Why A Gender Shift Can Feel A Bit Like Doctor Who

Doctor Who?

Doctor Who being the science fantasy television program on BBC for the last 50 years. The main protagonist simply known as “The Doctor” to the viewers. He has many adventures with various companions while traveling through time and space. He appears human, and has a very strong affinity to nurturing and protecting the human race. However, he is not human. He is Gallifreyan-a Time Lord. Their biology causes them to regenerate after a number of years, typically spawned by a sustained injury.There has at least been speculation that these regenerations can involve a gender change, but usually is a completely different looking and acting(and dressing) character with most core parts of The Doctor’s characteristics. Some of his quirks really shift a lot more than you would think, but it keeps it all fresh in my opinion.
At times, I feel that I am not human..

So how does this entertain the idea that your “transition” is anything like that?
(I only know of my own experience and what few stories others have shared of their own journey.)

Myself-35 years as a boy/male (give or take), had many different careers/roles:
Soldier, teacher, husband, father, mechanic, carpenter, clerk, guitarist in metal band, singer, college student…these did have different expressions of hair, clothing, cars, houses, etc.
Granted I was petty repressed in avoiding being myself, but my core was pretty consistent. I am: a nurturer, teacher, lover, musician, caregiver, poet, artist-and will always beI’ll cleverly avoid a fight, but a true warrior knows when to fight!
I too, have had some pretty colorful companions not unlike the Doctor at times..family, lovers, friends, animals.

Transition-its not a destination. No matter what anyone suggests, because life itself is a journey and not a destination. (Get over it and embrace it.) So during the beginning of this phase there is of course the wigs in lieu of the hair in process of growing out. Wardrobe? Adolescent, edgy, vampish, sex bomb, blonde bombshell, college co-ed, the Audrey Hepburn, cyber-goth industrial girl, punk rocker, post-apocalypse dyke. For me, the biggest part of change was the hormones that let my brain that “always knew/felt that I was a girl” for this entire time, could at least not hate the body my mind was born into. That body quickly changed and perhaps parts of my mind as well…

My memories at times are something that are very clear and are relevant to my daily activities and problem solving. However, there are times that Who something happened to in my past feels very much like another person. Swiss cheese memory as referred to in science fiction…

Music? I was a bass player and keyboard player up until I started exploring my gender expression by going out dressed. Guitar soon came after this period.
Parenting? Some argue that you are always a parent, but the interaction with my own children was limited to only the time I expressed as a boy. I haven’t been a parent as a woman. Not even to a puppy at this writing.
Tattoos? Well, I got my first during my time “in-flux” of deciding whether going out on the weekends and hating who I was or wasn’t. My ink collection snowballed and really started with “my first girl tattoo” to my most current one.
Family? There is a lot less blood relatives around, much as the First Doctor saying goodbye to Susan, but my extended family is tremendous and still growing. They have a stronger bond with me than I could have ever imagined.
Other things I have picked up since transitioning: learning Italian, cello, guitar with a deeper focus, writing, oh and of course more allergies. I am sure that I have my share of quirks too.

I lost my singing voice for the price that I paid and I am looking to find it or whatever voice this body chooses to resonate.

The journey through time-and space, occasionally gives glimpses of times in your life where you were really proud of your accomplishments and who you were at that individual moment. I feel its important to reflect into those journeys for strength, knowledge, and wisdom. Who you were isn’t always Who you are at the moment. But we all seem to be a collective of all our incarnations (good/bad, boy/girl, love/hate).

If you do find yourself having problems with your collective, or even evolving… perhaps you should call the Doctor?


(Gender shift  = transition = life is a journey for everyone regardless of cis or transgender)


So What Kind of Guitarist Am I?

Believe it or not, Its not easy for me to find other musicians who can stand to perform together in either an informal or formal (paying venue) sense.

This is not an “I’m a victim” blog. Its a frustration blog unless we perfect cloning…so its more of an “empowerment blog.”

Female musicians typically have had no problem with me; male musicians have historically had some sort of “hang up” about my “gender status” . It often goes through the typical introduction (through correspondence); an exchange that follows learning about someone’s musical likes and dislikes and then they get around to their “tranny-stamp-of-disapproval” moment. I kind of hold guys to a higher standard after living 35 years socialized and indoctrinated as a boy. I know if there is a sudden disapproval moment where women are concerned, its right at the moment where they are concerned what other people think-no matter their initial “its about the music” and “its not about image” phase.
Or its some weird “sleep with you” moment.

