Category Archives: Reflections

“When The World Ends,” A Reflection On Hormonal Mood-Swings

It’s not often I use the blog to address my personal life, but as the year is nearly at an end, I’d like to take some time to reflect on just what this year has brought me. Lately, I have been very stressed out. No, not even stressed out…I would say “slightly derailed,” better describes how I’ve been feeling. For me, 2012 has been a year of sudden change and sustained effort, two things I typically despise. Between the 20-page research papers and hazards of my daily hour-long commute both ways, I’ve been thrust by providence or fate into the proverbial spotlight. Doing speeches, and panels and attending board meetings and functions and lots and lots of parties. I’ve met many people, some of whom I simply adore, and others I decidedly don’t. Handling these waves of new personalities is a challenge in and of itself as I’ve found it’s integral to alter your approach depending on who you’re dealing with and I think that’s something a lot of us fail to take into account. This world is full of people and people are like little machines you’re constantly having to punch codes in…the wrong codes lead to breakdowns, the right ones lead to updates. Not sure if that allegory even makes sense (it’s early!), but it is a demanding process that never seems to end.

In the midst of all that melee, it has been integral to do one thing: take care of myself. For my own personal self-care routine (and I’m assuming, for many of my readers as well), balanced hormones are fundamental and the only way to maintain them balanced is by taking them every day at a regular time and scheduling periodic blood tests with your physician. I haven’t been and finally it showed yesterday before a holiday party I attended. I was in my car, crying and had, in a manner of minutes fallen completely out of love with life and the people in my life. Almost systematically, I became disillusioned and livid all at once and when pressed for the reason, I had none to give. I felt a loss of control and an utter dearth of joy. It just spilled out of me and it was a mood-swing. One of the side-effects of estrogen therapy many of us fail to take into account because we don’t think it’s as “serious” as stroke or thrombosis. But I assure you, it is. I know because I was one of those people who scoffed at the “mood-swing thing” as being something I could easily handle. And I realize I must admit my fault in all this, too. In the frenetic chaos that my life has been this past year, there have been many times when I’ve gone to sleep after pulling an all-nighter at some ungodly hour and forgotten to take (or just been too lazy to take) my hormones. Thus, I’ve experienced spikes and lows and kept pushing them aside, brushing them off until the holidays rolled around and my seasonal sadness became the catalyst for a mood swing that left my nerves jangling when they should have been jingling.

The world can wait. It’s important that you and I know this. It won’t fall apart if we take the time to take care of ourselves, but we will. If we allow ourselves to grant importance to our problems, even when others we confide in may not consider them very important at all, we also grant ourselves importance. We don’t put on the “I can do it all” facade and power through it. We each have differing levels of resistance to outside stressors, and it’s important to be respectful of that. My pain may not be the same as yours, but it is just as significant. And as a tg woman who’s been undergoing long-term HRT, I sometimes forget the element that was missing from my life during last night’s mood-swing: balance. So, I had a rare moment of practicality and made an alarm on my phone at 10 AM sharp that reminds me to take my hormones every. Single. Day. No matter what. Equally helpful is my return to this blog and being able to take solace in my writing process again. Never ignore your outlets! For me, that outlet is writing…but lately it’s been something I haven’t had the energy or time for…or at least that’s the excuse I give myself. And that’s another thing: Be mindful of your own excuses and analyze ways to break them apart, because most of them just injure you in the long-run. So, sisters, my advice for the new year…cut through the garbage you give yourself ABOUT YOURSELF…cut through the garbage other people fling at you and just focus on you. Sounds so simple, but often, it’s exactly those simple things we fail to remember.

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It isn’t often I do this…

Use the blog to air personal concerns, that is. But this is something that’s been bugging me for a while, now. It’s sort of an accumulated frustration which needs to be excised, so let’s do this sh*t.

