Identifies as: "Pan genderfluid trans-dyke. Or just queer."
"My tombstone will probably say 'engineer'. I dabble in mechanical engineering and safety engineering, and software engineering pays the bills. I've been a geek for a long time I was programming on my dad's lap at age six."
When did you start questioning gender?
"Five days before Halloween 2009. I was 32 years old. There might have been clues before that, but I hadn't recognized them as such."
Do you have a coming out story?
"Four days before Halloween, I started shopping for clothes in earnest. For Halloween, I wore a very genderfucky outfit skirt, tie, combat boots, tights, makeup. But I realized it was more important to me than a one-day event. A week later, I started going to a trans support group. Shopping by myself on such a short deadline was very difficult, but it taught me a lot about getting over my fears, and about how some of society's rules are arbitrary."
Do you consider yourself an activist?
"Yes. As they say, you should walk a mile in someone else's shoes. When you live life in two different pairs of shoes, you get a good idea of the differences in how others treat you despite the various genders being supposedly equal."
What issues, if any, outside of the queer community do you care about?
"It should be okay to say 'I am racist'. Not because racism doesn't cause severe problems, but because things like the Clark doll experiments show that racism is pervasive. Each one of us has personal soul-searching we need to do to fix this problem. I am racist. I am classist. I am ableist. And I am trying to fix these."
What is the best thing about being trans/gender-variant?
"The tiniest things, like walking out your door in the morning, are subversive."
How do you explain the way you feel about gender to others?
"Gender is like your favorite color. Some people feel pressured to wear one color their whole life and don't want to stand out from a single-hued crowd. Other folks have a different favorite color in their 20's and 30's. Some folks pick a different color every day. Some folks feel passionately that their favorite color is important to their identity, and some folks wish others would stop spending so much time worrying about what color they're wearing."
To nominate a person for T in the life, email: Kate Sosin email@example.com