Dr. Leda Cosmides

This is a short presentation on Dr. Cosmides, a leader in the field of evolutionary psychology.



Election 2016


The night of the election, I gave up watching about 1:30 am.  Pennsylvania was slipping red, and the only states where Hillary was strong were too weak in the Electoral College to give her much of a chance to win.

I slept until about 8:30 that morning.  I pulled up my phone and checked Facebook to see what happened.  My friends were all in mourning.  My first thought was to leave the country next fall.  Germany, England, New Zealand, anything to get out of the United States for the next four years.

I dragged myself out of bed and went downstairs to check the news on TV.  Sure enough the nightmare was true.  Drumpf had a strong lead in the Electoral College, and none of the undecided states could alter the outcome.

I started reading more of my friends’ posts on Fb.  Some plead not to think of running away from the country and instead to stay and fight for our rights.

I felt bad for realizing that my middle class privilege led me to a very selfish initial response.  Save myself.  Run from the threat.  Get out of Dodge.  Most of my friends are half my age and don’t have that luxury.  They are stuck here, and have to fight.  Hope to survive.

Some said ‘we survived Bush, we can survive this.’  I almost didn’t survive Bush, especially the second one.  I got so stressed that I was becoming homi/suicidal.  The only way I saw out was to kill – maybe someone else, maybe myself.  Now I have a far better support network than during the Bush administrations, but I’m not eager to manage that level of stress, especially since I now have the added stress of being an out trans woman.

This leaves me with three major options.

  1. Stay with my first thought and leave Philadelphia and the United States. I don’t have great credentials to find another job in academia, but it should be possible.  If I chose this option I’d probably finish fixing up my home and sell it.
  2. Stay with Drexel. I have a long history with Drexel, but the recent management changes make my future there uncertain at best.
  3. Stay in Philly but look for another position. There are lots of colleges nearby, a change of scenery might be good, and I could keep my home this way.


The logistics of career choices are easy to lay out.  Facing the fact that my closest friends are facing President-endorsed verbal and physical assault is too painful to imagine.  Facing the fact that I am facing President-endorsed verbal and physical assault is unthinkable.

I don’t know if I have the strength to fight this Administration.

Salon piece, November 2014

Preparation and porn
November 18, 2014

Backstory:  In April of last year I came out here as transgender, only two weeks after realizing it myself.  Four weeks from today I go in for gender confirmation surgery, so supportive thoughts and prayers are appreciated.  Meanwhile, these four short stories continue to overshare the very rapid changes in my life, and some unrelated experiences with my girlfriend.

I finally came out at work formally.  After appearing on a panel to discuss transgender discrimination, it was obvious that I was completely out, so the next week I met with my Dean.  He said he had no problem with however I wanted to identify, as long as my work was done well.  He wasn’t shocked, and explained that ‘he had worked around a lot of musicians.’  People at work have been very supportive, and now I’m known there as Jennifer. (pause)

One evening as we snuggled in bed, my girlfriend started stroking my hair and face and body.  Pure simple touch, tracing the features of my face, caressing my neck, petting my firm shoulders, circling my fledgling boobs.  I finally made eye contact with her and saw her eyes gazing softly at me as she continued petting my body.  (speed up) I caught myself running away mentally, I was thinking of anything but what I was experiencing in the moment.  (slow down) I dragged myself to the present moment, and tried to open up to her, and found myself in inexplicable fear of staying present.  I could not face being the only focal point of attention, being subjected to pure receiving of such simple sincere affection.  How messed up is it that I only feel comfortable giving to another, and have trouble accepting the gift of pleasure?  (pause)

I previously mentioned my girlfriend’s penchant for inappropriate pillowtalk, which has freed me to be equally politically incorrect.  This makes for a dangerous combination, as the next two stories describe.

I had to stop taking hormones a month before surgery because they affect blood clotting.  This will make me hormone-free, so my girlfriend logically concluded I should be organic and free range as well.  This led her to the concept of the ‘free range tranny.’  Picture this Monty Python skit:  (hushed British voiceover) Here we are in the plains near the Cherry Hill Mall, and we have finally found a flock of free range trannies.  These appear to be females, as you can tell from their elegant plumage and because they spend most of their time playing with their breasts.  Generally quite peaceful, almost placid, these free range trannies can become severely agitated by questions such as (hick voice) “Can I help you SIR?” or “Are you a boy or a girl?” (pause)

We were fucking happily one night.  She was straddling my hips, focused on grinding her clit against me, searching intently for just the right angle for the most pleasure, when her red hair kept dangling in her face and distracting her.  As she brushed it away for the third or fourth time, it became a comical distraction for both of us, and she mused that she needed a hair net to keep it out of the way.  We had been discussing preferences in porn shortly before this encounter, and this, combined with the distraction, led us to imagine a severely underappreciated genre of porn.  Lunch lady porn.  Mercifully we did NOT compose a full story, but here are some lines to get you started.  So to speak.

  • “I didn’t have any money, but I already knew how *I* was going to pay for MY lunch.”
  • “The sweat running down her face from the deep fryer was nowhere near as hot as she was going to be in a few minutes.”
  • “I couldn’t wait to peel those beige support hose off her firm legs.”
  • “As she licked the shaft of my cock, I tenderly tucked the stray strands of hair back into her hairnet.”
  • “The slab of mystery meat hitting my tin plate sounded just like my hips slamming against her wet pussy.”

Thank you, and I apologize.