A lady is defined by her character – not her birth

Susan Stanton, you go girl!

With my arms opened wide, I welcome you to the world of womanhood. Of course, I am not the first to do so, but I may be the first to say that you have more womanly charm and manners than most of us ever will.

According Monday’s issue of the Oracle, Stanton spoke at a university for the first time last Thursday – as a woman. Before Steve made the transition to Susan, Stanton was the city manager of Largo for 14 years. After plans of a sex change were leaked to the press, Stanton was fired from the position.

Prior to the dismissal, I wrote an opinion piece for the Oracle urging that Stanton not be fired. There were insufficient grounds for the dismissal. However, city leaders had their own opinions, and in the early hours of March 24, Stanton was fired with a vote of 5-2.

I still stand strong that the firing of Stanton was completely unjust, unfounded and utterly ridiculous. Nevertheless, that’s in the past. I’m here to applaud Stanton for sticking to her guns but never shooting. Stanton had the opportunity to create a huge backlash against the city of Largo, but she didn’t. She didn’t sue. She fought fairly, and when the time came, she accepted defeat. Stanton acted like more of a lady than many naturally-born ladies I know. Moreover, she continues to press on.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, Stanton was second runner-up for the position of city manager for Sarasota. although she did not receive the job, she said with a smile, “I’m a little disappointed, but this was such a great experience… Sarasota is going to be part of my future no matter what.”

Stanton’s optimism and class should stand as an example to everyone. A low blow should never stop anyone from achieving and pursuing what he or she truly wants. Stanton deeply desires to become a woman. This desire shines much further than the physical commitments to hormones and surgeries. Her class surpasses many women who are more in the public eye than she.Young girls today need better role models than the media provide them with. There are a few diamonds in the rough, but the rough is what graces the covers of magazines, the front pages of newspapers and the screens of television. In return, children absorb the values and attitudes that the media project. As parents are often responsible for failing to counter this problem – they should be able to override the mass media and instill proper values in their children – it would be helpful to have a more progressive, modern and sophisticated role model. Stanton’s integrity and actions stand as an example to little girls and boys everywhere, whether they have gender issues or not.

Her story is much more than the trials of transgendered people – it is one of staying true to yourself and doing what you believe is right and best for everyone. Steve Stanton had everyone’s best intentions in mind when he drafted his plan to integrate Susan. Steve did what was right when he continued to pursue his transition to Susan, even when his initial plan of action was compromised.

The lesson everyone can learn from Stanton is that no obstacle is too big – no bump in the road is too grand to throw anyone off his or her target. Passion is passion, and if there is a passion for something, it should be achieved – no matter the obstructions.

It is refreshing to hear that CNN plans to film a documentary about Stanton. It can be hoped that this will be only the beginning of extensive media coverage of a modern-day rarity: a classy, respectable lady.

Amy Mariani is a sophomore majoring in mass communications.