Vocalist/guitarist Dan Martinez of the Bay Area grindcore trio CRETIN was interviewed for the July 2008 issue (#45) of Decibel magazine (web site) about his decision to undergo gender reassignment surgery, essentially erasing his entire past as he set out to find the woman he always was.
"From the age of 13 on, any transgender feelings I had were lived as a fetish or a fantasy," explains Marissa (as Dan is now known). (At the time of Decibel's interview, Marissa is seven months into being a full-time woman, meaning the government recognizes her legal sex change with a new driver's license, social security card, medical records, etc.) "It was never more than wearing pantyhose or whacking it on the Internet, really. At the same time, I was imprisoned in a sense a woman trapped in a man's body. I am significantly different now. I don't want to deny my past, but at the same time I'm sad that I lost my girlhood."
As supportive as he is of Dan's decision to begin a new life as Marissa, CRETIN bassist Matt Widener admits he has a hard time hanging out with her sometimes because he hasn't been able to separate Martinez's two identities just yet.
"It's especially hard for me, because I saw [Dan's] face mature from boyhood to manhood," confesses Widener. "I know every feature of that face, so when I look at Marissa sometimes, I still see Dan because I have all those old memories memories I refuse to give up. She's not Dan as a woman, though. She's a completely new woman."
CRETIN's live guitarist Matt Harvey hasn't known Marissa for as long as Widener by any means, but he does have enough memories of "eating pizza, watching horror movies and talking about chicks" with Dan to toughen the mental transition between the two. "It's kinda trippy," admits Harvey. "You have an old friend, but you're starting from scratch in a way. I feel weird about it in my own head not about Marissa; about the dynamic but once I see her, I'm like, 'Obviously, you're not Dan. You're a woman. Duh.'"
Once Marissa turns 33, she will be eligible for the sex reassignment surgery (SRS) needed to replace Dan's penis with everything but ovaries. Anatomically speaking, Marissa will appear to be a woman but unable to reproduce. Further breast and facial surgeries are also planned to make the physical changes even more pronounced.
As for where she's at emotionally, Marissa classifies herself as a straight woman (Dan never identified himself as homosexual either) who's been attracted to men since the hormones truly kicked in.
Decibel exclusive story on Dan Martinez's decision to become a woman can be found in the magazine's July 2008 issue (#45), due to hit newsstands June 5.