Khosla, Dhillon

views updated

Khosla, Dhillon

PERSONAL:

Born in Brussels, Belgium. Education: Colorado University, psychology degree, 1991; J.D. (valedictorian).

ADDRESSES:

Agent—Tony Colao, President, MasterMedia Speakers Bureau, 14 Laurel Dr., Easthampton, MA 01027. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Musician and writer. Served for over twelve years as a judicial staff attorney at the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; singer/songwriter of the album The Temple.

WRITINGS:

Both Sides Now: One Man's Journey through Womanhood (memoir), Tarcher (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Dhillon Khosla served as a judicial staff attorney for both state and federal judges for more than twelve years. After his debut book, Both Sides Now: One Man's Journey through Womanhood, was released in 2006, Khosla quit his job as an attorney to go on a book tour, with plans eventually to pursue a career as a musician. Since completion of his album The Temple, written over a seven-year period, two tracks have been selected for feature films and two additional songs have been placed on special compilations and utilized by television executives for commercial cues.

Khosla, who was a woman for the first three-quarters of his life, underwent a sex-change operation, a transition that is documented in his memoir, Both Sides Now. In the book, he chronicles his transformation from one gender to the other, beginning with his decision in 1997 to pursue sexual reassignment. He delves into the many aspects of this change, including consultations with therapists, surgeons, and support groups, and how he, his family, friends, and coworkers coped with the successes and setbacks of his numerous surgeries.

In an interview with Rita Cosby on MSNBC, Khosla explained what it was like growing up with the sense of being another gender than what was determined by his physical sex characteristics: "I knew very early on as a child. And in fact, in Europe, I lived as a boy, believed I would grow into a man…. It was one of those things where there was a blueprint that I came into the world with, and I just carried that conviction. Then I moved to America, and sort of hit puberty, and didn't have any reference point for that belief anymore. And my mind suppressed it, I think, partly so that I could survive and continue into adulthood, until I eventually had an ex-girlfriend who brought an article to me from the New Yorker about people who had done this surgery."

Critics found Khosla's memoir to be readable and informative. "Keen observation, warmth, and humor make Khosla's journey most readable," remarked a Booklist critic in a review of Both Sides Now. And M.C. Duhig in Library Journal called the book "at once an intensely personal account of a life-altering decision and an informative look at the world of gender diversity."

In his personal statement on the MasterMedia Speakers Bureau Web site, Khosla noted that "it took many grueling and in, some cases, life-threatening surgeries, but I am now finally the man I dreamed I'd become. And what is most interesting to me, is how after each surgery, I experienced déjà vu—as if my mind already had the blueprint for that body. As far as the male culture, the transition was virtually effortless, despite my twenty-plus years of ‘female’ socialization."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Khosla, Dhillon, Both Sides Now: One Man's Journey through Womanhood, Tarcher (New York, NY), 2006.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 15, 2006, Whitney Scott, review of Both Sides Now, p. 9.

Library Journal, March 1, 2006, M.C. Duhig, review of Both Sides Now, p. 99.

Recorder, March 14, 2006, "Ninth Circuit Lawyer Crosses Gender Gap in New Book."

ONLINE

Dhillon Khosla Home Page,http://www.dhillonkhosla.com (June 19, 2008).

MasterMedia Speakers Bureau Web site,http://www.mastermediaspeakers.com/ (June 19, 2008), biographical information about Dhillon Khosla.

OTHER

What Happens During a Sex Change Operation? (video), author interview with Rita Cosby, MSNBC, March 6, 2006.