November 24, 2007

Last Full Seattle Day

Posted in Identification, transgender at 11:58 am by Michael

Yesterday was again a bit overwhelming, but for different reasons than before (you know, the usual transgender stuff…). Yesterday with a new Valleywag post, the traffic here went up about 20x over the previous high. This had two effects – one – lots more comments, both on this site and on other places – and second it impacted how I thought about this space.

When I created this blog a week ago, my intent was to have this be a place for outbound communication to friends, family and acquaintances – both to help them keep up, and to reduce the load on Anh and I telling the same stories again and again.

With more than 3k views in less than 24 hours, and the usual vituperative comments that come with virtually any news post, it took me aback quite honestly.

Yup, it’s true that at Microsoft, in my time, I’ve not always been as nice to other people, or treated them as well as I should have. Very true. However, about five years ago, I tried consciously to change my style from the table-pounding, yelling style to a more open, collaborative style. It’s a work in progress, but I think I’ve improved, and helped people  be the best they can be. I don’t want to be known as someone who succeeds by leaving bodies in my wake – not cool – not a good long term approach.

Yup, it’s true that I didn’t tell Anh before we got married that I had gender identity issues. At that point, I honestly had wanted it to *go away*. (I wasn’t sure what *it* was then, either). I had thought that if I found the “right” relationship, and someone loved me enough, then I would feel complete, and these feelings of not being right in my own body would go away. However, it’s a testament to Anh, and what a strong relationship we have, and how much I love and care for her that I found the strength to tell her what was going on with me inside. We decided together (with some mistakes along the way) how to proceed – which resulted in me being very public, and about to transition.

Yup, it’s true that I have three kids, and this whole process will make their lives “harder”. However, I think I’m a pretty good parent. I’m engaged with all three of my kids lives. For Samwich, I make him breakfast almost every day, and usually feed him. I love to sing all my kids silly songs, and tell them stories, and teach them about the world around them, which includes people with differences (like us!). I still have a great amount of parental guilt that this will impact them, but in the end, I think this might even make them stronger.

Today is my last full day in Seattle for a while… I get to eat and drink whatever I’d like, and I’m looking forward to enjoying it. I’m also looking forward to moving past this time and getting back to much less interesting stuff.



  1. I hope that the comments of all spectrum that you get don’t change too much how you feel about your blog as your space – both because I hope you don’t get too many Idiots With Opinions stuck on Loud, Confident and Wrong and because I think sharing this level of detail must be a huge help for anyone trying to decide what’s right for them. Good luck with everything. And if you ever make it to the Ferry Building for breakfast on a Sunday – go round the back to Boulette’s larder and have the beignets. For the four years I’ve been going there I’ve never made it in time and always end up at the wonderful Mistral having rotisserie. On soft-only days Ciao Bella inside has superb sorbet too – and they do it with tea for a really refreshing drink.

  2. Alexandra Rucker said,

    Sorry for commenting here, the post I would have used is locked… Regarding the chinese mushroom thing, I actually got good search results once I used the botanical name, which I pulled out of the PubMed (Public Medline) entry:

  3. anthgrey said,

    M(): good to see that you are following your heart. The blog is a great idea – light always makes the roaches go away. Take care and best to you and your family.


  4. violet said,

    You are a brave & wonderful person for going public, on top of everything else. May you always find the strength to get thru each day. My heart goes out to both you & your family. I wish you all the best.

  5. violet said,

    You are a brave & wonderful person for going public, on top of everything else. May you always find the strength to get thru each day. My heart goes out to both you & your family. I wish you all the best.

  6. Gary said,

    M(): Insensitive people on the Internet are legion, and invariably many of them will find your blog. Ignore them. Six billion people on the planet; can’t please ’em all.

    I doubt you’d remember but I met you a couple of times over the years in meetings you had with Macromedia. You are the only senior exec at MS that I’ve met, so I was VERY surprised when I read the post on Valleywag and it was about you! Well, my best wishes to you. You wouldn’t be going through with this if it wasn’t the right decision for you.

    If you need a cozy place to celebrate afterwards, I recommend Firefly at 24th St/Douglass, particularly if fried chicken is on the menu.

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