Monday, March 26, 2012

Like MacArthur

Michelle was one of the founders of my support group. She was very active in the group for the better part of two decades holding down a variety of elected and unelected positions in the organization including the always difficult program chairperson role.

A half dozen years ago, her attendance at support group meetings became became irregular and eventually she stepped back from having any active positions in the organization. The last time I saw her was at the support group's annual banquet a three or four years ago.

She just faded away.

Last week, there was an announcement on the support group's e-mail list that Michelle had died. I assume that the only reason we found out about her passing is that one of our members had a professional relationship with Michelle's male side, so she knew Michelle's male name and saw the obituary in the newspaper.

Typically, that does not happen. In most cases involving transgenders who live part time as men and part time as women, we do notir know their male names. When they die, their obituaries never mention their female names nor the fact they were transgenders. So we never know when they pass on.

Over the years, I have met a lot of older transgenders. Most of them were just acquaintances; a few were more than that, but most of them just faded away. I assumed they became ill and or died, but I'll never know.

It is sad. Old transgenders never die, they just fade away. 


  1. This has always been ever present in the back of my mind. As a born male, who is 57 years and who's dad died at 44, and am the only living male of my age, on the patriarchal side of my family. I definitely feel as if I am living on borrowed time(I'm hoping it's my femininity that is keeping me out of the averages). This is way I have instructed my female partner of my passwords and those that are important to me to make darn sure that the word gets out that I've moved on to a different plain. And though I don't necessarily believe in reincarnation. I tell those who know me, that when there is a new born baby girl that comes into their lives, to think of me if I have passed. There are a couple of old girls that I love and admire, some I know are still with us and some I don't. One such woman I dearly loved, was Roberta Dearborn. I knew of her through the TCNE and the old Wayland House. She had an honesty about her that was admirable and everlasting in my heart. Last I heard she'd move back to her hometown, VT I think. If any one knows of her whereabouts I would greatly appreciate it.. I hate to think, that such a woman, just faded away! Marisa Sheryl Lynn, was also one of my founding mothers. I had the opportunity in the seventies to be interviewed by her personally for membership into the TCNE. She is/was a leader in our being a community. We should never forget those who came before!

  2. I'm sorry for your group's loss. I was thinking of just this issue the other day. In our digitized world I have thought that the service discussed in this article are not at all a bad idea.

    I bookmarked this years ago and have had it on my to do list. I've seen so many blogs or sites that have just gone totally static for years and have to wonder what the story may be.

  3. It is the thought of dying without ever living as who I was supposed to be that helped drive my own transition.

    Whatever happens from this moment on at least I made it this far.

    I am sorry that you lost a friend.



  4. Since I am already several years older than my father was when he passed, thinking of moving on is something that I do need to consider.
    As a CD my primary existance is the man I have always presented to all who I have encountered over the years.
    My CD life is fairly separate from my male existance. Only my wife knows both and she worries that others who know the male me may find out about my other side. This presents problems in many areas should I pass on. What will I be wearing when I die? What about my wardrobe? What about my collection of literature? What about my 'on-line' trail?
    While it is sad to ponder it may be for the best that our 'other life' simply fade away.