Attention: Single Ladies

Are you a straight or bi woman between 29-40, who has given up on the single scene? Feel like all the good men are taken?

Despair Not!

Meet eligible postgraduate men near you!
Yes, your area may be teeming with unpaired postgrad men. Men with exciting and interesting hobbies such as:

  • Working on their dissertations
  • Doing fake-work
  • Facebooking
  • Procrastinating
  • Feeling guilty about facebooking and procrastinating
  • Deconstructing re-runs of The Simpsons
  • And More!

Yes, you too can be let into the life and the flat of a man who has stacks of books everywhere and mutters to himself about conference submission deadlines. You can experience the joys of wonder of hearing him say, “I really should be working right now.” You can go to fun parties with academics where your date shows up exceedingly late and then drinks only lemonade in case he decides to do more work at 1:30 AM.
Do you find gaudy material tokens of success like nice haircuts and shoes without holes to be shallow and off-putting? Have you always wondered abou the finer points of spectromorphology carried out with open source software and the communities that produce those artefacts? Does your heart go pitter-patter for somebody reading theory textbooks on the beach on holidays? Yes, postgraduate men are waiting to meet you!


If you’re a bloke and you’re still reading this far, why not meet postgraduate women who are pretty much like the men described above, but with the added bonus of being female.


While supplies last! Yes, nab them quickly before they finish with their writing up year or drop out of uni or meet somebody else (haha, just kidding on the last one)

Why note date a postgraduate near you TODAY?

You’re going to have to make the first move here, and be as blatant as possible about it, or else they might not notice. But give it a go. Soon.

Genitals, Dysphoria and Dating

My experience with the sonogram tech was somewhat troubling, but the sting of it quickly fades. To avoid repeating it, when I’m next in a situation where such a thing might happen, I’m going to start off by saying, “In case the paperwork you got isn’t clear, just so you know, I’m a man. I’m transsexual and I’m having this done because I haven’t had all my surgeries yet.” I think this is probably going to work out alright because it doesn’t place blame anywhere except on vaguely unclear paperwork and starting with that means that it should prevent confusion before I’m confronted with it. The hearer might not entirely agree with my self-assessment, but will at least be polite (and if s/he’s not, I’ve got recourse). Also, I should be spared the growing realisation that something is amiss.
I want to clarify something from my last post, in which I said that a portion of my bits is not functional. While the inside bits are not so great, the rest is awesome. I don’t want to inadvertently start a rumour. Indeed, I’m proud of my junk, in that ridiculous way that men sometimes are. Which is not to say that I don’t still experience dysphoria, alas.
I fear the sort of interaction around disrobing that I had with the sonogram tech, but fortunately, it almost never happens. When I’ve met women socially and had occasion to be pantless in their presence, this has never lead to confusion on their part. Indeed, one time after such an encounter, I said something about having been a Girl Guide (aka Girl Scout) and the woman was completely confused. “What are you talking about?” She had forgotten about my history.
People who have an overwhelming sense of me as a man; as I look, act and smell like a man; do not seem to look at my bits and then change their minds about that. However, I know that it’s all non-standard and I feel insecure about it. I feel like I don’t pass naked, even if, usually, I do. And I think this has less to do, really, with the other person than it does with my own discomfort. So when I disrobe in the presence of others, I’m not just revealing something that might cause them to re-evaluate my gender, I’m exposing something that is complicated for myself.
So, in order to be pantless in the company of another, I have to make a large leap of trust. I have to trust that they will be respectful and that it’s a safe space for me to reveal something about which I have mixed feelings: that makes me happy and uncomfortable at the same time. I need to have faith in her, in myself, and take a plunge. This is profoundly at odds with how casual sex is supposed to work.
So if I sleep with somebody that I hardly know, I’ve already invested a rather large amount of trust in her. This actually requires very little on her part. Since I already will have ascertained that she’s not transphobic, she just needs to be forewarned and interested in continuing the encounter. But, because of dysphoria, it requires quite a lot more on my part. And if I trust her, and it turns out ok, which is usually the case, then it seems like this person who I have trusted must have been worthy of that trust. Ergo she is trustworthy. And I’ve invested way too much emotion into her way too fast.
I think anybody that will sleep with me is awesome. I mean, this has often been the case. But not always. And, again, not so casual. So I try to form a relationship with whoever I’ve just slept with, whether or not this is actually, really a good idea. Because she’s awesome.
This has got to stop.
4 weeks + 1 day
I think that top surgery will actually help with this, despite being a different site of former dysphoria. I used to keep a shirt or vest (aka undershirt) on all the time, except when showering. I do mean all the time. I remember the first time I changed my shirt in front of my last girlfriend, because it was such a big deal for me, but not for her, of course. This is part of the reason I’m taking photos of my chest as it heals. I’m not just vain (although I certainly am that) but I want to get used to the idea of it being a neutral part of my body, infused with no more baggage than my adam’s apple.
I think the most obvious answer, though, is to try a different model of dating. In the old days, people would go out a lot before they had sex. That way, they actually know if a person is really trustworthy before they have to trust them. This seems like a good model. It’s not much employed by the queer community. I actually don’t know typical heterosexual dating patterns, but I think people still tend to have sex somewhat early on. So I don’t know if I could do this and be on okcupid, for example. (Although with it’s CV-like profiles and dating as interview process, it feels so much like applying for a job anyway that I’m not sure I’m overly into it.) I don’t want to wait for marriage or anything, I just want to actually know the other person first and know that putting a lot of trust in them is actually an appropriate thing to do.
The longer term solution is to reduce the level of dysphoria I have around my bits. I have an appointment in September to go speak with a shrink about bottom surgery. They rescheduled this appointment; it was originally supposed to be for two days after I see my plastic surgeon again and can quit wearing a post-surgical binder. It feels a wee bit rushed, but it’s on their schedule. They asked me about this in May, when I was still waiting to meet the surgeon to do my top surgery. The faster I get this over with, the sooner it’s done.


