but because of my size. I detested my male genitalia. I dressed up as a female as early as age 7, but never participated in any type of sexual activity until I was 19. As a man, I was attracted to women, but never really succeeded in having a relationship with a woman. I spent the next 12 years in what you would probably consider an autogynephilic state. Now that I look back at the numbers, I find it quite ironic that there is almost an even balance of 12 years dividing two distinct states for me. Currently, my sexual orientation is undecided, although I believe that I will be bisexual to a degree.

At 31, I found that transitioning to living as a female was the only course of action that would enable me to live a life that corresponded with who I am.

Although I do still have some autogynephilic thoughts (sex is way less on my mind now), they are enough to keep my brain happy until I do have what it feels like is the proper genitalia.

Anyway, those are my thoughts and questions. I'd be interested in your opinion.


His response:


Thanks for your thoughtful and civil message. I do not believe that autogynephilia is the result of female gender identity in the commonly understood sense of having a woman's mind/emotions, but more work is probably needed to convincingly resolve the issue.

You sound satisfied with your transition. Congratulations.


Mike Bailey

Now, in my profession saying "I do not believe..blah blah blah" without having the data to support it, nor being able to prove the other hypothesis is incorrect, is pretty much worthless. I don't think he even looked at one being a cause of something else, even if my own hypothesis is incorrect.

Oh, well, that's why I always say "Do what you need to do to be long as you aren't [physically] hurting anyone."

6 Feet Amazon Women

The other day, Coworker Mike, not to be confused with Coworker Mark, is in a conversation which my sensitive little ears pick up:

“....I just hope she doesn’t have an Adam’s Apple.”

After he hung up, I pryingly asked, “Mike...are you dating someone with an Adam’s Apple?” I was smiling pretty big behind my cube wall. OK, yes, I provoked him...but I was just having a little fun.

Mike explains that he has a date with a 6ft woman in San Francisco and says that you just don’t see too many women that tall.

I provoked a little more, “Ahhh...Mike, if she has an Adam’s Apple you should go for it!”

“Uh....No”, quips Mike, “I don’t date transvestites or gender benders.”

OK, I stopped there, otherwise I might have started to incriminate myself too much by correcting him on her being a transsexual or something. It was all just light humor. As I'm typing this in here, I realize I should have said, "I know plenty of women over 6 feet tall" and just laughed.

Lately, I have had 2 full time TS tell me that life and myself will seriously change after going full time. Ally in LA, and Lauren, whom I met at the Cocoon House when I dropped off Corinne, both said that everything changes. Seriously, I can barely imagine life on the other side....and here I sit one month from tomorrow having a face to face with last hurdle to going full time, basically. Wow. I’ve lived for this my entire life. I wonder what will happen when I get there.

What is there to look forward to?

My dance class is having their end-of-semester performance show tomorrow night, and tonight was the dress rehearsal. I basically worked on one routine this year, and because I have electrolysis tomorrow night, I won’t be able to perform with them. I really wanted to, especially since I would have been the only “guy” there, although I might have come out to them before that since they’d probably want me to wear a tight shirt. After we finished our routine, they continued on as some of the more advanced members had worked on a few other routines on their own. As they ran through their routines, I drifted. And this was way off topic.

I started thinking about life again. What is there to look forward to? Why do we go through all the motions? Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m not going to kill myself, but seriously, what is there in life to look forward to? Love? Money? Happiness? Or does it all become mundane? What is it that we will continue to put our nose to the grindstone to make money for? Alcohol? Drugs? Sex?

I drove around after class to take care of some errands. I picked up some cash for electro, then stopped by the grocery store to grab some orange juice since I was out. I usually check the store to see if they have any specials on my favorite cereal simply because my cereal seems horribly expensive. It usually runs over $5 a box, and is NEVER on sale. Tonight, as I was walking back down the cereal aisle, I spot a 2 for 1 sale on my cereal. Yeah! I sat in the express lane with one large orange juice jug and 6 boxes of cereal. That was it. What a dork, huh?

As I was walking out, I realized what there is to look forward to....the moment. We all live for the moment...whatever that moment may be. For me, in this instance, it was saving a few bucks on my favorite cereal. I am SO easy to please. But that moment is different for everyone....getting married, being proposed to, competing in a big event, having a child, making a birthday wish....and the list goes on and on. I think those that are in love have a lot more moments they can look forward to, especially with a person they want to share their life with. For me though, I guess I am dating a box of cereal.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

The after party

I stopped by Claire’s tonight. She had a little “party” going on with her, Corinne, Amy, and myself first there, then with Elaine (one of Claire’s GG friends who just found out like 2 weeks ago) and Vivianne showing up later on. Claire was still drifting in and out with the pain meds and recovery. Corinne, Amy, and I just kinda sat around and chatted for a while. Elaine returned Claire’s cats that she had been watching for the last few days...with the cats keeping us fairly entertained for a while. Vivianne made it over just before I departed while dropping Corinne off at the Cocoon House.

