Monday, February 2, 2015

Whats In A Name Change?

I can not describe the trauma involved with being seated in a Doctor's waiting room, knowing full well someone is going to scream out my very male name. My recent Cyrsti's Condo post on the sudden military's reversal on changing gender markers on a transgender veteran's DD 214. gives me hope I won't have to much longer. As most of you know, I am a trans vet and under VA health care and suddenly the news leaked out the military had changed genders on  a few discharge forms.  Truthfully, I don't know for sure the steps I need to take to apply to get my 214 changed to stop the madness but I now know the light at the end of the tunnel is not the train! There is a chance!

My only real problem is that I am lazy, I have a very androgynous picture on my drivers license, all my friends and the greatest majority of the world pronouns me correctly-so gender markers are on one of my burners-somewhere.  As I have said though, since I am retired on Social Security, I don't have to worry about finding a job as a transgender woman-a huge deal with the wrong gender markers.

Now, I also received this comment: 
I really hadn't really thought about it until I read your article then, as I read the first couple of paragraphs here, I was saying to myself, oh no, they can't do that. Then, I absolutely agree if someone has the civilian id then yes. Make it complete. Really good article Cyrsti. Thank you so much for opening my eyes

Thanks to you Maria!  Yes, gender markers are almost as big as deal as the physical transition itself.  It's a daunting task to go back and attempt to erase all vestiges of one's former gender life.  I have read stories of one trans woman who ran into problems (of all places) at her dog's veterinarian.  After all, one bigot in a system seeking to make some sort of statement is all you need to jam a wrench in your life.

But all is getting better-in some places.  My friend Racquel just celebrated her legal name change this week as did my friend Draco years ago.  Here in Ohio though-we are stuck with our birth gender on our birth certificates as I write this.  Getting a passport and a new social security card is not impossible either.  My problems come with playing with Social Security at all and risk my retirement check.

I am sure all of you who have journeyed down the gender marker route at all probably have different stories depending on where you live.  One fact remains-transitioning is not for sissies!

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