I’m finding that I really love the time I live in for all the numerous technological advances and whatnot, but at the same time I quite hate it, as well. We’re constantly being driven to interact mindlessly with other people who we may not even like or know, just because we’re expected to. The whole thing is so fake it leaves the taste of spray tan in my mouth. All of our little networks keep us tethered to elements of our past that a lot of us would be better off without. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in karma and all that jazz and that everything’s a lesson and people are here to help you along on those lessons, for better or worse, but STILL. Lessons in school are learned, processed and then overwritten by the next wave of lessons. That’s just life. Why do we, as a society, feel so compelled to hold on…even to the insignificant? Does the hypocrisy of social networking really undo all the wrong that high school bully did you? And why have they been so conditioned to think that it has? And why have we been conditioned to just gloss over it? Um, no. If I were to do that, you’d just find justification in your own stupidity and encourage whatever misbegotten spawn you eventually hatch to follow in your same, misguided footsteps. People need to know there’re consequences for being douchebags, for hurting people, for bashing them, for irritating them. You know what else is irritating? Zits. And what do you do when you get one of those? You don’t accept them.

You pop them, of course. ^_^

So seriously guys, don’t let yourselves fall into the trap of “one, big, hypocritical FB (or whatever social network you use) family.” Don’t hold on to people who could care less whether you live or die. The people who do…hold on to them like gold!! Because they are.

I’M THE LADY-IN-WAITING…AND I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE!

Current plans/reflections

Gosh…it’s 3:36 in the friggin’ morning right now and I just finished cleaning up all the crap I’ve been trying on for the past two hours in preparation for my very first gay pride march. My final answer? A peacock-print tunic which I’m opting to wear as a dress by excluding any pants. I’m usually pretty prude about dress-length, but for the Gay Pride Parade where too high isn’t high enough, what with all the naked lesbians and whatnot, I think it’s okay to bend the rules, no? It’s only a few inches above my knee, but my grandmother still thinks it’s too short. Am I crazy for asking my bible-thumping grandma for advice on how to dress for the gay pride parade in NYC? I mean really, I feel like I’m the only transgendered twenty-something woman in this exact situation…but in a way I’m also pretty damn lucky to be in this exact situation. Anyway, word of advice for next year…don’t ask your grandmother for advice on what to wear. She says ‘no’ to everything and makes you feel fat about yourself.

Moving on randomly…I’m working on a short story/epic novel…yeah somehow it’s a happy medium between the two. It’s I guess, what you’d call a fantasy-type story centered around a powerful Eunuch who lives in a realm where magic is commonplace and who essentially has to fight to regain her homeland, etc. etc. I’m pretty optimistic about it. A few months ago I started working on the concept of a trans-heroine that trans-teens might become trans-fixed by (ok enough with the trans, I promise). Someone who has action-packed adventures like…I dunno, Xena Warrior Princess (am I dating myself? I feel like I am). In any case, I’m thinking of putting it out as a free e-book when I’m finally finished with it, but I’d like to gauge interest levels, so…anyone? Anyone at all? … Bueller?

In other early morning randomness, I’ve been watching Dream Of The Red Chamber on the YouTube lately. I’ve also started reading the David Hawkes translation (entitled Story Of The Stone) which is pretty awesome, I must say. Don’t ask me why I found myself so suddenly immersed in this story…I’m not Chinese and I honestly can’t remember what specifically piqued my interest in this tale other than my life-long fascination with Asian cultures…but for whatever reason, fate wanted me to know of its existence. I must say, the thing that I find the loveliest about this story, specifically its television adaptation where you can really see it, is the sheer liveliness of the characters. The simple joys of touring the gardens with friends, gazing upon exotic flowers and birds in flight, sipping wine and composing poetry on the kang. All in 18th Century China…before the internet, before television, before people relinquished their zest for just living and decided instead to live vicariously through technology. Not that I’m knocking the world of technology, after all it’s the reason I’m able to write this entry, I just admire the simplicity of the times and that ability to be stimulated by such things. I feel like so many of us are just plain jaded in this day and age, myself included. It would be nice to step into Bao-yu’s world for a while. But only a short while…after all…I’m a spoiled American who melts in 80 degree weather without any air conditioning.

Siiiigh…well, that’s all for now, dear readers. I might post a video tomorrow or right before the Pride Parade. Then again, I might not. It all depends on how lazy I’m feeling. But either way, I’ll let you know how it goes…so wish me luck! ^_^

Busy week…

For me anyway. I just did my second public speaking event at a training for DYFS and it was phenomenal. I could tell all the caseworkers there were interested in learning about trans-issues and that just made my day! ^_^ I’m really digging this whole “public speaker” thing and I’m totally hoping for more engagements down the road. So, we’ll see.

