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. edu

    he needs to see a shrink, that thing about him turning into a woman and wanting to be with a woman is very weird and retarded..

    November 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gwen letterman-proud three time army Gmom

    God made man-God made woman. THE OTHER Ones are birth defects and mental disorders

    November 4, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Normal Human Male

    If the he/she wins, I'll never go to California again.....I will tell my children that California is no longer part of the USA.

    November 4, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike

    Dear GLAAD, please explain this tranny. It was a dude that like women, but wanted to be a lesbian? Is that the right answer? So ask him, "You used to be a dude but you were gay so you chopped off your stuff?" And he would say...

    November 4, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Finishedthearticle

    I guess I'm the only one who read the whole article. Did no one else find it pretty dang cool that Larry Smith is doing that? I would much rather talk about the memoirs of some veterans than about a judge. I would really like to see what some of those great soldiers said.

    November 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kristen

    Most of these commenters are REALLY bad trolls, I give most of them 1 or 0 out of 10. Mostly not original and certainly not well thought out. I'm not even mad. GG guys. Good luck trying to convince anyone of anything on the internet you inbred morons! <3 Love, Kristen

    November 4, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    Just for the gay extremists out there, you can't choose to gay but you CAN choose your gender? That's what you are feeding people? Really? REALLY?

    November 4, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristen

      Didn't even stop to think about that comment for 2 seconds did you? Nope, you just went BRAIN->FINGERS->POST. Didn't even consider the logic of what you said for a microsecond. Wow. I would hate to see what life is like in your brain. You probably upset a lot of people in your daily life, I wager. Since you don't have the capacity to reason. Do you live in a group home? I would imagine that you have to because clearly you lack the necessary skills to get on in life by yourself. <3 Its ok, I still support and love people even when they are developmentally disabled.

      November 4, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Troop

    Phenomenally weird. "He" was a lesbian all along. And people are saying he/she is of sound mind to judge cases? I say the gender irrelevance crowd ought to follow this trailblazer's lead and begin using opposite gender restrooms in solidarity- then we'll see who's really in their right minds. Coo-coo, indeed.

    November 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. absurdist

    You're comparing apples and Cheez Whiz.

    Pedophiles hurt people who can't defend themselves–i.e, kids–and a man deciding he'd feel more comfortable dressing/being/acting as a woman hurts... uh... hmmm, let's see... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN THE UNIVERSE.

    As for Attorney Kolakowski, her decision to be with a woman may be hard to understand at first, but it's the simple fact that she A. did not feel comfortable as a man, and B. is happier in relationships with women. It's two adults making adult decisions that make them happy–you know, doing that whole life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness thing.

    November 4, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jade

    Many of the comments here point out why the quoted statements are important. I wish her the best of luck and congratulations to her and the people who voted without considering her transgender status and treated her as an ordinary human being, because that is what she is. It's too bad that for many she will have to prove it.

    November 5, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. nancydyna

    Calling a Lawyer Should Be a Private Home Sellers First MoveCar Accident Lawyer

    November 6, 2010 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
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