Cis people are allowed to comment on this one, but anything that either references bravery or the myth of the suffering transsexual will be deleted.

Now that I’m 34

I’m going to eat my vegetables; I’m going to go to bed and get up at a reasonable time; I’m going to finish my damn degree and graduate and find a job.
Birthdays don’t really feel like milestones anymore, just an excuse to go to the pub with friends. Or sometimes they feel like a yardstick, like by the time my parents were my age, they were actually kind of in the same sort of space I’m in now, so I guess that’s ok. Still, no PhD, no tenure track post, no CDs out. I might not be the young hot shot I thought I was.
My laptop has been broken for almost 3 weeks. Apple support in Europe really bites. I have borrowed a laptop running Ubuntu Stdio, which is very nice. But I miss having RAM. Also, I’m somewhat shocked to discover that the phone in my pocket is probably as powerful as the laptop I had before the current, broken one. It’s certainly more powerful than the one I’m borrowing. So I’m trying to compile SuperCollider on it. It’s very strange to be installing developer tools on my phone. I keep stopping with an overwhelming, “oh my god, it’s the future” feeling. And since the Brit police actually used a hovering drone thing to arrest some poor sod last week, it’s not the Asmiov future I’d wanted.
I’m sometimes kind of amazed by the date, like, holy shit, it’s 2010. I’m too young to be old. And yet.
The time is coming soon when I will have a 3rd date with a non-queer straight cis woman and need to disclose and I still have not figured out what to say. “Have you heard of Buck Angel?” seems like a poor opening gambit. So does invoking the pregnant man. I don’t know how well people here have heard of Chaz Bono.
I’m entirely assuming that people are cis though. I remember when I came out as gay to my highschool boyfriend. I agonized about it for some time. How to tell him? Would he be hurt by this revelation? I called him up. “I need to tell you something.” I said, and hemmed and hawed and finally, “I’m gay.” In a casual voice, he said, “Oh, me too.”
It’s probably somewhat more unlikely that disclosing my trans status will lead to a ‘me too,’ alas.

. . .

When my dad was 34, he married my mom. He asked her to marry him on the first date. She said yes on the third. I seem to remember that he told me that she had decided she was going to say yes even before he’d asked. They knew each other already, through a group for Catholic singles. Everyone in the group coupled off, which was, of course, the point. But in the mean time, there was group socializing, camping trips, bike trips, going places, doing things. The days before OkCupid seem like they were a bit more fun, or at least more likely to lead to lifelong friendships.


Because life goes on and that, I posted a personal ad on a dating site that I’m not going to name here. And so I went on a date. With a straight woman.
She seems like a nice woman and may one day read this, so I’m not going to talk about her here, but I do want to talk about the evening.

Yes, seriously

Back when I was a lesbian, I knew to stay away from straight girls because of straight girl syndrome. Some straight women will treat lesbians as a lark or an experiment or a distraction, which can be bad if you get your feelings caught up in. Better to stay away.
But I’m not in that position anymore. I’m a man who likes women. And I’ve limitted myself to bi women, but that’s a small population of people, in comparison with the larger pool of all women who like men. There are just a hell of a lot of straight women around; many of them are good looking; many of them are good people, so why not give it a go?

Did she know?

