Posts Tagged ‘Trans_Experience’

Trans Day of Visibility March 23, 2013 – Time to shine!

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Everyone is Welcome at the Transgender Day of Visibility!

This is our third year celebrating and recognizing the wonders and joys of the Trans community in the south bay area! The Transgender Day of Visibility is an international event that serves as a complement to the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

3-6 pm: Social, Panels, art show, video games, open mic

7-11 pm: Cocktail party & dance – fundraiser for the DeFrank

Trans Day of Visibility! Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center, 938 The Alameda, San Jose
* No cover * Social * Art show (contact: to display your art) * Indie computer video games * the unexpected!

3:00 pm: Doors open

3:15 pm: Keynote by Dr. Bowers

4:00 pm: Panels begin– * Friends & Family w/Diana Heideman * Sex Reassignment Surgery  w/Dr. Marci Bowers *  Physical & Psychological Effects of Hormones w/ Dr. Charles Moser * Get Involved with Politics w/ Adam Spickler * Trans Life with Prof. Wiggsy Siverston * Police Auditor Services w/ Judge Ladoris Cordell

5:30 pm: Open mic, featuring Amy Dentata

Cocktail Party & Dance; 1343 A The Alameda by Char’s Hair
$15; proceeds to the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center * Get dressed up and let your hair down!

*Socializing * Light Appetizers * Entertainment and Presentations, with Comedian Ariel Smith * Music and Dancing * No Host Bar * Raffles

In the middle of the road

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a friend’s birthday extravaganza, a gathering in a lovely outdoor hot tub setting.

After a time, I wandered off by myself to spend some time in the sauna. This turned out to be a wonderful open, wooden room, with little stairs up to platforms, and lower areas for those who didn’t want as much heat. There was one other man in the place.I climbed the little stairs opposite of him, bending over to avoid hitting my head on the ceiling, then sitting down.

I settled into a simple meditation pose, enjoying the fragrant, quiet, hot space. After a couple of minutes, the man asked, “May I speak to you from the heart?” The sauna is a nonspeaking zone, so I was fairly surprised, but he sounded sincere, so I agreed.

Did I mention he was gorgeous? That combination of physical magnificence and verbal sincerity was intriguing.

“I want to thank you for being you,” he said, and went on briefly in that vein, very open hearted. It took me a minute to reply with a “Thank you,” also admitting it was “interesting” to be in that space (as with most California hot tub locales, it was a clothing optional facility, and like everyone else, I had opted not to wear a swimsuit. It was perhaps more of an issue for me than some folks).

We returned to silence after than, and a minute or two later, he left.

In that pause, before I responded with permission to speak, and again in the one after he did talk, a lot of thoughts raced through my head. Why speak? Because I was trans of course; visibly different than the other men in the space. Did I really want to hear what he had to say? And then, how do I respond? Being ‘special’ was a mixed moment.

And after the brief chat… as a man, I do have a powerful, good feeling response when a cisgender man gives me positive, respectful appreciation.

And yet…

My sweetie put it well, when I told her story. “Why can’t my sweetie just meditate? Why does he have to be interrupted?”

This interaction shows how far trans people have come, in being accepted in the U.S. And how very far we have to go.

Entering the pink room

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Last night, I stepped into foreign territory.

Carla’s is a ’boutique,’ a place of refuge, camaraderie, and shopping opportunities for trans women and crossdressing men. I learned of ‘locker girls,’ people who rent a locker, where they store their female paraphernalia. They have full 24 hour access. Imagine when the only gender or erotic relief you can get is to steal away in the night and put your proper clothes on, where no one can see.
Of course, many of the locker girls do gather socially, along with the women; there are brunches and dinners and parties for all of Carla’s patrons. I got a tour of the place, stepping into the boutique I’d only heard of. It really was ‘new’ territory.
Carla’s belongs to Aejaie (along with her husband), a woman  whom I initially meant when she was director at the deFrank Center.  Last night, it was a pleasure to get to know her better. For us both to smile and laugh and share stories.
One story I shared was how when I was initially learning how to do make-up (having been convinced by my well-meaning mom and best friend), I stabbed myself in the eye, using a toothpick to deal with a clump of mascara. Everyone laughed hysterically. But the best moment came when Aejaie said “Only a guy would use a toothpick to deal with a clump of mascara!” and we all dissolved in laughter again.
For some reason, that was awesome; it validated my teenage female self who was trying like a trooper to Fit In, and who, on messing up, showed yet again, his inner maleness.

Suicide is preventable.

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Last week was the annual Suicide Prevention Week. Unhappily, every week must be trans suicide prevention week, as we kill ourselves more often – and especially we do as teens – than even other LGBT people. But we also can look out for each other.
If you’re feeling suicidal, or are afraid you know someone who is, check out the National Center for Transgender Equality’s new resource, at

It’s been forever since I posted; I’ve moved and more, but this needs signal boosting.

Changes Comes to the Leather Community

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

I was surprised to receive a text from a friend attending the International Mr. Leather contest over Memorial Day Weekend. A transgender man had just won the title. This is *the* biggest popular award in the men’s leather community.

What surprised me was… my own disbelief. That IML judges would select a trans man, that it would be possible not just in my lifetime, but today. I was as taken by surprise as anyone, and this is an area I have done a bit of activist work in.

Leather isn’t to everyone’s taste by any means. But it is one more subculture which is stretching to adapt to the growing *visible* participation of transgendered people.

If it can happen here, it can happen any where. That is exciting.

And also point to where I can do a bit more personal work. !

Best wishes, Tyler, IML 2010!

Art and Gender

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

My mom sent me a link to a wonderful article about an artist who transitioned, and how her style did not change. I love how the comments express that the artist was always the same person, always created art as her self… she only made her body congruent with that inner self, so her art did not change.

It’s interesting to think that active artists have an inherent understanding of self-expression. That’s a gem I hadn’t seen before.

Thanks Mom!

CNN’s “iReporter”s share their key messages

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

CNN invites people to write in about particular experiences; these folks are “iReporters”. They’ve just issued a multi-document piece called ‘I am Trans and I Want My Voice to be Heard‘.

In particular, click through the inset slide show. The diversity and simple human needs of transgender people shines nicely.

Thanks CNN!

What Dysphoria Feels Like

Friday, March 26th, 2010

I saw this wonderful video on the Bilerico Report.