Thursday, September 28, 2006

A new predicament

I received an email the other day from the captain of the my women's sports team. She said a captain's meeting was being held (last night) to discuss where FTM's fit in the league. Our captain asked for our input in the matter.

I sent a note to her saying that testosterone could create a performance imbalance, but if the person weren't taking testosterone, then I guess it would just come down to why a man would want to play in a women's league. My note was intentionally middle-of-the-road, but provided both pro's and con's to the situation. The response I received back from her stated that the main issue right now was for safety.

While I would be worried about some 6'3" man crushing me in a game, an FTM would likely clobber me no worse than the woman who steam rolled me this past weekend. Our captain stated that they were worried about testosterone-induced mood swings on the field.

This is not the first time I have seen FTM's try to stay within the lesbian community. There have been plenty of instances on craigslist where FTM's post in the women for women areas. While some lesbians are ok with it, others think they should be posting in the male for women areas. Craigslist created a different area called Miscellaneous Romance to deal with transgender people trying to date, since a lot of us either don't fit well or people feel deceived by our status in certain sections. Unfortunately, a lot of people misinterpreted the Miscellaneous Romance section as the 'freak place' to post, and thus, this section doesn't fit the needs of transgender people, as well.

[EDIT] I just received a response that the league voted on the FTM issue. They brought up the performance disparity and emotional stability issues. The team that initiated this discussion said that they have two FTM's, one is on testosterone, while the other is not, and that if either of them got too aggressive, they would be booted from the team.

The captains voted to allow the FTM's to play since the philosophy of the league was to be welcoming to all in the queer community. They figured that FTM's would likely not be welcome in an all-men's league, and the league doesn't want to shut them out of the one place they feel comfortable playing. They stated the same would be true of MTF's. (coolness)

So, anyway, I guess things have turned out fairly well. We have yet to play the team with the FTM's, but will do so in a few weeks in our last game of the year. It could be kinda interesting, especially if I have any ties to them.

Last year, when I first started playing, there were two players that I actually thought were guys. Seriously. They are women, though, and do not appear to be transgender at all, but I still have trouble using the proper pronouns with them.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I don't know what else can be said:


If it will be anything like Nip/Tuck, we could be in for a doozy.

I still wonder who they will lean toward in terms of playing the transsexual..a man or a woman, and if the person will actually be transgender. Only time will tell. Maybe they can have Angelina play him/her. Wouldn't that be the bomb?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Talking to classes

I've spoken to a number of college classes and groups around the Bay Area concerning transgender topics, and while I'm not an expert, I've been complemented a few times on my style and communication skills. I've usually been on a panel of several transgender people or been paired up with an FTM. Just last week, I was at San Jose State talking to a Human Sexuality class. Dang...I wish I had that when I was in college, but alas, my college didn't, nor do they now, offer such a class.

Typically, I see a lot of panelists just start out with their story. Unfortunately, most people have no idea concerning the base information most of us take for granted. They don't know what SRS, FTM, MTF, GID, T, GQ, TS, CD, TV, or pre/post/non all stand for. They don't know that sexuality and gender identity are not the same, and they assume that one influences the other. They do affect one another, but they are separate entities.

So, usually when I talk, someone has already told their life story about how they started dressing at a young age, how they hid clothes or never told anyone, and that they always felt a desire to be a man/woman. You hear a few of these, though, and people start to get bored. I usually like to start off by being interactive for a short time. I ask how many people have met or know a transgender person. This past time, in a class of about 50 people, I saw only 3 people raise their hands. Typically, in the bay area, I see about 10% raise their hands...with the number being higher the closer one is to San Francisco and Berkeley, and of course, lower as one moves away from them.

I also like to ask if people know what transgender means...or transsexual, cross-dresser, genderqueer, intersex, etc...and see what people know. I try to give them an overall view in a very short time. I also like to point out that, although we may share similar stories, we're all very different, and that our sexuality is not determined by what our gender/physical sex is.

At that point, I like to give my brief story. I tell them I was a military brat, felt different as a child but had no words for it, and started dressing in my sister's clothes around 7-8. I knew I was a boy on the outside, but felt like a girl on the inside. Puberty was hard as my body rebeled against me. Facial hair, bigger muscles, lower voice, hairy body...all traitorous exploits my body initiated against me. I talk about playing sports in order to live up to societies expectations of me as a man (with other transsexuals seeking similar environments to hide such as the military, computer games, the gay community, etc.), and that I went on trying to be a man as best as possible before finally seeing another transsexual around age 30. Then I began searching for ways of dealing with the GID and determining if I was a cross-dresser or a transsexual. I sum it up with a quick run down of having facial surgery and Sex Reassignment Surgery.

I leave a few topics out in order to stimulate the discussion during the Q and A portion. This usually involves how my family reacted, to my sexuality, to my facial or sex reassignment surgery, or to how my voice sounds like a woman's. (I've 'freaked' out a few classes by talking in my low voice to give them a sample of how I used to sound.) Some touchier topics have included how to tell a person that I might date that I am a transsexual, to more intricate details of the surgery.

I like having classes that ask questions, though, because you get to see more of what they are thinking and what they might not understand. Because, seriously, most people have no idea what we are all about.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Fall Television

OK, the new TV season is well underway. I caught the season premiere of Survivor last night. This is what, number 13? This edition seems to be way more fresh right from the start, simply because they have so much diversity. Their "social experiment" this year, is based on race. They have divided the 20 contestants into 4 different tribes....all based on ethnicity. They have white, black, Asian, and Latino. Thirteen of the 20 contestants are from California, with 2 in my backyard. Perhaps I like Survivor already this year since it reminds me so much of where I live with all of the diversity. I'm still unsure if one of the women on the show is a lesbian or not, but my intuition points that she is. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds. No T's, unfortunately.

