Click to print Opens in new window This 21st century gal, Marsha Morgan, 54, learned to apply makeup with an app that analyzes her face. April 9, at 8: April 11, at 7: This is the third in an occasional series. But unlike other rooms at the hospital with similar displays, this is not for a baby girl. But Morgan, a former sonar technician on a fast attack submarine in the Persian Gulf, exudes the kind of confidence one only gains after decades of deep inner struggle and knowing you are about to transform into the person you always knew you were.
Six-foot-3, bald with a large colorful red rose tattooed on her skull and — by her own admission — built like a linebacker, Morgan, now 54 years old, tried to become the man she never was most of her life.
She tried out for the swim team in high school, helped her dad in his asphalt business, worked as a Disneyland Jungle Cruise skipper, married a woman, helped raise a step-daughter.
But a few years ago, Morgan finally came out with the truth: With an estimated 1. Still, having a transgender friend at the hospital on Monday is critical. One woman is here to learn more about her transgender child, another person is here to encourage tolerance. But most sitting in a square of chairs and couches are transgender people who are here to talk, to learn and to better understand both their own journey and the journey of others in the room. Michelle Evans, president of Mach 25 Media in Lake Forest, dismisses chatter that transgender students would ever abuse bathroom rights.
But her parents and friends were supportive. Rebecca Chang is in her 20s and started hormone therapy eight months ago. Her mother knows about the treatment. Coming out transgender in her homeland would, she says, build walls of guilt and shame.
She also is aware that while surgeries are far more safe than they were decades ago, sex reassignment operations carry risk. At the support group, the mother with a transgender son acknowledges things went wrong and her child became very ill. Ellie Ley, was Dr. Eleazar Ley until she realized that what was missing in her life was living the correct gender. Still, Ley is careful not to bring up her own medical history when treating patients.
Once surgery is confirmed, however, Ley reassures patients by mentioning her own background. For some people, those images send shudders. Evans speaks for the group when she points out transgender people are as varied as the general population — including when it comes to making decisions about their bodies. Some people want it. But in other ways, nothing will change. She will still ride her motorcycle. She will still fire guns at the target range.
She will still have her military service medals on the wall. And she will still have her pink duvet on her bed.