One of the things I try to do, with this blog, and in various comment threads, is to educate people on my condition. After all, 26 months ago, I knew nothing about it either, or rather, most of what I knew was wrong. People who "changed sex" were all entertainers, certainly not engineers, academics or scientists.
Mention "transsexuality" on any blog or forum, and lots of ugly opinions crawl put of the woodwork, mostly based on ignorance and misinformation. In my experience, most people are basically good. It's because they're good that they have such strong opinions in matters of morality, ethics, and the health of Society. Point them towards the facts, cure their ignorance, and you don't have to worry about changing their attitudes. Their consciences will do the work for you.
Not everyone can be reached that way: but if you respond to insults, abuse and derision in a calm, dignified and forgiving way, for every active participant in the dialogue, there's likely a dozen of readers who will favourably impressed by your civility, and unimpressed by the self-evident unintelligent bigotry. Hey, it worked or Martin Luther King. Until they shot him.
Two such areas I'm involved in. One I've mentioned before. The other is in an obscure corner of the net, a forum devoted to the game "Total War".
I won't mention the name of the woman concerned - less for search engines to find, and she's already had more than her fair share of prurient publicity. Follow the link for more details.
I do know that had I known I was going to transition, I certainly wouldn't have had as large an Internet footprint as I have. Not that it's that big, but big enough. Big enough so I figured I may as well continue with my blog, and not anonymise my comments in other places. This woman has it far worse, and, being younger, is also rather more sensitive about the issue. Every day, her male "alter ego" is seen on various educational TV stations around the world, and her transition has been fodder for the tabloids. There's even been a most unfunny cartoon about it. Through it all, she's managed to cope with a grace and dignity I can only stand in awe of.
That's the trouble. The more talented and recognised in the field you are, and she is world-renowned in hers, the less chance there is of avoiding unwelcome attention.
Then just as we've made the case that we just want a normal life, part of society rather than being on the lunatic fringe, there's a story like this. With pictures.