out-and-about, transgender

The Night I Met The Pet Shop Boys (Again).

I’m in a community center library, on my volunteer shift, as I type this. It’s a pretty quiet night, so I’m listening to music on my phone. I’ve had the Pet Shop Boys’ entire catalog on shuffle today.  As I hear the opening beats to one of my favorite songs of theirs, “It Always Comes As A Surprise”, both my mind and heart are transported back to a couple of weeks ago. I got to see two of my musical heroes, and shared a small-but-unforgettable moment with them at their meet & greet event.

Continue reading

out-and-about, transgender

Truth, Purpose & Letting Go

Hi friends. It’s been a little while since my last post (I feel like I keep saying that).

For what it’s worth, I’ve been struggling to find the right topic to write about. I always have a tendency to write about what’s top of mind for me, but there’s been so much going on lately that it’s hard to pick just one thing. So, to get back on track with regular updates, I’ll share my thoughts on a pretty big moment for me.

This year, I was asked to be part of the entertainment lineup at San Diego Pride. Specifically, I would be one of the DJs at the new Free Rainbow Zone area. This was a big deal for me. To come back to my hometown, do what I love to do, and represent the trans community in a very public way? How could I say no to that?

Word got out quickly, and I was contacted by a journalist from the San Diego Reader. He wanted to do a profile ahead of the festival, on one of the performers, for the print & online edition of their publication. Being trans, a DJ, and originally from San Diego, I seem to fit the bill. However, in my conversations with him, it became clear that I would need to do more than talk about myself in the current sense. I’d have to reveal my past – who I was, where I’m from, my old name, etc. I’d essentially be doxxing myself. People from my past would know where I had gone. My past, my innermost feelings on transitioning, even where I went to high school; it would all be there for public consumption.

Most trans-people that I’ve met choose to live a private life, and for good reason. They struggle so much with just being accepted and getting to a place in life where they can live day to day without harassment and scrutiny, a quiet existence blending into the crowd sounds like bliss. To some degree, I had managed to accomplish that. While my friends all knew about my past, the general public would see me and not assume much beyond my short stature. Why risk that all now? Why put it all out there, and put myself up for open discussion this way? Why give up control of who knew what about me?

I did it for a reason bigger than myself.

If you read most media coverage on transgender people, you’ll often notice a recurring theme. We’re often portrayed as down-on-our-luck outcasts, living in the shadows. I wanted to do my small part in breaking that narrative and show everyone that being who you truly are is not an automatic sentence to a lifelong, personal hell.

Perhaps more so, in coming out, people who know me now have a personal stake in the struggle for full equality for the trans community. It’s often said that people don’t pay much attention to an issue unless it affects them personally. Sharing my story connects everyone who knew me before, and now knows about my transition, to the struggle in some way.

A fellow DJ at San Diego Pride asked me if I would let her share the article on Facebook. She revealed to me that she has a transgender stepchild, and she wanted to show that trans people can be successful, and can live openly…proudly.

Right at that moment, I knew what I had done was worth it.

(If you’d like to read the story, click here and take a look.)

 

out-and-about, transgender

My First Swimsuit

Hi friends!

This past weekend felt like a rite of passage for me, as I attended my first bachelorette party with some of my very best friends, and maybe a little too much fun was had by all (note: is there a thing as too many mimosas? ) Of course, we did the typical things. We all got dressed up and went out for drinks. We got up and drank a restaurant out of all of their champagne. We all wore matching tops. However, one of the planned activities had me nervous from the moment I heard it would happen: we’d be hitting a hot tub during the day. That meant I’d have to wear a swimsuit and not much else (well, maybe sunglasses).

Continue reading

out-and-about, transgender

HRT Update: 9 Months

Hi friends!

Today marks my nine-month anniversary since I started hormones and began the transition into who I am today. I’ve been back at work for over a month now, and it’s been just under two since my name and gender legally changed. What’s changed since my last update?

To be honest, while I don’t hide it, I tend to forget about the fact that I’m a transgender woman half the time. Life feels normal now.

I take my pills during the morning & evening, and switch my patches out twice a week just the same as I would stick to any maintenance meds (like my asthma inhaler). I get up, make coffee, put my makeup on and head to work, sit & work at my desk 8 hours a day, and come home to make plans w/my boyfriend or friends, stay in and watch a movie, or run errands like anyone would. The “newness” of it has subsided and, while a core part of me, being trans is just another component of who I am, right along w/my job, family & interests like music, movies and sports (Let’s Go Sharks!)

If anything, though, I have to acknowledge that a big reason why my life feels normal is the amazing group of people I call friends, colleagues and family that have accepted me as who I am, no questions asked. I owe them a huge debt for helping me get to this point.

It all seems like a dream. More than that, even. Yet, here I sit…a woman in her late 30s, writing a blog and enjoying her life.

Enjoy your week, friends, and be good to each other.

 

out-and-about, trans-rights-now, transgender

US Department Of Justice: HB2 Violates Civil Rights Law

I knew this day would come, but I didn’t plan on how happy it would make me.

News broke today that the US Department of Justice has contacted North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, to inform him that the much-publicized House Bill 2 (better known as HB2) is in violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act.

According to the letter sent to Gov. McCrory, HB2 is specifically in violation Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which “prohibits an employer from discriminating against an individual on the basis of sex and from otherwise resisting the full enjoyment of Title VII rights“. Furthermore, their statement today said:

Federal courts and administrative agencies have applied Title VII to discrimination against transgender individuals based on sex, including gender identity.

Access to sex-segregated restrooms and other workplace facilities consistent with gender identity is a term, condition or privilege of employment. Denying such access to transgender individuals, whose gender identity is different from the gender assigned at birth, while affording it to similarly situated non-transgender employees, violates Title VII…

Rather than copy-paste the whole article, I encourage you to read the full story on the North Carolina Observer website. Then, imagine me reacting in a fashion similar to this…

Today has given me a lot of hope.

out-and-about, transgender

A Tale of Two Airports: My First TSA Experience

As I type this, I am sitting at an airport gate at John Wayne Airport (SNA), awaiting my flight to Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC).  I traveled this weekend to visit two of my besties in Southern California, as well as to watch the legendary Manchester band New Order perform in LA. For most other people, their main concerns would be where to stay, where to eat, how to deal with the insufferable LA traffic, etc. I had a different set of worries, however. This was my first airport experience as a transgender woman. With only a certified court order, old DMV ID card and a temporary DMV printout with my new photo to show I am who I say I am, I was nervous.

Continue reading

out-and-about, transgender

A Song Dedication For Bathroom Rights

Anytime I read an article about some inane bill in local or state legislature to deny transgender people the right to use the restrooms of their authentic gender, it makes me eyes roll. Such is the case as the news out of South Dakota today, where HB 1008 was passed by both their state senate and state house.

I’d love to ask these people “Wait, have you actually met a trans-person? My only concern in any restroom is to do my business and leave as soon as I can, because public restrooms are gross. Never mind the fact that the ‘predator’ argument that’s so often used can just as easily be applied to same-sex predators, the likes of which is equally unlikely to ever happen. Why not just come out and say ‘we want to exclude all heteronormative people from public restrooms’ and be done with it?”

At any rate, this debate always reminds me of the 80’s funk classic “Meeting In The Ladies Room” by Klymaxx. It’s the way my wacky DJ mind works.

This one’s for you, ladies.