4 July 2011
My name is Gemma Catherine Seymour, and this is my personal web site.
I am many things, but if I had to choose one label that is of the utmost importance to my identity, one thing that would communicate to other people the core of my very self, I would tell you that I am a systemic analyst. I examine things at the structural level, observe the relationships and interactions between different parts of a systemic whole, and use these observations to construct better ways of thinking about the world we live in. I hope that by doing so, in some small way, I can help contribute to making this world a better place. By reading the various articles on this site, you may learn many things about me and the ways in which I view this small blue/green, nearly spherical, wildly careening, mostly wet, thinly-veneered, mildly warm, somewhat magnetic blob lightly peppered with organic matter that we call, variously, “Home”, “Earth”, “Terra”, “Sol III”, or what-have-you, but there are perhaps a few things I should share up front, so that you can have a better grounding in my perspective.
I am 42 years old, and a native of New York City, New York, where I was born in the Borough of Staten Island, County of Richmond, in December of 1968. I am, therefore, a natural born citizen of the United States of America. My father was a physician who came here from the Philippines in 1965, and my mother is a nurse whose parents came here from Germany and England in the 1920’s. You might note that this means that I am a Person of (Half)Color, which I find to be an exceedingly odd sort of position for one to find oneself in American society, even in this day and age. This also makes me a first-generation American on one side of my family, and only a second-generation American on the other. By the by, since I have now used that word three times in brief succession, I feel as if I ought to mention briefly that I am still somewhat embarrassed to say “American”, when what I mean is people in the United States of America, as opposed to people of North America, Central America, South America, or the Americas, altogether. That word is a terribly convenient fiction, isn’t it? Yet, we have no better adjective to use.
I graduated, in 1986, from Stuyvesant High School in Mahattan, which I was privileged to attend contemporaneously with, and count as my personal friends, women who are now far more famous than I shall ever contemplate being, such as Lucy Liu, Grace Chung Becker (former United States Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights), and Hanna Rosin, among others. From there, I made the startlingly bizarre decision to attend Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, for theatre of all things, despite the fact that as a genius at math and science, I could have had a fairly interesting career doing something rather more scientific in nature. Of course, as luck would have it, not only did I end up attending uni with actors who would end up being far more famous than I will ever dare to dream, like Blair Underwood and Ethan Hawke, but I also ended up going with some people who are far more famous in science and technology than I will hope to beg for venture capital. Avie Tevanian comes to mind, without whom I would not now be typing this on my MacBook running Mac OS X. Go figure.
Speaking of exceedingly odd sorts of positions in which one might find oneself, at the age of 40, I came to fully realize a truth about myself that I had long neglected to pursue to its ultimate end. I finally came to understand and accept myself as a transsexual woman, and began the long, arduous, and mind-bogglingly expensive process of transitioning my external gender expression and my secondary sexual characteristics to more closely align with my internal sense of self and the way my brain perceives the world. As you might surmise by the preceding statement, Gemma Catherine Seymour is not the name my parents gave to me when I was born, but while it is not yet my legal name, it is my preferred name. My preferred pronouns are feminine (“she”, “her”), or when I’m feeling cheeky, first person (“me”, “myself”, “I”). If you really push my buttons, I’ll use the pluralis majestatis, and make it quite clear that We are Not Amused. Did I mention that I do so love Dramatic Capitalization?
I currently reside someplace in the Maidenhead Locator System Grid Square FM29. I’d be more specific, but I dislike it when people knock on my front door unannounced, so you’ll forgive me for being a bit vague about this whole business, won’t you? My local time zone, for those who might be desperately pondering whether or not I am currently awake, is the North American Eastern Time Zone, where our UTC offset is (usually) UTC -05:00. Having said that, I should warn you that I am a night owl, so don’t expect many posts early in my morning.
As it turns out, I am, as these things are counted, a lesbian, and a femme lesbian, at that, who is in turn attracted to feminine women of all sorts. I am also a parent, which came about by the usual means, although I am now well and truly a gay divorcée…
I am also a musician and a songwriter. My instruments are vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass guitars, and a smattering of drums, but honestly, if I can make a noise out of it, I can make music with it. I have played professionally for over 20 years, although I am not currently part of a performance group.
I believe in the validity of a scientific construction of morality, and in the superiority of Reason. As such, I am an atheist. Furthermore, I am a staunch believer in natural rights theory, and as such, a fervent advocate of the equal protection of the rights of all humankind, and in what Professor Randy Barnett terms the Presumption of Liberty.
Those are all the most important points. The rest, I believe, will come across more than adequately through my articles. I hope you enjoy them.
Namárië, hara máriessë…or, if you don’t happen to be fluent in Quenya, “Be well, stay in happiness…”