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.
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.)
I recently hit my 6-month anniversary of starting hormone replacement therapy. I felt like this warranted something personal; a post that not mean a whole lot to a lot of people but means a whole hell of a lot to me. I’ve been struggling to find an idea to center this post on. Once I found it, though, the words just flowed out.
Lately, I’ve been revisiting the music of my youth. I’m not entirely sure if there’s a reason for it. Maybe I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately. Perhaps I was searching for a new connection with the artists I held dear as a teen.
In lieu of my weekly HRT update, I wanted to share something personal. As the world knows by now, the iconic David Bowie passed away on Sunday. Rather than talk about my favorite songs of his (because there’s just too many of them), I felt it was more in keeping with the tone of my blog to tell you a story about how a happenstance moment involving a David Bowie video opened my eyes. Continue reading