Work has been crazy lately, and combined with visiting Claire, I haven’t had much sleep lately. Perhaps tonight I’ll get a little.

I received a mysterious phone call tonight...possible details in the future.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Claire out of the OR

Pulled from my post on GenderPeace:

Claire came out of the OR sometime just after 5pm PST. I arrived slightly before 8pm to find Vivianne already in her room who said they had just wheeled her in. We stayed until about 11:30 to make sure she was doing OK.

Most of her responses over the first hour or so where mainly just "uuugggghhhhh" but she was able to tell us later that her throat was sore and she was thirsty. The nurses weren't too big on letting her drink anything since she was in and out of consciousness and they were afraid she would choke. [Note to self: take a spray bottle of water]

They had the pain meds already running, then hooked up the suction and IV after a while. At that point, most of her conversation was "I feel like shit." We spent a little time educating her on the pain-med button, with her taking to that pretty fast. We also did a little manual suction and hooked the air tubing back up to the leg massage machine that probably came loose after an accidental kick. (Claire was a little tall for the bed)

Claire then became conscious enough to again request water, and instead of running off for the nurse, I gave her a sip. She seemed to like that. She also wanted a mirror, but I said that wouldn't be a good idea, and that she was doing there weren't any mirrors around

Then, Claire wants me to hurry and take a picture of her before she pukes or loses consciousness again. OK, now, Claire never lets me take her picture while she is looking fabulous, but here she had Princess Leia blood bags, tubes sticking out of her bloodstained mouth, gauze wrapped around half of her head, a wrapped nose, a swollen jaw, and two black eyes...and she wants me to take a picture of her. Imagine the irony.

Anyway, Claire had the usual bruising around the eyes and was doing OK with the Princess Leia blood bags. The color in her cheeks was really good, although she was probably feeling like butt. The nurses said she will probably be feeling much better on Tuesday.

Going to get some sleep now....Kara

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Weed whacking

I had 4 hours of electro last night, taking out most of the weeds in my goatee area. The only ones left there are just beneath my bottom lip. Yep, over 225 hours, and we’re still not clearing my face in 4 hours. Whew...I have such a long way to go it feels like. Actually, I think the goatee area is the densest area of facial hair, because the rest of the face is thinning out quite nicely. Next week we’ll probably whack out the bottom lip hairs, then move to the rest of the areas. I have 10 more hours scheduled for this month on top of the 4 hours I have already had, plus at least 16 hours scheduled for January. I can have electrolysis up to two weeks before FFS, which means I have to stop right around the beginning of February. I’d really like to get an additional 10 hours in sometime before then, but I don’t know if she’ll be able to arrange time or not.

Speaking of FFS, Claire is headed under the knife this coming AM. I’ll be up in the neighborhood tomorrow night, and will swing by the hospital to check up on her. Claire is the first person I have known before FFS who I will see after as well.

Put your left foot in, put your left foot out.

Tonight, I was down at a contestant meeting for the Cotillion. We worked with Denae Doyle on feminine stance, poise, gestures, and walk. Actually, these were mainly pageant concerns, since she even admitted that gestures for a pageant are over the top. Anyway, the walking stuff is great, and although walking in heels makes it easier to walk like a woman, walking with pageant presence helps a lot when knowing the little secrets. Although I can’t quite fully describe it in words, I’ll provide a basic description of the pageant pose. Face forward, turn left foot 45 degrees left, lift right foot up so all of your weight is back on the left foot and slide it so that your right heel is pointed at the middle of your left foot, angle your right foot about 10-20 degrees off your left foot, bring your right knee in toward your left leg, but rotate the knee in about 20 degrees while doing so, then twist your upper body about as far to the right as you can while keeping your shoulders back, boobs out, and arms/hands down at your side in a relaxed position. Head up...and smile, smile, smile. I learned most of that in the play I performed in back in May, which kinda helps since I’ve done some of this before. She definitely helped with the walking and turning part, as well as the presentation right in front of the judges. Now it’s just practice, practice, practice.

