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Ramona & Angela: ‘We’re still married’

Couple pushes transgender awareness

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Ramona & Angela: ‘We’re still married’

Ramona Chu, formerly Ramon, addresses the Manteca Unified School Board of Trustees at a recent meeting.

ROSE ALBANO RISSO/The Bulletin


POSTED April 26, 2013 2:08 a.m.

They were married in April of 1984. But soon after they reached a significant milestone in their marriage, their 25th wedding anniversary, Ramon and Angela Chu’s union as husband and wife came to an end.

Ramon became Ramona, and Angela Chu changed her name to Angela Cai. These two events had no bearing on each other. They were just extenuating circumstances to an independently extenuating life event that neither could foresee when they exchanged their vows.

It all happened when their younger daughter, Megan, who is currently finishing her freshman year at Cornell University where she is a full-ride scholar, was in her senior year at Lathrop High School. At first, the changes that were happening to Ramon were subtle, like his penchant for wearing lipstick and make-up when attending school affairs. It finally came to a head before Megan’s graduation when Ramon made the life-changing decision of undergoing surgeries to become a woman. What followed was a name change – Ramon was now Ramona.

Throughout that process, he continued to work at Best Buy in Livermore. Later, he was briefly laid off. Not long after that, he went to work at the Best Buy store in San Diego. He is currently on “short-term” disability from that job.

He is back living at home with wife Angela at their home in Lathrop. Even when he was undergoing the sex-change operations, the couple continued to live under one roof at their home in a newer residential subdivision in Lathrop.

“We are still legally married. In fact, we are now best friends,” Angela said.

“I can’t just leave her alone when she is despised by society. I do not have the heart to push her to the corner, especially in this economy,” further explained Angela who changed her last name about two years ago when she discovered, with the help of her daughter, that her uncle – the brother of her father – was the influential and legendary Chinese filmmaker, Cai (pronounced T-S-A-I) Cusheng.

“It is very sad for her to have that tendency. Ramona is a social outcast. I want to stand by her to give her support. Now that she has her surgeries, she is ready to move on with her new life and I am praying that day will come soon,” said Angela, an accountant who came to the United States from British Hong Kong to study at the University of Hawaii where she graduated. She worked for a number of international corporations before she and her family moved to California. Older daughter, Priscilla, a graduate of University of California at Davis, is now a lawyer in Sacramento.

She has also become a staunch defender of her husband, even more so now, and insists that Ramona has not abandoned her paternal responsibilities.



Mom says Ramona is an excellent father


“Ramona is an excellent father,” Angela said. “She regrets (bringing) all this pain to Megan but there is no turning back for her. She cries every morning and every night that she has let Megan down so much.’

Megan, for her part, said that she has forgiven her father and has, like her mother, come to accept her father for what she is.

“She feels that (her father) is no different from before, only that she is now a woman,” Angela said.

Both Ramona and Angela have just started becoming involved in speaking on transgenders’ rights. At a recent meeting of the Manteca Unified Board of Trustees, they each spoke during the public forum part of the agenda during which they resurrected issues concerning the way their daughter, Megan, was treated while she was at Lathrop High School.

“We want to bring public awareness to matters like this and hope people will be kind to transgender students and also to the children with transgender parents. Their pain and agonies are more than anyone can understand. I hope the educators can be kind to (these) children in schools because they deserve our sympathy,” Angela Cai said.

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