Last week I found out that one of my oldest friends has become a father… and a woman.
Professor Evan Smith is now Professor Vivienne Ming.
It took me awhile to get my head around that. Someone once asked me what Evan was like and I said, “He’s like me, times ten.” Stoic and logical with a dry sense of humor, I guess that was a cover.
Other than upper body strength, the sexual parts and their effects on our desires I’ve always felt that gender-behavior was a series of affectations imposed on us by our upbringing. And that male-to-female transgenders were, to some extent, gay men who couldn’t deal with being gay men, usually because of their religious upbringing. But Vivienne’s an atheist and is staying with her wife. Nothing about my assumptions apply.
This is one of my own logical short comings: Politics, culture, economics, I know that the behavior of groups of people rarely has just one rational or reason. I have a harder time thinking of individuals as equally complicated. I think this is related to my biggest problem in problem solving; latching on to the first solution that comes to mind.
I lost some sleep thinking about this, but it wasn’t Evan’s transformation that bothered me, it was the fact that I didn’t see it coming*. If Evan wants to be a woman and his wife’s cool with it then that’s all that matters.
But if he’d become a Furry instead of a woman he’d be dead to me.

*This won’t happen again. I now suspect all of you of potentially becoming transgender. Not me though, I’m all man.

Filed under: LiveJournal Days,Uncategorized
Comments: (7)


  1. If you suspect me of being transgendered, we got some talkin’ to do.

    Comment by mollymillions — November 20, 2007 @ 1:42 pm

  2. You’re off the hook.

    Comment by tone_milazzo — November 20, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

  3. But if he’d become a Furry instead of a woman he’d be dead to me.

    True dat.

    Comment by the_bone — November 20, 2007 @ 6:51 pm

  4. Thanks for posting this. I don’t keep up with Evan’s life. Although I did not expect him to switch genders permanently, I am not surprised that he has.

    Do you remember one of the early LARP games we had at Lothar and Christine’s apartment? Well at the same time I started up that large 40+ person game, I was also playing a small intimate game with about six or so people. Evan was one of the players and for several weeks he dressed as a woman.

    He didn’t just put on a dress. He went to a professional beauty salon for make-up and nails. He wore an expensive wig and high-heels. The whole she-bang. And he was very convincing, except for the fact that he still sounded like a man. I distinctly got the feeling that this is something more than just role-play. In hindsight, I guess you could call it a trial run.

    BTW: my “uncle” (well, my aunt’s boyfriend of 20 years) became female some time ago. Unfortunately, he tried to be sneaky and do it without telling her, while they were living together! It didn’t end well. I’m glad Evan seems to be doing this with his wife’s blessing, cause I’ve seen the aftermath of the alternative.

    Comment by sewyrn — November 20, 2007 @ 8:19 pm

  5. …and for several weeks he dressed as a woman.

    Though that was before my time I remember hearing about this, one of those obvious-in-hindsight points. As I remember his character was based on himself and it was his idea that he be transfered into a woman’s body.

    Comment by tone_milazzo — November 20, 2007 @ 9:30 pm

  6. Not me though, I’m all man.
    Whatever. I’m sure I’ll be hearing all about celebrated author Tina Milazzo in a few years…

    Comment by danifesto — November 21, 2007 @ 7:34 am

  7. O.K., so I’m 4 months late responding to this post. I don’t Google my old name very often, so I hadn’t come across this entry. To avoid this problem in the future, Tone’s monomaniacal ravings have been added to my Google Reader list. Now, on to the details:

    First (and on a briefly serious note), we’ll start with some nomenclature. I’m enormously proud to be the donor that provided the necessary genetic materials for the incredible thumpering baby boy ( Much more importantly though, I’m his mom… one of them, at least. Second, if only as a matter of courtesy, I ask for gender appropriate pronouns. If you’re not around me, it takes a while to make the cognitive switch, but using “she” and “her” helps speed that along and will be very much appreciated.

    Also, if anyone is curious in general, feel free to contact me with questions.

    Yes, there were many elements of my personality which were entirely cover. I’m certainly no longer stoic like Evan was. My estrogen levels are through the roof and my testosterone has dropped below measurement sensitivity; try combining that with being yourself for the first time in your life and seeing if you don’t crack a smile. “Logic”, on the other had, might be a dangerous trait to associate with gender (although I suspect Tone didn’t mean it that way). I still suspect that I could ace the GRE’s. Dry sense of humor… I tend to prefer dirty limericks now, and the lamentations of suffering innocents.

    “Nothing about my assumptions apply.” That sounds like a wonderful epitaph, although it might be a bit boring to see it inscribed on every urn and tomb. I put enormous amounts of effort into making sure that the big reveal would be a surprise. Yes, Nicco correctly suspected that I was “experimenting” way back when (the only time I ever did), but his suspicions were probably largely his own cover for having hit on me before he realized who it was. Don’t worry Nicco; you have long since ceased to be the only guy who’s hit on me. I laugh every time.

    After my wife read Tone’s blog she said, “What’s a furry?” We discovered that the number one Google hit for furry in the Wikipedia entry for people in fuzzy costumes. She then asked, “Why would anyone do that?” There was really nothing more to be said. It is a testament to just how far from galactic central Furries reside that even I, the fringe of the fringe, can offer no sense or justification for their behaviors.

    With regards to Tone’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers type fear of a Trans planet, it’s the FTM you really have to worry about. After a few years of testosterone, you’d have no idea. So if you encounter any shorter than average guys, they’re almost certainly out to steal your lunch money… wait… what were we talking about.

    Oh well, that’s about enough from me. If you need more details, email me. Note that my webpage has been sanitized of all mention of transgenderism and my wife’s family because her parents are not taking it well. I mainly talk about science and baby on my public site.


    Comment by anonymous — March 14, 2008 @ 3:15 pm

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