13 July 2005

Happy Birthday Sarah!

I would like to send my birthday wishes to Sarah Radcliffe, who turns 25 today.

Just who is Sarah, you may ask? She is the protagonist in my novel-in-progress, with a working title of Perfect Girl. I decided on July 13th as her birthday, because exactly a year ago today, I attended a concert by Sarah McLachlan, one of my idols - and Sarah's as well. In fact, Sarah is supposed to have named herself after McLachlan.

My original idea was to write a novel based on my experiences in the Bay Area, featuring another character, named Kirsten (after my middle name - and she really is me with few changes), as the protagonist. Kirsten was a lesbian but not transgender, a difference from me. Sarah was originally developed as one of Kirsten's friends, and I based her on two transgender women I once met in Berkeley, who were United Airlines flight attendants based out of Denver. I wanted Sarah to be the voice in expressing my views on transgender issues.

Somehow Kirsten's story didn't work out at all. As I kept taking writing courses with UCLA Extension, I decided that I would rather write Sarah's life story. So now I have Sarah as my protagonist, and Kirsten as her life partner eventually.

I am still taking my UCLA Extension courses under my former identity, and do not intend to out myself until the very end. (The fellow students and the instructor seem very friendly though, especially in regards to gender issues.)

I will talk more about Sarah and her story bit-by-bit in the coming days and weeks. For now, happy birthday, Sarah!