I spent my first 4+ decades searching for a feeling of authenticity inside any artistic endeavor I could muster.
Daya & Mark's wedding photo

One of our wedding photos (April 2012, on our 10th anniversary)

I tried many things (and had a fair amount of success) but nothing ever completely touched the elusive thing that felt like my true core. Creativity continually saved my life as I inched closer to the eventual reckoning with my transgender self.

Facing my true gender brought about even more peace than I dared hope for, and my transition was fairly smooth comparatively, but it has forced me to decide how to hang onto (or let go of) all the projects I created while still in “boy mode”. Do I put my past in a box and pretend it didn’t happen? Or do I keep those things alive and risk making it more challenging for people to accept my current gender presentation? It has not been an easy decision, especially in regard to audio and video of me as David. But it’s part of me, and I’m proud of what I have accomplished.

In 1991 I started but failed to complete my transition. I was too scared, too insecure. When I finally faced myself in 2006, I contemplated what transition would mean for my creative life. I felt compelled to mostly retire from performing. As a union member (Actor’s Equity | SAG-AFTRA) it was competitive enough to work consistently as a man. Adding the extra challenge of getting union work as a woman felt like an unnecessary climb.

Aside from a few singing performances at benefit concerts, my life as a performer has morphed into the lower-visibility activity of writing. At this point in my life I can honestly say I’m as happy person, which seems like a simple statement, but is a miracle compared to my past expectations.

Stereotypically, I left my birth place in my mid 20s to find myself, moving from Metropolitan Detroit to the Bay Area in 1987. Ultimately, locating the nerve to actually be my true self took longer than anticipated, and I firmly believe if I hadn’t remained creative during those tumultuous, self-loathing years, I wouldn’t have made it far enough to finally find the strength to come out as trans.

Currently, I live with my husband in Silicon Valley. I continue to look for pathways toward the endeavors which bring me balance and peace. The fact that I can sincerely write the words “I live” is an accomplishment in itself, having existed in such ongoing darkness for so long.

I live … and I am eternally grateful for my opportunities.