Omar, my old high school friend, the back of whose head I practically memorized from standing behind him in our opening marching band formation, that Omar…is now Mari! Or so I learned from another high school friend last night who ran into her at a bar.
I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t run into her myself. Between the gender change and my weight loss, we might not have even recognized each other! That would have been hilarious. – “Didn’t you used to be really fat?” – “Didn’t you used to be a guy?”
Though I never knew Omar was unhappy with his gender, it felt really good to hear about his switch, even if it makes pronoun usage particularly tricky. I certainly have experience with being unhappy with my external appearance, and I know what it’s like to undergo a dramatic physical change. Gender change is probably the only physical change that is more dramatic than a significant weight loss. Or at least tied with heavy plastic surgery. There’s nothing like a rhinoplasty to make someone look completely different (see, Jennifer Grey). I’m sure Mari would understand how weird it is to meet people you haven’t seen in awhile and see their jaws smack the floor in shock.
It makes me happy to know that I’m not the only one becoming more myself. It also reminds me that there is more than one way to do that. I feel much more in control of my life and self-empowered since I’ve started eating healthy and exercising. I can only imagine Mari’s gender change has made her feel equally good about herself.
It also makes me wonder what the heck the rest of my high-school classmates are up to. Good grief! I’m sure people have had kids, gotten divorced, and done tons of crazy shit by now. I think I probably should go to my 10 year reunion two years from now just to see what these people have been up to. Personally, I don’t think I’ve changed all that much, but maybe I just haven’t noticed since I hang out with myself all the time. Where ever I go, there I am!