Other than that, I’ve been tossing around some ideas for what my next trans-related entry will be about. My friend suggested “trans-safety,” a guide for mtf’s, which I think is an awesome idea! Basically the point was made that a lot of trans-women don’t get the kind of “basic female survival” tips that their cisgendered peers do. So what we have are droves of young trans-women who have been indoctrinated against seeing the potential threats that any cisgendered woman would have been conditioned to from a very early age, or worse, they’ve been taught to face that danger instead of to evade it. Many young trans-women don’t realize that dark parking lots are dangerous places or that you should check the backseat of your car before getting in and locking all the doors. I had a very overprotective Spanish grandmother so I know these things, but many people in my position lack that kind of know-how. It’s something that definitely warrants an entry, which I’ll hopefully write soon, after conducting some research. Any other entry ideas are more than welcome (just post them in the comments section below)…I’ve been experiencing some creative road-blocks lately, no doubt exacerbated by Summer laziness. Still, I wanted to let you ALL know how much I value you…be it a subscriber or casual reader. I’m so glad to be sharing my voice with you all, thanks for letting me and there’ll be more to come soon. ^_^

Beautiful Monsters

So in honor of the twentieth anniversary of my favorite childhood tv show Sailor Moon, a show I credit with keeping me sane whilst being teased by the jerk-faces I went to school with, and with teaching me that there’s beauty in everything…even monsters, but especially in feelings that I was told were “girly and wrong for me to indulge in” like friendship and gentleness, I wanted to highlight some of the great parts of Sailor Moon throughout the year in little articles and blurbs here and there. This is the first, and for this edition I wanted to showcase the oft-forgotten monsters-of-the-day. Though typically dispatched by Sailor Moon after being roughed up by her team within the span of five minutes, their lines, antics and aesthetics are some of the most memorable, well for me anyway (meanwhile, you’re like…’how do you even remember their names?’). So anyway… ever the champion of underdogs everywhere, I decided to list my top picks for most original and just plain fab monsters. Because…at the heart of every monster…is a diva!

NUMBER 1! Binah

From the very first season. One of the rainbow crystal carriers and a mousy-looking artist whose transformation into one of the Dark Kingdom’s warriors seemed to include a complementary fashion makeover. Either way, the white feathers and angelic motif provide a stark contrast to the bitchiness of Miss Binah. Her main line of defense included drawing objects into reality, which she mostly used to draw rocks and such…had she done what I would have and drawn a rocket-launcher instead, I’m certain she wouldn’t have been bested by Sailor Moon and turned back into Ugly Betty. Still, a lovely design. Ethereal yet evil.

NUMBER 2! Murido

I’ve always had a thing for dolls. I just love them and the creepier-looking the better. Murido starts out as a sweet, fairytale princess-type character and transforms (accompanied by eerie calliope music) complete with a 360 degree rotating head into a glam cross between Harley Quinn and Bride of Chucky. I just love the whole twisted fairytale theme, from sweet princess to evil queen in two seconds flat, with an army of animatronic woodland critters which she commands with her (I’m assuming poison?) apple. Maybe not the most original, but certainly a disturbingly eerie pastiche of other common tropes, spiced up with a dash of b*tch.

NUMBER 3! Reci

She’s lovely. She’s cherry blossoms. She’s kabuki. She’s…a tree. Sort of. Racy’s character design was another masterful stroke of contrast. Beauty, but also beast. She was a fierce Cardian who nearly destroyed the Sailor Team altogether by sealing them inside of trees… moving on.

NUMBER 4! Amaderasu

Another Cardian named after the Japanese Sun Goddess. She drew her powers from the sun and whatnot…obvs. I loved the orange on blue color scheme that was utilized for her. If there was a fashion show scene in Avatar, Amaderasu would be TURNING. IT. OUT. And also, using babies as human shields. This is what I love about Sailor Moon…it was so colorful!

