I just saw the CNN documentary (aired March 13 & 14) called “Her Name was Steven,” about the transition from male to female of Steven Stanton, former Largo, FL, city manager, who had a picture perfect life as father and husband before making the decision to become a woman.
I admit that I often overlook the “T” in GLBT and forget that there are transgendered parents out there. This documentary is a good study in prejudice toward transgendered people because it follows Steven’s stellar career which took a nosedive after it was leaked to the press that he was transitioning to “Susan.” For no other reason than his plans to transition, he was forced out of a job and and then rendered unemployable. His story is tragic and frustrating.
What is amazing and inspirational about this documentary is the love and support Steven/Susan gets from his teen-age son. His son in fact seems to be the most well adjusted and accepting of all the family when it comes to the changes brought about by his father’s transition. At one point when Susan suggests that she may “end the experiment” of her life by committing suicide because she cannot find a job, her son speaks with wisdom and level-headedness far beyond his years, offering that a job “is such a small part of who you are.”
I won’t ruin the ending, which really doesn’t happen until the epilogue, but I will say that things do get better for Susan. While I am happy for Susan and that her journey brings her to a brighter place, it is the son and his attitude and spirit that I found most moving in this film. As always in life, the kids end up teaching us the parents more than we teach them.