LETTER: Supporting people with difficult decision of gender

One day, Herman told us he was changing his name to “Debbie.”

We were shocked.

Debbie’s wife was really angry because she had not signed up for that.

We quickly realized there was a very important moral question here.

That question was, “To be or not to be alive?”

When someone changes gender in mid-life, you can be sure they have tried other, simpler solutions to cope with life.

Since Debbie’s decision, I have known at least four other people who made the choice to change.

It is a response to depression.

The change process requires one to live as the desired gender for an extended time before any irreversible physical changes are made.

It is never a light decision or a quick decision.

It is not a fad.

It is an alternative to chucking it all off a bridge.

Eventually, Debbie moved away to start a new life.

Many do that.

Even for people who are sympathetic and supportive, the gender change is a shock.

I am glad that Debbie and my other friends have chosen to stay in the world.

It is still weird.

The transgender path is very serious for the people that need it.

I wish them well.

Donald Bailey,

Port Angeles

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