Table of Contents

Introduction 8

Sex Reassignment Surgery 12

Sugar and Spice 17

A Bad Thing 30

Not Gay 38

Transsexual Panic Attack 42

What Is a Woman? 51

Transition 62

Lannie Gets Her Ears Pierced 66

Wavy Gravy, Transsexual Role Model 71

Last Hurrah 75

Chanel 81

Full Time 90

Telling the Family 97

A Rose by Any Other Name 110

Two-Hundred-Dollar Jeans 117

Spring Cleaning 127

My Spiritual Journey 134

Pride 142

Pollyanna 154

"You'll Never Be a Real Woman" 158

E-mail 162

Saying "Yes!" 172

Advantages of Transitioning Later in Life 178

Prevalence of Transsexuality 181

Why I Had Sex Reassignment Surgery 187

Trannie Lib, One Comedian at a Time 199

How I Changed My Body 203

Thoughts on the Eve of Sex Reassignment Surgery 218

Sex Reassignment Surgery Hurts! 221

The Scariest Thing I Have Ever Done 233

Clean Underwear 243

My Transsexual Lifestyle 248

Stanford Bachelors Club 250

Monkey Brains 262

Inside the Women's Locker Room 269

Online Dating 274

Cranberry Juice 287

The Post-Op I Never Wanted to Be 291

DOMA, FMA, the Olympics, and Me 297

Do-Overs 301

Reunion 309

Dancing Queen 314

About the Author 323

Please enjoy this preview of the first four chapters of LANNIE! My Journey from Man to Woman.

Chapter 3: A Bad Thing

Poor Lannie, I had no one to play with on a Sunday afternoon. But that won't stop me from going out, I thought. I'll just go by myself! I put on my light blue, "Heartbreak High—Ditch 'em Cum Laude Club" T-shirt (two sizes too small, of course), an elegant, red pleated skirt, bare legs, and red, strappy sandals with two-inch heels. The outfit worked in a funky sort of way.

At four o'clock, I drove Phoebe downtown for the San Jose Afribbean Music Festival, a free festival held outdoors in the beautiful sunny California weather. Phoebe was my trusted companion of many years, a 1989 Buick LeSabre I had purchased off the showroom floor. I named her Phoebe because, with her conservative styling and dark blue color, I fancied she looked rather like an FBI car. FBI, Feebie, Phoebe.

I had to park Phoebe a good distance away and hike to the festival. The evening was warm and the walk was long, so as I passed Original Joe's restaurant, I decided to go in for a quick refreshment. Frank, the bartender, made me a wonderful martini: straight up, and you get to drink what's left in the shaker, just like a milkshake. It was a Gibson, actually—the one with a pearl onion instead of an olive. Frank asked where Heartbreak High was and I told him, "We've all been there, baby!"

Fortified, I made my way to Guadalupe Park. As I neared the greensward, I picked up the beat of a Caribbean samba band. I couldn't help but start dancing! The crowd thickened, and everyone appeared to be having a wonderful time. The festival goers were the usual San Jose jambalaya of whites, blacks, browns, and some Asians; many folks wore traditional African garb.

I walked around and looked at the vendors' booths. I bought a couple of silver toe rings and a few other pieces of jewelry. I even found a nice red purse, something I had been looking for forever. Genuine Gucci (sure it was) and it only cost thirty dollars! Not only that, it went with my skirt; how could I resist?

Several more bands were scattered about the grounds, playing upbeat, rhythmic music. I danced and danced some more. Almost everyone was nice to me, although I could tell was getting read (as being a T-girl—a transgender girl—or a trannie) like crazy from the whispered comments and giggles I overheard as people passed me by. Perhaps it was my height, six feet plus those two-inch heels, that attracted attention, or maybe it was my ratty, obviously fake long red hair, which I wore in a ponytail draped forward over my left shoulder. I asked one vendor if she had seen any other trannies there, and she said some had been around earlier that afternoon. Maybe all the trannies were getting read.

A few guys seemed to have problems with me. They gave me mean looks and started to follow me around. I just walked away from them, ducking into a vendor's booth as a safe haven. I noticed a funny thing: some guys thought an amusing way to humiliate a trannie girl was to trail after her yelling, "Mister! Hey, Mister!" They seemed perplexed that I didn't turn around to acknowledge them.

Around six o'clock, I headed over to Post Street for the South Bay Association of Dee-jays (SOBAD) street dance. My route passed Original Joe's again, so I stopped in for more refreshment. Frank was busy, so the other bartender made my Gibson. Playfully I told him, "You'll never guess what I have in my purse!" showing him my new red Gucci purse.

"What?" he asked.

"Another purse!" I laughed, and showed him I had shoved my little silver disco purse into my new purse. He was mildly amused.

