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. FoolKiller

    ???? Clicked expecting an Elena Kagan update...

    November 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. question1

    I don't understand. he/she was once a guy and know he/she is a woman married to a woman. Why didn't he/she just stay a male if he/she wanted to marry a woman. I think he/she is using this transgender issue to get elected because he/she couldn't get elected as a man and wanted to get the LBGT vote.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lee

    I would not have known if this person was trans-gender if they didn't come out and say so. I'm a woman so what, your a man so what. Attention didn't need to be brought forth regarding gender in this election. So what is the point? Can he/she do their job? That is what matters.

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

    California. No surprise there. My second guess would've been Vermont.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Congrats!!!

    This is a pretty cool first step for transgendered folks. I know it's hard to enjoy the moment since words like the ones posted on this web page are intended to hurt and belittle, but pay no mind to those anonymous, cowardly, hate-mongering amoebas. They are followers and you are a leader. I wish you all the best!!! – Aimee

    November 4, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chris

    "to be clear that I am not asking voters to elect me simply because I am transgender."

    how different the world is these days...... kind of scary

    November 4, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. cindy

    Why do we have to know this? Why can't people's private lives be kept private?

    November 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    I know people will think I'm hateful and stuff, but really, I think the whole "I'm a woman trapped in a mans body" and visa versa is just ridiculous. I'm sure it's complicated and confusing for those who are actually experiencing it, but just makes no sense to me whatsoever. I don't hate transgender people, I feel for their level of confusion, and for me, yes it would be a factor in whether or not I vote for someone.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Please consult scientific research. It's a legitimate medical condition.

      Good god people are uneducated. All you have to do is watch TV that isn't Jersey Shore.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mr. Krandall

    "First transgender judge." Who cares? If she is smart and intelligent and can apply the law, that's all "we the people" need to know. Anything else is irrelevant. On the other hand, the first left-handed bilingual Jamaican Jewish/Buddhist astronaut – now that'd be something!

    November 4, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joseph


    November 4, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MM

    So she was a man and now she's a woman who is married to another woman???? So, she has always liked women??? I'm so freeeking confused with these people it's not funny. No wonder CA is in such a decline. All this madness has the place under a curse.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MM

    One great big freak side show!

    November 4, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MM

    And this freak is in charge of making legal decisions? God help us all!

    November 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MM

    What woman in her right mind would marry a freak like this? Must be one sick household! I hope they don't have kids. That would be just adding more freaks to society!

    November 4, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bill

    I want to be the first dog/man judge. I'm a man but I feel like a dog because I like to chase the puxxy

    November 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
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