Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Greek Times

I just finished reading Dirty Rush by Taylor Bell.

Taylor Bell comes from a long line of Beta Zeta sorority sisters, who all expect her to pledge upon starting at the university. But Taylor has other plans: she's determined to give her family the proverbial middle finger and destroy the rich tradition they hold so dear by eschewing sorority life altogether.
However, Taylor's resolve soon melts when she falls in with a group of hilarious, ultra-saucy girls, who introduce her to all things Greek and soften her to the idea of joining. Resigned to the fate the Greek gods have dealt her, Taylor pledges Beta Zeta and embarks on a collegiate career filled with the kind of carousing sure to make any sorority sister proud.  (from the ad copy)

A coworker, who is a sorority aluma told me about it, so I read it.  For those who don't know, I wrote a book about my fraternity experiences.  Maybe someday I'll post chapters here.  I pledged Phi Kappa Sigma at Drexel University and transferred to Penn State.

Me Bartending at a fraternity social, 1987

I'm fascinated by this book.  I'd heard all the rumors about sorority life while I was in a fraternity at Penn State, but I was friends with very few sorority women.  For the most part, they ignored me, or looked at me like I was a maggot infested corpse.  And this despite me being a member of the "top fraternity on campus" as rated by the sororities.

I always wondered if they were warned away from me by fraternity brothers (I was a skinny little transfer student in a house full of jocks and ex-jocks) or if I was just that repulsive.  Or both.

Here's the thing- the brothers at the PSU chapter knew I was different.  They just didn't know HOW different.  I knew, but was burying it as deep as I could with denial, alcohol, and violence- you know everything I thought was Manly.

Manly?  At the fraternity house, July 2013

And maybe that difference kept us from really bonding.  These days I'm in semi-regular touch with less than five of the over 100 brothers I met at Penn State between 1986-88.  And one of THOSE just argues politics with me.  My Drexel pledge brothers- the ones I was supposed to be closest to my whole life?  I'm Facialbook friends with three out of ten.  We don't talk often.

Don't get me wrong- the ones I still speak to are people I respect and WANT to be in touch with.  They're great guys.  I wouldn't speak to them if they weren't.  Add to that the fact that they've taken my transition in stride.  It's just that there are so few.

Regrets?  I've had a few.

So I read this book, and I thought about a few things.  For example, if Wife and I had kids right after we were married, they would be college age right now.  One of my Drexel roomies has a son at PSU right now, and, according to facialbook, he's having an amazing experience.  (And it's uncanny how much the son looks like his father.  Downright spooky.)

I have a daughter.  I remember thinking while I was still in college that I would Never want a daughter to join a sorority.  Not that the choice would be mine.  How could I warn her away or forbid her?  After all, I went Greek in my college days.  It would be hypocritical.

I read this book and my first real impression is that the actives today get away with things we never would've dreamed of doing.  College antics from my day must seem Quaint to today's students.

Toga Party, 1988, Selfie 80s style. No, it's not me.

Remember, I was in college thirty years ago.  That would be like comparing my college experience to the experiences of college students in the 1950s.  Things have changed so much.  If this book is to be believed, college students have so much more sex and parties than we ever had.  They also have far more drugs than we had- and as I came up in the 80s, that's saying something!  I think about my ex-roomie's son at PSU, and the temptations he must face, but I know his parents raised him right, so I'm sure he's fine.

But what will college be like when my daughter goes ten years from now?  And what will Greek life be like?

I look at the headlines about date rape drugs and things we never did ("What?  you're so lame that you can't get laid when she's sober?  Loser!") and I'm afraid for my daughter.  I hope Wife and I can raise her right.  Of course as I currently rarely see her, my input is limited.

Yes, this scares me.

On another point, I wonder what it would've been like to be in a sorority back in my day.  I'll never know.  More regrets.

So anyway.  Dirty Rush.  Do I recommend it?  If you're Greek, it's a fun read.  If you're not, then it's not going to have the same impact.  I really enjoyed it though.  It could've been a little less predictable, but it was a fun read.

