All posts for the month June, 2016

Time to crack open the head of a trans person, and see how they tick….. in a non-violent, picture way that is.

There it is… the brain of a trans woman. Beautiful isn’t it? Just so curvy and sexy-like. Study it… what does it tell you? Does it speak to you? Do you “see the trans?”

Ok, now that the joking answers are aside, and perhaps some that can actually read a MRI and are making judgements–time to get to the point.

Cis-gender people (i.e. “people who are not transgender”) can’t really understand what it’s like to be transgender. You can try, you can think of what you think it might be like, but you’re going to fail. There are examples that might get you close to it, but it’s not possible to know exactly what it’s like.

It’s kind of like trying to picture nothing.  You can’t do it.  You can picture a black area–but that’s still something.  It’s like picturing death with no afterlife.  It’s hard to impossible to picture life without you in it.  Or you could even try to imagine that you wake up one day and your genitals and body has now become that of the “opposite gender”, and your clothing has magically changed to also match that gender, but your name has stayed the same.

Now while many transgender people pictured that before transitioning, and were like “yes, how can I get this to happen?”, it kind of starts as a comedic thing for cis people.

A Heterosexual Cis-Gender person waking in the wrong body

Sure you might decide to examine and play with your new body, just to see how things work. You might even decide to have some alone time in the shower, or just in the bed—you know, just to see what it’s like, or maybe you’ll say it’s to learn about the opposite gender for when you get in your ‘actual’ body again. You may take pictures, post things online, call up your friends, and just be like “you won’t believe what happened!” It’ll be funny, a joke. You may even make plans to see your friends later on in the day just you you can show them your new body.

Later, the novelty of being in the wrong body will have worn off—there’s only so much naked posing and playing with yourself you can do before you just get tired of it. You may even need to use the bathroom, and realize things don’t feel the same way as they did before.  You’ll try to use a public bathroom, and be told you’re in the wrong bathroom.  You may find you’re not really certain how to get dressed (well, if you’re a woman now, but of course depends on a number of things).  But for now you’re still going to take on your old habits for your cleaning and dressing–just in different clothes.

Eventually you’ll start hanging out with your friends, only now they may be the “opposite gender” to you now based on your appearance, but you still have the same likes, you’re still the same person to you—you’ve just had your body  swapped somehow. Some friends may be like “so, let’s see your genitals!”  But now you may not be the same gender as them with your body.  Does it seem weird?  Do you show them because you don’t believe you’re the gender of your body?

After a night out, you return home, knowing that when you wake up, everything will be normal.

The next day you wake up, and you’re still in the wrong body. And the next day, the next day, weeks, months, years pass, and you’re still in the wrong gender body. Whenever you go out people call you by the pronouns you look like, not what you know you used to be. They may assume you’re gay, and may make fun of you, just because you don’t dress/act the way they expect (you’ve had time to buy new clothes, and you’re still the same person you were before remember?). You start to realize that if you use the bathroom, it feels wrong to use the one of your new body, yet you worry what would happen if you didn’t. You go to job interviews, or class, and people wonder why your name doesn’t match your gender. You know why, but really, who’s going to believe you woke up as the other gender one day?

How long do you think you would last before you looked into restoring your original gender?


Seriously… before you continue, answer this question to yourself: if you had any time for how long you’d last listed for that last question, why? You are, by “all definitions” as the anti-trans people say, the gender that your body changed to. Remember, many in the world don’t believe your brain has anything to do with gender identity, and even if it did, it doesn’t matter, it’s just your genitals.

Now I realize that some of you would say you’d just keep the new gender body…. Granted this could be for a few reasons, but even you keep the new body (assuming you’re not transgender), do you at least get any idea as to why people would want to “go back”?  It’s kind of like that for transgender people, only we were born in “the wrong body”.  In a sense, we woke up in it.