Another show that I've found previously interesting is a Disney teenage show called Hannah Montana. A teammate's child introduced me to the show earlier this year while on one of our roadtrips, and I caught another episode on a plane. It was actually kinda amusing. The premise of the show is a girl from the south becomes a kid rockstar and moves to LA. But, in order for her to hold on to somewhat of a real life, she has two separate personas...a rockstar one and a real life one. She wears a wig on stage, along with a lot of makeup, to hide her true identity. Her reason for doing this: She wants her friends to treat her like a real person. Hmmm...sound familiar?

One show that just recently started up again that has had transsexuals on in the past is Nip/Tuck. It will be interesting to see if they delve further into any of the past incidences with T's, or bring new ones to light. We found out last season that the troubled son may have a little thing for post-ops, and this season started out with one of the surgeons realizing he may have a man-crush on his own business partner. Hmmmmmm.

Nip/Tuck takes over the time slot of Rescue Me which ended it's season just recently. In the past, I have not been a Dennis Leary fan at all, but I've been watching this show from the very beginning and have to say that I have enjoyed it quite a bit. Yes, I realize the show is very dramatized (as is Nip/Tuck), but they are entertaining. Rescue Me is about a firehouse in New York, that has mainly had nothing but a bunch of semi-wannabe macho guys trying to prove that their dick is bigger than everyone elses. (OK, really, they had one episode about that.) It's usually a very light-hearted look at men, and sometimes they like to poke fun at the way men think. In one of the first episodes, they had a T subplot, where they tricked one guy into dating her. We never really saw her, but they created numerous situations that were described by one of the firemen. They've also had one of the main character's son come out as gay. This season, they had one of the main characters come out as being gay, as well, then bi, then in the season finale, when he's banging a brother-sister combo, we're not sure what he is. Initially, his crew gives him a little trouble about being gay, but they have a big sit down conversation over the whole thing...which is way better than beating the living daylights out of the guy. Eventually, they come to accept him quite well, and one of them actually envies his bisexual situation...that he's able to hit on both men and women.

OK, well, out of the shows I watch, those seem like the only ones that have any LGBT reference. I'd love to see one of the characters on Battlestar Galactica or the two Stargate shows come out as being gay or lesbian, but it doesn't seem like any of them are moving that way (even though the actor playing Apollo seems very gay). I think the sci-fi community would be much more accepting of it than most, though, but who knows. I don't see them tackling it on Smallville, Prison Break, or 24, nor do I see anything popping up on CSI, although they have included a few T's in various cases. Oh, and we have yet to fully see how the Kenny character plays out on the War at Home.

Of course, there may be some surprises in the spring. I have a little inside information that there may be an FTM pair on CBS's Amazing Race. If it does happen, I think it would be a great benefit to the T world...especially from the side that doesn't make it into the spotlight as much. We'll have to wait until the spring to find out, though.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Carried away

I shouldn't have gone. We weren't doing that well with both fielding and hitting, though, so I was trying to play aggressive. I was on first base and the guy behind me laced a shot to right field. I rounded second just to give them a look, and the right-center fielder threw the ball to third. He was way off and the third baseman ran to the fence to retrieve the ball...leaving third base uncovered.

The third base coach yelled for me to go. I took off for third at the same time the pitcher decided to, as well. He was slightly ahead of me, and with the play being fairly close, I tried to slide. Unfortunately, with the pitcher basically in the way, my slide was more to the side...catching my knee on the ground with my ankle twisted underneath me.

It hurt. I could barely move my left leg below my knee, and I had no idea where I was really hurt. All I knew is that it hurt. I sat there for a few moments as a few teammates rushed to see if I was ok. The coach helped me up...telling me to put all my weight on him. He and another of the girls was going to help me walk off the field, but the coach asked if he could carry me. He's not the leanest guy around, but he's built pretty solid...and been a pretty cool guy to me. I think he really loves to have me on the team since I can play fairly well and hit the ball pretty solid.

I was in pain, but in the back of my head somewhere, being carried off by a man...hmmm...does it get any better than that? He put his arm underneath my arm and back, then gently, but firmly, placed his other arm under my knees and picked me up. "I'm not the most lightweight person," I said as he carried me off the field. At 140 pounds (63.5kg), I'm not huge, but not 'light' for my height.

He softly placed me down on the stands outside the dugout. I sat there for a while watching the rest of the game deteriorate, then decided to head home to get some ice on my ankle.

Today, I'm sitting at work with an ice pack on my ankle, rotating ice on and off for the first 24-48 hours. It's not broken (that I can tell), but it sure is sore to move around...and will likely keep me immobilized for a while.

I'll likely treasure being carried off the field as I was, though, for a long time to come.

...and, oh, by the way, I was safe at third. =)

Monday, September 04, 2006


What a mess, huh?

First, this guy in Thailand named John Mark Karr says that he's the killer of JonBenet Ramsey. Then, word gets leaked that he was in Thailand trying to have a sex change.

The headlines: Child Molester / Murderer Sought Sex Change!!!

Great. Now people start to associate child molesters with transsexuals. OK, not everyone, just the ones that want and need to make that connection. As if it isn't bad enough now, this just adds a little more on top of that barrier we were trying to bring down.

The man, though, is obviously whacked out. His brother says he couldn't have done it since he was celebrating Christmas with the family thousands of miles away. DNA has also turned up that he wasn't the shooter. Hmm...maybe there were two shooters. Is that a conspiracy I smell? Or maybe it's like that CSI case where the perp had two DNA profiles and half his body is one DNA and the other half is whacked out monkey DNA. Who knows. Perhaps he just wanted a first class ticket home.