I know a lot of my Trans-sisters were Greek as well (Sirena and Amanda were in the same fraternity!).  If you want to send me a funny story or two, I'll collect them and post them if you wish.  Maybe we can make a book of OUR stories!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Guy Blog: "Arm Wrestling"

As I mentioned before, I once wrote a "guy-blog" called STFU.  

What follows is an entry from that blog.  I repost it for two reasons.  One is that I'm amused by how different my writing style is now from then (this was eight years ago.)  The second is how I discussed meeting a transperson in London.  I'm not proud of what I wrote, but I know why I wrote it- to cover my own butt.

This entry has Violence and Profanity.

It was called Arm Wrestling and is a true story

Many of you know that I used to work for Games Workshop.  I did that for nine years, and had a lot of fun.  Between me and my fellow GW people, a lot of strange things happened.    By request, I relate one of these stories, which I find embarrassing, but the requestor thinks is very funny.

For several years, GW would take the entire US Sales team over to the UK for the annual sales conference.  The time in question, the conference was held in a hotel in London, not far from White Chapel.  Several adventures ensued, like drinking with the Aussies all day, the fire, the old guy and the heart attack, a couple nasty cases of food poisoning (one of them me), the IRA bomb, water balloon fights between two double-decker buses, and others, but I’ll focus on the final dinner, on the final night.

Water Balloon Fight between busses

                GW decided that we should go to a Mexican restaurant for this final night together.  Now there were better than forty of us, so we rented out the whole restaurant.  What does a Mexican restaurant in London England look like?  Every bad Western movie clichĂ© you ever heard of.  The music was all country-western.  Not Mexican- Country WesternGarth Brooks, etc.  Huh?  I think I heard Achy Breaky Heart five times that night.  The servers were dressed in white shirts and tan pants.  Each table had several bottles of wine scattered atop the brown paper tablecloth.                  

Right.  Dinner was serviceable, kinda bland, but that was to be expected in England.  During dinner, I sat next to Sunny, who was with GW Hong Kong and really fun to hang around.  He was bartending at the Hard Rock CafĂ© when GW recruited him.  He had a yellow Wally Cleaver haircut, years before it became fashionable.  Between us, we polished off four bottles of wine.

                Circulating during dinner was a woman in a tuxedo top, fishnet stockings.  She had long auburn hair, big breasts, and from a distance looked pretty hot.  She was doing magic tricks for tips.  Then when she came close, I noticed the Adam’s Apple.  Some illusionist!  Anyway, he/she was quite a talented magician. 

                Ok, dinner was over.  One of my American colleagues, I’ll call him Jim, had a crush on the magician and refused to believe that anyone that beautiful was anything but a woman.  Not just a woman, but a woman he MUST fuck that very night!  A bunch of people are out dancing a country version of the Electric Slide.  Sunny and I were out of wine and I wanted more.  I noticed that one of the Canadians still had an unopened bottle of cabernet sauvignon where he was sitting.  (He drew a Canadian Flag and his name on the tablecloth in front of his chair, that’s how I knew it was him.)  I thought about just swiping it, but that would not be good form.  I waited until they finished the dance.  The Canadian walked back to his table.  He was about my height, black hair, and had a cheesy moustache.  He thought he shit didn’t stink.  I didn’t like him.  Anyway, I asked him politely if I may have a glass of his wine.  “No!” he answered with a tone that said “I wouldn’t share anything with you, filthy American!”                

“I’ll arm wrestle you for it!”  I said.  

Now, I’d recently learned a few tips from a professional arm wrestler.  These tricks would work against anyone who is not incredibly stronger than me, so I was confident of victory.

                We sat at the table, had one of our British friends start us, and I swiftly crushed him- HARD.  I stood and claimed my prize.  I was about to grab a corkscrew when one of my very drunk comrades, Russ, challenged me.  I rolled my eyes, sat down, Russell to my left, and smashed him just as badly.  As we prepared, Mr. Harbour sat across from me.  He was waaaay up in the company.  He was also a third dan black belt or so in martial arts.   He smiled- he wanted to be next.  He had one of those smiles you didn’t want to see.  I really doubted I could beat him.  In fact, I figured the result would be painful.

