Saturday, March 05, 2005

New Beginnings

I went to one of those parties today - you know, the ones only women get invited to where your friend hosts and the agent tries to sell you stuff - candles, cookware, plastic dishes, books, jewelry, makeup, or some other thing. Well, I'm a huge sucker for these parties. Partly because I'm too nice to say no, but also because they're kinda fun.

Well, one of the women there was a colleague of mine at the company where I used to work. When I worked with her she was a he, though.

I'd heard that she was undergoing gender reassignment, but I had found it hard to believe. When I knew her she was one of the nastiest, most slovenly men I'd ever met. She looked a lot like Barny from the Simpson's. When she was a man, she was unhappy, negative, and rather toxic in her attitude. I avoided talking to him because he just brought me down and I found him rather creepy.

As a woman, she's like a different person, which I guess she is. I had a nice chat with her, and I can't believe the transformation. She just glows she's so happy. She's easy to talk to, has a great outlook on life, and just seems to be in a really good place emotionally now. Looking at her now, I find it hard to believe that she was ever anything but a woman.

I guess it goes to show that we can't possibly imagine what other people are going through, or understand why they act the way they do. Everyone has lives that we don't see. Everyone has a past that we know nothing about, and emotions that we can't even guess at. I certainly was pleasantly surprised by humanity today, which is a nice change of pace.


At 10:59 PM, Blogger Rachel - Wicked Ink said...

Wow, that is certainly something to think about. however, I am not sure my boss would take it well if I asked, if he would rather be a woman, if he would feel better then.

In all seriousness though, I feel glad for this person that they were able to find their 'true selves'. I think we all struggle with that on different levels, and their experience simply illustrates it very well.
'To thine own self, be true'

At 11:12 PM, Blogger Carmi said...

What a wonderfully-expressed sentiment. Considering the hell that transgendered people often go through - from living their life beforehand to going through the arduous process to adjusting to life after the fact - it's great to see her doing so well.

We'll never understand what it's like to be in that situation. But we all know what a life well lived looks like. You've aptly described it right here.

At 3:44 AM, Blogger Ken Kaniff said...

I doubt she will ever be truly happy. However, the change in attitue shows how miserable she must have been in her old body. Good for her.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Dean said...

I had a teacher in high school, a withdrawn, weedy little man. It seemed to me that he was pretty old then, but I suppose that he was probably a prematurely-balding 35.

Anyway, I heard a few years ago that he had become a she. I'm ashamed to admit that it kinda freaked me out. I'm further ashamed to admit that this was primarily because he'd been a hideous little troll of a man, and I couldn't see how she'd be anything but an even more hideous troll of a woman.

I realize that this speaks ill of me, but at least I'm aware of it.

[thinking out loud]
On the other hand, gender reassignment is a rich topic for social deconstruction, and maybe my reactions aren't those of a reactionary, but of a person of a certain age and upbringing who is confronted with a disconnection of experience.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Diva said...

In my company, a man chose to go through the gender reassignment process and they company created a separate bathroom for him so that he and others would not be as uncomfortable during his transtion.

When I heard about this, I remember thinking how difficult this decision must have been for him, to put himself through this public speculation. How important it must have been for him.

You have shown the other side of this equation - the results. And I'm glad she is happy and well-adjusted now. It certainly does add a different perspective to the world.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Trillian said...

It's still really crazy to me, but I can't help but admire her for taking responsability for her life, and being brave enough to make a life-altering change like that. It couldn't have been easy, and most people go through life taking the path of least resistance. It's nice to see someone who actually took actions to resolve problems in their life.

At 2:33 AM, Blogger Wheelson said...

Did you see this week's South Park? It involved a bit of gender reassignment, although in true South Park form they didn't deal with it nearly as kindly as you did.

Taking into consideration why a person might be the way they are before passing a shallow judgement on them is a wise lesson indeed, and a good one to remind all of us of.


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