Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I'm a 56 year old transwoman, who is not yet fully transitioned (whatever the fuck that means), married (still) and living with her two college-age kids who theoretically don't know that dad is...well..what?
They know dad dyes "his" hair blonde, knows a lot about product, seems to have a lot of women's clothes hanging in the garage, has his ears pierced(twice) goes out every Saturday night and comes back late, and has extremely well-trimmed eyebrows. Oh sure, they have no idea.
Don't diss me 'cuz I'm dysfunctional.
There's a lot more to me than being "trans", although it's pretty much the defining experience of my life up to this point. I have over 60,000 hours of time logged in the Movie Industry as a focus puller, camera operator and cinematographer;in other words, making other people's dreams come true. I'm still making a living in the industry in a 40 hour a week teaching job. Love and/or hate them, studio workers are my homies, and a lot of who I am is defined by the profane, heroic, cynical and absurd nature of film set culture.
The movie industry also has given me opportunities to work closely within Labor Unions and Labor political action organizations; I've testified before state senate and assembly commitees and the board of the Employment Development Department. I dare you to ask me about the WGA Strike or SAG/AFTRA meltdown...
Let's see... I'm an alcoholic in recovery; just took a ten year chip, and I'm grateful. My drugs of choice are now caffiene in the form of Venti Americanos and a few cigarettes and Red Bulls when I dance. As I sobered up, I realized I liked to have sex with men and that I am Transsexual; go figure
I like semicolons; a lot. I capitalize randomly.
I love to dance. I love music, period, and if I had my life to live over I'd know how to play a guitar or keyboard, but real fantasy would be to be a singer-songwriter. Given my age, I should be listening to Classic Rock, but I prefer the 80's, especially the L.A. punk bands like X, Bad Religion, Social Distortion, Richard Hell, et al..I'll make a list later.
I'm an unpublished poet, and I'm told my stuff is pretty damn good.
When I first began to explore my Trans-ness, I identified as a "Heterosexual Crossdresser"(an oxymoron, in my experience) but soon was lured to the slutty side by three of the baddest bad girls who ever put on a pair of platforms or threw back a shot of Stoly. I owe them my identity and my life; someone once said "inside of every good man there's a bad woman". That's basically my story.
I worked in a venerable store for Trannies on subsistence wages in the middle of what I now would define as a colossal midlife depression initiated by bankruptcy, unemployment, a serious illness my wife had(she's fine now) and just coping with "this gender shit", as I fondly call it. My bosses, who had just taken the business over, were addicts, which I didn't realize at first; One was a crossdresser addicted to crack cocaine and his wife who was addicted to heroin. In my humble opinion, heroin addicts are far more reliable. I stayed sober working there; which was amazing and slipped out before the L.A. County D.A. got interested in them, for good reason.
One Christmas season I worked selling sausages in a shopping mall; kind of a contrast to pulling down $120,000 one year on a TV series, mostly in overtime.My wife is alcoholic too (not sober, by the way) and we have a tendency to piss away every dime we make.
After that Christmas, I went to work as the manager of a tranny store in Studio City next to that most historic of Tranny Bars, the Queen Mary Show Lounge. I worked six days a week as a woman, and went home to the family as a "guy"; kind of ass-backwards, isn't it? I loved my job, and that's where I began to take female hormones (bootleg but pure Premarin) and got most of my beard lasered off (whoo-woo!!). I did makeovers, did fashion shows and interacted with every single type of person our community has in it; I'll take credit for Godmothering a few on their way to transition, too. Eventually, working for less than $100 bucks a day without health insurance got to me, and I left the boutique (amidst much sturm und drang) to operate "B" camera on an english language telenovella; great while it lasted.
My best friend is the world's only Armenian MTF, to the best of my knowledge; yala!
There's more, but that's we blog, right?
Darya, Los Angeles, California, 7.30.2008