I admit that this isn’t the perfect example, but for transgender people “waking up” as the wrong gender happens. Only for us “waking up” is when the brain knows what gender it is, and it discovers that the body doesn’t match. What the person does once they discover their transgender depends on the person. There’s different levels of gender dysphoria that people experience. Then you have society and how they treat transgender people. These two factors strongly influence when people come out as transgender, or potentially even seek medical treatment.  Some people knew their entire lives, but knew it was a death sentence if they said they were when younger, so they waited, and waited…. sometimes they didn’t tell anyone until they hit retirement age.  Others, they knew it was “safer” to say something younger, and they transition in school.


Even if I list all things I’ve done in programming over the years, I’m still going to miss things since the full list is so extensive.  Not to mention every place wants to know something different or they have a different focus. But just for an example, here’s something that just highlights things I’ve done

Highlighted Work / Projects


  • Device driver for printer (Tandy Printer) so company could print letterheads or envelopes
  • Generalized concept-based toys (example: remote controlled ball design)
  • Computer specification comparison for potential purchases (family / business)
  • Created text-based mystery games, with experimenting with limited graphics for titles
  • Simple computer-based repair and software troubleshooting
  • General office application based use


  • Learning and experiment with multiline phone systems, rewiring homes for phone and networking
  • Setup and testing of small networks
  • Website design and maintenance
  • Computer system repair, maintenance, install, and system building
  • General database skills of multiple database formats


  • Website design, and start of website/web-based programs (i.e. web UI for otherwise traditional program)
  • Graphics design, mainly textures and simple other graphics
  • ASP/PHP functioning websites, that performed tasks such as grading essays, performing training
  • Advanced database tasks, transferring data from one database to another (DB2->MSSQL)
  • Creating databases from scratch, with accompanying program to access data
  • Creating medical records program
  • Creating early forms of VIMS (Visual Inventory Management System)
  • Obtained Associates in computer science, as companies required degree to hire (I tutored my classmates while in the classes)


  • Improving, and “halting” VIMS development as requires customization for specific workplace (VIMS original conception required specific workplace for design due to costs/development)
  • Website design and automation including designing self-healing websites (websites did a “refresh” if data was hacked due to server hack for shared websites)
  • Hired to teach classes for MSOffice (classes cancelled due to college’s min student registration)

Divided by year, not by company. In fact, I won’t even put what companies I’ve done things with online. The whole safety issue. And here’s the best part, see the years? They’re right, but they don’t quite represent my age that well. I started programming when I was 8 years old—and I was paid then too. That was unusual at the time, not as much these days. I just always took to programming and computers, they’re just so simple in a way to me.

Programming languages, the main ones

  • QBasic, Basic, Visual Basic 3.0-6.0, VB.NET, VBA, VBScript
  • C, C++, C#
  • Fortran, COBOL
  • PHP, ASP
  • MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, DB2
  • Joomla, WordPress (obvious since this is in WordPress)
  • SSH, cron, and bash scripting
  • SQL, T-SQL
  • AJAX


  • SQL Server, DB2, MS Access, MySQL, SQLite, Oracle,
  • Stored Procedure, Views, Database design and maintenance, Crystal Reports

General IT things

  • Different version control software
  • Windows (since Windows 3.1), MS DOS, Linux (various distributions)
  • AS/400
  • Windows & Linux Servers, Network setup & maintenance
  • Building PCs (this document created on a system I built myself)
  • Designing, planning and programming projects from scratch, as in, blank file to completed program
  • Looking stuff up online when don’t know, need refresher, or just looking for a finished example so don’t recreate wheel when not needed
  • Troubleshooting existing code
  • Just doing IT based things with any electronic device, including cell phones that I’ve never been on

General Office things

  • Adobe Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere
  • Phones, multifunction machines, printers, scanners

Let’s just simplify it, if it’s a programming language, I’ve probably done it seen it, or heard of it, and if not I can probably learn it quickly. If it’s a device, I’ve probably used it. If it’s an operating system, I’ve probably been exposed to it. I’m still picking up things. The best/worst part of this entire list? I’m “missing something a company wants” for experienced people, and not considered for most entry level jobs. Me? I’m just wanting a job in an office doing things I enjoy. Might be odd, but I prefer to be happy at a job, than be miserable at one.