So, when to disclose? There are a lot of people who have never knowingly met a trans person. And there’s a whole lot of negative stereotypes, misunderstanding and transphobia in society. I suspect that many people would reject a trans person out of hand, motivated by ignorance, rather than malice. (Of course, these two things can be hard to tell apart.) Therefore, I decided I’d rather be evaluated on my merits or lack thereof and thus not disclose on my personal ad. And If I say something on the first date, it would overwhelm any other get-to-know-you blahblahblah. So my current plan is to disclose on the third date or before serious snogging, whichever comes first.

What happened

So I was sat across from my date and we were talking about our pasts. But this thing about who I was and who I am runs through my past like a mighty river. My queer identity is fundamental to my sense of self. And yet, apparently, I’m also straight.
The jacket I wear most often (but not that night) has a badge on it that says “transgender.” I hate discolsing. But more, I hate not disclosing. It’s unnerving. And it’s even more unnerving, when I try to talk about what I’m doing with my life. I joined the London Gay Winds, because, um, I wanted to play tuba, and um. I go to a queer bar because it’s fun and um, my band has played there a few times.
I feel that my presentation of heterosexuality is not credible. And so I was unnerved.
Both I and my date have both been divorced and so we talked a bit about that:
Me: So I was married too.
Her: You got married in the States?
Me: In Canada, actually.
Her: Why did you get married in Canada?
The real answer is because same sex marriage was legal there but not at home. Which I probably should have remembered before automatically saying “in Canada.” Normally, it’s a pretty good story. It ends with the first same sex divorce in the state of California. But, since I’m not discolsing, I now need a dfferent answer to something that I shouldn’t have brought up.
Me: For the Elvis impersonator!
It felt like lying. And probably made me look like a nutter. But, I mean, that chapel employs the best Elvis impersonator in Canada, so . . . yeah, I looked like a nutter.
And because we had been talking a bit about how marriage interacts with legal residency status:
Her: Was that valid in the states, then?
Hahahaha, well, it should be according to international law, but the Defense of Marriage Act had been interpretted to mean that the US can ignore international same sex marriages, which, since it’s a treaty violation, makes that application of DOMA unconstitutional. But it was good enough for a divorce, so:
Me: More or less


In the bad old days, being trans was like joining the witness protection program. You had to change your name, leave town and lie about your past. You weren’t supposed to tell anybody, or doctors could retaliate by taking away your hormones, which has serious health consequences. In these more enlightned times, the NHS just makes you change your name, but you don’t need to move or be stealth. And, god, how could I? I went to a women’s uni for my undergrad.
But really, I don’t know if the unnerving bit is trying to pass for straight. Or that I seem to be succeeding at it. Or that it’s what I might be now.
A man and a woman out on a date. What could be more heteronormative than that?

Life, Dating

What would I say in a personal ad?

I’m looking for a poorly defined poly relationship or 12 with bad boundaries and low emotional investment.

He or she is between the ages of 25 – 50, can pay their own way, enjoys snogging, is politically progressive, musically adventurous, some interest in technology.

I’m an FTM from California, aquarius, vegetarian, messy, needy, prone to anxiety and depression, but have a cute dog and can offer mixed messages, sex, sex, and sex, plus will demand hugs and try to drag hir to free improv shows. I may also email hir inexplicable mp3s and/or try to get feedback on musical works in progress.

Let’s have something extremely short term followed by weeks of awkwardness!
Location: London

. . . .
My shrink told me to “calm down” today. I’ve traveled enough to know that baggage around people’s accents or languages is mostly silly. But her accent makes her sound so competent. It was like ebing told by the BBC to remain calm and carry on. Ok, I can do that.
Um, on other news, I think that I’m going back to injecting once every 3 weeks, as this last week has been crap. Also, I’m kind of tired of being tranzilla. I’m like super trannie. I go to trans bars. I go to trans community events. I talk to gender queer people. I worry about injections. It’s all trans all the time. If I were just coming out as gay, I would be wearing rainbow-striped jumpers at this point, with this level of involvement.
So, um, other things. I’m writing music with samples of a trans rights rally I went to. . .. And I decided that what it needed was a good bassline. And the way to make a good bass line is to analyze tuning ratios and figure out what’s consonant in an arbitrary scale and then do stepwise motion around consonant pitches. Samples will be forthcoming in a future post.
(Please note that I am not referencing any real people in this post aside from myself and my shrink.)