Transsexual guitarist seeks band members to form a band.

So this means that the guitar itself was one gender, and someone either sawed something off, drilled a hole, or added something onto it? My ad simply said: I’m LGBTQ friendly and you should be too.

If I have mentioned that I’m not looking for a date, just musicians to jam with.  I am in a committed partnership with an ovarian cancer survivor.

Lesbian guitarist seeks band members to form a band.

Women even have had less sexual hangups in the dating world according to my experiences even. Its my preference and you really don’t have anything I want because my partner does an amazing job to fill my life.

Metal Guitarist Seeks Musicians Without Hang-ups

Perhaps the world isn’t ready for a guitarist who happens to be a transsexual woman, except the one from Against Me! named Laura Jane Grace. She was lucky to have the band, success, and then transition. I am sure I am oversimplifying her struggle, but just for the context of looking for musicians without a head full of “shit”, I’m a girl who just wants her opportunity to do more than play my amp in an apartment with my supportive partner as an audience. She is an amazing audience-has encouraged me along my way.

Metal-Rock Guitarist: Influences include Laura Jane Grace

I think I found my headline/tagline!



Eris: Goddess (Guitar) of Chaos Has Arrived!

Finally, my wait is over!
My LTD GL-200 Kamikaze has arrived!

Due to the problems of extended “in-stock by” dates whizzing by since July 3rd, I was offered a free padded carrying case and cleaning kit for this situation. Then, when I was shipped a fleece lined drum case accidentally, I was given a gift card by Guitar Center. Luckily, my was quickly processed by the Emeryville Guitar Center staff as to have one arrive!!!

No matter how late or enthusiastic you are about finally receiving something, always open the box at the store!!!


Its a copy of ESP’s Kamikaze produced for George Lynch. Humbucker and single coil with no tone controls and a push-pull volume knob to switch between the coils.

Difference between ESP and LTDs? A couple thousand dollars. Decide for yourself and watch here.

The reverse headstock gives a similar tonal quality to Jimi Hendrix‘s flipped Fender Strat. (Its also how my cello was strung once I replaced its pegs, as I had seen others strung like that.)

Jimi Hendrix (like me) was also a soldier at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in the 101st Airborne Division…and like me, didn’t overstay!

Oh, how rude of me. I totally forgot to mention the Goddess of Chaos: Eris. She is known as the Greek goddess of strife and discord. (Latin is translated to Discorda) 
After my first guitar being Lucifer (Lucy for short) bringer of light as she was white; then replaced by the same model Ibanez RG350DX named Isis (Ice Ice baby), for the serpent goddess of the Mediterranean . My cello was named Lucien after Lucien Bonaparte, and not after the lycan character Lucien, from my favorite movie Underworld

The Dokken video for In My Dreams is a good place to see George (Lynch) playing the original ESP Kamikaze.

I picked it up tonight, though I wrote a lot of this blog the week prior. I sat on the floor after I gave it a “once over” before firing up the amp. Action in the Floyd Rose is a bit stiff, but should loosen up nicely. The strings are bright but new and need some breaking-in. The radius is nice and I think flatter than my RG350DX’s, The push-pull volume pick-up switch is different but changes the tone very nice to slip into a few Hendrix type licks or two during my familiarization. The fretboard is rosewood and seems to be laminated/sealed-very flat.
I don’t do a lot of chords across 6 strings, the levelness of the neck seems to leave plenty of room to bend the strings a bit. One feature I didn’t notice until inspecting it was the recessed 1/4″ phono cable jack. I got a 90 degree plug thinking it was at the edge, but the recessed plug means you can use regular guitar jacks with it.

What kind of picks to I like? The Steve Clayton Acetal Polymer Pick: Small Teardrop – Size: .63mm. They are small for my fingers to still grip the string but ride my thumb to get nice pinch harmonics. I used them with my previous guitars and loved them.

Its nice to have an ax again.



String Voice Dilemma? Viola? Cello? Help

My cello and I have been spending the last few months together.

I don’t think its the voice I want…

I still try to play it like a lead guitar.

I run out of neck space to get the voice I need.

(Why didn’t you start on a viola first?)

