Marvin was born with a male body and a feminine spirit inside, that was aching to come out. Figuring out that she was not really a man and then finally fixing that conundrum took a very long time and a lot of energy.
Here is her story, written especially for her kids, grandkids, their kids, and for all who struggle with a loved one with a non-conforming gender identity. Marvin worked in the masculine profession of civil engineering and spent many years in Hawai'i, Brazil, Africa and south Asia, doing good things for rural agriculture communities.
The agony of having to live a secret double-life was very stressful and constrained her from living an authentic life. Those decades of living in fear of being discovered as a transgendered person took a heavy toll on her well being. People should not have to face that kind of oppressive fear, she says. But she was born in Louisiana in 1936, and in those times she was obliged to hide it, sure that discovery would cause a personal, financial and family disaster. Then, almost at retirement age she finally began living as a woman.
Now in her seventies, she identifies with that Chinese proverb "May you live in interesting times", and she has indeed lived an extraordinary life. Marian has now had twenty-plus years of joy as her true self.
Link to my recent community activities
Marian G Beddill
Marian, whose birth name was Marvin, attended schools in Louisiana, graduated from Texas A&M University as a civil engineer and a Lieutenant in the USAF in 1959, then got a Meteorology degree from Penn State University in 1960.
Lt. Redditt worked as a USAF weather forecaster for two years, married and had two children. They moved to Hawai'i where he found work (combining those degrees) dealing with water, and discovered Unitarianism. Seven of those years were in sugarcane irrigation R&D, followed by two years as Deputy Chief Engineer for the Kauai County Public Works Department.
Then he was invited to do similar work in Brazil, an opportunity that lasted for ten years and included four different jobs there. In 1983, the family (except for the oldest son) moved back to the US, and Marvin became a free-lance consultant for ten years, doing various and diverse short-term assignments, mostly in South Asia, that are best characterized as agricultural redevelopment projects related to water.
Finally making the transition to live as a woman, she accompanied a new life-partner to Bellingham, Washington, where her last 20 years have been as a community activist working on -- surprise!: -- water -- plus social justice programs as an active member of BUF
, the Unitarian congregation there. Other activities have been integrity of the elections system, and environmental protection.
At BUF, she met her third life-partner, Ruth Ashworth, and they had 12 lovely years together - until we lost Ruth to lung cancer.