Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Her Name Was Steven": documentary about Florida city manager who lost job after starting transgender change

On Saturday, March 13, CNN Presents aired “Her Name Was Steven” about the life of Steven Stanton, “when the image doesn’t match the identity.”

He told his wife that he would feel more like himself if he sometimes dressed as a female. But gradually he became convinced that he was female.

Hehad become city manager of Largo, FL, and done the drills with the men of the fire department. But when the city council learned he was taking hormone therapy to prepare for gender change, it chose to fire him. Largo had considered an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. Transgender was harder. “Fire him, or give him some testosterone and move on.” “He’s not a good role model” “Jesus would say fire him.” Unbelievable.

For the immediate sequel, read this story by Carol Lee in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, May 2007, “Steven Stanton Explored Becoming Susan In Sarasota”, link here.

"Susan" (the new name) did not get the Sarasota job, or any city manager job, and the family fell into financial hardship. Susan was served divorce papers. His ex-wife would relate what it felt like to see this masculine man melt away before her eyes (her language was a bit specific).

Toward the end of the film, Susan shows some skepticisin about her own "self-centeredness", if you want to call it that -- she focused on her own inner needs put put her family at great risk, and interesting moral dilemma.

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