Kimberly (kimberly_a) wrote,
Kimberly
kimberly_a

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I went to CWC for a couple hours today, and it was reasonably enjoyable. I went on the walk with the walking group, and everyone was at a loss about where to go, so I played tour guide and took them on a ramble up to North Gate; recommended that they all try the excellent (and cheap) split pea soup at the nearby Stuffed Inn; took them to see this bizarre, tiny, 2-story wood-shingle building/shack thing (which has suffered significant fire damage since I was last there!) out in the bushes north of the East Asian Library; and took them to see the 40-foot-tall T. rex (and other, less impressive skeletons, though the Pteranodon suspended over the T. rex's head is also pretty cool, with its gigantic head and tiny body) in the Valley Life Sciences Building. It was a pleasant walk, and the weather was sunny but not too warm. Perfect.

Then I spent a while talking to a friend of mine there who is currently in the early stages of transition (male-to-female): taking hormones, developing breasts, and struggling with how to look the way he wants to (I'm using the male pronoun here because he currently seems nervous about identifying himself as female at this point.) when he's a man in his fifties with less hair than he would like and a nervousness about being judged by others for his changing body, his increasingly feminine clothing choices, etc. It doesn't help that he's schizophrenic, and so has some minor problems with paranoia (despite taking medication). I tried to encourage him to do what makes him happiest, what he feels is the truest expression of who he is inside, but I know it's easy to say and a lot harder to do. I wish there was more I could do to help him, since he seems to be having a hard time, but I think all I can do is let him know that I support him and don't judge him and want him to be happy ... and that he might want to consider scarves if he's self-conscious about how his hair loss impacts his gender identity.

In the afternoon, I got various house-type chores and tasks done. Very exciting.
Tags: berkeley, clc, cwc, friends, gender, lgbt, transgender, ucb, walking
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