Saturday, October 15, 2005


Every man must have a sex! MUST!!!

Friday, October 14, 2005


Tuesday afternoon I had an inspiring hour speaking to, and listening to, some LGBTQ teenagers trying to find their way to adulthood. I took part in a panel discussion at the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI), part of its "Trans* in the City" program. HMI is a Greenwich Village organization dedicated to helping LGBTQ youth.

I had been invited by Veronica Vera, the head of Miss Vera's Finishing School For Boys Who Want To Be Girls. Veronica had been asked to put together the panel. She decided to ask a variety of transgender people who have been involved with her academy. With me on the panel were Patti Harrington and Dwayne/Milan. Patti is a woman of transsexual experience. "Milan" is the drag persona of the actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, songwriter, show producer, etc., etc., Dwayne, who has been playing in high heels since he was a child. And I am a male-bodied person of mixed gender--a straight crossdresser. Accompanying us was Mariette Pathy Allen, the photographer/author of The Gender Frontier.

We were asked to arrive a half-hour early, so we could hang out in the lounge area, being a living advertisement for the panel. The "youths," as they're called by the HMI staff, were talking, playing, snacking, acting their age. A boombox was blasting, and sometimes one would do a solo dance for a few seconds. The four of us (Patti was late) tried as best we could to talk to the kids (as I'm going to call them) around us. Well, the other three did. It wasn't just that I'm shy around strangers. Despite the fact that I'm basically old enough to be their grandparent, I was totally intimidated, because in my eyes these were the cool kids--the same kind of kids that I could never approach when I was a teenager. Some things never change.

We were ushered into the room where our talk was to be held, and we rearranged the chairs into a circle. Several kids, along with some adult HMI staffers, drifted in--though even the staffers looked pretty young to me. Patti finally arrived. I thought the turnout was rather small, but it was explained that a lot of the kids have paid internships after school. Later we were told this was the biggest turnout they had had for any of these.

Veronica gave a brief introduction and shared some of her personal history. I was the next to speak. I told them a little about myself for a few minutes. One of the older kids asked a great question about something I had neglected to mention: was my wife a man or a woman? Veronica had asked us to think of three turning points in our lives to talk about, and I listed these: my realization that my crossdressing was motivated by gender identity as well as by sexuality; my presentation as a woman outside of my home for the first time; and my decision that there was nobody in the world from whom I absolutely had to keep my crossdressing a secret. The last was necessary for me to appear in a TV documentary about Miss Vera's school that we did in 2000.

Milan (as he is more familiar to me) spoke next, talking about his origins in South Carolina, walking around in his mother's shoes and wigs when she went off to work. He then went on to detail his college experience (MFA, minor in African-American studies), and his career in show business. Among many other things, he's played Thad in a touring company of Hairspray. He explained how he started doing drag on stage, and passed around a small portfolio of his pictures in various personae, including his one as a member of DaLipstyxx.

Lastly Patti told a bit about her journey to womanhood, and surprised me by saying that she now also wants to change her career--she wants to go to law school and become a lawyer! This is just the opposite of my journey, from the law to computers.

Then the floor was opened up for the kids to talk. There really wasn't time for more than a couple of them, and both were looking for career advice. One very sweet young woman said she wanted to be a photographer, but was worried that being trans would hold her back. Mariette was right there to give her advice--she told the young hopeful that she knows a number of photographers who are trans, and being trans will not keep her from success, if she has the skills.

A young man then told how he wanted to do modeling, but a photographer rejected him, saying he was too feminine. Milan, who had had a little experience in the area, told him that male models of all types were being used, not just the super-masculine ones. He also advised him to get a friend to photograph him with a more masculine image, to show that he could do this when required.

I said before it was inspiring, and it really was. These kids were trying to integrate the trans-ness, or at least their questioning gender identity and/or sexual orientation, into their lives. When I was their age I suppressed all such ideas. I had to--such things were unheard of back in the 60's. There was nobody to talk to, no internet to provide information, and certainly nothing like HMI. I walked out feeling very happy for these kids. The road ahead for them won't be easy (and we told them that), but at least they do have a road.


When is it going to stop raining??? (Obligatory Noah's Ark joke:) I think I saw pairs of animals going into Central Park, lining up to get into this big boat thing.


The producers of the James Bond films have announced the next actor to play the super-suave British Secret Service spy--coincidentally(?) with the introduction of the real Secret Services's website.

He is Daniel Craig, an English actor whom I have seen in only one film (Road to Perdition)--but I don't really remember him.

I've gotten used to the succession of actors taking on this role, though it's always difficult for them to get close to Sean Connery's original portrayal. Lately Pierce Brosnan has done a pretty good job of bringing the character back to the one in author Ian Fleming's books, which were a big feature of my teen years.

What I'm excited about with this announcement is that Craig's first Bond film will be Casino Royale. This was Fleming's first book in the series, and second in quality only to "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" in my view. Fleming, then an unknown author, let the film rights go, and what eventually came out was the 1967 spoof, starring Peter Sellers. It was done to capitalize on the tremendous James Bond craze of the time, and bore almost no resemblance to the novel. It was a big budget mess (with 5 directors!), though at times it was quite funny--particularly Woody Allen's portrayal of Bond's nephew, Little Jimmy Bond. It also had fantastic music by Burt Bacharach, including "The Look of Love." But it wasn't a real James Bond movie.