Note:  Wondering about code examples?

Picture a transgender person in your head. Think of whatever you want, but just picture them, and keep that image in your mind. As you read the following questions, be sure to keep the image the same.

  1. Do they look like “a man in a dress?”
  2. Does the person have visible stubble?
  3. When they talk, do you hear them as having a deep voice?
  4. Are they “balding” and trying to hide it, or just wearing a wig?

Answer “yes” to any of those? Were you thinking of a trans man (born female, identifies as male)? Doubtful, unless you’re in the LGBT community, or just happen to have some transgender friends. Granted, the questions I put in there are based on the current stereotypes of trans women—you know, that they’re just men in dresses. Now, unless you put cross-dressers (people who dress in the opposite clothing for numerous potential reasons) under the transgender umbrella, that doesn’t fit.

One thing with words is that they change meanings over the years, transgender at least used to be an umbrella term that covered transgender people as they’re viewed today (used to be “transsexuals”), drag queens/kings, cross-dressers, intersex, and a few others that honestly I don’t recall. Younger generations, and just use in these recent years, seem to have made transgender not an umbrella term, rather a description for only trans men and trans women. In fact, some transgender people get angry if you say it used to be an umbrella term! Likewise, there is no consistency or belief as to whether it’s “transman” or “trans man” or even “transwoman” or “trans woman”—as some find the trans to be the adjective describing man/woman, and others just consider it a noun, or adjective. Some get into heated debates on it, others just honestly don’t care as long as people are being treated as humans.

Transgender people are diverse

Really, transgender people are quite diverse. They can be democrat or republican—even though most wonder how a transgender person could belong to a party that hates them and wants to criminalize their existence. Some transgender people hate transgender people, and refuse to be friends with or even talk to them. Some refuse to date them, because they don’t want to “be with a trans person” in a sexual way. Some may want kids, some may not, some may have kids, while others may not. They can be married, be single, hold jobs, be homeless. They could be on welfare, or could be in the small percentage of transgender people who are “rich” or just otherwise as well off or better well off than even cis people (cis being born as gender and identified as gender match). They may have dropped out of school, or they may have a doctorate! They could be straight, gay, lesbian, bi, pansexual, or any other sexual identity. The only common trait of transgender people is they’re human.

Here’s a few things about transgender people:

  • Not all transgender people seek hormone replacement therapy.
  • Not all transgender people seek surgery (genital, facial feminization, vocal, Adams apple)
  • Not all transgender people wear stereotypical clothing of their gender identity
  • Transgender people aren’t all alike!

Especially clothing, trans women may wear pants, shorts, and t-shirts. The only difference that you see may be a design on the pockets, or colors of shirts, or possibly styles of shirt cuts. Just because a person is a trans woman, doesn’t mean she’s going to toss on heels, skirt, hose, and a blouse to go everywhere. Generally speaking, trans people are similar in a few ways: they just want to blend in, be left alone, and not killed for being trans. They’re in a body that if given a choice in the womb, may have been different.

Many people these days may have wondered why there’s “so many trans people” all over the place. Fairly simple reason really: society is less likely to kill transgender people these days than even 10 years ago, and the internet has created a huge visibility where they don’t feel as alone. It’s also one reason why there are so many “older people” transitioning. The world wasn’t as welcoming in the past as it is now, and it’s not even that welcoming now. However, people have realized that it’s safer to transition now, when protections are starting to happen, and people are just learning about transgender people’s existence. Some transgender people even wanted kids (reproduction is a human desire overall), and for many they couldn’t transition then and still have kids.

Transgender people are human, they’re just as diverse as all other humans.

Transgender people don’t want special rights

This is important, transgender people don’t want special rights, they just want the same rights as their fellow humans. This also applies to the other people in the LGBT group. Currently, in many places, there are no specific protections saying that someone in the LGBT community can’t be fired, denied housing, etc based on their LGBT status. While it can come up with the LGB people, it frequently affects the transgender people on a much higher basis. Now others may say that having protections for LGBT people is adding special rights, but it’s not, it just makes it so a business has to say “sorry we’re booked that day” instead of “we don’t cater to gay parties”. Really, it makes it so people have to treat others as human, not as a group that’s hated. Last point on this before returning to the main topic: protecting LGBT people also protects non-LGBT people, because unlike other groups that are protected, it’s people’s beliefs that you belong to the LGBT group, not you actually belonging to it, that can lead to discrimination.