I wanted something with a scale length comparable to a guitar. Plus the viola would have this “chin rest foundation” issue with my make-up.

My dilemma?
Which is more important: having the voice or having no make-up smeared?

Drawbacks of the cello I have learned:

  1. Hurts my hands after fretting chords
  2. I have the habit of looking at the fingerboard
  3. Playing on the body part of the fingerboard to get the sound
  4. I am immobile when playing in public and people can harass a girl like me
  5. Voicing and parts too similar to bass guitar-which I left because it doesn’t express me

So at least I bought a cheap one. Violas are comparably less expensive than a cello.


Life would be easier without music in ones heart, but would it be a life?


Sometimes You Have To Bleed For Your Music

The following is something that because I am either dumb or passionate happened tonight….. (enjoy your reading)

So I got a nasty cut from a cutting board/tin can/paper (pick one) at work earlier today. That alone should have meant that my cello (named Lucien), would not be getting played until I didn’t have a fresh parallel cut on my left middle finger. Letting things mend a bit is the most sensible and pain free (or pain minimal) route to take. Right?

I ate dinner and got settled into listening to music. I am both a muse and influenced by muses and musings. Naturally my blood started moving in my veins. Really pumping and such that music makes my soul do… and I HAD to do some playing around on the cello.

Dokken‘s “Don’t Close Your Eyes” comes on in the play list this evening and so I take Lucien down from off his sleeping spot on the wall, “hook it up.”

(George Lynch of Dokken was a big influence on my guitar playing because of the kinds of sounds he got out of his fingers when playing like harmonics, pinch harmonics, mutes, tapping, bending, vibrato, etc. I love George’s playing and always will)

After getting the general feel for the song and the key notes, the solo starts and so I just run my finger up the fingerboard. Zippppppp….OUCH! (Dumb. Pain. Throbbing, F**K!)

Realizing that seriously I ignored the fact my finger was cut and started in the first place, I am really kicking myself inside…But wait? Its hardly worth stopping that long over.

“Give Me All Your Lovin'” by ZZ Top comes on. Love the work of Billy Gibbons and such. Here I go back for round 2. Ding! Deep Throbbing Monstrous Pain. Mamma Minerva! Tears….holy hell….

Is it passion or stupidity? Can’t be stupidity.

The facts are that:

1. There wasn’t a girl I was trying to impress.

2. Nor was any alcohol involved.

3. I was by myself, with just my thoughts.

I have been playing guitar, bass guitar, since 1989 and have never cut or sliced and/or bled across or into the strings, EVER! Odd if I do think of it. ???

Do I want something so bad that I would bleed for it? Yes.

From the top…and a 1,2,3

So what’s a girl to do when at 40 years old, she’s given up the dream of being a rock goddess by selling her guitar, and the passion to create music still burns in her veins??
I dream of the late Jacqueline du Pré and the sounds of composer Luigi Boccherini playing through her amazing hands. Libertango and Bolero also fill my dreams at night.

Well, I must elaborate a bit.
Electric guitar requires many things:
an amp,
a willing band*,
hauling around many pieces of heavy equipment,
certain types of equipment for certain sound, etc.
My most recent guitar, Isis, was the same model Ibanez RG350DX in white as her predecessor, Lucifer. But she was not the same, nor would she ever make the same sound out of these fingers. I never had the same amp either. I make sounds with my fingers and thus I am creating.

*(“A willing band” means a relationship with musicians required for basic transmission of your music. This is the equivalent of dating.)

So now we come to this cello idea, because I do not own one yet it is simply a concept and I don’t have the money yet.
I have always loved the cello. If I had bore children worthy to encourage pursuit of music…anyhow.
The violincello, or simply cello, is roughly the same scale length (3/4 size model) as a standard Strat-style guitar (vs. LP-style guitar). It has an amazing range and versitility. The cello makes a full sound without a wall of accompanying sound, due mostly  to the very organic, woody timbre of its voice. Cellos are suggested to have the musical range akin to “a male voice”. Perhaps this is true, or just a female voice with an amazingly diverse range? 🙂

I can actually see myself on a park bench, covered in tattoos & piercings, wearing a short skirt, and playing a cello. Its what I was meant for.
Does this mean I would not consider playing with other musicians? Maybe if they asked nicely, then I would respond with a smile and a resounding “yes.”