I removed the blog post I wrote yesterday. Upon reflection, I confess that I was too harsh and judgmental towards the subject of a story that appeared in the New York Post about ABC News editor, Don Ennis, who only three months ago showed up at work as a woman claiming to be transgender. And now, according to the latest story, Don was reverting back to male, claiming that he in fact was not transgender.
I felt my criticism and skepticism were justified and the story just seemed too fantastic. But as others have pointed out, we don't know all the details, and more importantly, we don't know the person and what they are going through. I have often said that each person’s story is their own and have advocated for understanding because unless we have walked in someone's shoes, we cannot possibly claim to know what motivates them and what their life is all about.
This is my apology for having jumped to conclusions.
I forgot the pain I've seen in the three persons I know who have "detranstitioned" and gone back to their previous gender expression. One did so because the person she loved made it a condition of the relationship, another because all attempts to embody their true identity was going to be impossible, given their very masculine body, and the other could not live with the rejection. In all cases, these friends have struggled with depression ever since and I worry about them. I should have extended the same level of compassion to Don Ennis.
The fact that some trans persons find transition impossible to complete actually says more about society's intolerance than it does about the transperson's character.
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Excellent Followup to the Don Ennis Story: