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.