Back to point, transgender people contain trans men, and trans women. Everyone has a gender identity. Some identify as the gender of their body’s genitals and how they were identified at birth, others don’t. Many potential reasons for this (hormone levels when brain developed in womb, genetics, or possibly even merging of twins at a stage, so the person is really “two people” in one but just doesn’t realize it). Even the XX/XY doesn’t apply, as the body’s own ability to process hormones can alter things. So, it just amounts to trans people can’t help it. It’s how they’re wired. The catch becomes, that depending on when a person realizes it, or can potentially transition without their life being threatened, the body’s hormones may give them some “other gender characteristics”. To put it simply, a trans woman, who may know pre-puberty that she’s trans, might have her voice change due to testosterone—and then may have to learn to speak “like a woman” again to “pass” if she couldn’t transition before the effects of testosterone. Similar for trans men, they may know young, but if they can’t seek transition, they may end up with breasts.

There are so many ways a person can transition. For some just saying “yeah, I’m a woman, but I’m comfortable with myself, I just needed to be honest” is enough, others need to have surgeries, and otherwise do “everything” that can be done. It’s normally just based on the level of dysphoria the person feels. This, however, is where the issues can come up. A trans person could look like a woman, something in between (“unknown”), or a male. Look like meaning just how people identify them as, when they use pronouns. Most people are given names that correspond to a gender, and aren’t gender neutral. Legal names are harder to change in places, and really, changing a gender marker can be difficult.

So here’s a situation… a trans person goes to rent a place, has an interview, something that requires ID & legal name. Which do you think would cause the most problems?

  1. Max’s legal name is Maxine, and his ID all says female because he can’t get it changed—he may have facial hair and a deeper voice, even though appears somewhat feminine.
  2. Max’s legal name is Maxine, all ID says male—he may have facial hair and a deeper voice, even though appears somewhat feminine.
  3. Max’s legal name is Max, all ID says male—he may have facial hair and a deeper voice, even though appears somewhat feminine.
  4. Max’s legal name is Max, all ID says male—he may have facial hair and a deeper voice, and appears like a “man’s man”

Which set do you think would draw attention, or possibly lead to them not being hired/offered a rental contract? Now while it’s happened that some women (who have given birth) had “male” on their birth certificate by accident, and probably vice versa, all of the above could be for a trans man. However, #3 and #4 also applies to any male, straight or gay even. What transgender people want is that regardless of the items above, or any other reason, they aren’t denied housing, jobs, etc just because of being transgender.

Truth of anti-discrimination laws in use

It’s a big one: they don’t stop discrimination. Nope, just like all other laws, they don’t stop anything, they just provide punishment if you break it. It’s even hard to prove it if it happens. What they do provide, is a greater chance that a company will just hire or rent, just so they don’t have to deal with a potential lawsuit. However, this doesn’t mean they have to go against what they believe or anything else. A person can discriminate against an African American, Jewish, or LGBT person just as easy before the laws or after—they just have to lie or intentionally change things. For example, bakery doesn’t want to bake a cake for someone (for any reason)? “Sorry, we’re booked that day”. They don’t have to say “We don’t bake for gay people”, just like they don’t have to say “We don’t bake for *racial or ethnic slur*”. It might be the real reason, but they just don’t have to say it.

So why is it good to have an anti-discrimination law? Because it makes the people in the group at least feel welcome. It lets them know that if they go somewhere, and they face discrimination beyond all doubt, they can have something done about it. The best part? It can even shield children from being called slurs by adults if they seek services. Everyone wants to protect the children right? Can you imagine having your child going to a store, and having the store keeper say “we don’t sell to gays” to your child, just because the child “looks gay/trans?” Kids are big in social media; they may even record it. No law against it, and you can’t do anything—you may have to just get support from the media or online. Then everyone will know your kid “looks gay/trans” and people will judge them. Or, you could file a complaint, and have it taken care of in a way that the child doesn’t have to be put up for public ridicule.

