He was a family man and a guy's guy, running companies and keeping the wife and kids in million-dollar homes. He collected cars, souped up his pickup truck and wore diamondback snakeskin cowboy boots when riding his Harley.
Then one day in 1997, he gathered his children near the family home in Kansas and delivered the news: He was going to transition into a she. It was something he had wanted for decades and could no longer suppress.
"I asked a lot of my kids," said the woman now known as Theresa Sparks. "I think our story tells you that family really is the one thing that truly sustains. The love between children and parents can get you through something even as difficult as this."
Getting through, though, came with unimagined pain and alienation. Sparks lost her home, her job, her life savings. She sold everything she had - from the cars to a Cartier watch - and teetered on the edge of homelessness. Her sons didn't speak to her for a decade. Her siblings think she is a freak.
Today, Sparks, who rebuilt her life in San Francisco, becoming a political force and the onetime head of the San Francisco Police Commission, is reunited with her kids.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Are you ready for another "ground breaking" San Francisco politician? Meet Teresa Sparks, candidate for District Six seat on the Board of Supervisors, and possibly the first transsexual on the Board: Long Road To Acceptance For Man Who Became a Woman
Yawn. Sparks is nothing more than a standard-issue SF progressive whose positions are so uncontroversial here that they are not even worth mentioning. The linked article is little more than a puff piece about her "struggles" with identity and gender. There is little to say about her political career beyond noting that she headed the Police Commission. Big freakin' deal.
Want to try radical? How about running as a conservative Republican? Then let's see how many friendly articles the Chronicle publishes about you.