Author Archives: GeekGirl1024

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Socially Acceptable Transphobia

I have written and spoke about this topic several times, and I will say it again. To say that you won’t date a transgender person, it is not a preference, it is transphobia. And no, this does not mean I am requiring you to be attracted to me.

A preference is when you look at one characteristic of a person and you gauge how much you like it or not. And then you take that and you compare it with how much you like all the other characteristics of a person and then decide whether you want to date them. When you reduce people down to one characteristic and make a decision whether you want to date them or not based off of that, it is not a preference.

It is not a preference if men won’t date any tall girls. It is not a preference if women won’t date Asian guys. It is not a preference when men say that they won’t date transgender women!!!

Don’t worry though guys. While it is still transphobia it is socially acceptable transphobia.


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Tammy Morales for Seattle City Council

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Category : Politics

My name is Sophia Lee and as a community organizer and an activist, I endorse Tammy Morales for Seattle City Council.

For as long as I have seen her work, Tammy has always worked for the people. From her efforts of pushing for a more equitable progressive tax system in Seattle to her organizing against New Seasons grocery chains for worker’s rights, she has shown time and again her progressive and human values.

Today when residences of Seattle continue to get pushed out due to gentrification we need radical change and new policies that will help build a Seattle that will work for everyone. This means addressing food deserts, the needs of the working class, climate justice, and the issues of communities of color. No one else quite understands the needs of Seattle City District 2 with its multicultural identities like Tammy does.

That is why I am endorsing Tammy Morales for Seattle City Council.

For more information on Tammy Morales please visit https://www.votefortammy.com

All endorsements are personal and do not reflect the views of the organizations I am affiliated with.


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Rebeca Muniz for Seattle School Board

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Category : Politics

My name is Sophia Lee and as a Transgender Rights Activist, I endorse Rebeca Muniz for Seattle School Board.

Rebeca and I met through mutual friends and we quickly grew close through our love of organizing, protesting and tofu. Through our friendship I have found out how deeply Rebeca cares for the rights of marginalized communities especially immigrant communities, communities of color and LGBTQ communities. I have seen time and again how she emphasizes the needs of marginalized groups in the work that she does.

From my involvement in Gender Justice League I especially have had the opportunity to see first hand, the time and effort that Rebeca put into being a good ally for the Transgender community. The countless hours that she has spent fighting for the rights and needs of Transgender people. She has been a super passionate rockstar volunteer for Gender Justice League and have made tangible contributions to the success of many programs of our organization.

I truly believe that Rebeca will continue fighting for marginalized communities and will uphold their rights in all the work that she does in the future.

That is why I am endorsing Rebeca Muniz for Seattle School Board.

For more information on Rebeca Muniz visit https://www.electmuniz.com

All endorsements are personal and do not reflect the views of the organizations I am affiliated with.


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Stories of a Transgender Childhood

I wanted to share a few stories of my childhood so that people would be able to know a little bit about the struggles that transgender children go through. I want people to see how damaging it is was to me having to live my childhood without hope of growing up happy. I hope that it would help make the world a place where transgender children can dream.

For as long as I could remember, I have always looked up to my sister. She was smart, pretty, super capable. She could do anything and everything. All of her decisions were correct and she could do no wrong. She was only a year older than me but even as a toddler I wanted to do everything she did. I wanted to be with her, I wanted to follow her and I wanted to be just like her. I remember when we were getting our first Halloween costumes, my sister picked out a Smurfette costume and instinctively I declared that I wanted to be Smurfette also. My mother suggested one of the other more “gender appropriate” costumes but I would have none of it, I wanted to be just like my sister. Eventually my mother relented and got me a Smurfette costume, just like my sister’s. When it came time to wear our costumes was when I realized what I have done. In my blind want to be just like my sister I have broken one of the hard-societal rules of gender. That was my earliest memory of feeling the shame that comes with growing up transgender.

Societal gender roles are deeply embedded in everything we do. Girls are supposed to wear dresses. Boys don’t cry. Girls play with pink toys. Boys play sports. These cues are everywhere in TV, professional sports, music, books.

When I was in grade school, my grandmother was making a dress for my sister. The dress was a light pastel orange with ribbons. My sister was out so my grandmother asked me to put it on so that she could make the final adjustments of the dress as needed. I protested. While I wanted to be a girl and I thought the dress was pretty, I felt a deep sense of shame about wanting to be pretty. My mother and grandmother pleaded with me to put on the dress so they could work on it more.

I dare didn’t express myself femininely. Being a Korean American Immigrant, I was already so different than anyone else at school or in the neighborhood. I was being teased for being different, and I couldn’t give anyone any more reasons to pick on me. I suppressed my feelings and I hid this side of myself.