There will be advantage in every movement

So yesterday, I went on a date

It was my first date since becoming single and, indeed, my first date since I was 18 years old. The last date I went on was with a 17 year old French horn player who was still in highschool. (Christi and I didn’t date until after we were a couple, so it doesn’t count.) Actually, the horn player may have been the only girl I ever went out on dates with. I had a girlfriend before that, but I didn’t go out with her so much as . . . well, nevermind.
I have a memory of feeling awkward and thinking that dating girls was, suprisingly, as awkward as dating boys. I actually dated quite a number of boys when I was 15 and 16. It was awkward and stupid and confusing, because sometimes I would like them, but I never liked them.
Anyway, I went out to a coffee shop in town yesterday and met a woman from a personal ad. She’s a Middletown resident, which means she can tell me things like where to get my car fixed and where folks hang out, which is very handy. I’m horribly shy with new people. I hardly spoke, I think. She told many stories. She’s a security gaurd and wants to be a cop and is some sort of volunteer with the Middletown PD, where she actually wears a full uniform (minus the pistol) and responds to certain types of calls. (I am a nice girl and didn’t ask about handcuffs.)
She’s also an aspiring poet and sent me a poem she wrote last November which she is very proud of. It won some sort of contest at, through which she can get a publishng deal of some kind (that sounds a bit scammy). I think she outght to hold out for Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her poem is better than some of Tiffany‘s mom’s poetry and as I recall, Tiffany’s mom was published in Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul.
I gave her the url for my music, but haven’t heard anything back about it yet.
I didn’t feel any sort of spark. I’m not sure we share an asthetic or a worldview, but she seems fun. I talked very little and was uncertain what to say. I said virtually nothing of my background. when I pulled out my post-it pad to write down my phone number, the top post-it had a phone number and said “divorce lawyer” in large letters. she must think I’m escaping from a het marriage.
The real situation is much too complicated. I want to work it out with Christi, but when she said “maybe later,” the possible time she indicated was after my graduation. I told Angela last semester that it was foolish to pretend that I had any say whatsoever over my fate. I dunno what to do with myself over the next year and half, or indeed, any time after that either. I’m just putting one foot in front of the other and waiting to see what life gives me.

Life Goes On

So Jean gave me her MacWorld pass and so I went to the Moscone Center and spent about an hour wandering around. Uh yeah . . new computers? Um, I prolly should have looked at those. Still, I think it was a good introduction to macworld, I guess. I thought I had gone once before, but I was mistaken. It reminds me of the county fair, but more high-tech. Actually, since I used to go to the Santa Clara County Fair, it’s probably the same amount high tech.
I talked ot the folks who make Audio Hijack and wanted to know why it doesn’t capture sound from SuperCollider. This is actually a silly question, because SuperCollider is an audio programming language. If you want to capture the auio to disk, you can just write a little thingee to do it for you. But the help files on that aren’t done yet and I was hoping for a faster solution. So I stood there and chatted for a minute, trying to recall what other oddball program that I run that I couldn’t capture audio from?? I finally gave up trying to remember and wandered off. Only just now, as I tweak the source code, do I remember that I was thinking of the Java Just Intonation Calculator. Oh yeah. That thing I’m lead developer on.

Clearly I’m much spacier than I think I am.
Maybe you’re wondering how I’m doing? Fine thank you. A bit distracted, I guess. somewhat sad. More relieved. Working to maintain optomism.
After I left MacWorld, thinking I must have seen all the exhibitions at least in passing (but that can’t be true, because I didn’t see digidesign or MOTU’s booths, which must have been there), I barted around homewards, but got off at downtown Berkeley, so I could get pants and undies. Went to Ross Dress for Less because I am cheap. No pants I liked. But I nought the only 2 pair of small boxers in the whole store. (boxers or briefs? boxers. now you know.) they’re kind of hideous. One is covered in patriotic patterns, the other is green plaid. there’s nothing wrong with green plaid, except that it’s really not a good color on me. mind you, this is not something i worry about because nobody sees my underwear.
And then as I was wlaking home, it occurred to me that I’m single now. Not only might my underwear be seen, but this might be a desirable occurance and one where it might not be best to be wearing patriotic patterns. oy! Ellen points out that there are chicks who go for the geeky thing. these chicks are clearly my only hope. (She didn’t use the word “chicks”)
Is it a little early to worry about dating again? Why, just because I’ve been broken up for less than 48 hours and have enough emotional baggage with me to charter my own airplane back to CT? So let me do a little public self-esteem building (in the spirit of blogs everywhere): what’s not for chicks to dig? somewhat intelligent. kind of have my shit together (depending on how you define “shit”). Cute in a geeky sort of scrawny geek boy kind of way. (Is “scrawny geek boy” still employed as a catagory for describing people? should it be spelled “boi?”) Have one or two pairs of nice underwear lurking someplace. (“lurking” might not be the best word for “in a laundry basket or drawer in connecticut.”) Have musical skills.
I’m trying to create a mental picture of what I’m looking for in the big, scary world, but I think I don’t want to post it, as posting it would cause me angst and thus would violate one of my new years resolutions. my goodness, the year has laready been so eventful.
I want to drink a lot of beer in a social setting. I want to crawl under my bed and hide. I want to get nekkid with geek chicks, but first I would need a lot of beer and then I might hide anyway.