There was a doco on CNN tonight - "Her name was Steven" - about a trans-gender City Council Manager in Largo, Florida.
When in 2007 Largo, Florida, City Manager Steven Stanton announced that he planned to become a woman, he lost his job - solely because of the proposed gender change.
I have known a person who "crossed gender". And it isn't something that anyone would do for fun, or for any sinister motive, or wish on their worst enemy.
I can't say I was shocked or surprised at the Florida decision. However I was amazed - although the religious right never ceases to amaze me - when a Florida Council Baptist spokesperson referred derogatorily to "the Tolerance Side", and said of Steven (Susan) Stanton - "if Jesus was alive today he'd want Steven terminated."
The percentage of people who feel that they need a gender change is very small. So what's the problem? It isn't as though it is an infectious disease. There isn't going to be a gender-change pandemic.
To be honest, I feel a bit uncomfortable myself about men becoming women and (less frequently apparently) women becoming men. And I felt uneasy about my friend's gender change when he/she went "all the way". But that's MY problem, and should not be inflicted on others.
Yes, I felt uneasy about my friend's gender change.
And unhappily and not surprisingly, she was never at peace. She now "gone to god" as our mum would say.
I remembered my friend tonight as I watched "Her name was Steven".
Her name was Leslie.