                So I beat Russell, and was ready to take on Mr. H, when someone to my right spun me around.  His name was Andreas, and he was with GW Germany.  Andreas was big- maybe six foot four.  He was also still in the Kreigsmarine (German Navy) having not officially started with GW yet.  He wanted to play too.

                So I set up to my right, using my left arm as my right was a little tired.  A Brit started us, I got him three quarters down- and got stuck.  He was too strong.  Shit!  So we both struggled, luckily I had leverage, for a couple of minutes.  People were shouting encouragement in many languages.  Side bets were made. 

                I couldn’t move him, and he couldn’t move me.  Stalemate.  Then- the paper tablecloth, wet from all the drinks put on it this night, ripped.  We staggered, stood, and tried to throw the other over. 

                Then a coke bottle broke.

                That was the sound anyway.

                Andreas held his left arm close.  I knew what happened.  “Oh my God I broke his arm!”

                A Spaniard who was a combat medic came and between us (former paramedic) confirmed my initial fears.  An ambulance was called and I just stayed close.  Andreas didn’t peep, didn’t cry out, didn’t say anything.  Brave man. 

                Anyway, I was told to accompany him to the hospital, which I would’ve done anyway.  (the following bit was told to me later.)  As we were leaving, on of the waitresses went over to Mr. Stallard (highest ranking GW person there that night) and said about Andreas “He doesn’t look happy.”  Mr. Stallard turned to her and said “He’s German.”

                The trip to the hospital was very quick.  Andreas, one of his co-workers who spoke English, and I were deposited in the emergency room.  Now, the UK has Universal Health Care, which means the state pays for everything.  I’m very liberal, and I thought that was a good idea…

Until that night.

                The hospital was grimy.  Not just dirty- grimy.  I’ve seen cleaner fraternity houses.  We were alone in the emergency room.  No other patients, no nurses, doctors, nothing.  This was at around 11pm local on a Saturday night.  Andreas, translator, and I sat there for three hours, just the three of us.  Andreas spoke very little English, and I spoke very little German, and translator wasn’t in a talking mood.

                After three hours, a doctor showed up.  He listened to my description of the injury, read the chart, and took us all to X-Ray. 

                Where we waited ANOTHER hour- with no one in front of us.  This hospital was so deserted it was creepy.  I was no longer drunk, but hung over.  Andreas looked like he was in pain, but didn’t say anything.  So eventually the X-ray person showed up.  Her face was flushed; her hair a mess, her shirt was buttoned incorrectly.  Once there, she did a quick and efficient job.  Within minutes, we had the needed pictures.  Twenty minutes after that, the doctor looked at them.

                “Spiral fracture of the distal humerus.  This will require surgery.  But not here.”  They put the arm in a sling, handed him an envelope with his x-rays, and sent him home.  They were going to let the Germans pay for the surgery.

                So we head out of the hospital and flag down a black London cab.  He has no idea where we’re going, but he’s going awfully fast.  As he hit speed bumps Andreas yells in pain.

Fallout:  The guy in charge of the German business at that time was this skinny little fuck with an over-large head who I’ll call Donnie.  Donnie is one of those people who think they know more than you, but is completely and utterly wrong 80% of the time.  He insists that I be fired for this “outrage.”  He apparently talked a lot of shit, but not to my face.  Whatever, asshole.  I kept my job.

                Andreas’ surgery was successful.  He had three pins and a plate inserted in his arm.  I sent him a letter of apology as well as a “care package” of stuff from America that he couldn’t get in Germany

                My colleagues had several interesting nicknames for me after that like “Crusher” and stuff, but eventually the story died out.

                Jim did not hook up with the magician.  Best news of the night.

                And I never got the chance to drink the wine I won from that asshole Canadian!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Life with Roomies

I remember seeing something on HBO some years ago.  America Undercover I think it was called.  It was about the lives of TG people and a few in particular.  One of the things it said is that TG people tend to live together.