NUMBER 5! Ryuax

I must admit, I have a thing for Arabesque fashions. Always have. So when harem pants came back in style, I seriously contemplated buying a pair until I realized how ugly they were. End of tangent. Seriously though, I love what the character designers did with this monster. She was a cross between 1920’s art deco and Arabian Harem Queen. Plus, those nails.

NUMBER 6! Chikuon

I’m a sucker for masquerade masks and anything with a cat-eye. Chikuon…well, honestly I can’t really remember what she did, but I remember thinking it was so awesome watching Sailor Moon go toe-to-toe with a snooty French noblewoman, or a monster that looked like one. If a gramophone were to somehow become personified by way of dark magic, I really think you could find no one to do that specific job better that Chikuon. But seriously, did the person who created her really believe that of all objects, a gramophone, given life would be able to defeat a bunch of super-powered, hormonal Japanese teenagers? I mean…at least choose something that’s hazardous. Like…a lighter, say. Or a thumb tack.

NUMBER 7! U-Tahime

The Songstress Daimon. I seem to recall, she was charging up to perform her ultimate vocal attack but forgot the words to her friggin’ song and got wiped out as a result. Still, the character design was on point. I detected 1960’s Motown diva mixed with…a Vulcan or something else with pointy ears. Elegant, poised, shrill…a perfect representation of Diana Ross…no just kidding, I love Diana Ross.

NUMBER 8! Mizugeiko

Honestly I can’t even recall what this one did…but her Geisha-inspired design was FIERCE!

NUMBER 9! U-Ikasaman

This shady, shady b*tch trapped all the Sailor Senshi inside playing cards because she CHEATED!! And it was up to Chibi-Usa and Hotaru to stop her. But when they did, she still wouldn’t let everyone go. What a heifer! But of course, Sailor Moon broke out her wand and dusted her. I must say, out of all the monsters, she was one of the more colorful ones and the “Playing Card Queen” look they gave her was indeed, a perfect fit.

NUMBER 10! Atsugessho

Having worked as a make-up artist at a department store, I can safely say that most of the women I worked with looked like Atsugessho…only overweight and much more dour. Either way, an overly-made up monster of a woman with a powder puff of doom and acid spittle who flew into a b*tch rage after Usagi refuted her claim that make-up is what makes a man fall in love with a girl is a winner in my book. Or a drag queen. Same difference.

And there you have it. You might say I have too much time on my hands, FALSE! Well…not completely I guess. Either way, these monsters were a part of my childhood and, in a childhood where you’re sometimes made to feel monstrous yourself just for being who you are, I came to sympathize with them a bit. Plus, they were campy as all hell…it was like RuPaul’s Drag Race…For Youngsters…the ANIME! And all the creativity that went into designing these outlandishly costumed characters (all of whom were, I believe, created solely for the anime), must be applauded and appreciated as a piece of hard work that contributed to one hell of a great show. There was nothing I looked forward to more during the miserable year of my life that was fourth grade than getting up extra-early at 6:30 in the morning and watching Sailor Moon and Co. beat the crap out of everything…in a positive way. So, thanks to character designers: Kazuko TadanoIkuko Itoh and Katsumi Tamegai and to Naoko Takeuchi herself, for creating such an amazing series.

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation…

Hey guys, kind of a departure from my usual entries, but I just finished writing this for my Intercultural Communications class and thought it turned out pretty well. So, if any of you were ever curious about my opinions regarding pop culture and the media, here you go ^_^

 

American pop culture as related to my generation is rooted in instant gratification, excess and nostalgia, usually a very white-washed form where minorities are still relegated to secondary roles. Since our realities are so inextricably linked with the act of mass consumption, originality of thought has become a rarity as evidenced by the stream of endless movie and television remakes. Instead we focus on the same ideas being re-hashed over and over again in slightly different forms or use technological storehouses to revisit days gone by. Netflix makes it simple for all sorts of shows from yesteryear to be seen at the touch of a button; because my generation’s collective memory is so thoroughly entwined with the media, childhood memories become indelibly linked to television shows. Still, this nostalgia comes equipped with rose-tinted glasses that somehow cause us to bypass the incongruities of those shows that we glossed over as children, such as all-white casts with one or two token minorities thrown in for good measure.

