January 5, 2008

Who Are You?

Posted in family, Identification at 12:31 am by Michael

My first mini-week of work came to a close today with not a bang, but a whimper.

But, today started pretty early… Samwich got up before 5, and was very excited to get up and start his day. He’s got a really funny schedule these days – goes to sleep at 7:30 pm, and gets up near 5am. He’s been getting up a couple times a night these days as he’s cutting teeth, and not as restful as he normally is. Anh dealt with him last night a couple times, and was super tired, so I got up w/him at 5, and we went downstairs to play.

Now, this is one of my favorite times of the day to play with him, because this is when he seems to do the most new things. Last week, he started pointing. He’s also started making more “talking-like” noises. He often says what sounds like “What’s That?” And, most enderingly, if you say to him “I love you!”, he mumbles something that sounds a lot like that – at least to me and Anh.

Plus, making him breakfast is just fun – blueberry pancakes again today – a good choice for him as he loves it, and he can feed himself if you cut it up.

Anyway, time to go to work came and it was time to depart. Work today was just like before – lots of email, meetings, couple of calls and 1:1’s with folks on my team. Some planning for my work trip to Boston next week – should be great the week before the Pats first playoff game!

So… I went to my last meeting for the day, and got there a little late, but before the exec who’s meeting it was came. I sat in the back, and saw someone who I had worked with on and off since I started at Microsoft. I said “Hey Sam!” (not his real name). He looked around, looking for the source of the voice, and since there were about 20 people in the room, and it was loud, I said “Hey Sam, I’m over here!” again. He looked right at me, and said “Who are you? I’m sorry, I don’t recognize you.”

I was floored.

He got up, walked over, looked at my badge (only a day and a half old  ) and said “Oh! Good to see you, how are you doing?” I said I was doing great, and just as we started to chat, the meeting started.

I sent him mail apologizing for the surprise – I hate to surprise people. But he said something very interesting – that he had heard – but that honestly, he just didn’t recognize me.

Ok, here’s one of the oldest pictures I could find of me (digitally, at home), side by side w/the headshot version of my office pic yesterday. Unrecognizable?

Paris 2002 Office 2007

Now, I’ve lost probably 60-70lbs since the ’02 picture was taken, and clearly, other changes to, but would I not be recognized? Its funny, because everyone else – even folks who barely know me, say “Hi Michael (or Megan if they know” when they see me).

It was interesting… not sure if this is the first (or somewhat first time) that I actually “passed”. But, I’ll certainly remember this for a while.



  1. Adrian said,

    That’s a pretty big difference! I didn’t know you in ’02, and if the person in that photo came up to me and said “Hi, Adrian!” all I’d really have to go on is voice recognition, and that’d be a push. So pretty close to unrecognizable, yeah!

  2. Phillip said,

    Big difference and it has very little to do with the weight loss. If I might add my 2 cents a little makeup and some cute but simple earrings would bring you to the “next level” (for lack of a better phrase).

    Megan>> Yeah, clearly there’s a big difference… that was the top of the Eiffel Tower BTW… that was a super fun day.

    Earrings will be next weekend!

  3. dave said,

    dang gurl! you’re coming along!

  4. Jeff said,

    Megan, you are a very attractive woman, I must say. Aside from the sensible, professional, and yet feminine clothing, hair, and make-up choices, it is the kindness in your eyes and the frankness in your blog that add to the whole picture. Your openness, intelligence, and what to me seems to be bravery are really great to see and I wish you the best as you complete your transition. I saw your blog mentioned on http://www.towleroad.com, by the way.

    Megan>> Now you are making me blush… pshaw…. 🙂

  5. RandomNetGuy said,

    Looking great, I’m glad to hear things have been so positive and I wish you the best.

    I also agree with Philip; A little jewelry and/or some subtle makeup can do wonders to accentuate. But more importantly, it’s good to hear you’re comfortable and going with what works for you.

  6. Helen Berns said,

    I feel sad looking at your ’02 picture. Even though you say you only feel 40% male, you look content. It is still hard for me to imagine you felt such inner turmoil and shame. In order to take such a life changing step to transition, you must have suffered a great deal. I am sorry for that. You were a good looking guy.

    Please remember I only want you to be happy,

    Megan>> Hi Helen… I think you have perhaps misunderstood the gender continuum analogy that I was making when I used the 51/49, 60/40, 90/10 references in the post of last week, and then answering Brian’s question. Its not accurate to say that I felt “40%” male. I felt a bunch of internal conflict about my gender identity, and that showed itself in a bunch of ways (some I’ve talked about – some I haven’t). Fundamentally though, I WAS happy. I wasn’t filled w/shame. Yes, I had shame about feeling torn on the gender ID stuff, but overall – I wasn’t, and am not ashamed of who I was or the life I lead.

    I think “suffered’ is way too strong. Way too strong.

    I’m not sorry for my first 38 years – they were great! I’m looking forward to the next 60+!

    And, thanks for the nice words about how I looked then – in that pic I was reaching maximum density though…. little too much Weight Gain 3000! Beefcake!

    More than anything, I was happy… and now, I’m even happier, more honest with myself and others, and am content with who I am.

    With Love,

    – Megan

  7. Megan said,

    I heard feedback (thanks H) that my commenting on comments methodology of adding to a comment is a an internet faux pas. I get that its not normal, but fundamentally I’m doing it for readability reasons, and limitations in the current style that I use on WordPress.

    So, please don’t be offended. I don’t edit the words inline, and I don’t do anything but append to the end, and its usually pretty clear what I’m saying v. what the commenter said.

    So… I’m going to continue doing what I have been doing….

  8. Helen Berns said,

    After hearing of your plans to transition, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand what it means to be transgender. I think for me it has really come down to the fact that I am supportive of you, Megan Wallent, because I love and care about you. I’m not sure I really do understand. I’m sorry for that. I know you were happy prior to transitioning, because I don’t think you can fake that.

    Megan>> Helen, there’s absolutely no need to apologize…. I get it. I don’t understand it all the time… Its ok….

    – Megan

  9. aristo said,

    Hi Megan,

    Nice to meet you.
    I was reading some technical stuff and jumped into your blog.
    I don’t read last time to much non-technical things (which, I know, is not good for me. I should read something else from time to time) but there is something natural in the style you writing. So I went throught a big chunk of your blog, and in between throught this post.

    I was amazed by one quantity, which was: 60-70lb of your weight loose.
    Last seven years I spent mostly sitting at the computer and I have put something arround it on.

    Was nice to read your blog, I will pop up here sometime.


    Megan>> Hi Mariusz – glad you found it and found it interesting!

    As for the weight loss – there’s only two things that I did differently. 1) Eat less, especially dessert (and eat more veggies and salad) 2) Run. Run more. Keep Running. Thats really it… I had been going to the gym and doing the stairmaster and bike (and I had biked to work a bunch), but it wasn’t effective at all.

    Best of Luck to You!

    – Megan

  10. Heather said,

    Hi Megan,

    I think I can be objective here since I have not met you in person. Those 2 pictures look like 2 totally different people on the outside. Brother and sister? Maybe.

    I bet you’ll still get “recognized” by the people that know about your external transition (like you said, you are still 6’2″). But I can’t imagine that anyone that didn’t already know about it would make the connection. That’s good, right?

    I concur regarding the jewelry. And lip gloss is a life changing product (I’m addicted). Estee Lauder makes one called High Gloss in a color called Berry that looks good on everyone : )

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