With HIV a manageable disease today, I felt that coming out later in life had its pluses. I hid from the terror of AIDS and HIV for years. In fact, it was AIDS arriving on the scene that was one important factor that had me go back deeply into the closet after a few years straddling the fence. While COVID-19 is a different kind of disease than HIV and AIDS, today we all live in fear of the stranger. Continue reading →
I just finished reading the newly published book, Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt. It is a fascinating, well written story about what it means to be transgender in todays world. Nutt tells the story of the Maines family interspersed with chapters on the history and most current scientific understanding of what it means to be transgender. The book is a portrait of a family and their journey from the adoption of two male twins, and the belief by one of the twins, almost from his birth, that he was a girl inside.
As the executive sponsor for my company’s LGBT Employee Resource Group as well as an out gay executive in the company, I started to talk, last month, with the head of human resources, who is responsible for the health insurance that our employees receive, about adding transgender health insurance coverage. This year transgender benefits were excluded from health insurance coverage for our employees.
As much I have read about the transgender experience through a number of biographies of trans men and women, and through a few trans individuals I have gotten to know, the trans experience, while more known to me, still feels so different from my own life as a gay man. What I have found most meaningful in the biographies of trans individuals is seeing the similarities with men, like myself, who came out later in life, and being trans but hidden. We both went through parts of our lives hiding who we truly were before deciding we had to come out as gay or trans.
I am fascinated by the subject of transgender men and women and their stories. Earlier this year I read Janet Mock’s new book, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. It was a wonderful book that I could not put it down. I am now reading another autobiography by a transgender woman, A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir by Kate Bornstein. This is a very different kind of book, but also quite enjoyable.Continue reading →
We took my son off at college yesterday for his freshman year and moved him into the dorm. It’s hard to believe 18 years have passed since he was born. I’m so proud of him and excited for him at the same time. I can see the path he’s taking and I wish I could be doing it all over again with him. There is something energizing about being on a college campus. I see an exciting new world opening for my son, which has me excited, and which he does not fully see yet. I am excited to think about where his life might go and to know I had a hand in bringing him to his point. And yes, he survived my coming out and leaving my marriage with flying colors. More than flying colors, he has continued to be extremely supportive and loving towards me.Continue reading →