Our virtual worlds mirror our perceptions of the real world, and so my generation has been collectively conditioned, from childhood to see minorities as supporting characters in the sitcom of life, thrown in to affect a very controlled form of “diversity,” amongst a cast of mostly whites who function as the “major players.”

 

 

In advertisements, Americans have been shown to be happy, bright-eyed, optimistic, prosperous and “All-American,” (read: white as Wonder Bread). Although this has changed somewhat, most people throughout the world still see the stereotypical blonde-haired, blue-eyed American cowboy, or buxom model made popular by characters such as the Marlboro Man and actors such as Pamela Anderson (who isn’t even American).

On the other, less glamorous side of the spectrum, Americans are connected with excess. Excessive gluttony for food, entertainment, surgical enhancements, tanning, brand names. We are connected with a type of caricature of ourselves. In our zombified media-inundated world of excess, even other human beings become a commodity. In America, everyone is your friend. People send you requests for friendship on social networking sites after sitting in a class with you and scarcely exchanging two words, just to add you to their collection. We collect people like trophies and never really listen to them or form any significant connections; another reflection of our excess.

When I met a Japanese/Korean young man from Germany at a party, he spoke about his experiences in America as compared to his native Germany, saying he was surprised by how unattractive he perceived the women to be compared to the women in Europe. He cited larger bodily proportions that he was surprised by, because he thought they would be skinnier and prettier. Perhaps in the media he’s been exposed to regarding American women, what he saw was a model or actress and associated her appearance with that of all American women. This very same type of image wreaks havoc on many American women’s self-esteem. We are bombarded with glamorized advertisements about every type of delectable junk food, yet concurrently, are also flooded with images of skinny, traditionally “beautiful” women who force many young women to choose between enjoying the meal of their choosing or starving to fit into a cage of someone else’s creation. And yes, whose creation is it? Is it our collective creation perpetuated by a few top tier advertising and media moguls? Is it a dark, inherent need for self-destruction? Certainly that must be one of the motives behind our lust for reality television, our need to stave off the darkness associated with our own self-destructive needs by focusing instead on others’ very public acts of self-destruction for our own amusement and distraction.

We derive much entertainment from the media, and as mentioned earlier, media and reality have become indistinguishable to my generation. This is even evident in the title of “reality tv,” although most audiences are at least partially aware that this is a controlled, skewed version of “reality,” it appeals to our psyches as an extension of our mundane lives. We take these experiences with us, even though they are not ours and relay them to friends and co-workers as if they were.

We are constantly connected through the pervasiveness of social media, through our phones, iPods, laptops, and tablets, we are literally always connected, needing four of essentially the same object in different forms. Consider that you might pay for a phone with internet access, while your laptop at home, which is also portable, like your phone is also capable of internet access, as is your tablet, even your kindle reader and your video game console. Why is internet access so necessary now? Because media and reality have merged. We live and breathe through our experiences which we relate through Twitter and Facebook. Life has become a series of text messages for most of the younger generation, and what are they texting about? Reality television. The new video game or electronic device they bought. A Facebook game they need more tokens for. Even our work hinges on technology. When the company e-mail is down, messages are unable to be relayed and production literally shuts down. Even the securing of a job hinges on one’s internet access and competence with a computer. Our recreation likewise centers around technology as well.

 

In conclusion, we cite all these developments as technological advancements and therefore as advancements of the human species and our global culture. One must ask themselves, however, have we truly advanced, and if so, towards what? We have moved from a culture that connected with one another, to one that connects with technology. It is a colder form of communication, one that lacks depth or emotion. Consider how many misunderstandings are caused by misunderstood meanings in text messages. The subtleties of communication are not applicable in such a context. Though we are slightly more culturally aware, racism is still perpetuated through stereotypes and relegation of minorities to supporting roles in many television programs.   We need to take the best of this generation, the minor improvements we have made towards cultural inclusivity, expand upon them and merge them with the type of close-knit familiar communication evident in yesteryear. We can still use technology without being slaves to it or having a phone as an extra appendage. When my power was out, which happens often where I live, I spent time in a candlelit living room listening to my grandmother tell me about her life, her stories, the rich depth of her existence on this plane. And it was amazingly enriching and entertaining! More than any cheap form of filler entertainment like vacuous reality shows or the self-entitled Twitter ramblings of some acquaintance I barely know in real life. It was real. If we can somehow form an appreciation and recognition of that type of “realness,” lasting and genuine advancements in exchanges, especially intercultural exchanges, are sure to follow.

