When students come to school next week, the principal will no longer be a man, he'll be a woman. School officials are meeting with parents and guardians, and will soon talk to students, to prepare them.
Gary Suraci, the principal of Ulster BOCES Career and Technical Center in Port Ewen, N.Y., is undergoing a sex change. Now, instead of being Gary Suraci he will be Genna Suraci.
Ulster Boces principal plans sex change
By Paul Brooks
Published: 6:20 PM - 08/24/07
Port Ewen — The highly acclaimed principal at the Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center is undergoing a sex change.
Parents and guardians of the 1,150 students at the center got a letter this week inviting them to a meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the center. The subject: "The gender transition of the Career & Tech principal." Separate meetings will be held for students on Sept. 5-6, the letter said.
"We made a decision to try and inform the parents of the medical issues involved and to give advance notice so when the children show up it wasn't a shock," Ulster BOCES Superintendent Martin Ruglis said today.
The principal is Gary Suraci, Ruglis confirmed. Suraci did not take calls for comment at his office today. There was no answer at his Wappingers Falls home.
Suraci, 52, gained attention last year when he tried to win the Democratic nomination to oppose Republican Rep. Sue Kelly in the 19th Congressional District. John Hall got the Democratic nomination and went on to win the general election.
Suraci's political biography at the time said he has three children and three grandchildren. He ran, in part, on a "family values" platform.
Suraci's job is protected under state human rights and educator tenure laws, Ruglis said. He has worked at BOCES since 1996. Last year, Suraci's salary was $103,635.
The male-to-female sex change, a series of operations and related procedures, costs $10,000 to $30,000. The district's health insurance does not cover the cost, Ruglis said.
Suraci's work as principal have earned praise at both the state and national level, particularly in connection with a program called High Schools That Work.
"He has done a very, very good job as principal," Ruglis said. "The quality education that students are receiving up at Career & Tech is going to continue. ... The personal being is not changing, the competence, the experience, the intellect and the ability to work with people is not changing."
Pastor Leo Jalowzynski of the Circleville Church said he is dealing with a similar issue in his own congregation. But he questioned whether Suraci can continue to be effective in his job with the sex change.
"It is not the way God made us. It is not natural," Jalowzynski said. "I pray for his family that they can deal with this as well as for the parents and the students."
Ruglis said he hopes the public will accept Suraci's decision. "I hope that living in the 21st century, people are more sophisticated and in an era where we have tolerance of different religions and different issues," he said.
Thousands of gender transitions go on across the country, said Ginny Apuzzo, a prominent member of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.
"I am sure some people will really need to be educated," she said, "but bottom line — if a person does their job, they are entitled to keep their job."
"Gene Suraci" before:
"Genna Suraci" after:
Now, this is old news, and as the years have gone by there have been a shift in public "attitude" (what we have been told to think) where stories like this don't even make the news.
What makes this story interesting is a recent development concerning "Genna".
Word is, "Genna" likes women. What?
Here we have a case of a family man who had 3 children with a woman undergo a sex change operation because he identified himself as a woman, and is now a lesbian? He was a lesbian trapped in a man's body?
What does this say about the mental health aspect of procedures like this? Was there any type of mental health screening? Isn't being a "lesbian in a man's body - I want to be a woman who likes women" a red flag of there being some serious mental issues? Apparently not. Just lop off the parts, a nip and tuck here and there, add hormone therapy and "Voila!"
Of course, asking these questions and seeking actual answers before the surgery would never occur - it is a civil rights violation. It is only through the passage of time where one can look critically at the facts. It is alarming that the mental health community does not deal with factors such as "I like women, but I want to like women as a woman myself" when determining the mental stability of a patient.
Of course, with the removal of homosexuality from the DSM, wanting to have a sex change to become a lesbian is perfectly normal.
What is this world coming to?