Written detailed interview series
A most unique performer
Singer, pianist, guitarist, songwriter, musical writer, producer, host, and public speaker.
After escaping from her straight dude suburban life, MARIA KONNER moved to San Francisco to be reborn! She explored and then rocked the city for over 15 years. Moving to New York City in the summer of 2022 she joined the downtown and midtown performance scene enfusing the jazz/blues/cabaret piano and rock nightlife with her own signature "fabulous" style, singing, playing piano and guitar and contributing a cavalcade of original songs, parodies, and more.
In San Francisco, she created her YouTube Channel underthegoldengate.com where she performs, interviews colorful underground guests (and some celebrities too!), and films various events around town chatting with all the interesting characters one would expect to find in San Francisco. She also had a monthly show at THE piano bar in town, Martuni's.
"I don't have the gay gene, I have the trans and kink genes'', she always jokes when it comes to music and pop culture. She jests in her trademark powerhouse voice: ''At the piano bar, they expect Judy Garland, but I give them Sweet Transvestite, Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath. I know almost nothing about TV shows, but I love talking about the Cosmos.''
Originally from New Jersey just outside NYC, Maria's love of the unique, authentic, and colorful started with her spending a large part of her childhood in East Africa (her father ran ecotourism safaris), The Middle East, and London/UK, and filling her alone time with books and science documentaries.
Maria started off as an engineer in the Tech world, then migrated into corporate management consulting, financial planning, marketing/sales, and lobbying. She wrote several books about green energy and corporate politics, but got so fed up with that world, she then decided to try something completely different and live a trans life in San Francisco.
Maria has a biomedical and electrical engineering degree from Case Western Reserve University and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University where she was the valedictorian. She has a love-hate relationship with education as she believes that too much education distracts one from where the real education is, down in the trenches. Maria considers herself to be a musician above all else. ''Good music can't lie. I don't listen to words all that much. I care about the vibe more than anything else―it doesn't matter if it's a song, a conversation, a business, or a group effort''.
FAQ: What sort of trans woman is Maria?
There are as many variations of trans as there are trans women. But like most people, each of us could very broadly fit into one or more categories that are used to describe behaviors. I'm not what most people think of when they think of a trans woman - I never felt like I was in the wrong body, I liked being a "cis man" (A man who dates women). And I live as both a man and a woman depending on the situation. I'm largely invisible as a man, and so many people get the wrong idea of what I am like by the way I look when I'm a man. So life took me on a path where I ended up dressing as a woman, and this in turn led me to a whole lot of fun and attention. I could be described using a variety of categories, for example: part time trans, autogynephilic, two-spirit, fluid, cross dresser, entertainer, frustrated straight man, bisexual, trans lesbian. It all depends on what mood I'm in, what I'm doing, and what opportunities to connect with people are presented to me. I'm just me, and I don't know if I'll settle into something more permament or not. It's not really up to me as much as the opportunities that are presented to me. And I'm proud of who I am and the communities I run around in.
If you really want to know, read my book!