Transgender Executive: 'Just a Different Person Now Than I Was Then'
Microsoft executive shocks wife and co-workers with news about his gender.
March 6, 2008 — -- Megan Wallent is an executive on the go.
At Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., headquarters where male executives far outnumber their female counterparts, Megan is a standout, especially for one significant difference. Until few months ago, she was a he.
"Well, I'm me," Megan said. "And I think most people would perceive me as female these days. And that's the way I present myself to the outside world."
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But Megan used to be Michael, a longtime Microsoft executive who oversaw the entire Internet Explorer division of Windows for years, a leader of hundreds and an executive who interacted frequently with Bill Gates.
She still has her original Microsoft badge picture that was taken Aug. 11, 1996, the day she joined Microsoft.
Michael led a successful career and active social life filled with travel, an intense obsession for Boston sports teams and a beautiful house and family.
Tina Dunn has been Michael's administrative assistant for seven years and says Michael gave no hint of being a man conflicted about his gender or anything else for that matter.
"He's a guy's guy," Dunn said. "He's super into sports, hiking. You know, what I consider a guy's guy. He was into all of the things that guys are into."
Michael's secret had been with him and him alone for his entire life.
"[The] feeling that I had for the longest time -- since I can remember being really small -- is that something wasn't quite right," he said. "And I didn't know what it was. I didn't know what the label was. I didn't know what the outcome would be."
It would take more than three decades for those early feelings to take hold and for him to do something about it. But Michael's secret was about to change more than just his life. He had to tell his wife.
After two years of marriage, wife Anh says she had no clues about her husband's struggles. The first she knew was the day day he told her.
"I was in tears," she said.
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