Anyway, back in January, I bumped into him. We hadn't seen each other in about a dozen years. He had heard about me because I stopped at the college where we used to teach and where his brother was still teaching. His brother seemed more bemused, but he--I'll call him Jimmy--was actually quite sympathetic when I bumped into him. "I was surprised, really," he said. "I thought you were straight, you seemed pretty masculine and you were so athletic."
He thought for a moment and added," I guess you just never know who is."
I thought of that when I was talking with my mother today. She saw Chaz Bono on a program--I forget which--on a cable network. "She, I mean he, has such a big neck," she said.
"I know. It's a linebacker's neck."
"Yeah, you're right. She, I mean he, really changed."
I then explained some of the effects of taking testosterone, and the fact that, because it's a stronger hormone than estrogen, the changes in female-to-male transsexuals are usually even more pronounced than those in male-to-females who take estrogen.
"But he really looks different from when he was Chastity!," my mother exclaimed. Then, she paused in a way she rarely does; I guessed that she was trying not to mix up the pronouns. "You know," she said, "Chastity was really cute."
"Yes, I remember her from those old Sonny and Cher shows."
Chastity, as I remember, really was cute, in an almost Shirley Temiple-ish sort of way. But even then--about four decades ago--I saw something unusual in her. I couldn't articulate what it was, but I somehow had the feelng it had to do with whether or not she would like boys when she got a little older.
And now he's one of them. As they say in the old country, "Hey, you never know!"