Friday, March 07, 2008

ABC Nightline does story on transgendered Microsoft executive


ABC "Nightline" on March 6, 2008 did a story on Microsoft executive Megan Wallent, who spent eleven years as Michael before deciding to go through the gender reassignment process medically. She showed an employee id card of herself as Michael back from 1996.

The story is by Neal Karlinsky and Alyssa Litoff; the title is "Transgender Executive: 'Just a Different Person Now Than I Was Then'; Wife, Kids, and Co-Workers Cope With One Man's Decision to Become a Woman," and the link is here.

Wallent was a key person in the development and maintenance of Internet Explorer over many years, from the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington.

In 1993, radio talk show host Scott Peck (author of "All American Boy," and a gay man who was son of a Marine colonel and who was outed by the debate in Congress over lifting the ban on gays in the military) interviewed a woman who had served as a man in the Navy as a Petty Officer, and then left and had a gender change. She still had a civilian job in Naval intelligence, with duties approximately the same as when in uniform.

In both cases, the individuals had been married to women and had children. It is not clear what happens to the legal status of a relationship after one partner has a gender change and the relationship becomes a same-sex union, if there was a legal marriage before. That probably depends on the state and would be tricky issue.

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