December 6, 2007

The New Normal

Posted in food, friends, surgery, transgender at 12:22 am by Michael

Well, if not, then pretty close!

(Quick ed note… this is a two-fer entry – I posted part 2 first “The Epic Blowout” (its immediately below). If you haven’t read it – please please do… its really just part of this post, and I’m kind of proud of it.)

After lunch in San Jose at Vung Tau (off of S Santa Clara and 12th), we all headed to one of Anh’s aunts houses (Anh is the first of 8 (4 boys and 4) children, and her mom is the second of 8 ( 3 boys, 5 girls). This means that Anh’s youngest aunts are basically the same age as her, and they all grew up together, very close. I love the closeness of her multi-generational (and sibling) family (took me a while to get it – but I feel like I finally do!).

During lunch, Anh’s aunt’s son who’s five was there. I’d met him before, but only a couple of times, and he was young (well before I came out). When he saw me, he said “Who are you?”. His mom said “That’s Megan!” He said: “Hi Megan!”.

Anh then said to him: “Megan knows a lot about Star Wars, you should talk to her about that.”. We spent most of lunch drawing Star Wars ships, characters, and talking about Yoda quotes. (As an aside, I gave him my Dr. O pen to use which I used to sign the original contract back in July. I said “This is my special pen… I really need this back after we are done with lunch, ok?” I love that pen. I keep it in my laptop bag (green Tumbuk2 – my first “purse”) all the time)

 Fave Yoda Quotes – first from Empire:

“Do or do not – there is no try.”


Luke: (after witnessing Yoda force-move the crashed x-wing out out of the swamp – this scene still gives be goosebumps) “I don’t believe it!”

Yoda: (smirking, dejectedly) “That is why you fail.”

And from Episode I:

“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering,”

(And isn’t there too much suffering in this world to begin with – maybe Yoda is right – lets start with less fear?)

Anh’s other youngest aunt Tan (who gave me the Gucci purse) was there too. Those two are like sisters. Her mom was also there.

Anh’s family has been fantastic to me through this whole process. Today was the first time that they had seen me fully transitioned (Tan has seen me dressed privately a while ago – she was one of the first and most supportive, but that’s a whole different deal).

In many ways, their support is the most impressive. This was hugely (and still is!) impactful to Anh, and to Samwich. They all love both of them dearly. I’m the one who’s new, and we’ve only been married less than three years! However, I’ve found nothing but support, encouragement and love from them, which is amazing, and I appreciate it with all of my heart.

Anyway, at Anh’s aunts house after, besides updating the blog w/the pictures from this AM, just hanging out, and helping diagnose slow network DSL issues (turtle slow!), the aunt’s older daughter (9) came home from school. I had met her multiple times before, she has met my other kids too, and she definitely knew who I was before (the five year old – probably not so much).

She said to me: “Who are you?”

Her mom said “That’s Megan, say hello!”

“Hi Megan, how are you!”

Anh then asked her if she remembered Michael, and that Michael was now Megan (her mom had told her this before). She then said:

“Oh, but you just look like a girl.”

Which kind of seemed like the most normal possible response that I could have gotten from her.

The rest of the afternoon was just so normal and pedestrian, it barely is worth recounting. But, it was great. Normal. Everyday. All the talk wasn’t about me being trans. Some folks had questions, and we talked about it – no biggie!

My biggest takeaway about this whole experience with the kids today is if the adults around them model the behavior that while yes, this is a change, its ok, and we still love this person, then the kids quickly get it, and its just not a big deal.

Right before I left, he five year old after showing me the super cool Jabba’s Sail Barge ( ) that he built himself (very impressive for a five year-old) he said to me:

“Why do you have a boy’s voice?”

Kids say the most honest things.

I said “Well, I was born that way, and I like my voice and its ok with me.”

He said “Ok Megan, I like your voice too!”

We left shortly thereafter, and picked up Anh’s bro James in SJC and drove back into San Francisco for dinner. Traffic was bad. I loved the electronic signs along the 101 saying how many years it’s going to take to drive to San Francisco from where you are, then how long the train would take from the next stop (mere minutes), and saying when the next one is arriving (five to ten minutes usually). The title on top of these billboards should be “You Idiots”. At least we had four in one (small) car (which we had rented for the day – its psychotic to have a rental car staying at a house for a long time in SFO – no parking. I’ll go return it before 8am tomorrow.), but why there is no consistent carpool lane from San Jose to San Francisco is just mystifying to me.

We went to have dinner at Incanto ( the Noe Valley.

Please read the post below to find out more about it.

But I will add that the pappardelle with the boar ragout that I had really hit the spot, and the wine was excellent.

We took the dessert and the leftover wine to go (2nd bottle!), and all walked back to the Cocoon house, I’ve been writing for almost four hours (this stuff takes time you know – and I had to do some work too). Anh and James watched two new Project Runways, James left, and now everyone is sleeping (except me – surprise).

I’d be lying if I said it was all sunshine and moonbeams. It’s not. Some things are hard. Some things are very hard. Some things make me melt.

My amazing friend Helen sent me mail today about her son who offered a petition (morning prayer at a Catholic school) for me the day I had my surgery (saying that it was for transgender surgery). Wow. I was blown away. I’m getting weepy even thinking about the courage that it took to do that at what, 13?

I’m inspired by those around me to be all that I can be and true to whom I am. I can only hope that every day I get closer to that ideal.


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