I'm trans(1), neuter(2), a geek(3), a railfan(4), and a socialist(5). Also, a recent grad-school escapee(6), a chemist-historian(7), and a native Prince Georgian(8).
(1) I'm not certain whether being trans really should be the first item I mention in describing myself, but it seems like something people need to know to decide if I sound cool or like someone they want to avoid talking to.
(2) Gender is complicated, and figuring out what exactly I am trying to transition to is hard. I'm pretty comfortable talking about it (and would love to meet other non-binary people, too), but don't expect me to have any particularly clear answers. For now, I'm on a low-dose hormone therapy and trying to figure out what I'm doing.
(3) I have to admit that I feel a little awkward about self-identifying as a geek, given all the classism, misogyny, and racism that certain parts of geek culture seem permeated with. But, on the other hand, I was recently President and Skinner of the MIT Science Fiction Society, so the label seems pretty unavoiadable. Grad school and running a library kept me from actually reading much science fiction and fantasy, but I'm trying to get caught up again.
(4) I'm not exactly sure how I became a bit obsessed with trains. It may have started when I traveled home to DC and back by Amtrak during my first summer break in college in Los Angeles. But I suspect a lot of my interest in subways and rapid transit came from spending a decade living a carless life in Los Angeles and Boston. Now that I have a car again, I still live two blocks from a Metro station and try to ride transit whenever I can. And when I travel, I try to ride as much of the transit in whatever city I'm in as possible.
(5) Socialism just kind of happened over the past five or so years, as I've come to realize just how much capitalism fucks over large segments of society, and turns so much into a mixture of luck and having the right parents. Of course, the realization that recent technological innovations are likely to make labor obsolete for the most part is quite concerning, too.
(6) I spent the last six years at MIT trying to get a PhD in chemistry. This mostly involved trying to fix the insane vacuum chamber you can see me buried in in one of my profile photos. And, as I got fed up with that, spending more and more time with student groups and student government and becoming increasingly depressed instead. Finally, this spring I informed my advisor that I was leaving whether or not she liked it and fled to PG County, where I grew up, to write a Master's thesis. I'm still trying to figure out how to be a real person now that my thesis is turned in and I'm not a grad student anymore.
(7) I've spent the last decade---can it really have been that long? *shudders*---getting degrees in chemistry at Caltech and MIT. In the process, I've realized that I'm not really sure I want to keep doing chemistry, as much as the idea of Being a Scientist is appealing. I've also discovered that I might be a bit more interested in history. I did minor in Medieval European history as an undergrad, though at the moment I seem to be more interested in modern history and, oddly, the Bronze Age.
(8) I grew up in New Carrollton and went to high school in Greenbelt, between which I developed a bit of a loyalty to PG County, or at least the parts of it drained by the northern tributaries of the Anacostia. So, when I escaped grad school, I decided that moving back was a good idea and I found an apartment in College Park, which I decided to name Noonvale. (Does anyone get the reference?)