Well, I don't know for sure, but that seems to be the case.  I know it is for me.  I have two roomies, and both are Trans.  Allow me to introduce you to them.

The first is Linda Lewis.  She moved into the area in December 2013, and lived with me at M's.  Then we went in together to an apartment.  I've written quite a bit about about Linda, especially HERE.  To recap: Linda is a legend in the TG community.  Her own website, her videos, as well as her flickr page receives thousands of hits a day.

She's originally from Michigan, then lived in Oklahoma, then Hollywood, California, where she studied makeup under Jim Bridges.  She worked in airports doing aircraft maintenance as well, and met many stars.  (Ask her about who should you meet her!)  She has done modelling work for various products as well, and still does makeovers for those who are willing to pay.

Linda has done so much in her years that you'd think she'd be really stuck up.  Nope.  She's so amazingly down to Earth and genuine.  I'm proud to call her my Bestie.

My Fave Pic of  Linda 

Zoey is my other roomie.  She moved in back in October.  Born in Chicago, she has since lived in Iowa, Oklahoma, UK, Michigan, and NYC.  I first met Zoey at the Keystone Conference in 2012, where she was the guest of my dear sister Lisa Empanada.

Me, Zoey, and Lisa.  Keystone 2012

I thought she was a lot of fun.  Last fall, when Linda and I were all but on the street as we were out of money, Zoey contacted me.  She wanted to move back east from Iowa, and had heard we needed a roomie.  And so she came to the Philly suburbs.

I don't know as much about Zoey as I do about Linda.  I know she's whip smart, and an amazing writer.  She has an MFA in theater, and she occasionally will quote Shakespearean soliloquies from memory.  She has wonderful stories from her time on stage, some which leave Linda and I in stitches,  Zoey also has introduced Linda and myself to many movies we'd never seen, and her commentary about the acting styles and cinematography has added tremendously to the experience.  Lately, she has started cooking as a hobby, much to everyone's benefit.

Zoey doesn't get out much due to a stage related injury which limits her mobility, but I hope to introduce her to more of the TG scene here in greater Philly.  She is a great person and I owe her a lot.  Without her, Linda and I would be homeless.  But most important, she is my friend.

And so we live together- three trans women.  I won't say all is wine and roses.  We have conflicts and can get on each others' nerves as any roomies will do.  We each have our faults and foibles.  But, to date, we've always been able to sit down and sort them out.  There are three strong personalities living in this apartment, each as stubborn as the other.  Add to that there's three of us and only one bathroom.

All that said, I'm pretty lucky: I've found two roomies who can put up with me.  I'm grateful.

Last Saturday after a long day at work

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

GOP Bounties on Transpeople (Political Rant)

So I found an article that really disturbs me.  Read it HERE,  I'll wait.

For those who want a precis, here it is.  A Republican senator in Kentucky has proposed a $2500+ bounty for catching a transperson in the "wrong" bathroom.  In other words, a transwoman in the women's bathroom.

Sound unbelievable?  Here's the actual legislation.

Ok.  So this is Kentucky, and I live in Pennsylvania.  Why should I care?

Let's think this through shall we?  Kentucky currently has an unemployment rate of 6.0% which is higher than the national average.  3.8% of the state are on welfare (60,071)compared to the national average of 4.1%.  There's a lot of people in Kentucky needing money.

$2500 is a LOT of money to many people (including me.)  And that's not counting Attorney's fees AND monetary damages from the offending school for all psychological, emotional, and physical harm suffered.  

Nothing in this subsection shall limit other remedies at law or equity available to the aggrieved student. 

Dear readers, the above underlined words are from the law itself.

That's huge payday for someone.

Think the teen trans suicide rate in Kentucky is going to skyrocket?  I do.

Right.  So if you knew that by hanging near the ladies rooms looking for people you think look mannish could gain you a payday, would you do it?  I'm sure some will.  (it seems they care only about MtF's as they think we're perverts.)