We eventually struck a compromise and I let my grandmother drape the dress in front of me to get the measurements she needed. I secretly wished that the dress was really for me. It hurt to want… It hurt to hope…

I went to middle school in Korea. The school I went to had separate uniforms for boys and girls. Not only that, they had special hair cut requirements. All the boys were required to have buzzcuts… I was starting to go through puberty. My voice was about to change. I lived between genders as much as I could when I was a child, but now that was over. I remember walking into the barbershop, the sound of the trimmers going through my hair. It was a bit of a relief to get the haircut honestly. Girls don’t have buzz cuts, girls have long pretty hair I told myself. I was trying to purge myself of all hopes of being feminine. I would never be a girl now that I am going through hormones and this would be the end of it and I could give up on my hopes and dreams.

If I could, I would want to go back and tell this version of myself that it is okay to hope, and it is okay to dream. I would want to tell myself that there is nothing wrong with who I am. That I am not alone.

I would show myself that I would grow up to be a beautiful, strong, amazing professional transgender woman.

And I would want to tell myself that I don’t have to suffer and that I would be loved.


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Immigration

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Category : Trans Theories

Growing up as an immigrant is not easy.

I lived for years without my father who supported us from Korea. In the states my college educated mother had to work night shifts in factories. My grandparents worked well into their old age. All just so that we could afford to live 3 generations in a small house in a rapidly declining neighborhood. They worked hard to give me opportunity. And in turn I had to work hard. While I had opportunity that my family gave me, I had no safety net for failure.

As immigrants, in order to keep up, we need to be stronger, smarter, harder working and more resilient than our native born citizen peers.

We have to prove to the rest of the country that we belong.

In this country, we talk about how small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Did you know that a disproportionately large number of these small businesses are started by immigrants?

We also take pride in our amazing large industries that command the world. Did you know that nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies are founded by first or second generation immigrants?

But that is not the full picture here. We as immigrants are first and foremost people. And as people our worth to this country is not our ability to produce goods and services. Our worth is our experiences, cultures, teachings that we bring over to this country. We are rap music. We are sushi. We are Gangnam style. We are the spices that burn your tongue then have you coming back wanting more. We are art. We are teachings. We are languages made up with beautiful sounds that you can only hope to emulate if your only language growing up was English.

With all this richness and culture that we bring to this country, all we ask is for is the same opportunities to live. To grow. And to thrive.

Citizenship is not a zero sum game. Immigrants are not taking away. Immigrants are coming here to contribute, share and give.

Instead of putting up walls, we need to open doors.

 


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Blind AMA

The other day I decided to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Blind.

Blind is an Anonymous social media application for people who work in tech. The anonymity of the app is the biggest draw, as it allows users to speak with0ut consequence and often times many controversial topics of conversation occurs.

My AMA was in regards to being a TransGirl in Microsoft.

I have learned that many people have very strong mislead ideas on transgender people.

I am still processing and unable to write about it but if you feel brave enough to read the thread please feel free to do so.

https://www.teamblind.com/article/I-am-a-TransGirl-AMA-CQDi2xjF


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Cookie Tester

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Category : Code

Introduction

So, tell me, have you ever wondered what would happen if you one day decided to set a cookie with the same name with a domain specified and without a domain specified.
Why in the world would anyone do such a thing you ask? Because reasons!

Now the question is how does IIS and various different browsers behave when we some how find ourselves in this horrible mess of a situation?
To help test out what the exact behavior is I decided that I should put together a proof of concept that would help determine the behavior.

Introducing the Cookie Tester. For all of your useless cookie testing needs!
I created it so that we could see what cookies get set in various ways.
You are free to look at the code at github https://github.com/GeekGirl1024/cookie-tester

(I hacked this together so please do not judge me too harshly for the sloppy code!)

Setting Cookies with and without domains

Cookies without domains specified gets set with the specific current domain. So if the full domain for the page is subdomain.cookietester.com, that is the domain that gets set for the cookie if no domain is specified.

If cookies are set with a domain that domain gets used.

 

Setting Cookies with the same key on different domains

Now if you do sloppy coding it is possible to fall into this situation where you will have 2 copies of the same cookie and you need to know which one takes priority. Which is why I had my cookie tester able to show how if we set multiple cookies across different domains which ones will apply first.

 

According to the cookie tester for Chrome and Firefox, the cookies are read in a first in first out order.

But what happens for IE and Edge?

 

As you can see on Edge and IE the cookies are not read first in first out but the no domain cookies in this case www.cookietester.com domain cookies were given higher priority than the cookies set with the domain cookietester.com.

Conclusion

Neither of these are wrong behaviors, it is just a lack of specifics within the standards. And the people writing the standards just never thought to specify this…
And really, there is no reason to specify this behavior because no one is silly enough to do this… Right?

 


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Coming Out to Parents

I was visiting my sister in Chicago while my mother was in town from Korea. She always went to see my sister as she had a small baby. My sister left and took the baby with her to give us a little bit of privacy. I came out to her a few months back and she knew that I had to come out to our mother. I couldn’t avoid it anymore. I spent countless hours pondering exactly how to say it. Working through in my head how I wanted to phrase it. Going through scenarios and wondering if she would understand what I am saying. How I would bridge the language gap.

My mother was in the bed relaxing. I crawled in next to her. Preparing to turn my and her life upside down… Umma… I am Trans…

I knew my mother was open to gay people as my sister introduced her to many of her gay friends. I never dared talk about my gay friends as it would potentially open the door to talking about my sexuality or my gender identity. Being open to gay people is one thing but trans is asking for so much. To learn your child is transgender?

