Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

About Penny

My name’s Penny. I have a lot of diverse tastes and enjoyments. Sometimes I talk a little too much, and I’ve been known to over-share. I am silly and emotional. My friends and family are the most important things to me in the world. I’ve lead a very interesting life (I think), and it helps me a lot to write stuff down, which is why I blog as much as I do.

I’m a drummer. I started drumming as early as I can remember. I joined a drum and bugle corps when I was eight years old and started drum set lessons when I was twelve. I attended Berklee College of Music where I studied Traditional Composition with percussion as my principle instrument. I’ve played with more amazing musicians than I could possibly ever list (I could name-drop a lot right here, but I hate that). Currently I am between bands as I recover from surgery. I have been teaching drum set lessons for over twenty years. I play the djembe as part of the music worship team at The Crossing, and it is powerful and spiritual.

I’m a geek. I’ve loved sci-fi ever since I was little; I’m the perfect age to be a Star Wars fanatic (I was seven years old when it was released in 1977). I dig nerdy topics like mathematical probability and astronomy. For the last two years I’ve gone to a very cool Sci-Fi convention in Boston called Arisia, and I’m sure I’ll keep going back. My favorite types of books usually end up being biographies, and most often of either musicians, military folk, or political leaders. I built my own desktop computers from scratch a few times.

I’m a woman who was born with the wrong body. There are a lot of politically-correct terms and phrases nowadays, but I’ll talk in language that I think everyone will understand. I was born with a penis and one testicle and one anomaly that the surgeons referred to only as a “mass” (I hold the belief that it was a proto-ovary or something similar, but it was removed when I was three, so I’ll never know). Oh, and I grew breasts when I was eleven. I don’t think any of the “labels” fit: “Harry Benjamin Syndrome” seems good, but the nomenclature and history of the term are still being worked out; “intersex” might be true, but I have no way of knowing since my records are long gone and so is the “mass” that was removed when I was three; “transsexual” seems to be the one most people are familiar with, but it also triggers stereotypes that certainly don’t fit me; “transgender,” another well-known term, really doesn’t feel right, especially since surgery – my gender has always been what it is, as much as I tried to repress and deny it for a very long time – I was always just me. [Don’t even get me started on “gender identity,” it’ll just make my head hurt.] Whatever we call it, I always knew there was something different about me (the stereotypical “woman trapped in a man’s body” description always felt like it applied to me). I come from a family that prides itself on repression and denial, and I tried as hard as I could to live as a man for as long as I could, because I was supposed to; but when I was in my early 30’s I just couldn’t do it anymore. I began a process that took several years to complete. When I was 36 I finally began living full-time as a woman. Soon after that I started taking hormones, and I had genital reconstruction surgery (SRS) on 02/24/2009. And now that I am where I belonged, it turns out that I’m a fairly ordinary woman after all; I just have a slightly interesting medical history. I’m very open about my life and my story, so if you have any questions, please ask. [Also, just to be clear, I feel it is politically important for me to be associated with the “T” in “LGBT,” and I won’t be offended by people including me in the “transgender community” (whatever that is), but I personally don’t consider myself transgender by any definition of the term that I’ve yet heard.]


  knowledgetoday wrote @

I love your site. Keep it up !

  girlslashwoman wrote @

I’m really happy I found this blog and how open you are to talking about your experiences. Good luck on your adventure!

  Anonymous-T-Girl wrote @

Fellow sci-fi geeks are so hard to find these days…

  Shauna wrote @

I see we are the same young lady, you were born something like me and I would like to welcome you too. It is nice to hear that I am not alone with my gender thingy. Though I am the consul for Illinois Intersex. I do hope we become great friends.

Love and hugs

  Brian wrote @

Reading your entries about SRS has been a rather eye-opening experience for me. Thanks for sharing so honestly with your readers. God bless!!

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