Fashion’s where you find it…

Riding my wave of nerddom, I present you with a dazzling array of high fashion eye candy from visual artist, Kevin Wada. Please be sure to support him, subscribe to him, buy his prints, etc. etc. at: http://kevinwadaart.blogspot.com/

His work came up in one of my news feeds many moons ago, but the first time it graced my retinas, I just adored it. Comic book characters, especially female ones, believe it or not, have always had a huge influence on me personally, my fashion and how I model myself. I think this is true for lots of people in the community, especially future drag artists and transsexual divas such as myself, because to a little effeminate boy’s parents, a comic book (filled with rugged, handsome, lusty superheroes) is much more innocuous than say, an issue of Vogue and therefore becomes much more accessible to the child in question whose sole method of attaining such objets d’art is through his parents’ wallets. But if you look hard enough, there is beauty to be found even within such a male-dominated industry; a quality that Kevin Wada is really able to expound upon in the elegance and utter, utter glam of his work. I LOVE IT! So without further ado, here are some of my favorites:

X-23, Radiant and Razor-Sharp…

Lady Deathstrike, serving adamantium REAL-NESS…

Miss Kitty Pryde, serving catty coyness…

Miss Karma, prim and self-possessed

Miss Dani “Mirage” Moonstar, Cheyenne and hotter than Cayenne!

Mystique in Shapeshifting Shift-Dress

And finally…

Scarlet Witch, serving psycho-sultry for all it’s worth!

Does anyone else feel these should be their standard uniforms? Because I sure do. Also, if one of them had to lip-synch for their lives…which do you think would win?? My money’s on Moonstar…but that’s probably just because I love feathers.

TTRS – The “Transsexual Toy Replacement Squad” YEAH!!

Hi everybody! I wanted to post this tribute to my favorite toys and toys I wanted but never got because I’ve been feeling nostalgic recently, and because this was an important coping mechanism for me as a child, specifically as a trans-child. Imaginative play is integral to surviving a less than perfect childhood, especially when you’re dealing with ostracism from the other children and your mother’s confusion over your desire to play with her high heels. Anyway,  as a kid who just so happened to be transgendered, I grew up wanting toys I was expressly forbidden from playing with by my parents and society…Barbie dolls, dress-up sets, toy vanities, and most of all one of those lavish fully-furnished dollhouses with the tiny food for the tiny refrigerator and lamps that actually lit the f*ck up! I mean how could any child NOT want that? Dollhouses are boss; the popularity of “The Sims” proves it!!

So, what was a tortured little trans-tween to do with herself? Well, I circumnavigated my parents “toy rules” and made due with whatever I could get. So, my dolls were action figures, my Barbie mobile was a red corvette and my dress-up kit consisted of a pair of high heels I’d cut out of paper and taped to the sides of my ankles and a makeshift wig that doubled as my beloved blankey. Among the memorable action figures I salivated over were numerous characters most boys would probably not be interested in playing with, except for me! Mostly because they were marginally acceptable without pushing the envelope into My-Size-Barbie territory. Now, join me for a trip down memory lane as I review The Transsexual Toy Replacement Squad. I think you’ll get a kick out of it 🙂

1) Lwaxana Troi from the Star Trek The Next Generation Line

This was one of those figures that I couldn’t imagine any little boy begging his mother for. She had a gold metallic top with cut-out, a long gown, fabulous old-lady hair and a travel suitcase as an accessory. Intergalactic-glam all the way. Having been raised by my Star Trek nerd mother, I developed a fondness for the action figure line my mother forced upon me, simply because there was a plethora of female characters to choose from. Those Trekkie collectors are nothing if not completists, and the toy companies knew it!

