Zen teacher recalls Ellie Krug, her student who transitioned genders

An addition to Ellen Krug’s “Coming Home: A Buddhist Transitions Genders,” from Zuiko Redding, the teacher Ellen found so helpful.

Rod Meade Sperry6 February 2014
Zuiko Redding

In addition to Ellen Krug’s “Coming Home: A Buddhist Transitions Genders,” we’re also sharing here a message from Zuiko Redding, the teacher at Cedar Rapids Zen Center Ellen found so helpful.

That’s a nice little story in itself. Says Zuiko:

Yes, I remember Ed/Ellen Krug well, and I remember that class. He was the only participant at the time, so there was more opportunity for discussion! I recall a really masculine guy, a bit aggressive, with a five-o’clock shadow, short hair, jeans, and girlfriend problems. Also short and muscular-looking. The nickname “Killer Krug” might have fit him in the courtroom, though he was definitely drifting in a different direction.

I do remember telling him to be true to himself; I hadn’t thought about what this self of his might be, but I did let him know that no-attachment meant being awake to reality and discarding our ideas. Ellie’s account is accurate as far as I can remember.

And a short follow-up:
A couple of years later, I was going to retrieve mail from our box in the post office when someone softly called my name. I turned and there was a shortish (a bit taller than me) woman with long honey-colored hair, a flawless face and a gauzy dress. She introduced herself as Ellen Krug. I was stunned. I think I told her that she was exactly who she was meant to be in that moment.
She told me she was moving to Minneapolis and gave me her new address for our files. I’d love to hear from her.


Rod Meade Sperry

Rod Meade Sperry

Rod Meade Sperry is the editor of Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Guide (published by Lion’s Roar), and the book A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation: Practical Advice and Inspiration from Contemporary Buddhist Teachers. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with his partner and their tiny pup, Sid.