So, here's the 35-year-old flashback triggered by these latest headlines.
In October 1977, I came out as a gay man, separated from my wife, and began exploring the gay world. In March 1978, I finally acknowledged publicly that I was an alcoholic.
When Ron first joined AA, he was Judy. He'd been undergoing the female-to-male reassignment for several years. After breast surgery and hormone treatment, he was already a bearded man when I met him. He looked more masculine than many of the men at the meetings.
Ron had suffered from depression for much of his adult life, and through the next several years, it worsened. He isolated himself from friends and family, and took a disability retirement from his job. He ended up taking his own life.
A Male-Female Transition
This post has already run longer than I intended. But I hate leaving the issue of gender transition on such a negative note. So here's a very brief story of someone else in transition, this time from male to female.
Four years ago, my housemate and I flew to San Francisco to begin our three-week tour of the Pacific Northwest. We booked into the Castro Inn for two nights. Both mornings at breakfast there, we were joined by a female guest with an interesting story.
She had been a policeman. Now, she had transitioned to become what she wanted to be -- a happy woman.
While she was still a man, our new friend had been a good golfer and played in several tournaments. After the transition, she continued to play. At first, there was no problem. But after she won several tournaments, protests were filed by players who thought it unfair for a former male golfer to compete on the women's tour.