Thursday, August 8, 2013

Going Back

I've seen a number of people commenting lately on the recent public "de-transition" of Don Ennis, the ABC Producer who made news less than 6 months ago by showing up at work as a woman and announcing that he was going to transition (de-transition story here).

It'd be easy for me to say that, in this instance, the whole transition "process" worked.  It's one thing to think you know what kind of life you want to live, or that you feel you were destined to live, and a whole other thing to actually face the day-to-day realities of doing it.  As far as I'm concerned, that's the whole purpose of separate that fantasy from reality.  So those who "de-transition" are simply learning that and doing something about it.  Again - as far as I'm concerned there's nothing wrong with that.  Regardless of the quote-unquote "bad press" that this kind of thing invites that's why it's a difficult process.

That said - if this is even partially true then Don Ennis was a nut the first day he showed up at work dressed as a woman.  From May 8:
"A producer at a top news channel has announced that he is now a she.  Dawn Stacey Ennis, formerly known as Don, surprised her colleagues at ABC News head quarters in Manhattan when she arrived in brown locks and a dress to declare her new identity."
Read more here.

For anyone with any level of sanity or respect - you just don't do that.  You just don't show up one day at work dressed as a woman, say a few flowery things, and think that's in any way good for anyone - including you.  Every time I've seen that in the past it's because of external events (like threats of outing) or some other immediate emergency.  But in this case - no.  I said at the time that this was wrong and I'm not surprised that things unfolded this way.

Reality vs. Fantasy.  It can be a difficult thing to have to learn.

When Christine Daniels announce that she was planning to de-transition in 2008 I wrote about it for Bilerico (read it here).  My thoughts on it haven't changed.  I truly felt for her.  I have to say I am not similarly empathetic in this particular situation.

I'll be headed to do a corporate training next week to support someone transitioning at work.  There is a whole team dedicated to ensuring that it goes well, and I have no doubt that it will.  There are countless ways of doing this right, since there is not one-size-fits-all answer for everyone.  But, just showing up one day and surprising people by claiming you're a woman isn't one of them.

Anyway - there have been several interesting "de-transitions" lately.  More than one of them have been people I've known, and still like and respect.  The transition or de-transition plays no part in that.  But anyone surprised at what has happened here is naive.  I'm only surprised it didn't happen sooner.

I'd argue, and I'm fairly confident I'm right, that a not insignificant number of people who do transition  would make other decisions if given the opportunity to go back.  Whether because of relationships, or career,  or other components - life is not what they had envisioned.  It can be a difficult life.  But, there is no going back.

On to other, less weighty, topics....

One of the things I'm pleasantly surprised about this area is all the music that comes thru here.  Over the last couple of weeks we had Daughtry, Darius Rucker, Steely Dan, Pat Benetar, and a bunch of others.  Over the coming days and weeks we'll have the Doobie Brothers, Peter Frampton, Train, Chicago, etc. etc.  I'd love to go to some of these, but typically use my limited "discretionary income" to travel back home.  I explained in a recent post that I've got quite a bit of travel on my horizon.

That won't stop me from going to see Elysium in IMAX 3D this weekend.  I've been looking forward to it since I first saw the trailer months ago.  Some may be tired of these futuristic, post-apocalypse movies.  But I enjoy them when they're well done.  I enjoyed Oblivion when I first saw it (just bought the DVD this week) and this looks to be equally as stunning.

As far as I'm concerned, these are the kinds of movies where the sensual onslaught that IMAX 3D provides is worth the extra $$$.


FYI said...

Ennis did not just show up to work on a whim one day as Dawn.
This was, in fact, at a time decided upon in advance and worked through with HR and the bosses at the network.
Remember, the initial story with its faulty reporting, appeared in the New York Post. That publication has a history of transphobia (GLAAD denied them media credentials for the GLAAD Awards this year for that very reason) and shoddy journalism (see it's Boston bombing "suspects" cover which it failed to apologize for).
The Daily Mail has a similar track record of shoddy tabloid reporting and transphobia.
The decision to transition was not an easy one and it was not something done by a "nut."
Who knows what played into the decision to de-transition for him? But, rest assured, this whole process was not a lark for him from the start.

paintsnfun said...

As a WPATH member, I couldn't help but wonder if this person knew about, or was professionally treated in some sort of accordance with the Standards of Care. Yes, I know the Standards aren't perfect, but they DO seem to work in most instances.