Summer Days and Summer Nights

It’s been quite a summer! I usually take this time post-conference to take a break and wait until things get settled before I pick things up again. Unfortunately, it looks like my schedule is not going to let up any time soon – in fact, I’m getting busier! The good news is that, having had a weekend writing spree, I can say I’m back from hiatus… for now.

So what was I up to these past few months? Here are some highlights.

The Transgender Conference Tour of 2013

Philly Trans Health
Philly Trans Health

Philly Trans Health Conference

My Non-Binary Transition workshop was on the first day of the conference. Next was the Asexy panel, comprised of myself, my partner, and New England Aces. It was awesome! The audience had a lot of great questions, and I think the diversity in the panel shone through.

I also facilitated the Non-binary Transition Community Discussion, which – if I had to pick – was probably my favorite, because of the energy in the room! People shared their transition stories, successes and failures of navigating the medical system, we even debated what the all-encompassing advice “be yourself” means when you are still trying to find “yourself.” Nothing can compare to having someone hesitantly raise their hand and voice what may sound like a strange and unusual desire, and see everyone else in the room nodding in agreement, mumbling “me too” in validation.

At the last minute (literally, it was 5 minutes before it started) I was asked to moderate a panel of international activists. There were at least 15 of them, from all over the world, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Poland, India, Sweden, Serbia, and I guess me from Mexico. I got to meet Jen, the organizer of Trans100, and Laverne Cox too. Change is coming to the world, and we are leading the way.

Penn Engineering - my alma mater
Penn Engineering – my alma mater
Gender Spectrum volunteers
Gender Spectrum volunteers

Gender Spectrum

Apart from live translating during most sessions, I helped organize the Hispanic Families component, which is growing every year. After speaking with Dr Jen Hastings (who works in Santa Cruz) about my workshops at other conferences, she invited to speak at the medical panel to provide a non-binary perspective. Little did I know it was going to be full of renowned surgeons sitting right next to me – it was intimidating at first, but I think I delivered great answers.

Also, Dr Hastings wants to collaborate on a workshop for next year’s conference about Non-Binary Transition for Youth.

Gender Odyssey

This conference felt like a big family reunion, which is exactly what I needed at the end of a long summer. During the year I harassed and hounded people to submit their experiences of the conference for the Gender Odyssey Blog. This year I plan to do the same, and perhaps even publish the compilation as a book. (If you would like to submit your story, please email me!)

Aidan Key, the man behind Gender Odyssey
Aidan Key, the man behind Gender Odyssey

On Planes, Trains, Boats, and Stuff that Takes You Places

Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle

Along with taking an extra day to actually see Seattle this year, we decided to go up a little further and visit Canada. My wife and I covered a lot of ground in just 5 days – we need a vacation from our vacation!


Along with traveling north, I’ve also had to travel south, to my hometown of Mexico City. I hopped on a plane on short notice at the beginning of June, just a few days shy of Philly Trans Health – I took 3 red-eye flights in one week! The primary reason for that trip was my court date in Mexico, as I’m changing my legal name and gender on my birth certificate. So far though the change has been approved, which means I just need a new birth certificate issued, plus a voter’s registration card, plus a passport, all of which take time and money and paperwork (and in some cases, an in person appearance) to obtain. I plan to write a detailed post on the procedure for that later… just know that it is a long process which, 6 months later, I’m still in the middle of.

My favorite Mexican dish - "Divorced" Eggs
My favorite Mexican dish – “Divorced” Eggs

Next week I am once again going to Mexico, this time with my partner! Initially we were just planning on celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday (or shall we say, mother-out-of-law?), but since I’m a compulsive multi-tasker I figured I’d check off one more step on the birth-certificate list. Unfortunately, bureaucracy = paperwork = time; so I might have to stay an extra week. My ticket is one way since I do not know when I’ll be back (as you can imagine this is driving me nuts).

There is another reason I absolutely need to be in Mexico next week. On September 3rd there will be a conference on Transgender Youth, and I’ve been selected for the committee, along with presenting on several panels. Once I have more details I’ll post them up, as well as a post-conference write-up.

Life in a Day


Who has time for work? Seriously though, I have a full-time job which I absolutely love. For the past few months we have been in “crunch time” mode, fervently working towards a make-or-break project. For the first time ever, I not only need to, but want to, give my all at the job that actually pays my bills. That’s part of the reason I postponed my summer blogging hiatus for so long, and it might contribute to a lighter posting schedule further on.

A toast to St Harridan and my new suit!
A toast to St Harridan and suits and bowties!

Hanging Out

In between all the chaos and hectic busy-ness, I never lose sight of my Netflix queue, my lovely significant other, and my friends. There was a Grease Sing-A-Long, San Francisco Pride, meeting Zak from Art of Transliness, learning to play Settlers of Cattan, hosting a trans activist from Chile for a month, modeling a St Harridan suit, or just going to Whole Foods.

Zak and me at the Gender installation outside of 16th St Mission BART station.
Zak and me at the Gender installation outside of 16th St Mission BART station.

Stay Connected!

This blog has become my sounding board for complete, coherent ideas and more elaborate essays. You can still stay connected with me and this community through my Facebook page, where I’m much more active on semi-daily happenings.

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