Wednesday was Michael Wallent's last day of work at Microsoft. Not because the fast-rising executive, previously responsible for the Internet Explorer browser, quit, or was fired. Nothing of the sort. Rather, on Monday, he'll begin a course of surgeries that will allow him to return to his job in January as Megan Wallent. Wallent, who came out as transgender earlier this fall, has started blogging about the experience.
On the blog, titled, "M(): From Michael to Megan," Wallent shares experiences unflinchingly — like the time an employee asked if he planned to wax his arms. Answer: No, because waxing is ineffective. Only laser hair removal does the job. Wallent takes a similarly practical approach to the problem of changing gender in official documents, drawing on his experience as a program manager at Microsoft to map out the critical path through bureaucracy.
But Wallent also takes an introspective turn, quoting Bob Dylan lyrics. If you want to know what it's like to be transgendered, the words from this song may give you some insight:
I'm living in a foreign country, but I'm bound to cross the lineIt's a useful reminder that blogging doesn't have to be about money or ego or self-indulgence. Sometimes it's about embarking on a journey, and being generous enough to take your readers with you.
Beauty walks a razor's edge; someday I'll make it mine
If I could only turn back the clock to the time when I was born
"Come in" she says, I'll give you shelter from the storm