Fortified, I headed for the event on Post. The street was blocked off and I had to dig ten dollars out of my new Gucci purse to get in. It was worth it—it was fantastic! As darkness fell, the street lit up. The main stage was just off Market Street, and a large canopy covered the main dance area. As the pavement released the daytime heat, the weather became comfortable for dancing. The party was pretty full, but not uncomfortably so. The crowd thinned as I moved away from the stage, and I was able to pick the density I liked best.

The main stage was spinning heavy techno/industrial sounds. Smaller stages farther down the street blasted other varieties of rave music. The crowd was younger and less ethnic than at the Afribbean festival, but still quite diverse. Again, I was the only trannie around. Nobody hassled me, proving that ravers are a friendly bunch.

Again I danced and danced. After a while I thought it would be a good idea to get something to eat because I hadn't eaten all day. I spotted my favorite Mexican restaurant, but they had just closed. I found a barbecue place, but it had a line flowing out the door. So I went into a bar. A gay bar. A very gay bar. I did not figure that out until after I sat down at the bar. The bartenders pointedly ignored me. I began talking with the Mexican guy sitting on the barstool next to mine. He was very nice. We compared notes about various gay bars around town.

I told my new friend I needed his help to get a drink, and he kindly obliged. When the bartender put the drink down in front of me, I decided to win him over with my great charm. I asked him, "Can you guess what I have in my purse?"

"It had better be $3.50," he replied. Sometimes my charm did not work so well.

I found out the dancing would be over at ten, not midnight as I had read in the paper. I excused myself and left the bar so I could dance a little more before the music shut down. I was having a great time.

I spotted a break-dancing circle up front near the main stage and I wiggled my way into its periphery. I had never witnessed a break-dancing exhibition before, and I found it quite entertaining. Guys would take turns jumping into the middle of the circle to show off their moves, such as headstands and back spins. Some of the kids were very good. Although the dancers were predominantly male, a couple of gals participated too. I was seriously considering taking a turn myself—nothing fancy, just representing the trannies, you know—but then the music stopped and the party was over.

I headed back to where my car was parked, but first I dropped into Original Joe's for a final nightcap. Fortified, and with the pearl onions constituting dinner, I headed home.

But I couldn't leave well enough alone. The night was still young, so I popped in to see what was happening at a nearby gay bar I knew. I couldn't dance because a drag show was in progress. I did have another drink, but nobody was particularly sociable. It was half past eleven when I headed home again.

At that point I was too drunk to drive, but foolishly, I did. As I was driving along highway 280, I noticed I had missed my turn-off onto 880. I got off at the next exit, intending to turn around and get back on the freeway heading the other way. Somewhere on those unfamiliar streets, I encountered a fork in the road. I could not decide which way to go, so I drove over the island in the middle instead. Unfortunately, there was a pole on the island with a "Yield" sign. I did not yield.

BLAM! BLAM! I bumped over the curb. CRASH! SLAM! I drove right through the sign. My car knocked the pole clear out of the ground and it sailed over Phoebe, crashing down on her rear end. The pole took out Phoebe's rear window and smashed her trunk. God help me!

God did look out for me. I did not get injured. I did not get arrested. (By the way, the drunk tank is not a happy place for a dude in a dress.) Poor Phoebe was still drivable, although just barely—the steering wheel was difficult to turn. I never stopped. I wrestled Phoebe back home and thanked God many times over for taking care of me that night.

Poor Phoebe was totaled. It didn't take much to total her, actually, because she had 110,000 miles on her. I had been thinking of putting her out to pasture anyway, so that decision became easy.

Being a perfectionist, I was desperate to erase the problem as quickly as possible, so I went out the next day to get a new set of wheels. Car shopping had always been an uncomfortable business for me; car salesmen intimidated me. I didn't know much about automobiles, and I let the sales people take advantage of me. I decided I would be more comfortable if I went car shopping en femme—dressed as a woman. I didn't expect to fool the salesmen into believing I was a woman; that wasn't the point. I just felt more at ease that way.

Negotiating an automobile purchase as a dude in a dress, with a mushed Buick for a trade-in, turned out to be surprisingly effective. The salesman couldn't figure out whether to employ the bag of tricks he normally used with men, or the one he reserved for women. Maybe he thought he was dealing with a crazy person. Or perhaps my success in the negotiation was due to my quiet self-confidence in being Lannie. Whatever the reason, I got a good deal on a black '97 Mustang GT with a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine, five-speed manual trannie (pun intended), and only 45,000 miles on the odometer.

All's well that ends well, but I can assure you I took this experience as a serious wake-up call. I decided it was time for me to quit drinking. I also began to ask myself some hard questions about why being Lannie was so very important to me.

Chapter 4: Not Gay