30 December 2006

Back to Sarah's world

I've spent two days exploring the Berkeley and San Francisco area.

Here are some photos relevant to the novel.

Somehow my camera's switch went off wrong, and I got a B&W image. This is the new Gay and Lesbian Center of San Francisco, where Sarah becomes a staffer. I went in to use its computer lab, look at some photo exhibits, and find a women's writing group that I did not know about. Too bad, because otherwise I could've gone in to get Perfect Girl scenes critiqued!

A few years ago, the Bay Area was shocked by the savage murder of a transgender teen named Gwen Araujo, and more recently when the trans panic defense was successfully used to avoid hate crime charges for the murderers. In 2004, Gwen got a posthumous court-ordered name change, and a copy of it hangs in the Center, as seen here.

Just down Market Street from the Center is a longtime service to the lesbian and transgender community, Lyon-Martin Women's Health Services. In the late 1990s, I got my physicals done here, as well as paperwork needed for changing my identification documents. Sarah gets her hormones and paperwork here as well.

Sam's Grill, located on the northeastern corner of Kearny and Bush, is the location where Sarah, on her first outing as a woman, accompanies her father to a dinner with his transgender coworker at nearby Bank of America corporate offices. I had picked this place by randomly looking for a steak restaurant near Bank of America, using a mapping software. Unfortunately, this place was closed today, and I did not get to eat here.

Tomorrow, I will attend the large Unitarian church in Berkeley where Sarah meets Kirsten, as well as visiting the UC Berkeley campus and Telegraph Avenue to look for additional hangouts for the two.

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