2) Ravishing Reporter April O’Neal from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Line

Rooted hair, a mini-skirt and more caked-on eyeshadow than a Brooklyn hooker. This was my kinda gal. I like to pretend she was doing an expose on the lives of “career gals,” and this was her disguise. She came equipped with “Lipstick Nunchaku” and a “Katana Blade Curling Iron,” in case a John got overly-familiar. Even at that tender, young age, I suspected “Ravishing Reporter” really meant “Undercover Streetwalker,” and well, that was just marvelous.

3) Mary Jane Watson Happy Meal Figurine from McDonalds

Oh…my…GOD!! I remember dragging my mother to at least four different McDonalds just to get one of these. This b*tch had snap-on clothes! She was a Happy Meal Toy and she had snap-on, f*ckin’ outfits!! I couldn’t stand this redhead, she was so rad. But by God, I knew I wanted her in my collection…

4) Miss Yvonne from Pee-Wees Playhouse

Again with the rooted hair, I think my hair fetish is why I wasted three months of my life in hair school…but that’s another story. I was a huge Pee-Wee Herman fan, until the whole “masturbating in the adult theater” incident. After that, I remember seeing his mugshot on the evening news and being terrified he was hiding in the bathroom waiting to terrorize me. I had to beg someone to go with me for the next six months or so. Needless to say, Mother suggested we stop airing “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” at home, and my talking Pee-Wee doll was promptly confiscated for my own protection. Even so, for all my issues with Pee-Wee, I still adored Miss Yvonne and her bouffant. This picture of the figure is somehow less glamorous than what I remember as a child, but still…charming…no?

5) Trini “Power Rangers For Girls” Doll

Wow. Now this was THE one. I first spotted her at a glamorous Big-K (what they called K-Mart at the beginning of the 90’s, not slang for Burger King as some may think). Anyway I, like many impressionable children, was completely enamored with the adventures of the Power Rangers and although EVERY girl wanted to be Kimberly, I always favored Trini. Maybe because she was less popular and I identified with that, or maybe it was just because I liked the color yellow. Either way, this was an “action figure” I coveted for the longest time and finally got last Christmas from my boyfriend . Awww.

6) The Sailor Moon Adventure Dolls…all of them!

Yes, Sailor Moon was really what ushered in the popularity of anime for United States audiences…AND…it preceded Pokemon, so I don’t wanna hear it! Anyway, more than being the beginning of a pop culture phenomenon, Sailor Moon and her gal-pals were my early morning friends (in animated form). I laughed with them, cried with them (when I thought they all died at the end of the first season), and always woke up extra early at 6 in the morning just to hear Serena yell “Moon Prism Power!” So, naturally I wanted the dolls, too…but unfortunately they were notoriously difficult to find and once they become a bit more accessible, I was at that awkward age where playing with toys was passé. Luckily, I’m almost pushing thirty and don’t give a damn about anything anymore…so if I find a Sailor Mars doll, you’d best believe I’ma snatch her UP!!

7) Storm from the “Famous Covers” line

Storm was literally the only reason I watched X-men back in the 90’s…it was only later on that I realized it was a wonderful analogy for people who were different somehow and had to deal with being ostracized from the community and not letting their feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing turn them into bitter, hateful Mystique’s. I lived for her lines, “Goddess send forth the winds!!” “Power of lightning strike him down!!” Who wouldn’t live for this sh*t?! It was good, it was great and when I first saw this “action figure” with her retro-looking cape and headdress and the huge white hair I nearly wet myself with the “Raindrops of the Goddess,” or pee…whatever you want to call it.

8) Hexadecimal from Reboot

This chick had knee-high boots, a cape, long-ass red nails ON HER GLOVES and interchangeable facial expression masks. We all want a figure who can teach us the subtleties of going from 0 to bitch in five seconds flat…a useful tip for any young diva. Plus, the nails, girl…THE NAILS!!

