Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gender "Marks the Spot"

Here in Cyrsti's Condo, I have discussing my current plans to begin to take the next big step in my Mtf transition and change my gender markers.  With gender markers, you don't realize how many there are. I knew when I wrote the post, (as I said) I know a couple transgender friends who have changed their markers,including Shelle.  Recently she was kind enough to take her time and comment:

Certainly changing my markers has been the most difficult and arduous of all my tasks as I transition,It is a huge undertaking that tests your very resolve as a transgender, even armed with legal court documents some of it is just a miserable slog through a system that has known me as M for a lifetime and many of them are just plain resistant to change things and it takes sometimes a month or more to just change simple things like your electric,and gas account,and all the other accounts related to your previous existence you are left in some cases for a time thinking you suddenly don't exist at all,it two times for my bank to get my checks right so I could begin paying my bills again the whole thing gets done but not without a huge amount of perseverance.

By far dealing with the rules in my state are the worst for me,as they require a minimum of genital mutilation to acknowledge me as F,I'm sure they don't give much thought to it but they are asking me to give up likely on a permanent basis my ability to ever have sexual satisfaction as I have known it all my life,that's asking a very lot of a person just to give me the dignity of being who I truly am,I have thought very long and hard about going through with this major step in life,but having my markers changed is as important to me as the HRT was, so I will move forward reluctantly feeling somewhat stripped of my right to human dignity, I personally feel this is cruel and unusual punishment of my diagnosed condition,and I pray it will be changed for those behind me, not all of us has the monies or inclination to have the surgery. so for while longer I have to live somewhere between M&F branded as it were as T.

I'm in the same situation as Shelle because of for whatever reason, I don't see SRS in my future.  Our differences lie in which state we live in. For example, here in Ohio, changing your legal name isn't very difficult in most counties and changing a driver's license isn't either. However, I don't believe you can get a birth certificate changed here, with or without SRS.

The "big dog" Social Security changed it's policy sometime ago to: allow transgender people to change the gender designation on their Social Security records by submitting either an amended passport or birth certificate reflecting the applicant's lived gender, or certification from a physician confirming that the individual has undergone appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.

If you are a cynic like me, you are looking for the "catch 22" in the process. I wondered,if in the end, an amended birth certificate (not possible) would stop me from getting an amended passport? But that's not true either according to this release: A transgender person can obtain a passport reflecting his or her current gender by submitting a certification from a physician confirming that he or she has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.

From all of this you can see how intense this process can be. Fortunately we transgender women and men have had some very powerful and competent advocates opening doors for us.  An excellent example is what transgender veteran activist Autumn Sandeen has done to ease gender marker changes within the VA.  Shelle is a trans vet too and I'm sure she agrees!

Thanks again Shelle,  for commenting for us and you can always check out her blog here.


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A Life in Gender Flux