|One on One with Glenda Adams|
January 2, 2002 | Tuncer Deniz
I first got to know Mark Adams all the way back in 1993. At that time he was working on a port of Chuck Yeager's Air Combat for Electronic Arts. What struck me most about Mark then was his passion, his professionalism, and his enthusiasm for Macintosh games. Through our love for Mac games we formed a lasting friendship that endures through today.
And then a few months ago I got an email from Mark that—and I'm not afraid to admit it—shocked me. As I read the email I kept saying things like "no way" and "oh my God." But after the shock set in, I also felt a sense of happiness and a sense of pride in what Mark had just done. Mark had told me in the email that he was going to be a woman. As of January 1st, 2002, she would officially be known as Glenda Marie Adams.
Glenda spent the last few weeks of 2001 telling colleagues and friends, all of whom have shown tremendous support for her decision. As 2001 drew to a close, the inevitable and possibly the hardest part was yet to come: telling the gaming community. Glenda and I could think of no better forum than the One on One features we do about once a month.
What you're about to read is not necessarily about Mac games. Rather, it is about a person who means so much to the Mac gaming community. So with that in mind, we present the first ever One on One with Glenda Marie Adams.
Oh, and by the way, what you're about to read is not a joke.
Tuncer: Please tell us about the exciting news you have for us.
Glenda: Well, it's exciting for me, although I hope it really doesn't affect Mac gamers in anything but a positive way. It's a bit odd talking about it in a public forum since it's more related to me personally than it is about the gaming business. But I want to be up front about it, since it's something everyone will eventually know about. If you aren't interested in my personal life, skip ahead to where we talk about games in this One on One.
For a long time I've dealt with a condition known as Gender Dysphoria. When I was born, my body's outward gender appearance didn't match my internal gender identity. Over the last few years I've been under treatments to bring my outside and inside congruent. Today I'm completing a major step in the process by beginning to live full time outwardly as a woman, including legally changing my name to Glenda Marie Adams.
This doesn't impact any of my business relationships, I'm still the president of Westlake Interactive, still love working on Mac games, and look forward to a long career in the business.
Tuncer: Since you've been part of the Mac gaming community for so long, I can think of no more appropriate forum than ours to talk about Glenda Marie Adams. This one on one will hopefully help put rumors to rest and allow you to set the facts straight. Now, onto the next question. When did you decide to go public? Was it a difficult decision?
Glenda: I've wrestled with the decision of when to go public for a couple years. Earlier this fall I finally decided January would be the right time (plus I couldn't stand to wait much longer!). This has been quite a difficult journey. It's definitely out of the ordinary, and you never know how friends, co-workers, family, and even the gaming public will take the news. But in the end it was harder to not be my true self than it was to push through with going public. The reaction from my friends, business colleagues, and co-workers has been amazingsometimes I wonder why I worried about them for so long.
Tuncer: Do you have any fears now that it's out in the open?
Glenda: Yes, it's still a scary thing to do. I can't predict how things will go in the future, and the unknown is always a bit scary. But with the support of my spouse Suellen and everyone else who's been there for me in the last few months, I know I'll make it through, no matter what happens. I really do hope the majority of people in the gaming community see it as nothing more than an interesting side note. It doesn't change anything much (other than the credits!) in terms of the games I work on, or how public a presence I'll keep in the community.
Tuncer: How did you come up with Glenda Marie?
Glenda: Glenda was just a name I always liked. I think the first time I remember hearing it was watching the Wizard of Oz as a kid. Glinda the Good Witch must have made an impression on me :) Marie was Suellen's suggestion for a middle name, since her middle name is Mary.