Wednesday, October 3, 2018
My Outfit - Off to the DMV
I had waited far too long. My court date to legally change my name and my gender was on June 28th. My plan, which was wonderful, was to get my birth certificate and then get my new license. Doing it in that order would allow for me to get one of those new fancy Real ID thingies. You know, that ID that you will need if you want to board a plane, starting in October of 2020. Yes that requirement is a ways off, but why go through the joys of visiting the DMV now, just to have to do it later?? Yeah, I'm no fool, so I sent off for my birth certificate.
Ah such well laid plans! You know how this is going to turn out don't you? Well you should!
Anywho..... I sent off for my new birth certificate on July 11th. Yes I waited about a week or two between the court date and the mailing of my forms. But remember, that was also the time at which my wife had her foot surgery. So, I tried to cut myself some slack. Five weeks later, I got back a letter from the CDPH (California department of public health.) They were returning my application as it had been rejected due to an error on my part. The place that says mother's name at birth, actually meant, mother's maiden name. Silly me! Why did I not understand what they meant instead of what they wrote.
Oh well! I refilled out my application, and mailed it off again. Within a day or two, or so, I got a letter from the DMV. It turns out that my license will be expiring on my birthday, October 4th. Which basically meant, I had about 8 weeks for the CDPH to receive my application, and then send me my new birth certificate before I would need them. Plenty of time, right? Yeah, no.
Lots of words to say, I visited the DMV yesterday to get my new license! These photos show what I chose to wear for my day. It actually started off with me going to my OB/GYN for my 6th month check up and blood work. That was in the morning, so I made the DMV appointment for that afternoon. When my doctor saw me, she mentioned that she thought my outfit was on point! Which of course made me glow even more. Love my doc!
I began this post with stating that I felt as though I had waited too long. Yeah, unfortunately the birth certificate did not come, and I was not able to fulfill my original quest, that of the Real ID. But in hindsight, I think that I was using that to avoid something I was super worried about. It turns out that I have a little bit of an inner issue, I am terrified that someone along the way in this whole transition journey is going to tell me that I can't. Can't what? Can't be who I know that I am.
It is sort of like that shark in my swimming pool thing that I wrote about recently. Logically I know that it is not going to happen, but I fear it so. This was not something that I consciously realized prior to standing in the DMV and realizing that I was shaking. I had shown up on time for my appointment, checked in, completed an online form, received my number, and was waiting for my number to be called. Everything had gone smoothly, and I was pretty sure that I had all of the forms I would need to complete the job. However, as I stood there, leaning against a counter, I realized just how terrified I was.
Realizing I was shaking with fear and doubt, I pulled out my handwriting practice paper and began to sign my name. Have I ever mentioned that I am practicing my handwriting? Well I am. It has of course been one of those life long gender issues. As a child I never practiced my writing, why should I when my teachers calmly explained to me that boys could not write as well girls due to a lack of fine motor control. It never occurred to me to challenge their incorrect assumptions about gender and actually just practice my writing! Well, phooey on them I say, and now 40 years later, I am actually taking the time to practice!
I stood and signed my name over and over, trying to control my breathing, and force my hand to slowly and calmly form the newly learned strokes. I was having a tough time. My signature was certainly shaky. Far more shaky then it was when I wasn't terrified about some unforeseen impending doom. Within minutes my number was called and off I went to find my window and enlighten the next individual who was going to be bound to helping me be me.
Not surprisingly the DMV worker had not performed a name and gender change before. No worries, I talked him through it! Yeah, seriously! I informed him of the paper work that was needed as I handed it to him. He tippity tapped on his keyboard, went and consulted with a more experienced worker a few times, made me some copies, had me verify everything, then gave me a temporary license to sign. With that, he asked me to step over to the camera. With a thumb print, a signature, and a flash, boom, I was done at the DMV! And out I walked, no longer in possession of an incorrect male license, but with my brand new license with everything correct on it for the first time in my life.
Yeah life changing. Seriously. It is funny how when I finally accomplish something like this, I realize just how long I have been waiting for it. Prior to doing things like this, I fairly confidently lie to myself that these things don't really matter. But then I do it, and I can almost literally feel weights dropping off my shoulders.
Now, I have my court order, my SSN is updated, my driver's license is updated, and today I sent off my info to have all of my banking and insurance documents changed. I am still waiting my for new birth certificate, but they have cashed my check so that is a good sign. One day everything will be done, but for today I will be thrilled with what has been done.
Have you tied looking for those things which have annoyed you for so long they have become normal? It's worth the look.