And how exactly would they make sure of this?  Only one way to be sure, dear reader, and that's to force the unfortunate person to strip or to grab said people's crotches.  Or similar.  Because I sure as hell am not showing my ID to every stranger who asks for it.  ("Papers please")

Folks, that's sexual assault.  The US had 293,000 cases of sexual assault last year.  In Kentucky, 1 in 9 women are sexually assaulted.  So of the 2,204,415 women living in Kentucky, that's 244,935, or 11.1%... in their lifetimes.

And after we're hauled into prison by these bounty hunters?  What then?  Assualt.  Possibly worse.

So.  they GOP is putting a price on our heads.  But wait, it's just some whack job senator from Kentucky, right?  Notice that the rest of the GOP are NOT shouting this lunatic down- and silence, as we know, means assent.  Will no one come to our defense?

Not the GOP.

Let's look at some history.  Every time extreme GOP legislation hits one state, it spreads to other "red states" like wildfire.  Usually this because of the Koch brothers owned and operated ALEC sends out "model legislation" to all the other states.

And guess what dear reader- the House and Senate of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania are GOP majorities who have often in the past rubber stamped ALEC legislation.

See why I'm worried?

Am I overly paranoid?  I hope so.  But this attack on transpeople by the GOP in one state is an attack on us all.

And yet some transpeople still actively support the GOP.  They are not shouting down the loonies either.  They vote FOR them.  I simply cannot wrap my head around that.  That's like Jews for Hitler.  Yes they existed.  (Verband nationaldeutscher Juden) And I'm sure they were really surprised to be shoved into the rail cars with all the other Jews headed for the Concentration camps.

What about the democrats?  None of them as yet have put a bounty on our heads.  In fact ALL (that's A-L-L) of the strides we've made in the past few years have come from democratic officials.  That includes our president.

The GOP has shown what they think of us.  They've declared war.

What are we prepared to do about it?

There's legal means- petitions, etc.  But the best way is to vote them OUT.  Every last one of the extremists.  Unfortunately, that's most of the party currently.

Even one more trans suicide is too many.  And the GOP are directly going to cause them.

I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Texas story

I used to work for a company called Games Workshop (GW).  GW makes toy soldiers and the games to go with them.  I worked there for nine years, and with them I traveled a bit, especially since the company is based in the UK.

For a period of time, my sales territory was Texas, and I had occasion to visit there several times.  I can spin a few stories of these trips (or of other GW trips) but I'll just tell this one for now.  It's my favorite Texas story.

It was my first trip to Texas, and I was having dinner with representatives of Lone Star Comics, who were by far my biggest customer.  We went Medieval Times, which has banquet style seating on long tables in the bar area.  The food was great as was the company.

Medieval Times, Dallas

It was August 9, 1995.  That night was Mike Tyson's first fight after getting out of prison, and it was a huge event.  Peter McNeeley was the opponent, and the fight ended after only 89 seconds.  Tyson won.

The fight was shown on the projection screen tv at the place.  People were shouting and hootin' an' a hollerin'.  When the fight ended, most people applauded.  But four tables away, someone wasn't very happy.

There was an argument- I'm guessing over a bet.  It escalated and the two stood up.  Most people ignored these two guys, but they were in my direct line of sight.  Then one of them pulled a gun.

Being four tables away, I yelled "GUN!" and ducked under the table.  A few seconds later, some guy wearing a Yosemite Sam hat looks under the table at me and says "Y'all are a Yankee, aincha?"

I stood back up and saw three huge bouncers had the situation handled.  Two had the gun guy- and they were introducing him to every table *WHACK*, chair, *POW* and wall *OOF* on the way toward the door.  The third bouncer was escorting the other guy more peacefully toward the door- he was going quietly.

The room applauded politely again, and the people I was with picked on me for the rest of the night for being a Yankee.

It was a fun night, and I ended up with some huge orders for the company.  In a way, that trip kickstarted my career at GW.