Fleming's novel deserves a serious film treatment, which is what the producers say they are going to do this time. I hope so. I've been hoping for this for a very long time.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Somebody found this blog searching for "caprice prunes."

It seems that Caprice Bourret is said to eat 10 prunes a day. I guess that means that a supermodel can also be a regular woman.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I finally have finished setting up my wife's new computer. Her old one was underpowered and overwhelmed, terribly slow, frequently giving "out of memory" messages, when it wasn't completely crashing. She took it to a PC expert guy in the neighborhood, but he wanted nearly $500 to unclog it and add a little memory--and it still would be underpowered. So we decided to buy her a new one.

I had two main problems setting up the new one. The first was connecting it to the internet. Both the old and the new computers are notebooks, and the way I connected up the old one originally was to use a NetBlaster and Cable Free PC card from Sohoware, which I connected to a router from the same company.

When we moved to our new apartment I had the electrician run a Cat5 cable between our offices, but I never got around to actually using it. That would have meant getting a NIC PC card for her computer. Since my wife never complained about the connection speed (probably because the whole computer was so slow), it never got very high on my priority list.

Her new computer has a built-in NIC, so all I needed to do was to connect the router to the wall socket in my office, and the computer to the wall socket in her office. But when I did this it didn't work. I had already tested the NIC in my office and it's fine. I tested both cables. They're fine. Something in the wall isn't right, apparently. Maybe I'll call in our new electrician to look at it, one of these days.

So I went back to using the wireless connection. First I had to find the driver software for the PC card--which, to my amazement, I actually could. I installed it, but got an error message. Fortunately I could take the computer into my office and connect it directly to the router. I went to the Sohoware website, where I found there was a new driver for Windows XP--with all kinds of warnings that they didn't guarantee it would work. Wonderful. I downloaded and installed it. No go. Then I guessed there might be a conflict between the old and the new drivers, so I uninstalled both of them, and reinstalled the new one. Success!

The other main problem was transferring all of the old files to the new computer. The last time I got a new computer I used the PC Replicator software from Alohabob. But I couldn't use it this time, because the new computer does not have a parallel port or a serial port. I had a null modem serial cable, so I tried using it with a USB-serial adaptor, but that didn't work. Finally I went out and bought a new version of the Replicator (Ultra Control), which comes with a USB bridge cable.

I still wasn't out of the woods, though. I installed the software on both machines, checked to see if there were any updates (there weren't), and plugged in the cable. I followed the instructions, shutting down all the other programs running. Then I started the Replicator's scan of the old PC, and got the blue screen of death. Great. I restarted the machine and tried it again (this is not as crazy as it sounds--there might have been something clogging things up from when I installed the program). This time it did start to scan, but after a few minutes it crashed again.

Well, it was some progress, but I decided to try something a little different. This time after I rebooted I did not shut down the other programs running. I just launched the Replicator, and it worked! It completed its scan. It found 10,431 files (1.68 GB) to transfer. I went through the list (it was well organized, I didn't have to look at every single file name), and eliminated a few I knew shouldn't go.

But there was another problem. There was incompatibility of user names. On the old machine, running Windows 98, no user name was ever specified, so it was "Default." But on the new PC, running XP, a user name was required. It said that it wasn't necessary to have the same user names, but that some things wouldn't work right on the new computer because of it. So I went back to old PC, and after all this time, created a user, with the same name as the one on the new PC. Then I transferred all of the "Default" things to the new user name.

Then I had to rerun the scan of the old computer. This time no incompatibilities were found. It estimated an hour and 13 minutes would be needed.

It actually took a little less than that. Everything transferred. Suddenly the wallpaper from the old machine appeared on the new one. I checked everything I could. The only problem I could find was that the e-mail was put under a different identity from what had come in during the last few days. I figured out how to merge them.

So unless my wife finds anything else wrong, I think I'm done there (well I do have to take the empty carton down to the basement). Now on to the next project: updating the Crossdressers International website.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I can see what search terms people use to find this blog. One of the most frequent ones is "caprice naked"--presumably people looking for nude pictures of the supermodel Caprice Bourret, whom I, unfortunately, do not resemble in the least. (Aside: what is the dividing line between model and supermodel?) I'm sure those people are quite disappointed--though I'm sure they'd be even more disappointed if I actually had nude pictures of myself here.

Of course, I also get a lot of searches from people looking for Chevrolet parts.

I'm still trying to figure out what the person who did a search for "house carpet caprice" was looking for.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Last night we braved the rain and finally saw The Constant Gardener. I usually find John le Carré's characters to be cold and uninviting, and this film was no different. Ralph Fiennes' Justin Quayle, the amateur horticulturalist-British diplomat protagonist here is as boring as hell. Yet Rachel Weisz's Tessa, a rich social activist, jumps right into bed with him, right into marriage with him, right into Africa with him. She's not cold, just unbelievably impulsive.

What I usually look for with le Carré is the story. His Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was a great one, as the (boring) George Smiley searches for the mole embedded in the British Secret Service. But the Cold War is over, and le Carré has had to move on from espionage for his plots. So now the enemy is an evil pharmaceutical company. Yawn.

There is not much of a plot, because it's clear almost from the beginning who the bad guys are. So, with no interesting characters, little plot, why bother? If you've got nothing better to do, go see it for the cinematography. César Charlone's depiction of Africa is stunning. He should easily get another Oscar nomination, to follow up the one for his City of God. But I don't think director Fernando Meirelles, who also was nominated for that movie, will fare as well with this one.