"All Over the Map"

I recently wrote an article about a friend who switched genders - the article was unfortunately and sensationally headlined "My Ex-boyfriend Became a Woman"

She is still basically the same person, different pronoun - except with highlights and happier with herself. She hasn't lost her sense of humor: when she pulls out the hormone pills she's taking, she says, "This one makes you cry at movies and want to be in a relationship, and this one makes you hate professional wrestling and the Three Stooges."

She has a new softness about her that is more than physical. Talking about it, she says she also has an unexpected new sense of vulnerability that came along with her new vagina. I am amazed that after forty-two years of being male she feels that physical sense of vulnerability so strongly - maybe because it's so new - but that fear of violation is, for women, built into the anatomy.

- Laura Fraser

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