Living… at the Shangri-La apartment complex in Los Angeles. Maura gave the family house to her eldest daughter Sarah, much to the chagrin of her son Josh and youngest daughter Ali. The Shangri-La is a good temporary fit for Maura – an LGBT friendly environment that represents a fresh start on her new journey. The noisy neighbors can get to be a bit much, though.
Profession… retired political science professor. All her life, Maura went through life as Mort, a male professor with a wife and three children. Now that she’s both “out” and retired, most of her time is spent immersing herself in the trans community and caring for her family. All too often, she plays the family piggy bank, doling out money to her scattershot and often selfish children, asking for nothing but love and acceptance in return.
Interests… learning more about what it means to live like a woman. Maura is over the moon once she’s able to go into a mall’s cosmetic section and try out the samples without shame. She partakes in group therapy sessions and fun activities at the local LGBT center, most notably the Trans Got Talent show. She still also maintains an active interest in her Jewish upbringing, upholding the traditions with her more passively religious family.
Relationship Status… divorced, and not quite ready to date. Maura’s marriage to Shelly disintegrated after Shelly was unable to accept Maura’s trans identity. After the divorce, Maura continued relationships with women as Mort, but they were destined to fail. Now that she’s out, she’s still attracted to women, but is devoting most of her time to her own personal journey, unwilling to date as a woman just yet.
Challenge… adjusting to her new life as a woman. She must do that while maintaining patience with her unsuspecting family and the too-often ignorant public at large. For Maura, though, the biggest challenge was playing the role of Mort the first 70 years of her life. The confusion, secrecy, and guilt was a daily weight on her consciousness. Now that she’s out, she’s only beginning to face the troubles that all minority groups face.
Personality… courageous, loving, and giving. Maura has a newfound inner peace and calm that she’s living openly. It’s as if she’s finally accepted herself without judgment, and has a renewed sense of self-love. When asked by her daughter if she’ll spend the rest of her life dressing up as a woman, Maura replies, “All my life, my whole life, I’ve been dressing up like a man. This is me.”
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