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Aquarium, zoo, rock climbing and short movie review.
trans, bob, yumi, brown dress
For most people, Monday represents the beginning of the week and it usually comes charged with routines, driving, working, school and errands. In my case, being unemployed (not by choice though :P) and having a girlfriend that has an unusual Monday & Tuesday or Tuesday & Wednesday weekend have allowed me to experience things that I have never experienced before. My mom really values staying in with the family on the weekends so that we could mingle and do stuff together such as cleaning the house or go to eat out and talk about the week. While I usually disagree with my mom on most things this is one of the few things that I respect her ideologies about the importance of "family time". So in a way, I am thankful and lucky to have a girlfriend that has a peculiar weekend because I can hang out with her without having conflicts with my mom over "family reserved time".

On Tuesday, cutie and I went to the Houston Downtown Aquarium and the zoo. I am not going to go into detail because cutie did an excellent job in her post so if you want to know more about Tuesday and the things we saw you can see her recent journal post. Even though I also really liked the ocelot just like Nicole, I must admit that I was intrigued by the cassowary. It was the first time I've ever seen one in real life and really liked the hair-like feathers and enormous eyes. Being a biologist myself, I felt as if i was watching a living testimony of biological evolution.

Nicole and I riding the train at the Shark ride.

I believe that the aquarium designers kept lighting low in the exhibits to enhance the feeling of deep sea immersion of its visitors, unfortunately this makes still photography difficult and using flash on glass covered exhibits is not feasible. So instead, I used the movie mode in my digital camera and shot a variety of short video footage. I had fun editing the video in Windows Movie Maker and found out a free royalty free music site  that allows you to download music for your projects at no cost. Here is the video if you want to watch it:

Yesterday I also spent some time with cutie. Since it was Wednesday, the Texas Rock Gym allows members such as cutie to bring guests for free. I am learning a lot about myself climbing these rope courses. Nicole is so good at climbing and always amazes me the speed at which she climbs and her ability to reach to the top with smooth controlled body movements. Now, I consider myself physically apt for climbing to the top on easier courses and even though this is my second day trying on rock climbing I learned that rock climbing is a very mental sport. At the beginning I was so pumped up and felt with a lot of drive and enthusiasm about climbing but once I was climbing midway through the courses I experienced a kind of mental blockage that manifested through emotions at the end. I was frustrated because I know my fear is irrational. Cutie said that with time, it will become easier and I seriously hope so. When I was climbing and there were difficult parts where I got stuck I would start thinking on the many things in my life where I am stuck and scared as well. At the end, I felt like such a wimp and almost cried because I couldn't finish the course in its entirety. I have come to realize that I have to clear my mind and focus so I can complete the courses, hopefully if we go again next week I'll do better.

The guy that gave us the initial class was there and gave me a free shoe rental again, yay! He came to check on us in one of the courses and mentioned that I climb like a guy and that I have a lot of power in my lower body XD and said something about my strong calves lol.

Here are some pictures from the beginning before I messed myself up:

Nicole showing me how to climb the course before me, she is amazing!

Picture taken by the wall and camera's self-timer.

This was taken after we climbed up the bouldering rock, where we took a break

After being there for about two hours, cutie and I went to eat at Freebirds and I had a yummy hybrid chicken burrito on cayenne tortilla and cutie had a steak quesadilla. We are so Mexican now XD, I only wished that they had the Tabasco smoked chipotle sauce that you can find in Mission Burrito, but the green salsa was ok too. After eating cutie went to fill up her gas tank at HEB while I went to Chase Bank to make a deposit to my dad's account. Some creepy guys in an old red car stopped in the middle of the road when I was crossing the street and stared at me, but I ignored them, pigs.  Once in the bank. the banker asked me if I wanted to join their card rewards program since my card is the one used for most of the purchases and I said yes. She was really nice and mentioned that she usually asks women to join the program because 'men don't buy anything, they just eat". Talk about experiencing sexism :S

Cutie then invited me home to watch a movie she got from Netflix called "The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela". It was an interesting documentary-drama of a ladyboy from the Philippines. It was interesting to hear about the protagonist experiences and how she identifies within the context of her culture. The documentary also demonstrates how the American porn industry is exploiting this segment of the population in order to make profit. At the beginning, the film was mainly about the portrayal of ladyboy prostitution, then Raquela's involvement in webcam work,and concludes with her travel to Iceland and her dream of going to Paris where she meets with Mikael, the really asshole American man that manages the internet porn company where Raquela works.

Some of Raquela's dialogue bothered me. She said "I want many guys to screw me so I can feel like a woman" and in a nursing school interview she had she said that her dream was to find a guy, get married and have a family. While I don't have anything against these things, it troubled me to think that anyone, whether male or female at birth, would think that being screwed by many guys is what constitutes being a woman. I have read about trans women writing in blogs that they would have dreamed of being raised as girls even if that meant being oppressed and abused. Cutie and I speculated that maybe these feelings are distorted feminine ideologies influenced by culture. I always try to keep an open mind to people's experiences and realities but I can't help to feel bad about these people if they feel that way, but then I am a feminist and I am of course biased... to equality, respect and tolerance. I just feel like while the movie might be an honest portrayal of the life of a ladyboy in the Philippines, the movie might send the message that all trans women elsewhere feel like this and have the same aspirations and is asking for radical feminists to attack our trans community as well.

Enough of the movie. I am really grateful to have Nicole in my life because being with her has allowed me to be more introspective and critical in issues of gender and sexuality and that has had positive influences in my own life as well. Long post so far so I'll stop here. Hope all of you have a great weekend!

Yumi <3

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Interesting day for sure. Lots of different stuff to absorb. That Raquela quote about wanting to be screwed by guys is not rare among transgender women I have noticed. There are people that really believe that. Just makes you wonder why we all want to change. I guess we all have our own reasons for transitioning.

I know! It amazes me how now that I am 26 years old I feel like I am learning stuff that some people learn when they are in their teens. But I don't consider myself a victim is just what I got to experience and I guess now is my time. Yes, I've heard so many different motives to transition from many people. Some are personal, others are interpersonal and others are just down right physical. We shouldn't judge others by their reason to transition but we should indeed try to stop transphobia and misogyny even if it's internalized within our community.

Aww so if I get a regular job Monday through Firday, I won't see you anymore? XD

You will get better cutie and one day we will be climbing the incredibly hard stuff!

NO! Is not that cutiecutiecutie :X It just means that we would have to meet later in the afternoon rather than early in the day :) Hee I don't know how long it's going to take me but i wanna be badass like the couple that were bouldering that day hee. That means that I would probably have to loose 20 pounds :P

It sounds like an awesome day - and a really interesting movie. It's always good when stuff makes you think it over!

:) yeah it was a nice day with cutie! I used to be the kind of person that would avoid watching things that I don't agree or like but now I try to expose myself to challenging my own beliefs because there were occasions in the past where I had been wrong about things so. Being critical of others is just as important as checking your own stance on issues.

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