I'm getting a lot of traffic from new readers because of my nomination for the 2008 Weblog awards. So although this will be "Old Hat" to regular readers, I think I owe new visitors a quick summary, so they can quickly decide whether the archives are worth their time to look at, or whether they should move on and not waste their time.
Where to begin... the beginning, obviously. I started this blog back in July 2003, before blogging really took off. An "early adopter" if you like. I was just your standard everyday Rocket Scientist and Computer Nerd, with a penchant for political commentary, and a quirky sense of humour who wanted to share some of the weird and wonderful sites she'd found on the net. Or rather, he had found.
At the time, I looked on myself as a man who had this mild but utterly unshakeable belief that He should really have been born She. Oh, I'd been diagnosed with a mild Intersex condition, my puberty had never been quite complete, but apart from the impact on fertility, the only effects were some skeletal and other bodily anomalies. It wasn't a big part of my life. I tried to be the best man any woman could be, and being the best person I could be seemed more important than "male" or "female". I didn't see much difference anyway, I was obviously a man, and women thought and felt just like I did.
A bigger part of my life was love for knowledge, a child-like curiosity in the way the world worked. A delight in games and puzzles. Political commentary with a decidedly right-wing bent. A contempt for those whose hypocrisy enabled them to talk a lot about their "love and respect for their fellow humans", yet who never actually did anything concrete to help. And those who talked about "diversity", yet whose intolerance for dissent bordered on the fanatical. Now maybe those on the Right did almost as little to help others, but at least they didn't pretend to. In concrete terms, they did more too.
So I blogged about neurology, cyborg lobsters, apace programs, bushfires, "Blue Suede Shoes" in the original Klingon, some Human Rights issues... and even my own Homophobia, something I wasn't proud of, and a disease I was gradually recovering from. "Software Development, Space, Politics, and Interesting URLs. And of course, Brains.."
May 2005 marked a watershed in my life. To cut a long story short, I got a second incomplete puberty, this time the right way. Now while sex-reversal is common enough in many vertebrates, in the higher mammals it's rare, and in humans usually only female-to-male. More common than you think though. Less than 1% are from male-to-female, and the transformation isn't as complete. Still, while things were still changing, my official medical diagnosis was changed to "severe androgenisation of a non-pregnant woman".
So here I am, a 50 year old frumpy female academic and geek-girl engineer, certified genius (HA!) and self-appointed expert on all things animal vegetable and mineral.... and I still haven't worked out how to fasten a bra properly. I'm 50 going on 16. Oh, all the natural instincts came pre-installed (much to my surprise), but the learned behaviour, the stuff that is a Social Construct, that didn't. I'm still figuring out which parts I want to adopt, and which to reject.
I'm still a work-in-progress, but then, aren't we all? Just some more than others... And my life is probably not all that different now than it would have been if I hadn't taken the scenic route to being a middle-aged woman. Apart from the same-sex marriage. And being my son's biological father rather than his mother. Little details that complicate life.
The most amazing thing to me though is not the unusual medical stuff, the hormones, the gene complexes... it's the people I've met. People who exemplify the finest of humanity. Kindness, Courage, Tenacity, people who have exceeded the bounds of what I thought was humanly possible. I've blogged a little about them too.
So welcome to my blog. You might want to start looking at the archives at a post I wrote 12 months after my system staged a palace revolt, an event that in retrospect probably saved my life. Annus Mirabilis.