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celebrating Diana

The astounding adventure of life continues. Last term, I was privileged to meet a lively new student, Diana, who as a child came to Canada as a refugee from Vietnam. Diana grew up as Jimm, a boy who secretly enjoyed putting on women’s clothes, finally came out, and found a beloved partner with whom he lived for 14 years. But underneath, Jimm had another secret, a female self longing to emerge – Diana. He wanted to transition, and a few years ago, the journey to Diana began.

Diana is open, vivacious, and the most feminine woman I know. She read at So True dressed in skintight leather pants, a low-cut blouse, diamanté earrings, and at one dramatic point, pulled the clips out of her hair so it tumbled down to her waist. As we worked on the piece beforehand, Diana spoke of being “a career girl”, and I asked what career. She said, laughing, “Insurance!” Just about the last kind of employment I would have imagined. Her company has fully supported her through her transition, she said. I noted that her insurance company is also mine.

And this week, I needed advice on insurance. I’m someone who went through a fire, thought my life was over, and instead got close to a brand new house, so I understand the vital importance of insurance, but I’m not happy with my agent, my premiums are high, and there are complications with the possibility of a renovation. I needed a seminar in insurance, and who to give it but Diana? She came over last night and we drank wine and went through my policy line by line as she explained what the confusing terms meant. She pointed out, with another great laugh, that I get the “Mature Market Discount” because old people don’t wreck things as often as young ones.

And then, more importantly, we discovered that our feet are exactly the same size and I was able to give her a pair of high-heeled pointy-toed suede boots from my own former life, when I wore such things. Win/win. Thank you, Diana! (Incidentally, she has given me permission to write this.)

On Friday, my upstairs tenant Carol comes back from her home in Ecuador to spend her last three months here, and next Thursday, I fly out west for a month in Vancouver and on Gabriola Island. So there is much rushing right now – to try to get the reno at least comprehensible and possible, the downstairs apartment rented again, income tax underway, goodbyes said – Eli coming for a sleepover Friday night – the Beatles talk in May organized, the house fixed and ready for Carol – John came over yesterday, fixed the always-broken doorbell and replaced the innards of the downstairs toilet, my hero, that man. The last Ryerson class Monday, the last non-fiction conference meeting Tuesday, Wednesday seeing the dermatologist about the brown patch above my ear.

Thursday, get the hell out of here.



2 Responses to “celebrating Diana”

  1. theresa says:

    Beautiful story, Beth. And great to have someone perfect to hand those boots along to…

  2. beth says:

    Thank you, you prize-worthy writer you. And yes, I can see lots of other things going Diana's way…

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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