But I remember it for that guy in the hat.  Even thinking of him makes me laugh.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tea Partier Replies

After my last post, I received a flurry of comments and some PMs on Facialbook.  But, from the person it was directed toward, there was silence for several days.

Radio Silence at Angela's Laptop Lounge

Then he commented on a facialbook post.  I messaged him, and the following exchange occurred.

The following is an unedited transcript.  My words are in italics.  Emphasis on his words is mine.

It started with him calling the blog entry "dumb" in another public post.
  • At least now I know your thoughts on the trans condition
  • It isn't a condition. The fact you choose to treat it as such is one of the reasons it is problematic to you. I judge an individual based on their actions and character. Whether they want to dress in a dress and surgically alter themselves makes no difference to me. You see, if one goes about their business not harming anyone else I'm all for it.
    As far as the "woe is me I was born this way" I have little sympathy. Self pity and cries for attention are a waste of your own time & energy. I've got a news flash for you. Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone is gonna agree with your choices. And that is OK.
    My guess is you don't understand my thoughts in this, or many other topics. I'm about as concerned about the "trans condition" as I am as someone's sexuality, preference in blondes or brunettes, whether they prefer beer or mixed drinks, sunny side up or scrambled. It is called true acceptance of people for who they are and not splitting, separating and classifying and dividing everyone up in little separate groups based on my biases.
    Give it a try. You will live in a happier place.
    And yes, you can repost this in your blog if you like. The progressive mindset could use a little acceptance and love of all.
  • And that's where you're wrong. Its a WELL DOCUMENTED condition. But you ignore the science, As I thought you would

  • That is why your ilk (and by that I mean liberal progressives) are so high in depression and suicide. You let faux science tell you you have a "condition" . When you should acknowledge, accept and embrace who you are. And not let some pencil neck tell you you have a condition.
    Standard progressive divisive tactics. Make shit up, segregate groups tell them they are victims and point to another group to vilify, to blame for their plight.
    But to buy into propaganda labeled as science ( which it is NOT) and ignore reality, as I knew you would
  • It is truly sad when I see people I know allow themselves to be made to believe they are always a victim and not be allowed to be happy with themselves.


People ask why I post so much politics on social media (thus putting me on HYDRA's target list.... if you get that reference).  

THIS is why- to shed light on ignorance like this.  To shed light on people who deny science and fear intelligence (be it about climate change, age of the planet, or biology.)

We trans people are not victims.  I never said we were, and never will.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  We are Special.  We were born different, yes.  There are few of us, true.  In some cultures we were revered.  In ours, we are vilified.  Russia just made it illegal for us to hold drivers licences, for example.

And people like this tea partier?  Would deny we exist.  

We are Special.  That makes as no better than everyone else.  But it sure as hell doesn't make us inferior.  It doesn't make us deserving of Hatred.

I knew he would react as he did.  How did I deduce this?  Because I know his source of information- and what THEY say about transpeople.  Want to know what Fox News says about Trans people?  Re-read what he wrote.  And look it up.  Please- don't take my word for it.  See for yourself.  

They deny science.  They deny everything they can't or won't understand.  And they NEED to be exposed.  I am only one voice.  But Maybe, just maybe, one voice can make a difference.

One person CAN make a difference in a life.  I have a list of people who made a difference in mine.  And maybe someone will see the Truth but what I write either here or on FB.

Or just dismiss it out of hand and call me names.  

Their choice.

I choose to Educate.  And to Live.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Question from A Tea Partier

I get asked often why I keep right wingers and extreme right wingers as friends on my Facialbook page.  Usually these right wingers are former coworkers, but sometimes actual friends.  Sometimes they are transwomen, which I still don't understand as a republican transwoman is like a Jew supporting Hitler.

So why do I?  My first reaction is that no one can tell me who I can and can't be friends with, and no explanation is needed.  But there is a reason I keep hard core rethuglicans on my friends list- education.  Mine and theirs.  In my case, it's so I can learn why they think the way they do.  Usually that answer is simple- they think the way Rush or Fox News tells them.  They have breathtaking cases of "projection" too, taking the worst qualities of their party and projecting them on their common enemy:  "Liberals."  And I pity them.

