November 4th, 2010
11:08 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Victoria Kolakowski

Victoria Kolakowski, a candidate for Alameda County Superior Court judge in California, is holding a slight lead over opponent John Creighton and will become the first transgender judge in the nation if she wins.

The 49-year-old has been a lawyer since 1989 and has dealt with copyright, business and patent cases. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Kolakowski had sex reassignment surgery in 1991. When the state Supreme Court declared same-sex marriages legal there in 2008, she married her partner, a woman, the Chronicle reported.

On her website, Kolakowski said she wants "to be clear that I am not asking voters to elect me simply because I am transgender."

However, she said that her being transgender would help the community to "see people like me as respectable professionals and even colleagues, and not as 'freaks.'

"Therefore I am passionate about blazing this trail for my community," she wrote. "I have been very fortunate to have a successful career as a public servant, and I feel an obligation to serve my community as a role model as well."

Larry Smith

Larry Smith, the New York-based creator of the "Six-Word Memoir" and editor of Smith Magazine, began collecting and tweeting often funny, always profound personal submissions about four years ago. The premise? Everyone has a story. The endeavor has resulted in multiple book versions of the project, including a best-seller.

On Wednesday, Smith began his most personal endeavor to date: Working with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America to collect submissions from members of the military in time for Veterans Day. They are equally tragic and hopeful.

"Best. Words. Ever? "Mom, I'm home." - By quin_browne

"Gone to war, home to hatred." - By Sidneymarie

"Spell war backwards and get raw." - By Salvatore_Buttaci

"Two tours, no injuries, thank God." - By Anthony Pike

"I would do it all again." - By Jason Madaus

Ryo Ishikawa

Ryo Ishikawa, 19, is a household name in his native Japan, but unless you are a golf fan, it's unlikely you will have heard of him. Many fans in Japan claim he can match the golfing achievements of his idol - 14-time major winner Tiger Woods.

He recently passed the legendary Seve Ballesteros by nearly four years to become the youngest winner on a major professional golf circuit, and has also become the youngest player to break into the world's top 100, then the top 50, breaking Woods' records; certainly good company to be in at his age.

He travels with an entourage, is pursued by swarms of media, and he already has a public museum in which to put all his trophies.

Every week, hundreds of people pay to see him. It's no wonder that his motto is "world, here I come."

soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Joe

    'Its a man baby' ~Austin Powers.

    November 4, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      What is odd is this man decided he wanted to become a woman just so he could be a lesbian. Talk about confused...

      November 4, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common sense

      LOL Only in California! What a joke!

      November 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      My thoughts exactly Joe! You're a man who loves a woman, but you want to love her as another woman? I know I'm confused! To each their own tho.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. curiousme

    "she" is gonna do her very best to prove that "she" is as bigoted and ruthless as the next woman.

    November 4, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. OnTheRoad

    This he/she says: "On her website, Kolakowski said she wants "to be clear that I am not asking voters to elect me simply because I am transgender."

    However, she said that her being transgender would help the community to "see people like me as respectable professionals and even colleagues, and not as 'freaks.'

    So, in other words, if you are gay or transgender you want this person to be the Judge for your case!!!!

    November 4, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tim B

      Not really, what she was saying with those comments was that by her being a competent professional (and she apparently is both competent and professional), that the other lawyers and judges who deal with her professionally will be able to see beyond labels and just deal with gay or transgendered individuals as people. And on a more broad level, pardon the pun, that a person like herself will serve as an example to society in general that transgendered people are just like the rest of us.

      November 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • NEC

      Well said Tim!

      November 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Methius

      OK, I really find its lifestyle repulsive, but it can do what it wants in its bed. As long as it interprets the law accurately, its personal life is not an issue! Let it be a judge!

      November 4, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tracy M.

    What does it matter if its a man, woman or a gorilla as long as they do their job well?

    November 4, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lindsay

      Amen to that.

      November 4, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Viper1j

      Because they won't Creamcake.

      I can be 100% wrong, and if I want to win my case, all I have to do, is flounce in ith a limp wrist and call some guy a b!tch.

      November 4, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neil Fuentes

      Agree 100%

      November 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Exactly, Tracy.

      November 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • William

      So let me get this straight (no pun intended)... you walk into a courtroom for YOUR trial and there's a gorilla on the bench presiding, and you're not going to scream bloody murder and call the nearest ACLU field office to whine (as liberals always do) that your sacred rights are being violated?

      November 4, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Daniel

    You know, reporting on someone due to them being transgender is just as bigoted as all the other crap that goes on these days. Things are what they are and are best left alone.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jillian

      The reason that it's news is because it's the first time a transgender person has become a judge.

