The first request comes from a reader who is a friend of mine wanting to gain a firmer understanding of transgender life. She has asked how I am feeling about my upcoming legal name change.
Honestly, it may seem silly that the biggest feeling I have at the moment is that I am very nervous about having to appear in court to get the change put through. We have a pre-paid legal plan through DW’s job. I have an attorney who has filed the petition with the court. I had myself fingerprinted (at the county jail…loads of fun!) All that’s left, as mentioned, is the court date. It should be short and sweet. I will affirm that I am not changing my name to hide from prosecution or debt. I will state that my name change is being sought because I am undergoing gender reassignment, and that my new name is the one by which I am known personally and professionally. The judge then has the choice to rubber stamp me, sweat me out, or decline to grant the petition. These sorts of things are supposed to basically be a formality, but I hope I just get rubber stamped.
Beyond Monday, though, I will not have to decide which name to put on a form, whom to have products delivered to… I will never again have to pause and determine why someone is asking before deciding what to tell them my name is. If someone is asking what name is on my credit card, that’s one name, but if they want to know how to tell people who I am, that’s a different one. So there’s that.
The other thing is, just like starting hormones, this is a benchmark. I can point to this as a sign of my commitment. For those who think this may be a phase, for instance, I am able to say my name is what I say it is, this is not an alter-ego, this is not a joke, this is not a Halloween costume. I am this person. There is no ability to ask what my ‘real’ name is beyond the one I give.
Another nice thing about this is the need for a new driver’s license… my old one has a very unflattering picture of someone who looks nothing like me. It will be nice to get a new ID.
None of this, of course, changes my legal status as male. There are an awful lot of hoops to jump through there… and it tremendously complicates marriage rights of all sorts. My hope is that the laws are ready for me when I am ready to change my gender marker.
I think that essentially satisfies this question… who else has a writing prompt for me?