But once in a while, one of the extreme cases gets past the programming and has an independent thought or query.  And we can have dialogue.

And so it was that a former coworker sent me the following after I posted about the suicide of a trans teen, Leelah Alcorn (17 year old transwoman who committed suicide last week.  He has graciously allowed me to answer his query here on the condition of his anonymity.

The following is his query to me, edited only to preserve his identity as promised.

"Ok, so I'm totally fine, cool and don't give a crap about who does what to whom, how someone wants to dress, or what the fuck ever as long as you aren't hurting anyone else (unless they want it).
But when you "identify" as something you are not that doesn't make it so.
I'm not picking a fight I'm seriously curious.

I identify as the majority shareholder of Microsoft and the starting middle linebacker of the [NFL Team he likes] But I have a natural autoimmune disease that prevented the ladder. (Sic)

Why does some reality vs identity factoids trump others?"

Ok, Anonymous, here is my answer.

My first reaction was "Be glad you don't understand, as the only ones who DO understand being trans are those afflicted with it.

But in the end, that's not enough, is it?  

The main point is that you seem to think that this is a choice, just a whim.


I DIDN'T choose this.  I was born this way.  Being transgender is NOT a mental condition, it is a Physical condition. There are several theories as to how this happens:  a flood of estrogen in utero at the wrong time, faulty hormone receptors in the fetus... but in the end, no one really knows for sure.

Here's a VERY good dicussion on the current theories.

Now I realize that you have in the past have rejected science in favor of political dogma.  Yet here we have proof- Trans people are BORN this way.

Why would someone CHOOSE to be TG?  Why would they choose a life of prejudice and hatred?  A life where they constantly feel the anguish of not being "Right"?  41% of TG people attempt suicide.  And that's just polling the survivors.  Compare that to 3% who attempt suicide in the non-trans population.  Our murder rate is much higher than the cisgender population as well.  It's a HARD life.  An expensive one.  And, in the end, a life of uncertainty and pain.  Yeah, definitely my first choice.  *rolls eyes*

Now let me put it to you this way- would I have put my Wife through all of this just for fashion choices?  If you think so, de-friend me now, as you obviously not only don't know me, but don't care to know me.  

Being Trans is a life of Pain.  It's a life of hiding and shame.  I grew up before the internet, and I thought I was the only one like me.  In time, I discovered I'm not alone.  How many of us are there?  No one knows for sure.  I've heard anywhere from .01% to 4% of the population.  For ease of calculation, let's choose 1% as an example.

The current US Population as of this second is 320, 112, 120.  (source)  Let's assume 1% of the US population is trans.  Doing the math that's 3,201,121 trans people in the US alone.  Now I have read that of the trans population, only 1% of us actually transitions.  So that means the transitioned trans population is 32,011.

That's about the size of a mid sized city.  And it's definitely a minority.

So.  Lets do what is currently happening in the US and strip all rights away from 3,200,000 citizens.  These people can be thrown out of where they live, fired, told they can't use a public restroom, simply for the way they are born.  And in many states- murdered ("trans panic defense").  

Let's do more.  Let's not solve the cases of those murdered and not care if they're beaten and raped.  Make it very difficult for them to secure legal counsel.  Call them every name in the book and insist they are "abominations in the eyes of God."  Insist they are perverts out to rape children.

Sound like fun?

Welcome to the Trans life.  That is life as a transperson in the US TODAY.  Wonder why at least 1,312,460 (including me) have attempted suicide?  (That number is 41% of 3,201,121)

So what is the reality?  That Trans is a PHYSICAL condition, that it's real, and that comparing it to your whimsical ideas of playing linebacker is actually pretty damn insulting.

Being Trans isn't a choice.  It's my life.  And if it weren't my life, it would be my death.

As it was for so many others.  

As it was for my dear sister Lisa Empanada.

As it was for Leelah Alcorn.