Ellen Krug is a writer, lawyer, human. She was a trial attorney for 28 years before realizing there is more to life. She is now on sabbatical to write a book, and if that does not work out, to wait tables. She is parent to two adult children and hoping for the best, despite the odds. She can be reached at EllenKrug75@gmail.com
A couple of months ago, something unexpected arrived in the mail: a wedding invitation from a Cedar Rapids lawyer friend and his wife. Their daughter was getting married.
Why was the invite a surprise?
I recently returned to dating via various computer sites, and I’m encountering the awkward issue of telling suitors that, historically, my plumbing was a bit opposite of what it is now. Liz, my electrologist, and I have been debating about how to best let potential partners know that I’m a “T” in the LGBT alphabet—a post-op male to female.
News Item: The first person to be murdered in Minneapolis in 2011 was a
45 year old transgendered woman, Krissy Bates, aka Christopher Bates, who
was found dead in her apartment, the victim of multiple injuries, including
apparent stab wounds.
I recently saw a documentary about a brain-injured man who used male and female dolls as a form of therapy. The protagonist, Mark Hogancamp, in the film, “Marwencol,” was beaten by five men outside a bar in a small upstate New York town. Hogancamp barely survived the beating, and when he awoke from a nine-day coma, he found that his hand-eye coordination was severely impaired.
Recently while driving back to Iowa, I lost Minnesota Public Radio almost exactly at the Iowa-Minnesota border. I turned the dial to Iowa Public Radio, and I could have sworn that I had just passed into a foreign country. Although there were no border guard shacks to mark the state line (at least not yet), the airwaves told me that my old home state had changed dramatically since I moved north last year.
Listen to Yourself; You May Hear Something Important
This is my first column for Accessline as Ellen Krug. It has taken me a hell of a long time to get to the point of being able to write those words, Ellen Krug. I had been someone else, a male imposter, for so long that I almost did not get the chance to be Ellen. I’ve learned that do-overs don’t come easily.
You see, I’m working on a second chance, a new life. In short, I’m changing my physical sex, adjusting my career of 28 years (well, I am calling it "semi-retiring"), moving 300 miles to a place where I hardly know anyone, and deeming myself a writer even though Ellen Krug has never published a single word. A life turned literally inside out. A lover once said to me, "your life is like an Adirondack chair with a seatbelt." How appropriate, I thought.
In about two months, I’m going to have some facial surgery—what I have been describing as a “super-duper-duper facelift.” This is so that I can “pass” more easily as a woman—the woman I actually am. Fortunately, God gave me a fairly androgynous face, and soon, a plastic surgeon in Chicago named Zukowski will take it a few steps farther and give me truly female brows, eyes, chin and nose. As Dr. Z has said, “you have good features, but I’ll make you look stunning.” He may have forgotten that he was talking to an attorney when he made that statement, but I loved hearing it nonetheless. Certainly, the hundreds of before-and-after photographs of his work are a testament to his skills as both a surgeon and an artist. I can’t wait to see the results.
A few days before Mother’s Day this year, I was in a convenience store talking to the clerk, a nice person but a stranger. As I walked out the door, she wished me “Happy Mother’s Day.” This was the first time someone had ever said this to me, and it was heartfelt at that, given she believed I was a genetic female. It warmed me. Acceptance. Parenthood. Becoming a member of a new club—a women’s only club.
This is about how a piece of stale bread cost me more than $2000. And about how I have a greater appreciation for what people in the Gulf are going through with the oil spill. Leave it to me to make strange connections.
Ellen Krug is a writer, lawyer, human. She was a trial attorney for 28 years before realizing there is more to life. She is now on sabbatical to write a book, and if that does not work out, to wait tables. She is parent to two adult children and hoping for the best, despite the odds.
Since coming out as transgendered, one of the things people say to me goes like this: “Oh, you must feel like a teenager again, starting all over with a new life.” I have to admit that some of this is true: I do feel like a teenager again (even to the point of taking acne medicine), but this is not necessarily a good thing. One of the negatives is that I’m learning things all over. Like dating. Like being alone. Like wondering if I’m cute enough to attract someone other than the guy left after last call.
I’ve probably gone on 100 dates of one sort or another since 2004. And just to be sure that all of my bases are covered, I have dated both men and women. One would think that this “doubles my chances” for a happy relationship. In reality, it just means more chances for me to meet people who absolutely will not provide me with a happy relationship. I can report that I’ve not disappointed myself in that regard. I had never thought finding a quality, durable relationship would be so difficult. Of course, maybe it’s just me, Princess Ellen.
So as a 53 year old teenager, let me report on some lessons learned on the 21st century dating front.