Brooke and I caught some Korean BBQ after the regular TGSF board member meeting. Brooke is still able to eat a ton and not gain weight, and her development is moving along incredibly. I’m impressed. I’d hate to have seen what she could have done if she was like 23 instead of 33. I called Claire to let her know she might have met her match when it came to Korean BBQ, but I mainly called her to let her know everything would be OK. She’s taken a few Valium today....and doing a little floating in the hopefully she’ll get a little sleep tonight before her surgery tomorrow morning.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Where do we go now

Last night I had dinner with a few of the local GPer’s and a few that were visiting. Claire, JoanB, Amy, Tyler, and I welcomed Corinne and Vivianne. Corinne was headed to surgery with Dr. O this morning while Vivianne was visiting for a consult next week. Claire is headed for zip-ah-dee-doo-dah-ville on Monday as well. I’ll be up in the city Monday evening with another planning meeting, so I’ll probably try to stop by and see how she is doing. I know she was very nervous last night, just like Corinne, who was so nervous, she didn’t even feel like eating anything. I think both of them were going to look at some Valium to help settle their nerves. Great. More drugs for me to look forward to. Just what I wanted. Please detect the sarcasm in my voice there.

I made it back to the pharmacy this afternoon, picked up the painkillers with a new script, AND remembered to check the parking meter before going inside. Yeah! Unfortunately, I’m still fighting a stupid cold...thus, I’m at home tonight instead of at electro.

The last time I went to electro with a cold, my electrologist ended up catching it from me, which was not cool. So, this time I called her and said it was her call. She moved me to Saturday so I could have one more day of rest...which should hopefully turn out for the best.

Otherwise, it’s just me and Boobers again...which reminds me, I need to take her out really fast.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Out of it

I’m still not feeling so hot today. I went to work for the first half because I needed to run my meeting. Unfortunately, only Robi showed up for it. I think the rest were either out sick or in training. Oh well.

I took off about 1pm, then decided to pick up some zinc lozenges and have my pain killer prescription filled for this Friday. As I was standing in line, I noticed that the script says it has to be filled within 14 days of being written, which was more than 14 days ago. Doh! What a bonehead. They suggested getting another one filled out and giving the old one back. Damn! I only have 2 days to do that.

When I walked to my car, I found a parking ticket on it. Bonehead forgot to feed the parking meter before she went in to the pharmacy. I am so out of it today. At least I picked up the lozenges.

Well, at least one good thing happened today. I picked up the mail after arriving home from the pharmacy, and found a note from the courts. I have a court date for my name change. So cool!!! After that, I zonkered out for 2 hours. Even tonight, I can feel I need more rest. Hopefully tomorrow is better.

I was able to IM chat with Courtney in her hotel room. She’s recovering from her breast augmentation and trachea shave from Monday. She says she’s still in some serious pain and there is some incredible swelling. That doesn’t sound like any fun.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Making it out alive

I’m back from visiting my family in the Midwest for Thanksgiving. ooooffff.

After the little Friday night spell, I was worried how we all were going to make it 2 more days until I flew back. We were able to throw a little more effort into completing her family room, as well as sitting down for some card games, in order to make it until I flew out yesterday.

Saturday, we went out for dinner, and afterward went to Lowe’s to pick up a few items to finish off her family room. As we were walking in, a guy walks up to me and shakes my hand. He’s an old high school friend. I barely recognized him as he first approached me. I told him I was surprised that he recognized me (I was in boy mode). He then said, “I guess we just don’t change that much.”

I said, “You’d be surprised” and kinda chuckled.

I flew in girl-mode again because I was meeting a T-friend in Dallas during my 1.5 hour layover there. I called Lauren when I reached the terminal, and we were able to meet up in Terminal A. We sat outside security and just talked. I was hoping we could grab a bite to eat as well, but there weren’t any restaurants outside of security, and Lauren couldn’t get past security since she didn’t have a boarding pass. This new security kinda sucks. Time went by fast, though, and I was headed back to the gate to jump on the plane back to San Francisco. Unfortunately, we sat on the tarmac in Dallas waiting for a landing spot back in San Francisco since they were having rainy weather. That wasn’t fun, especially with the tickle in my throat growing worse and worse.

Every time I’ve gone home lately, I seem to get sick. Last Thanksgiving I picked up a bug from my family that hit me hard the night before Thanksgiving leaving me an appetite-less heap of pathetic sorrow. This time, my nephew and mom were a little sick with a cold, and I think I picked it up. Sure enough, tonight, my throat is still sore. I fixed some soup and chicken tonight in the hopes of knocking it down before it gets much worse.