More anseriform foolishness than is absolutely necessary.

[Trigger warning for transphobia and allusions to transphobic violence]

In case the world doesn’t have enough autobiographical accounts of white ladies going through gender transition, forgive me for a few observations.

There’s a glut of certain narratives, but aside from that, there’s another reason I don’t often write about my transition. It’s hard to write about. In my experience, being a trans person involves a lot of pain and isolation. Seriously (not seriously) how the hell is it possible to write from a place of pain and isolation? Anyhow, let me be the first (not quite the first). Besides, it’s a happy story. A greatly abridged happy story.

I remember my early days, the days of stealthily perusing the broccoli at the Waupaca Piggly Wiggly while wearing clear nail polish. I remember that was the biggest deal ever.

I remember pumping gas after dark while wearing a skirt. My therapist and I worked together in concocting that scheme. The darkness cut down on visibility. Pumping gas involved having a car within arm’s reach, should “something” happen.

There were the long, dark drives between Madison and meetings in Brookfield, two safe havens separated by seventy miles of interstate. If it was absolutely necessary and I was up to it, I might catch a bite from a restaurant drive thru, but that was about it.

I remember clinging tightly to Becca while leaving a movie (a matinée, no less). Neither of us remembers the movie. That day wasn’t about the movie.

Things have gotten better, happier, less scary, but I still carry around a little piece of that past terror with me everywhere I go. It’s just there. I don’t dare say it’s reassuring, but it’s grounding to be able to hold on to it, taking it out of my pocket from time-to-time just to know that I’m still here. I’m still here. I’m still Kate.

All of this seems to have happened ages ago, but my sense of time is blurred. Life starts with the assertion of an identity, which in my case is a relatively recent phenomenon.

I can tell you when things started to get better, good even. On April 27, 2006, exactly five years ago today, the Dane County Circuit Court granted my request for a legal name change. Read more…

From the Syracuse Post Standard:

A development group continues to push for a huge green energy project that envisions hundreds of manufacturing jobs in the former New Process Gear plant in DeWitt and thousands more across the country.

The initiative by D’Arcinoff Group Inc., a Washington, D.C., development group, was first announced in 2009. It involves manufacturing millions of wind and steam turbines and heliostats — moving mirror-like objects used to focus and concentrate solar energy. If successful, the project could generate the clean energy power equivalent of 15 Hoover Dams, according to a report from the United Auto Workers, a possible partner.

Up to 15,000 people could be employed at former auto plants in New York, including the New Process Gear plant as well as former auto plants in Rochester, Buffalo and Ogdensburg, according to D’Arcinoff estimates. Similar plants in Massachusetts, Ohio, Connecticut and Indiana would also be used.

Wait for it……Maybe take a sip of liquid, and….

The project needs more than $10 billion in federal tax credits [according to D’Arcinoff’s chief executive officer, Michael C. Darcy].

This is why I get all pissy when folks talk trash about socialism. Look, if the taxpayers are going to give some guys $10 billion (hundreds of thousands of dollars per job created), I don’t think it’s exactly fair that we don’t get a cut of the profits. Don’t you guys watch Shark Tank?

I am wearing dress clothes and ten-year-old red Chuck Taylors.


A) I’m making a statement about global capitalism.
B) I’m saying something about my queer identity.
C) Science professors are funky.

As I was heading home from the office this afternoon, I noticed it get really dark and hazy out. A warm front has moved in (It’s 84 at the moment!), and rain is supposedly on the way. I wasn’t sure what the haze was. Rain, maybe? It didn’t really look like it. In any case, visibility was really low. And then it hit me. I was looking at the old Carrier plant.

[Workers take apart a Carrier warehouse this February.]

Several years ago, the Carrier Corporation moved the bulk of its manufacturing jobs out of Syracuse. Carrier, which proudly advertised on the sides of its warehouses that it was “The Largest Air Conditioning Company in the World”, was a fixture in Syracuse for generations.

In the past year, Carrier (which is now owned by United Technologies Corporation), has been working at an increasingly rapid pace on disassembling many of the old manufacturing and warehouse facilities on its East Syracuse campus. Today was no different, with the noticeable addition of very strong winds. What I was seeing was dust and dirt from the piles of rubble forming a thick soup across Carrier Circle.

In other words, visibility was noticeably reduced in Syracuse this afternoon as the remainder of its manufacturing base was literally carried away with the wind. Maybe we could get the federal government to install some windbreaks.

Crossposted: Shakesville