      November 4, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      1st times occur all the time; articles like this simply insinuate that this first time is more important than another–it insinuates that being transgender is beyond the normal situation. All articles like this, and even those that celebrated our first black president, do nothing but further the problem by singling out that particular occurrence. Normal is normal is normal; there are no 1st times when we strive to be the same.

      November 4, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bama

    At the end of day, what does it matter – As long as the job gets done well who cares.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • AnneSD

      Absolutely. Far too many people seem to be concerned with what goes on in other people's private lives and obsess about irrelevant details, rather than the main question of whether they can do the job.

      November 4, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Manzilla

      I care! I don't want a judge who can't even decide what secks (stupid CNN censor) he/she is to make a descision that affects MY life. It is a judge who is LIVING a lie and therefore should be charged with purgery everytime she sits on the bench.

      November 4, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim B

      Honestly Bama, that's exactly why I voted for her. Both she and her opponent have good records and would have been good in the job, but I picked her based on her experience. And had no idea until after the election that she's transgendered. Apparently that had no impact on her career as a lawyer, then as a PUC judge, and most voters were unaware of it.

      November 4, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim B

      And Manzilla – you're not really reading the story. She decided almost 20 years ago about what gender (that's the better term) she is, and is living with that decision openly. She made a decision, a tough one, a long time ago. So no, no lies, no obfuscation.

      November 4, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      I agree with what your saying but she/he bought her/his private life out into the public when she announced she was trans gender to the public. That is why everyone is commenting about it.

      November 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Manzilla, she's not lying. Obviously you've never tuned in to the Discovery channel. Having reassignment surgery involves a lot more than wanting to be a full time drag queen. It's a medical condition. Their brains are different. Look into it, and you'll feel pretty foolish.

      November 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Manzilla

    If she is that ugly as a woman, she must have been one UGLY dude.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle

      She's 49 years old, not 19. She's a judge, not a supermodel. There are plenty of ugly people, regardless of their biological gender.

      Seeing as she's MARRIED, and you're not interested in her, why do you care how attractive or unattractive she is? The only thing that should matter are her professional credentials... and she's got them.

      November 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Segsworth

      Seriously? I think she's pretty. Nice hair, really nice eyes, and good bone structure. Considering the rest of your comments, you're looking for anything to go after her with. Good luck– anyone with eyes knows she's not ugly, and anyone with a brain knows that her being trans isn't an issue.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. William

    Hey, that there's a dude!

    November 4, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Confused

    So This Guy Became a WOMAN then Married another WOMAN.. What the Cuss....

    November 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nofets

      Thats what I was thinking.....

      November 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Um...

      Apparently you don't know what transgender means. Transgender means identifying as the opposite gender, not having surgery to become the opposite gender.

      November 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Clem3

    One day there will be cure!

    November 4, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Bobington

    Wow a mentilly instable judge. How can someone be a judge when they have such an obvious mental disorder?

    November 4, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • SAY WHAT!!!

      Just like many of you INBRED hold offices...

      November 4, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. the_dude

    Gee I wonder if she will always side with other transgendered and otherwise perverted people (ie gays, god knows what else). I don't think she/he will try to legislate gay-themed issues from the bench will she? I'm just so sure she will be objective to normal people. The people in california and the bay area are really sick as a whole. No normal, sane person would view this as a good thing.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      @to the_dude: I'm glad to hear that you're "normal". Can you please explain to me what your opinion of "normal" is these days anyway?

      November 4, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      And I don't see why straight people should be allowed to decide "gay issues" from the bench. Obviously, they'll be biased against them.

      Seriously, your argument is ludicrous.

      November 4, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      I'm a straight person and I could side with non-straight people. Or non-white people, or disabled people. Your logic is...not surprising, actually. I work with the public. I know how ridiculous people are.

      November 4, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. gloria

    Doesn't anyone else find it odd that a man had surgery to become a woman, and then marries a woman???? So she started out as a lesbian trapped in man's body...just fricken weird to me.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lee

      kind a sort a..but what do I know lol

      November 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Expert

    To be transgender you have to have a mental problem in the first place. Something ain't right in its' head. It has a screw lose. This thing became a judge? Who's gonna trust THAT? Coo-coo!

    November 4, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Viper1j

    "When the state Supreme Court declared same-s ex marriages legal there in 2008, she married her partner, a woman, the Chronicle reported."

    All righty then.. Is it a man trapped in a woman's body or a les bian??? There was a time when things were SO much simpler..

    As for me, I'm a les bian trapped in a man's body.. ;-)

    November 4, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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