So, in conclusion, what have we learned? Other than…wow I’m a nerd. Besides that, however, I must say the one actual doll I had…a Belle from “Beauty and The Beast” doll which I endlessly needled and begged my mother to buy me was my crowning glory. In retrospect, I suppose not being able to play with all the things bio-girls take for granted helped me appreciate the little I did have in terms of “female toys.” That doesn’t mean I encourage the type of censoring my parents used in regards to what toys I could play with…ON THE CONTRARY!! At the time, plodding through my dour childhood was made worse by being told what playmates I could invite over . For an unpopular, only child, toys were my only real playmates and I know it would have made a world of difference being able to play with what I really wanted to. My advice to any parents of trans-kids out there reading this…never sanction your child’s imagination. Let it take its course, encourage it, help it thrive. If that means buying a doll for your son, you buy that damn doll! And for the tech-savvy  kids out there who feel they may be trans and are dealing with this very same issue or the trans-adults who went through it when they were kids…don’t despair…the TTRS will always be there in some form or another to help you make it through 🙂

Trans-piration

Hey you guys…no this entry is not about transgenders and perspiration…it’s about transgendered individuals or characters who have inspired me throughout the years during my own personal quest towards womanhood. I realize many of you don’t really have any pertinent role models, that is…other transgendered people in positive places, at least not directly in front of you…which is fine, neither did I. So that’s what the internet is for! ^_^ I did some research and compiled an internal list over the years of the most inspirational, kick-ass trans-sisters and it’s a list that makes me feel like I can see myself through the dark forest that, as trans-folk, we inevitably must walk through several times throughout our lives…so without further ado.

1) Akihiro Miwa.

Japanese transvestite, singer, actor, author, director, composer and generally awesome television personality. Miwa was the muse of author/film director Yukio Mishima and starred in his 1968 camp-tacular film, “Black Lizard,” among others, which you can see here and which was my first introduction to this elegant talent. Also recommended: any of the numerous YouTube videos in which Miwa’s superb, velvet-smooth vocal stylings can be heard.

2) April Ashley.

British trans-supermodel and the first to be publicly outed as such by the tabloids. Her story is a poignant one and her beauty and grace, timeless. Proof that a positive outlook, class and perseverance can see you through whatever storms life throws at you. Learn more about her by reading her book! New, it’s kinda expensive, but used it’s quite reasonable and a book you won’t want to put down.

3) Harisu.

A Korean popstar, actress and happily-married wife. Harisu’s dazzling persona is only matched by her keen talent for comedic and dramatic acting. From her eclectic and ultra-glam fashion sense to the example she shows us all with her amazing career and marriage that continues to thrive against all the odds originally stacked against her, Harisu is a true trans-piration!

4) Dana International.

Israeli pop singer who won the Eurovision singing contest back in 1998 with her song, “Diva.” Her bubbly, yet formidably direct aura shine through in music videos for some of her songs such as “Love Boy,” and “Seret Hodi.” Even without any knowledge of the Hebrew language, one can appreciate the artistry of Dana International and the stellar skills she continues to bring to the forefront of the Israeli music industry.

5) Li Jing.

Taiwanese television personality involved in variety shows, shopping shows, advertisements and the like. Regrettably, I don’t know much about her, but I love her fashion sense and how gracefully she seemed to handle her exposure in the media. The uplifting optimism that surrounds her on-screen should be an example for all of us to emulate in our day-to-day lives.

6) Isabella.

Yes, she is a cartoon character. And no, I don’t care. Isabella from the “Paradise Kiss” series was a caring, maternal part of the cast with a deep understanding (perhaps deeper than any other character, actually) and appreciation of love and all its permutations. If only we could all integrate such depth of insight about our experiences, we’d all be better off. Her signature style was charming, old-fashioned, yet all her own reminding us to retain our individuality even through our constant attempts to pass in society (for those of us who do make that a priority ^_^). Portrayed by Shunji Igarashi in the live-action film.

7) Birdo.

Yes, Birdo from Super Mario. Primarily because Birdo is a positive portrayal of a trans-character in the gaming world which tends to not usually mention such subjects. So thanks Birdo for opening some doors that weren’t open before…or busting them down with a projectile-vomited egg.

So that does it, I hope you all enjoyed my little list and start supporting/continue to support the public figures I listed and the creators/project developers that took the time to create trans characters and imbue them with personalities and their own unique stories. Do you have a personal trans-identified role model/idol? If so, who and why? Comment! ^_^