One of the things that was always a concern for me was being a burden. I always feel like a burden. My parents and my grandparents sacrificed so much for me to be able to grow up in the states. My college educated mother worked night shift jobs in a factory. My father lived alone in Korea to send us money. My grandparents worked well into their old age just so that we could go to school in the states. And I felt that I was being selfish. That I would dare to want something that is just purely for my own happiness. And that I would ask them to go through this journey with me and accept me for who I am really.

그래? 이제까지 힘들었겠다. She said which roughly translates to… Really? It must have been really difficult till now. I wasn’t prepared for her answer. I didn’t expect her to automatically go to an area of such concern. I asked her if she knew what it meant when I said that I was transgender? If she knew what transgender was? She told me it was ok and that she loves me regardless.

Every single person you come out to is different but there is something really special about coming out to a close family member. If you come out to a friend and they end up rejecting you, you could always make more friends. But your mother? There is no replacing her. For me and so many other people, this is the reason why it is so difficult and scary to come out to close family, even if you trust them to love you regardless, that tiny little doubt represents a chance that you have to be ready and prepared for.

As I explained to my mother exactly how bad it is for LGBTQ people and how often they get rejected by their family, my mother held my hand and told me… never…

I would like to say that things went well from that point, but coming out is a long process. In the coming months our relationship would become strained and filled with awkwardness. I knew my mother didn’t know what to say to me anymore and I didn’t want to talk about my life as if it was some report… I knew my mother needed resources, information, and support but I was unable to provide her with any that would bridge the generational, cultural and language gap that lay between us. I have come out to her and she accepted me but we still grew apart. This is not how it is supposed to happen. If your parents accept you after coming out, you are supposed to grow closer to them…

 


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Twitter’s Conservative Ban

Tags :

Category : Code

Recently Twitter has been accused of targeting conservative users of it’s platform and censoring them. But let’s dig into what happened from a technological standpoint…

The algorithm that Twitter used to tell what is a bot vs a normal user is most likely a neuro network. Neuro networks are unique in that often times not even the programmers of the neuro network knows how it actually works. The neuro network essentially learns how to tell the difference between a bot and a human by taking tests. The longer the test the more intelligent the neuro network can become. The neuro network slowly becomes better and better at telling the difference between a normal user vs a bot.

If the programmer is a teacher, a neuro network is a student. The teacher could create a complex lesson plan that is intended to teach the student as well as possible and the student does learn reasonably well. But the teacher does not have full control over the student and how it learns. In the end the student learns for themselves and the teacher only has a vague high level of control in how the student learns. Now ask the teacher if they have an understanding of how the student’s brain thinks. This is similar to the level of understanding that a programmer eventually has of how the neuro network thinks.

Now then what went wrong at Twitter? Twitter apparently has built a neuro network that is good at telling the difference between a normal user vs a bot within an acceptable level of false positives but then failed to notice that these false positives contained a higher than normal percentage of conservative users. The most likely reason for this scenario is that the people who created the test that the neuro network was trained upon couldn’t tell the difference between bots and conservative users also. In the end what happened here was the neuro network learned to profile conservative users. And now the question is, is there someone to blame? And if there is who would it be?

So is it the responsibility of the programmer for not creating a good enough test to train the neuro network against? Is it the responsibility of the bot creators for creating bots that resemble conservative Twitter users? Is it the responsibility of the bots for emulating the conservative Twitter users? Is it the responsibility of the conservative Twitter users for having behaviors too similar to the bots? Is it the responsibility of the neuro network for not being able to tell the difference?

But for now I will sit back and enjoy watching conservatives, a group of mostly cisgender, heterosexual, white or male fret over their first instances of getting profiled.


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Bai Tong Happy Hour

Category : Food

I do love a good Happy Hour special. I came in hungry after skipping breakfast and lunch (cuz I do that sometimes) and was pleasantly surprised it was happy hour. Many places have smaller portions for happy hour but if that was the case here I wouldn’t have known with the size of the plates I was given. I ordered a Crispy Garlic Chicken and the Fresh Rolls.

The Fresh Rolls, I personally call these Spring Rolls but lots of people seem to call spring rolls those deep fried rolls which I personally call egg rolls… Regardless the Fresh Rolls were nothing special. They were good, with fresh veggies and had good pork and shrimp in it. But what really set them apart was the peanut sauce that it came with. slightly sweet and very savory and super flavorful. Especially during happy hour, totally worth it to order these!

The Crispy Garlic Chicken, Omg so crunchy and crispyyyy. I don’t know how they do it but I wish other restaurants would learn how to fry things this crispy. Topped with a sweet sauce that does not take away any of the crispiness of the chicken. Maybe my favorite part of the dish though was the deep fried basil. Makes me want to grow my own basil just so I could add crispy basil to everything I eat.

Overall great value for a nice restaurant’s happy hour. Great food and convenient location. For me at least.

A+++ will eat from again!