Yet here’s another difference within the transgender community: some trans people would hear a slur, and just tell their friends, and warn all the transgender people they know to avoid the place. Others may put it up online for all to see. Transgender people react differently to discrimination even.

Simple Reason

I don’t link to websites to show what I can do, as everything I did for the clients was created so they could make changes to everything.  That is, I created CMS based websites, where I designed the CMS backend!  If you really want a simple website example

Longer Reasons

Really the simple reason covers it, I was never in control of the user’s website content, formatting, color choices, design, menus, none of it.  I could make suggestions, but in the end, they got what they wanted, and they were even able to make changes with little effort.  Some of the people could change items in a way similar to how you can with wordpress.  Less complicated, and custom-built for their website, but still, it’s just how it was.  Last time I viewed a few of the websites, they looked nothing like they did when I first made it content wise, and even color and font-size wise, but me knowing how it was built, I could tell from the source code they were still using my custom built CMS.

That’s the issue though, I could tell because I made it.  No one else would have a clue.  It just didn’t appear anywhere on the page, in the source, or anything.  Everything was for that company, so search terms would only return them, and not me.  This also lead to when I did work for companies, I did it with the agreement that I would not claim I did it, and they could pass the work as their own.

For the most part, everything you see on their websites is their own too! I just provided the backend format, their admin pages to upload content, and the CSS based information to display their page as they wanted. All of these files are editable by them, other than the admin pages, at least through the admin page. It’s like with this website. I created the content, but the display format was just my preference from the existing formats. I could easily modify all the content, and change it completely.  Granted with my users, I didn’t give them direct admin user interface-based modifying of the admin pages, but that was just to prevent them from messing things up—however, the pages were dynamic, as they loaded things based on what they had installed.  So if they created a new photo album, they had a new admin page to edit the images in that photo album.

Those reasons are why I don’t link to their websites, or even give them out.  It helps when you also do contact work for other web development companies—they pay you, they maintain all rights, but I just can’t claim any of their clients.  Still, when the website work I do isn’t directly visible, other than the first draft that only the client sees, it’s not a good idea to link to them.  For obvious reasons, providing even the source code for their sites can be an issue–as their site could easily be found because of my samples.  If I strip out all photos, all main words, and just provide a generic website…. well, it’s the reason I send a simple zip file of a website to people of a demo site I once did.  It’s simple, but really, I’m not going to create a complex website for no purpose other than someone might see it for how I do web design.

When you consider most of the work I did was backend, done with a custom CMS that I designed (hopefully on an external hard drive somewhere—otherwise it was lost in a hard drive crash), it makes sense too!  The things I did aren’t visible—only the things the customer wanted up, and told to be up. The only things that are “mine” from their websites is the php code on the pages that pull information from the database, and their admin pages (that actually do the same).

Think of it like this… the only thing my code did (not this, but just an overly simple version), is this:


// Code to load the template file, and then

$tpl->content = $db_retrieved_html_based_code_on_page_link;



Obviously the $tpl was the template content file, that also linked the css, headers, footers, etc… but still, the code on the specific page was just a query to a database, grabbing the content, and displaying it… or just loading a file… all it did was get the content that the website owner said to display. I have no control over what they did after. I could’ve created a css-based menu system with blue and white website, with dividers for the footer—and they could’ve edited the site to be a punk rock radio station with red and black, they just had to upload a few files, and change some css—and made so many errors it wouldn’t even render in a browser.

Curious to what I mean? This sample website (Template Web Demo) uses a version of the CMS I created (it’s a developer variant of it). It’s a simple clean version, designed more as a business-like format. Yet just by changing a few lines, every page would look completely different, or I could even break the navigation. Please note that the demo used to be on another domain, and had a database, so some links might not work (it also used to have a custom .htaccess file designed for that domain).